Molly Lee Wong — Was she Antigonish’s first Professional Woman Photographer?

Mary Rose Wong like the rest of her family grew up in the restaurant business on Main Street, Antigonish.  Mary Rose’s mother, Molly Lee Wong, was an accomplished cook and  baker, but her talent as a photographer is another groundbreaking story.  Mary Rose recalls her mother’s very own dark room where she would watch her mother at work.  Molly Wong took many of the photos of the extended Wong family that are featured in this online collection. George Waldren of Waldren Photography Studio encouraged her in her craft.  This portrait of George and Molly Wong was taken in the Waldren Studios.

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Over the years, Mary Rose has talked to the Mi’kmaq staff who worked in the kitchen and waited on tables.  They have told her that they have photos that Molly took of them from that time — in the 1940’s AND 1950’s.   The names Mary Rose remembers are Martha Johnston and Annabelle and a child named Eunice.

Molly Wong was not recognized for her photography in her lifetime, or even today.   Saltscapes Magazine featured the history of Chinese enterprise in Nova Scotia, including this photo of  the children from two Wong families in Antigonish, very likely taken by Molly Wong.  With the help of all of you in tracking down her  photos, what would you think of  developing a Molly Wong Retrospective in Antigonish now?

You can help us make this happen by bringing Molly Wong photographs to our attention.



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One Comment

  1. Wong’s Restaurant was a establishment that made our town proud.The Wong family were no strangers to us .Jenny Wong lived on Archie St. and was an amazing nurse who helped deliver many of mom’s children. The Wongs made everyone feel like family and treated everyone with respect. My dad Yarmil Aubrecht used to visit your grandmother and she would talk about her garden and feed him ,Dad did the stainless steel work in the kitchens all custom made from Silver and Hanifen.Henry built the prize winning home on Mackinnon St. across the St . from us.He again was a great distinguished gentleman,I babyset for him and Willy’s family.Great educated ,warm welcoming family they were.Love you guys and miss you all .Wongs was a great night spot with a lounge upstairs. You boys and girls were smart business people with a sense of style and grace.A family we are proud of and Love. THANKS for building a great restaurant and lounge and for being a great example to the people of Antigonish.of a family of grace and pride in whom they were.Love you guys. THERESA AUBRECHT.
    P.S. ” Molly Wong’s work would be wonderful to see and a new restaurant run by the younger generation,with great food and decor.” Hang Molly’s photo’s on the walls.

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