One of 11 ox statues that will be part of the Lunar New Year “Ox on Parade” sit on display at Pier 54 before they are installed at various sites throughout The City on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Quiet Chinese New Year planned for restaurant owner in Williams Lake

Philip Ng and his family will tune into celebrations in China

A Williams Lake restaurant owner plans to celebrate Chinese New Year at home with his family, but before he does he will prepare a special take out dinner for 20 people at Deni House on Friday, Feb. 12.

Philip Ng has owned Sam’s Restaurant on Third Avenue North since 2007 and said he plans to be open on Chinese New Year’s and closed for the rest of the Family Day weekend.

Along with his wife, Sally, son Ethan, 12, and daughter Sophia, 7, he will enjoy some traditional fish, chicken and vegetable dishes.

They will also tune into multicultural TV channels from China to watch the Lunar Festival celebrations live.

People cannot congregate because of COVID-19 so they will just stay at home, he said.

It is the Year of the Ox in 2021 while it was the Year of the Rat in 2020.

“Hopefully the new year brings better luck for everybody,” he said, adding the Year of the Rat is a bad year that arrives every 12 years.

Ng, 55, was born in China and emigrated to Canada as a young boy and went to school in Vancouver.

He moved to Williams Lake in 2007 and has owned Sam’s Restaurant on Fourth Avenue North ever since.

“Both our children were born here,” he said.

His brother owned Ming’s Restaurant on Oliver Street for many years, he added.

While living in Williams Lake he has heard there used to be a larger Chinese community and New Year’s celebrations were held at the former Bil-Nor Restaurant on Highway 97.

“They used to have the lion dance and everything, but not now. Lots of Chinese people moved away.”

With pandemic restrictions in place, he is offering take-out service only.

The new owners of Ken’s Restaurant will also celebrate the New Year quietly. They said they purchased some traditional plants and flowers to decorate at home, including a gold money tree.

Read more: Chinese-Canadians voice worries about racism, job losses one year in to pandemic

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