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Fonds AM1563 - Joe Quan fonds

Chinatown Parade 1960 Miss Chinatown 1960 Dragon Parade 1958

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Joe Quan fonds

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  • Photograph
  • Moving images
  • Textual record

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  • 1946-2006 (Creation)
    Quan, Joe
    Vancouver (B.C.)

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Physical description

.11 m of textual records and other material

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Biographical history

Joe Quan was born in Vancouver on May 18, 1931, the youngest son of the Gow Quan family who ran Parkview Produce on Robson Street. After graduating from King Edward High School, Quan continued his education at the University of British Columbia (UBC), earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1955. While at UBC, he took photographs for the Ubyssey newspaper and Totem yearbooks. Following graduation he founded Customcolor Labs and later on he went into real estate. In 1968 he became a Notary Public and subsequently founded the Associated Notaries business with George Tanco at Robson and Thurlow. Quan was active in many associations, including the Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch Masons of B.C. and the Yukon, and was a founder of the Keystone of Life Foundation. In 1999 he chaired the organizing committee for the 50th reunion of the 1949 King Edward High School graduating class.

Quan met his wife Hilda Lei Ching in 1960, while on a trip to Hawaii, and the couple had three sons, Walter, Tom and Andy. He died on January 30, 2010.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of photographs, audiovisual material and some textual material created or accumulated by Joe Quan. The fonds contains three 16 mm films of the 1958 Chinatown Dragon Parade, the 1960 Chinatown Parade, and Miss Chinatown pageant 1960. Also included in the fonds are photographs relating to the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s participation in the 1959 Pacific National Exhibition (PNE); the 18th Convention of the Canadian Food Processors Association and Parade of Oriental Fashions, 1965; the Year of the Serpent Chinese New Year Festival Banquet, 1965; and the C. Itoh & Co. reception at the Bayshore Inn on December 21, 1966, all arranged into albums. The fonds also includes slides of construction in the 800 block Thurlow Street, circa 1957; the Middle Arm Bridge (Moray Bridge), May 31, 1957; the Royal Visit and the opening of the Deas Island Tunnel, July 1959; a Chow Mein Tea at the Pender YMCA, September 25, 1959; Fashion Parades, February 1960; and a staff Christmas party at Trader Vic’s in 1969. Additional photographs document an event at the Chinese Consulate, circa 1960; UBC student parties in 1953 and 1954; as well as Royal Bank staff parties 1981 to 1997 and Chinese New Year celebrations in 1991. The fonds also includes King Edward High School annuals 1946 to 1949, as well as photographs and a videocassette of the 50th reunion of the class of 1949, and a file of newspaper clippings and photographs pertaining to Sylvia Ablowitz, after whom the Sylvia Hotel was named.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Records were donated by Hilda Quan on August 21, 2010.


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Some material is held in frozen storage and requires 48 hours notice to view. Please refer to file descriptions and consult an archivist.

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Fonds also includes 774 photographs, 3 films, and 1 videocassette.

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