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Wing & Neisje Wong

In Business, Farming, Haynes, Pioneer Farming, Settlers on July 30, 2020 at 3:12 PM

From “Wing Wong  – By Carol Wong”

Pioneers and Progress Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Wing Wong was born in Canton, China in 1897.  At the age of eleven years he came to Canada accompanied by a family friend.  When the ship docked in Victoria he spent all the money he had, an American nickel, on some jelly beans.  For two years he worked as a houseboy in Vancouver, earning $6.00 a month.  From 1910 – 14 he worked throughout B.C. employed as a dishwasher with a railroad maintenance crew.

In 1914 Wing moved to Calgary and in 1920 he came to the Alix area.  He built a house and farmed on what is now [1974] the E. Stump place….

One fall an emergency arose when … [the men] Pete Russell had hired to help thresh quit…. Wing rode horseback seven miles every morning to help pitch bundles all day.  At night he rode home again to look after his own livestock.

In 1927, Wing bought the hardware store in Haynes from Mr. Thompson.  The store later expanded to include groceries, gas, oil, and lumber.  Groceries were often traded for eggs valued at 5c a dozen.

Mr. and Mrs. Wong were married in 1932.  Mrs. Wong, the former Neisje Lakeman, was born in South Dakota in 1907 and came with her family to Canada in 1912.

One night there was a robbery in the store.  Hearing a noise, Wing went to the front of the store carrying a flash light (his gun was out on loan to a duck hunter).  The robber was at the cash register and ran out the front door firing a gun as he did so.  Mrs. Wong screamed, waking Link Rapp and Charlie McMillan who were working for Wing and staying with the family.  The police were called and when they arrived the robber was tracked through the autumn frost to Jim Rice’s place.  He had gone there for help when his car became stuck, and was given breakfast with his gun on his knee. The Rices thought he was a duck hunter.  The robber was apprehended by the police when he went back to his car.   After all the excitement was over the police and the culprit enjoyed a cup of coffee back at the store before going on to Red Deer.

A pair of boots, gas, shells and groceries were the items taken from the Haynes General Store.  This same robber had been the object of a police hunt throughout Alberta and British Columbia.

Mrs. And Mrs. Wong sold the store to Mick Stuart in 1944 and moved to Red Deer.  They have three children: Ronald…Stanley…[and] Rella….

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