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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hockey history made as seven members of Hong family appear in one game - including referee and female player

After chatting with Bill Hong (Yen's son) and Geoffrey Hong (Jim's son) at a great party at the home of Harry 'Butch"  and Brigitte Pellow, in Toronto recently, and with hockey season upon us, I decided to update this story first done five years ago. I also had pics of Bill and Geoff from the party.

Bill and I are talking hockey and the movies while Geoff is putting finishing touches on a Boston Cream pie made famous by his grandmother Mrs. "Ma" Hong. His Aunt Jean is supervising.

Here is the story:

Leave it to one of the pioneer families of Chapleau, Ontario to have undoubtedly made hockey history in a Bantam tournament more than 20 years ago. I don't believe anyone has ever reported until now (first in the Chapleau Express of September 12, 2009 in my column) that seven members of the same family, including the referee and team captain who was female were all members of the Hong family.

In 1924 Fong Hong opened the Boston Cafe in Chapleau, a small community on the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway in northern Ontario. After his death the restaurant was operated for many years by "Ma Hong", his wife. It is now known as Honger's at the same location and is owned by Jim Hong, one of Fong Hong's sons.

Bill Hong, who played on the team, shared the story of all seven of his family members participating in the same hockey game recently. Bill is the son of Yen Hong, the eldest member of the family, who owned the Bridgeview Motel adjacent to the family restaurant. Yen retired in 2009

Bubbie, one of Yen Hong's daughters and to the best of my knowledge the first girl to play organized hockey in Chapleau was on the team and was also the captain. Bill commented: " How do you think I felt with my sister as captain of the hockey team!" Bill played defense while his sister played right wing.

Jim Hong was the referee and his son Murray was one of the linesmen. Three more of his sons --Geoff on defense, Doug at centre and Barry on left wing were all named on the scoresheet.

Bill said this was how the scoresheet looked with seven members of the same family on it.

No mention was made of the final score in the game.

The Hong family was involved in Chapleau hockey for many years and ``Ma Hong`` as she was fondly known was a hockey mom of course. When Bill contacted me with his story, I immediately recalled another anecdote involving them and hockey but this one took place in the Boston Cafe.

Lillian (Donivan) Therriault told the story in Chapleau Trails, edited by Dr. William R. `Bill`Pellow, a member of another Chapleau pioneer family.

Ma Hong let the boys turn the restaurant into a hockey arena on two successive Sundays and the front entrance door and back kitchen door were used as goalposts. Over the next two Sundays, the boys ``easily managed to wreak havoc on the family business breaking the glass in the front door and destroying the large wind-up pendulum clock hanging over the back door.```

Ma Hong closed the arena!!!!

(My thanks to Bill Hong for the story, and to all the Hong family for many happy memories of growing up around the Boston Cafe )

4 comments:

Michael J said...

Raoul Lemieux wrote o facebook:

Mike this is a good story. There could be alot of good stories about the Hong family. They were great for Chapleau.There is only one thing missing at the restaurant today and that is Ma's boston cream pie.A few years ago her son Yen made me one. Man was it goooooood.

Michael J said...

Eugene Bouillon wrote on facebook

now, that would be sweet if they had the score sheet.That as always been a problem with Chapleauites, we never really tutted our horn when we did things. This story should be written up at the Museum, and yes, I am sure it would be close to a guiness record.

Michael J said...

Bill M wrote in email

Hi Mike: very much enjoyed your story about the hockey games in the Boston Cafe. I didn't know about that one.

Michael J said...

Kirsten wrote on facebook

Good story...too bad he didn't say anything about Heather's pioneering status with women's hockey.

Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
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