Today we are featuring Vivian Jung, who was celebrated with the naming of Jung Lane, between Harwood St. and Beach Avenue.
Vivian Jung was a mother, a dancer, and a passionate community member here in Vancouver. She was also the first teacher of Chinese descent hired by the Vancouver School Board, an opportunity she nearly missed out on due to discriminatory practices.
In order to become a teacher, Vivian needed to obtain a “swimming lifesaver certificate”, however, back in the early 1940’s, non-white people weren’t allowed access to the city’s public pools. When she was denied entry to Crystal Pool in 1945, her instructor and classmates protested in solidarity with her, refusing to enter the pool until Vivian was allowed to as well.
Vivian received her swimming certification in 1945 and then went on to teach at Tecumseh school for 35 years. This event led to the beginning of the desegregation of public spaces in Vancouver and across British Columbia.
With the ever-changing face of the world today, and the growing acknowledgement of the struggles endured in the past by many groups of people, including Chinese Canadians, WEBIA would like to reaffirm our commitment to helping create a neighbourhood that is diverse, inclusive and that celebrates all. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, gender; all are welcome here.
If you would like to learn more about the rich (often overlooked) history of the Chinese-Canadian population, we recommend visiting the Chinatown Foundation for more information. They are actively making space for these stories to become a part of the narrative of what it means to be Canadian.
Information for this blog sourced from:
Chinatown Storytelling Centre: https://www.chinatownstorytellingcentre.org/vivian-jung-story
Vancouver Chinatown Foundation (Miranda Ta): https://issuu.com/bcmuseumsassn/docs/273_roundup_bc_canada_150/s/51984