Paul Chow, right, receives an lifetime membership with the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society from chair Sinclair Mar, during the society’s annual community feast fundraiser event at Don Mee Seafood Restaurant. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society honours volunteers

Annual community feast unofficial kickoff to festival

Volunteers are at the heart of most charity organizations, and the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society is no different.

Volunteers, sponsors and paddlers gathered at Don Mee Seafood Restaurant recently to celebrate their leaders, do a little fundraising, eat a sumptuous Chinese 11-course meal and recognize some key people who have helped make the festival what it is today.

Among them was Paul Chow, the retired former Golden City Restaurant owner who stepped down from the society’s board last year, having been there from the beginning. He accepted the society’s first-ever lifetime membership from current board chair Sinclair Mar.

Chow said later he was quite surprised to be given such an honour. “I’ve been with the society right from the beginning, I didn’t think I did that much,” he said.

Chow resigned from the board in hopes that some younger people might take over and keep the work going. While he was on the executive, he did various jobs with the festival, including in the early days securing the alcohol and other beverages. “I was the one with the Serving it Right card,” he said with a chuckle.

Mar characterized the longtime volunteer as one of the group of people who “had the vision to bring dragon boats to the Inner Harbour of Victoria in 1994” as part of the Hong Kong days during the Commonwealth Games. Chow was on the organizing committee for the first festival in 1995 and one of the first directors when the society formed in 1997.

Chow is no stranger to volunteering, having served on various boards and societies in Victoria over the years. He has been honoured with lifetime memberships in two other organizations, including the Better Business Bureau – he was a 20-year board member – and the Canada-China Friendship Association.

He’s helped maintain the charity aspects of the festival, which now raises funds for the B.C. Cancer Foundation, whose workers help out annually to put on the festival.

Other honourary memberships handed out at the June 28 dinner recognized Transport Canada for its co-operation and co-ordination of the harbour; former Victoria harbour master David Fetherby; former MLA Ida Chong for her many years of volunteer service, and Marjorie Woodroffe and Kaethe Lawn, original members of the Island Breaststrokers.

The Breaststrokers, whose paddlers are breast cancer patients and survivors, were also recognized for their efforts fundraising for B.C. Cancer Foundation ($35,000 and counting) and their commitment to promoting the importance of early detection and of using exercise and teamwork to help women going through cancer treatment and recovery.

Chow encouraged people to take in the festival, set for Aug. 18 to 20 in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. “Come on down and watch the show,” he said. “It’s free to everyone, it’s fun and it helps us to promote the dragon boat races, and especially we can raise more money for the cancer [foundation].”

For more information visit victoriadragonboat.com.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria council narrowly approves transitional housing for former Tally Ho

Neighbours angry about decision to allow temporary three-year permit

Inner Harbour pathway in need of repairs: Harbour Authority

Victoria council approves initial design plans for walkway changes

RCMP open investigation to find missing Sooke macaw

$5,000 reward still being offered for safe return of Rufus

Check out what’s happening in Greater Victoria this weekend

From swimming championships to Oak Bay Light Up, there’s plenty to keep you busy this weekend

VicPD chief rescues lost $10 bill in downtown Victoria

The note was promptly returned to its owner unharmed

Victoria Royals giving a boost to fund inspired by Tragically Hip singer

Downie Wenjack Fund recipient of funds raised starting at tonight’s WHL game vs. Seattle

Esquimalt mayor frustrated at latest E&N railbed development

Barb Desjardins says it makes no sense to start over looking at commuter options for corridor

Nanaimo judge won’t let arsonist have a cigarette lighter

Martin Arthur Taylor previously pleaded guilty to February 2016 arson incident in Nanaimo

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Most Read