Monday, September 3, 2012

Tai Shan and the Big Dipper by Peter Lem

After a long and courageous battle with cancer, my friend and co-worker Peter Lem passed away at home on Friday, August 31st, one day before his 37th birthday. He will be sadly missed by his beloved wife and best friend, Sonya, and his faithful dog, Lucky.

Peter spent the final eight months of his life writing his memoirs. His own words explain how important this project was and what it meant to him:

Writing this memoir took me on a path of self-discovery, and every word was a step into the unknown.  There were moments of great excitement, my heart pumping as I knew I was on the verge of a great discovery. There were also moments of great despair and sadness, knowing I had to revisit painful moments from the past that at times brought me to tears. This memoir will be a keepsake for my family that will last through the generations. These stories are the ones a parent tells a child before bedtime, or over the table during Sunday dinner with family; they are passed from eldest to youngest through gentle conversations between grandparent and grandchild. 

Peter’s memoir is hard-bound, with full-colour photographs, and is illustrated throughout by Darryl Joel Berger. It will be available by November 2012, and can be ordered either here or  by cheque. (Please write to for orders paying by cheque or for shipping to outside of Canada).

All proceeds will be donated to the Peter Lem Memorial Fund, which will support St Lawrence College students directly affected by cancer.

Please contact for purchasing information.

Donations to the fund can also be made online at


  1. Dear Sir/Madam,
    Can you please confirm if Peter Lem's story relates to his family heritage in Guangdong? We are searching the family roots of Lem family in Malaysia and now internationally.
    Thank you.

  2. Dear Hamish:

    Thank you for your interest in Peter Lem's book.

    He mentions Guangdong only very briefly and does not name the towns his family are from. He focuses instead on what happened to his family after arriving in Canada.

    I don't know if he had more detailed notes about his family origin. I suspect if he did, he would have included it in the book.

    I am afraid this is not much help.