Keith Lock, is a filmmaker who resides in Toronto. His work includes the documentary The Road Chosen: The Lem Wong Story and a recent feature-length film, The Ache. Keith’s grandmother, Mrs. Quong Lock, was among the first Chinese women to settle in Toronto, Ontario. So rare was the sight of Chinese women in the city that when she arrived in 1909 to join her husband the Toronto Star announced on its front page: ‘Chinese Woman comes to Toronto.’ After her husband passed away in 1933, Mrs. Quong Lock opened her own hand laundry at St. Clair and Lansdowne to support her family. Her son, Tom Lock, joined the Canadian Army during the Second World War. He and other Chinese Canadians were recruited for dangerous duties behind Japanese enemy lines. Tom arrived in Australia in 1944 for special military training, where he met Joan Lim On. They married in 1945, and Joan was permitted to enter Canada during the Exclusion Period (1923-1947) by way of an Act of Privy Council. She, along with another Chinese Australian war bride, Myrtle Wong, arrived in Vancouver aboard the S.S. Monterey in 1946. Joan and Tom settled in Toronto, where Joan was hired as microbiologist at Sick Kids hospital and Tom opened up a pharmacy in Chinatown.
Keith’s Aunt Lillian Lock (sister of Tom Lock) lovingly created this scrapbook and photo album by compiling and combining images of family and friends that span several decades of the early 20th century. The album is sometimes organized by theme – such as picnic outings, church gatherings, family groups – and sometimes by visual associations and personal relationships. Lillian’s world is revealed through her meticulous selection and arrangement of images, many of which declare a sense of place and belonging in a society that was, at times, unwelcoming.