Following completion of his degree, Lee began working for the city of Winnipeg as a research chemist, specializing in water research. In particular, he and his team investigated water quality in the city and were actively involved in the study and maintenance of the Shoal Lake Water Supply. At the time of his retirement in 2005, Philip Lee held the position of Branch Head Chemist, leading the team in charge of Winnipeg's Industrial Waste Control Program.
In addition to his professional career Lee also became an active participant in the city's Chinese community, and he was a key advocate for its participation in various cultural events such as those occurring in the centennial year of the province (1970). In addition, Lee held numerous leadership roles and board positions in various groups; for example, he served as the executive board member for the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre, the Chinese Development Corporation and Manitoba's 125th. In the broader community Lee was also a board member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and of the University of Manitoba's Alumni Association, and he served as a member of the City of Winnipeg's Refugee Assistance Committee. To further Chinese cultural landmarks in the city he also supported the construction of Winnipeg's Chinese Cultural and Community Centre in the Dynasty Building, the Mandarin Building, and the Chinese Gate and Garden. All have since become tourist attractions in the city.
In addition to the numerous municipal awards and acknowledgments Lee has received he was also appointed to the ORDER OF CANADA in 1999, and in 2002 he was the recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal. In 2009 he was named Manitoba's 24th lieutenant-governor and its first of Asian descent, succeeding John HARVARD.
Author LORRAINE SNYDER