Jean Lumb Plaque, Chinese Version, Downtown Diversity Garden, Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G 1P4, Canada. Plaque in the Diversity Garden located in the former First Chinatown of Toronto describing the achievements of Jean B. Lumb.

A table tennis champion from Vancouver, a scholar with a 99.5 percent average from Bolton, Ontario, an advocate for social justice from Calgary, a Taekwondo black-belt from Markham. These were four of eighteen student winners of the 24th Annual Jean Lumb Awards.

Jean Lumb was the first Chinese Canadian woman to receive the Order of Canada for her tireless community work as a voice and advocate for Chinese communities in Toronto and across Canada. Jean Bessie Lumb (née Toy Jin Wong), CM, community leader, restaurateur (born 30 July 1919 in Nanaimo, BC; died 17 July 2002 in Toronto, ON). Jean Lumb was the first Chinese Canadian woman and first restaurateur inducted into the Order of Canada. She is also best known for her role in successfully lobbying the federal government to change its discriminatory immigration policies that separated Chinese families. Lumb also led the Save Chinatown Committee to prevent further demolition of Toronto’s Chinatown in the 1960s. The Jean Lumb Foundation celebrates 24 years of awarding scholarships to recognize excellence in students of Chinese heritage from coast to coast. Since the Foundation’s inception in 1998, it has recognized over 130 young people, many of whom are now leaders in their chosen fields. Past recipients of the Jean Lumb Award are now working as lawyers, medical doctors, entrepreneurs, engineers, graphic artists, educators, accountants, and dentists locally, across Canada as far north as Nunavut, and around the world in the United States, China, and Singapore.

The total number of awards has been doubled again due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has unleashed challenging demands on students and their families. A total of eighteen students will receive the Jean Lumb Award, including winners from British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Our Foundation is pleased that we are able to increase our support for young people.

“The judging panel had the challenge of selecting the eighteen winners out of so many outstanding applications from across Canada,” said Arlene Chan, eldest daughter of Jean Lumb and president of the Jean Lumb Foundation. “I am so impressed by these young people who have excelled in so many areas of interest. My mother would have been so very proud of their achievements.”

The Jean Lumb Awards are given annually to recognize the extraordinary talents and skills of young people and to encourage their continued quest for excellence. The awards celebrate the hopes and dreams of the early generations of Chinese Canadians whose hard work and sacrifice have paved the road for today’s generation.

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