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Richmond Public Library Richmond Public Library

Dr. Kwok-Chu Lee (Master Lam Chun) is a book lover, strong supporter of selfeducation and a good friend of Richmond Public Library. The relationship between Dr. Lee and Richmond Public Library started in 1995 when he donated 1,800 Chinese language books to the Library. Since then, his generosity has ranged from donating books and money to conducting many successful informational seminars and fundraising activities. In 2011, Dr. Lee gave the Library 47,000 Chinese language books from his personal collection. This new donation was described by professional book evaluator and rare book dealer Bjarne Tokerud as a "national treasure." To date, the total value of his cash and book donations exceeds $1.53 million.

Dr. Kwok-Chu Lee is a self-made renaissance man. Born into a wealthy family in Guangdong, China in 1931, he has led a tumultuous life and suffered several personal tragedies. His father died when he was just 14 years old. His eldest brother took control of the family fortune and he was forced to discontinue his education to go and work as a labourer. His work took him all over China. Despite the instability and hardship he faced, he understood the value of education and knowledge. He ardently pursued his studies in literature, classics, history, philosophy, fortune-telling, Chinese painting and calligraphy. The help and encouragement he received from librarians in China convinced him of the important role that public libraries play in promoting and supporting self-education. The period from 1969 - 1972 was the most difficult time in his adult life. During these few years, he suffered business failure, mounting debt, death of his fifth daughter due to a traffic accident and the near death of his wife from childbirth. He was also diagnosed with hypertension. Through determination, hard work and creativity, he survived and managed to rebuild his fortune.   More...

2001

Keith Sacre Library Champion Award from the BC Library Association for his support of libraries, literacy, free public access to information and the overall aims and objectives of libraries.

2010

12th World Outstanding Chinese Award from the World Chinese Business Investment Foundation. This award recognizes the contributions of the World’s outstanding Chinese to the global Chinese communities.

2010

Honorary PhD Degree from Lansbridge University of New Brunswick, Canada.