The Honourable Norman Lim Kwong, football player, commercial realtor and businessman, was appointed Alberta’s 16th Lieutenant Governor on January 18, 2005. He is one of four members of the 1950s Edmonton Eskimos football teams to hold prominent public positions in Alberta, the others being former Premiers of Alberta E. Peter Lougheed (1971–1985) and Donald R. Getty (1985–1992), and former Edmonton Mayor William ‘Bill’ Smith (1995–2004). He is the first Lieutenant Governor of Alberta of Chinese heritage and the fourth to be born in Alberta. As Lieutenant Governor, Kwong has served with Premier Ralph P. Klein (1992– 2006) and Edward M. Stelmach (2006 - ). He was 75 years of age at the time of his swearing-in, making him the eldest appointee to Alberta’s Vice-Regal Office to date.
Norman ‘Normie’ Lim Kwong was born on October 24, 1929, in Calgary, Alberta.
It was during his high school days that Norman developed an interest in football. In 1948, Kwong joined the Calgary Stampeders Football Club becoming, in his first season, a member of the Grey Cup championship team. He was the first Canadian of Chinese origin to play in the CFL, and at the age of 19 years, was the youngest player to win the Grey Cup.
After three years with the Calgary Stampeders, Kwong joined the rival Edmonton Eskimos Football Club, becoming a member of Grey Cup championship teams in 1954, 1955 and 1956. During his 10-year stint with the Eskimos,Kwong won a number of awards, including the Schenley Award as the most outstanding Canadian player in 1955 and 1956. He was named an “All-Canadian” at the halfback and fullback position five times during his career and was chosen as the Canada’s Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year in 1955. During most of his career with the Edmonton Eskimos, Kwong was either captain or co-captain of the team.
On March 26, 1960, Norman L. Kwong married Mary Lee. Norman and Mary Kwong have four sons: Gregory Lawrence, Bradley Charles, Martin Ronald and Randall Norman, two of whom reside in Calgary with their respective families; the other two sons live in New York and Vancouver.
After Norman Kwong retired from football, Kwong was employed as a stockbroker from 1962 to 1970 and was a partner in the firm of Annett McKay Investments. Later he decided instead to enter the field of commercial real estate. Successful in this venture, Kwong became vice-president and general manager of Torode Realty.In 1980, Kwong retired from real estate and he became one of the original owners of the Calgary Flames Hockey Club and to date, Kwong is the only individual to have won both the Grey Cup and Stanley Cup trophies, the first as a player and the second as an owner. During his athletic career, Norman Lim Kwong received a number of honours, including induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (1969), Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (1975) and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame (1980), as well as the City of Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame as a builder in 1993. In 1983, his name was added to the Eskimos Wall of Honour at Commonwealth Stadium. In 1988, as a gesture of appreciation for his involvement in the establishment of the Calgary Flames Hockey Club, the Normie Kwong Bursary was endowed at the University of Calgary, and awarded annually to a needy student in medicine. Kwong felt that the awarding of a bursary to a medical student would have the greatest long-term benefit for the people of the province. In the 1990s, a gymnasium was dedicated to Kwong by the Canadian Embassy in Beijing. In 1998, Kwong received the Order of Canada.