Diana Lary

Professor Emerita, Department of History
Former Director, Centre for Chinese Research

“From 1985 to 1987 I served in the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, as resident sinologist. In those long lost times, diplomats living in Beijing imported most of their supplies from Hong Kong. We went there for health and dental care, as well as for R&R. We loved Hong Kong. We also realised how important Hong Kong was to Canada. Back in academic life, I directed the Canada and Hong Kong Project in Toronto, starting in 1989. We ran workshops on issues relating to Canada and Hong Kong, and we produced a regular update on the rapid changes leading up to 1997, especially those having to do with immigration to Canada. We involved civil servants, journalists, academics, and business people. When I left Toronto, the project was taken over by the much-lamented Bernard Luk. Bernard later founded the Richard Charles Lee Canada–Hong Kong Library at the University of Toronto, which was made possible by the generosity of Senator Vivienne Poy. My concern for Hong Kong has never wavered.”

Dr. Lary’s most recent book is China’s Grandmothers: Gender, family and aging from Late Qing to Twenty-First Century (2022).