The first person of Asian ancestry to play in the National Hockey League, and the first to break hockey’s colour barrier, has died.
Larry Kwong, who was born in Vernon, died in Calgary last Thursday at age 94.
Kwong played one shift for the New York Rangers against the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal on March 13, 1948, and then was demoted to a lower league.
Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund says Kwong broke through many barriers.
“Larry wanted to let everybody know that it doesn’t matter what colour your skin is, or what culture or background you are from, everybody should be treated the same, and Larry was a pioneer in that,” Mund told CJIB News.
Kwong was also the first NHL player from Vernon and the Okanagan.
He was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Photo courtesy of hockeyinsociety.com