Bay Area News

By Gerrye Wong  January 2022


The FOON HAY SENIORS GOLF CLUB members were a very merry group when they got to meet and greet each other for a dine in experience for the first time since the 2019  party.   Diners at the Chin Stix Celebration dinner not only were treated to a holiday feast, their musical senses  aroused when member Chuck Leong led the group in singing along to holiday favorites. Assisting him on their ukes were wife Deanna and Stella Chan alongside Foon Hay member musicians Clarence Bakken, Milton Loo, Gene Lim, Ralph Gin and Lorrie Wong. My contribution was a new version of Oh My Darling Clementine with golfing lyrics which everyone laughed and sang along with me.

Everyone at the Foon Hay party went home armed with something.  Some won the attractive bowl of succulent plants centerpiece created by DeeDee Wong  while others with happy smiles won the many door prizes donated by the Foon Hay Board members. Installed for year 2022 were President Fran Gin, VP Norbert Luke, Secretary Maelene Wong, Treasurer Victor Mahr, Tournament Co-Chair Leland Leong and Ron Wong, Webmaster Clarence Bakken and Directors at Large Victor Gin and Carole Yamaguchi.


This event was the Foon Hay Senior Golf Club’s 18th anniversary and when asked how this active group got started, Webmaster Clarence Bakken recalled, “ It all started on a ride back from playing golf one day in 2003 when the foursome of Harvey Tom, James Gate, Calvin Wong and myself talked about starting our own senior golf club to play on weekdays since we were all newly retired. The question came up what to name the group, and Calvin came up with “Foon Hay” meaning Having a good time. The founding group gathered more interested friends and by July 2003 when the group held their first tournament at Los Lagos Golf Course in San Jose, they had 48 eager entrants.”


The pandemic has made golf, an outdoor individual sport, the most popular sport to get out of the house, enjoy fresh air with comradeship of friends at safe distance and no physical contact with your fellow vaccinated golfers.


Foon Hay Seniors Golf Club champions having their names engraved on the perpetual trophy were Men’s A Group – Kosol Diewwanich, with runner ups Victor Gin and Ron Wong.  Champ for Men’s B was Ralph Gin, followed by Norbert Yuke and Steven Gee.  Women’s Champion for 2022 was Fran Gin, followed by Maelene Wong and Gerrye Wong.



After closing its doors 75 years ago, the former immigration hospital is reopening as the new Angel Island Immigration Museum (AIIM)! The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation will mark this occasion with a free virtual presentation and ribbon cutting ceremony. This museum will be in the 100 year old hospital that cared for patients during the 1910-1940 period when all immigrant to the San Francisco port were held for interrogation. It has been a massive project to restore the building to its museum state, and there are exhibits that explain individual stories that occurred at the immigration station.  Originally opened in 1910, the Public Service Hospital (PSH) at the Angel Island Immigration Station provided medical services for immigrants detained at the station, but also played a key role in determining who might be allowed to enter the country.  New arrivals were subjected to a medical examination at the PSH and screened for any contagious diseases or defects. In addition to the standard medical examination, Asian immigrants were examined for traces of parasitic diseases. In the early years, typically 10-15% of immigrants were found to have medical problems.  The PSH was closed in 1946 and left abandoned until the site was saved from demolition by the local Asian American community.  Thanks to the Asian community which combined with federal and state monies and private donations, the immigration site and the barracks building were restored and reopened. After over 40 years of restoration efforts, AIISF can take a bow by announcing that the immigration station site and the barracks buildings were restored and reopened in 2009.  AIISF proudly announces that the restored PSH will have a virtual opening on January 22.  Don’t miss this exciting anniversary celebration.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

11:00 am to 11:45 am PST (virtual program)

12:00 pm PST (AIIM opens to the public)

2021 Immigrant Heritage Award

Angel Island Immigration Station Historical Advisory Committee (AIISHAC)

2021 Spirit of Angel Island Award

Ranger Alexander Weiss (posthumously)

Click here to RSVP for the virtual ribbon cutting ceremony
A note from Executive Director Edward Tepporn:  “Due to the rise of COVID-19, we will be broadcasting this event online in lieu of inviting large groups to attend the ceremony in person. If you plan to visit the museum, please note that trams, bike rentals, shuttles, and the Angel Island Café are unavailable. They will resume service on February 5, 2022 (weather permitting). For guests who wish to visit the AIIM, we encourage you to plan your trip ahead of time by visiting our website or contacting us with questions”


Another milestone   has passed for me — I have now stepped down from my 2021 presidency at Chi Am Circle, the group I was one of the ORIGINAL 10 founders  back in 1965.  It was fun to reign among the new much younger membership, which numbers about 100 members now.  They are wonderfully creative and brilliant young women, who have discovered the circle of friendship one gains from the club is very rewarding for all members.

At the recent end of year Installation Luncheon at the China Stix Restaurant in Santa Clara, new leaders were installed to the Board.  They are:  Co-Presidents Nikki Chow/Sylvia End; Vice Presidents Teddy Sue and Juliet Sham; Treasurer Sharon Lai; Secretary Mary k Lim; Newsletter Editors Rebecca Feng and Linda Toda; Program Co-Chairmen Liza Wong and Aimee Yan; Public Relations Officer Gerrye Wong; Hospitality Chair Judy Wong; Historian Mabel Thong; Auditor Debbie Gong-Guy; Co-Webmasters Wendy Tsoi/Shirley Wong; and Parliamentarian Verna Wong.

Latest good news is that the scholarship program is just kicking in with an announcement that all student applications are now being accepted. The application for the Chi Am Circle 2022 High School Scholarship is now available. The 2022 Outreach High School Scholarship for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Students application is now available. Students must access and complete the applications entirely online through the Going Merry website. Encourage your eligible children, grandchildren and young friends to apply!


Thanks to annual funding and support from its members and friends, Chi Am Circle awarded a record $119,000 to 41 graduating high school seniors in 2021.  Please continue to spread the word to your friends, families, and interested community members. The deadline for both scholarships is March 1, 2022. Winners will be notified by mid-to-late April, 2022. All awardees must participate as directed in the annual scholarship award ceremony to receive their awards. If you have any questions, please email scholarships@chiamcircle.org. Tell the high school seniors in your family and friendship circle the fine opportunity to apply for the CHI AM CIRCLE SCHOLARSHIP GRANTS which will recognize students on academic achievements, as well as community service and financial need.


At long last, the over one hundred supporters of the MING QUONG ARCHWAY RESTORATION PROJECT received notice that the work has been completed in Los Gatos at the original site.  The 100 year old archway was the entrance to the locale, which once was the only home for many young Chinese young girls, the only place where abandoned or needy Chinese young girls were welcomed and cared for.  When I visited the place in the 1940s, one could always hear the bustling noises of happy children, well-tended for by teachers hired by the Presbyterian Church and overseen by the caring arm of the San Francisco Chinatown missionary Donaldina Cameron. For the many former alumni of the Ming Quong Home who would revisit the site, the archway s struck a memory of their lives there.


Former inhabitants, Elena Wong and Janet Chang led the call to restore the archway so people would recognize and remember what it stood for in the past.  As my mother was a former Ming Quong Home resident in Oakland, I had a special feeling for making the restoration happen, and thanks to many supporters, the Archway restoration is completed and ribbon cutting is scheduled for March 6. Someday they hope to have a Ming Quong Home historical display at this Los Gatos site, working with Darren DeMonsi, Director of Uplift Services, the  non-profit group that runs it programs for young people there now.















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