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Feb 24, 1924 - January 4, 2002
This certificate provides the names of Chinese Canadian members of the United Church who enrolled in the Canadian armed forces during World War II. (Photo courtesy of Victoria's First Metropolitan United Church Archives).
Douglas Jung was born and grew up in Victoria. In 1957 he became the first Canadian of Chinese heritage to be elected to Canada’s parliament (Conservative, Vancouver Centre).
Douglas Jung’s family had deep roots in Victoria. His parents were active in the community, and his mother taught kindergarten at the Chinese Presbyterian Church. With the invasion of China by Japanese imperial forces in 1937 the whole family participated in the movement in Victoria to support China’s war of resistance. Douglas Jung, with his two brothers, Ross and Arthur, enlisted in the Canadian armed forces during World War II as did many other Chinese Canadians. Douglas Jung was a part of the British-formed Special Operations Executive and took part in ‘Operation Oblivion’.
After the war, Douglas Jung attended U.B.C and graduated with his B.A. and subsequently with a law degree in 1953. He was called to the bar a year later and established a practice in immigration law in Vancouver.
Douglas Jung ran successfully for parliament in 1957. The Diefenbaker government appointed him to head the Canadian legal delegation at the United Nations. He later helped establish the first amnesty program for undocumented Chinese immigrants that allowed 12,000 people to regularize their status.
After losing his seat in the 1962 election, Douglas Jung returned to his law practice in Vancouver. An active member of the community, he became a life president of Army Navy Air Force Veterans in Canada, Unit #280; a patron of the social services agency, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.; and a director of the Vancouver Symphony. He received numerous awards including the Order of Canada and the Order of B.C.
He died in 2002. In 2007, the Conservative government named the federal edifice in downtown Vancouver (401 Burrard St.) the Douglas Jung Building, to honour his memory as the first Chinese Canadian elected to parliament.
By John Price
For Douglas Jung’s story as portrayed at the Chinese Canadian Military Museum visit http://www.ccmms.ca/veteran-stories/army/douglas-jung/.
To see an excerpt from a Wesley Lowe’s film on the life of Douglas Jung, “I Am The Canadian Delegate”, go to http://www.filmwest.com/Catalogue/itemdetail/3344/.
To order the film from Filmwest go to http://www.filmwest.com/Catalogue/itemdetail/3344/