|In “The Way of the Bachelor” * her study of “Early
Chinese Settlement in Manitoba”, historian Alison Marshall includes the
story of Lee Foon and his family.
Mr. Lee arrived by boat from China in 1893.Several years were spent
working in B.C. He returned to China to marry See Yee about 1914.
In 1916 he left his wife and new son, Kenneth Kwong while he set out
establishing himself in Canada. This time he wended his way across the
prairies and settled in Baldur, Man. From Charlie King, he purchased an
ice-cream parlour and grocery in a small building on one of the side
streets. He built a new building in 1924 which housed a store,
café and ice-cream shop.
He was also able to have his brother bring his wife and son over in
1919. His store remained in the Lee family until it closed in 2010.
After many years of hard work and raising nine children, Mr. and Mrs.
Lee retired to Vancouver in 1959 leaving the business in charge of
their son Tom.
Several of their children achieved noteworthy success, including
Lillian, the first of their children born in Baldur, who graduated from
the Grace Hospital School of Nursing after being the first Chinese
student to be admitted. Elin embarked on a teaching career and became
Manitoba's first Chinese school teacher.
Oscar, who served with the Canadian Army in WWII. returned to Baldur in
1961, where he and his wife, Jean from Kuala Lumpur, took over the
original family business.
Adapted from Come into our Heritage, page
** The Way of the Bachelor: Early Chinese Settlement in
By Alison R. Marshall, 108