2013 Member of the Year -- Audrey Huie

by Clayton Yukumoto

This year’s Wa Sung Member of the Year is Audrey Huie. She has from day one only one aspiration -- to serve the Oakland community she loves. She brings a lively spirit filled with enthusiasm and warmth for everyone! At each event she attended she was always out among the attendees making sure each individual was having a great time and enjoying the event! She made sure that each committee member understood their responsibility, coordinating each person’s contribution and making certain that each committee member enjoyed the event!

Audrey joined Wa sung in 1998, serving the club with passion and dedication to the community. A member of the Board of Directors between 1999 and 2001, she changed gears with the position of Treasurer in 2002. Ensuring that the books and balances were accurately kept, she returned to the board in 2003 to tackle the new challenges as club secretary. Indeed, this lively mem-ber went full steam ahead in this position, meticulously taking notes at every board meeting. So accurate were the notes that many times the Board itself referred back to her notes to ensure that the club had properly addressed sev-eral incidents. Perhaps it was destiny, for she took the office of Vice President in 2005, learning the ropes of what it really took to be a head officer of the Wa Sung Community Service Club. This learning curb brought her to the Presiden-cy in 2006, where she oversaw the restoration of the Junk Boat Project at Lin-coln Park. Returning to the board in 2007 as the Past President, her new found wisdom was instrumental in guiding the new board and the writer’s year in the same office. Her service continued for the next 6 years on the Board and being an Officer. With the exception of her first year Audrey has unselfishly served the Club each year by being on the Board or being an Officer of Wa Sung. She has also been on many event committees such as, the Easter Pancake Break-fast, Merit Scholarship, Charity Grant, Nominations Committee, A Chef’s De-light, the 5 year Plan and the Crab Feed. She especially enjoyed the Easter Pancake Breakfast as her son Edgar was the Easter Bunny for 5 years!

She also shares her time with other local organizations, including: the Boy Scouts of America Troop 726, Friends of the Asian Library, and the Vestry of the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, Oakland. Where does she get all this en-ergy to serve so many organizations while still working a 9-5 job in San Fran-cisco on a daily basis? It’s called dedication to both family and friends. Con-gratulations Audrey! Your achievement of Member of the Year is well deserved!

Roger Dong Founded ChineseAmericanHeroes.org

Roger Dong, Wa Sung Member, founded the venerated ChineseAmericanHeroes.org after retiring from the Dept. of Defense. The purpose for this 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, as stated in its website, is:

"The Chinese came to America to mine for gold. They stayed to build the Transcontinental Railroad. Since that time, some have made heroic or notable contributions.

Unfortunately, the heroic or notable contributions of Chinese Americans are, for the most part, unknown not just to individuals outside the Chinese American community but also to Chinese Americans.

While the recent emergence of Asian American studies has helped publicize Chinese American contributions, this information is not easily accessible. Consequently, the heroic and notable contributions of Chinese Americans remain otherwise unknown or unrecognized. Chinese American Heroes (“CAH”) utilizes the internet primarily to publicize our Heroes and Notables and their contributions. We want not just our youth and not just Chinese Americans but everyone to learn about role models who are Chinese American and their heroic and notable contributions."

Watch Lena Fong on TV

Earlier this year KTVU Channel 26 produced a documentary for its "Under the Same Sky" program that celebrates the grand re-opening of the Angel Island Immigration Station. Angel Island played a significant role in Asian American history because it served as the point of entry and detention center for some 175,000 Chinese coming to America between 1910 and 1940. They must pass tough interrogations before they could be allowed to enter San Francisco. If they failed they could be deported back to China. The lucky ones only had to stay for a few weeks, but some were known to be kept there for up to 18 months. Some of their experiences and suffering were preserved in poems that were carved into the wooden wall panels that have been restored for public display. Lena Fong, Wa Sung Honorary Member, was interviewed because she had donated a suitcase containing 24 dresses belonging to her mother, How Jiu, who came through Angel Island in 1928. As you will find out in the interview, she has an interesting story to tell about her mother. The commentary in the documentary was in Mandarin but the interviews were in English.

You can watch her interview here.