Backyard of restaurant, Sydney Street, c 1937-38

Backyard of restaurant, Sydney Street, c 1937-38. Photographer: Molly Lee Wong. Courtesy of Bill Wong and Antigonish Heritage Museum.

B13 - Backyard of restaurant, Sydney Street, c 1937-38

Stanley-Blackwell and MacLean (2004, p. 279) include this photo in their chapter on “The Many Faces of Antigonish.”

We learn that George Wong moved to Antigonish in 1928. The laundry on Sydney Street, which appears in this photo next to the fire hall, was operated by John Charlie Wong and his younger cousin Kwoon Let Wong, who were known in Antigonish as early as 1901.

We also learn that the probable photographer is Molly Lee Wong, whom George married in 1930. “She was the first Chinese woman in Antigonish. She excelled as a photographer with the encouragement of George Waldren of Waldren Studio” (p. 280).

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  1. The restored photo was on the Imagine Antigonish banner in AHA!’s Big Tent at the Highland Games and will appear here shortly. We will leave the unrestored photo here as well, as it explains why we gave the date as 1937-38. Keah (MacDonald) Schurman visited the banner exhibit, which did not list the names. She was able to identify Jenny Wong on the far right and told us that she was the first Chinese baby to be born in St. Martha’s Hospital. On this basis, she placed the date of this photo as 1953. Keah worked in Wong’s restaurant and also baby sat Derek, son of Will Wong, the boy in the centre of the photo.

    Could it be that the 1937/38? refers to the date that the Wong-Let Laundry opened?

  2. The photo restored by Jeff Parker made it to the Banner. We didn’t have room for all the identification detail on the Banner so good to have the Before and After for comparison here.

    • Photo is definetly circa 1937, sorry Keah , Jenny born 1931, Derrick born 1962.
      Brothers Edward & Henry, cousins Joyce & Helen, brother William , cousins Richard & Stanley, sister Jenny…..all Wongs made in Canada !

  3. Pingback: Molly Lee Wong — Was she Antigonish’s first Woman Photographer? | Imagine Antigonish

  4. This is the same photo as it appeared in Saltscapes Magazine September/October 2014. The caption to the photo is the extent of detail about the Antigonish Chinese families on the East Coast.

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