| The Yee
温哥華華埠慶祝乙酉雞年之春節大遊行於今年二月十三日在華埠盛大舉行。 這天是涼快但晴朗的。 我們的隊伍除了總堂主席余根洙， 分堂主席余美湛及本屆理事與顧問之外，特別請來了從西雅圖余風采堂的四位嘉賓: 余海量伉儷及余一籣程啟平伉儷。 今年的醒獅隊由范楊宗師父領導。 在我們離開余風采堂前往遊行起點千禧門集合時，電視第九台採訪了舞獅師兄范宇軒。 遊行隊伍從片打街出發，沿途經過歌雅街，奇化街，然後回到起點。 歷時超過一小時才完成。 然後我們去M電視台 （多元文化台） 接受錄影， 於當晚播出舞獅精彩的情形，在返回到會所前，我們醒獅隊在奇化街一百號地段進行向商店門前採青，今年所得利是款項， 全部捐贈與紅十字會海嘯救濟基金會。 回到會堂稍作休息後，大家一齊共進豐富的自助午餐，來慶祝今年的春節。
加拿大余風采總堂第 一百零一週年紀念慶典暨 每年一度春宴、巳於二月二十六日成功舉行。
下午一時半、本總堂禮堂巳是人頭濟濟、祭祖儀式跟着開始。 總堂主席余根洙和總堂顧問、理事、職員們一齊奉獻金豬。 儀式由書記余榮燊主持。 嘉賓蒞臨助慶者有中華人民共和國駐温哥華總領事館田春燕總領事、李少青領事、王堅副領事和馮琳副領事。 遠道嘉賓蒞臨助慶者有美國余風采總堂美西總顧問余樹湛伉儷、西雅圖余風采堂主席余家樂。 本埠嘉賓有馬氏世表和謝氏世表。 祭祖禮成後跟着紀念典禮開始,首先由瑞芝理事讀祝詞。 總堂主席致歡迎詞、相繼邀請各嘉賓先後致詞。 禮成後設有豐富美點饗眾、其中部份充滿家鄉風味美點是由謝氏世表婦女們送來、令大家享盡口福。
余耀祥理事、余捷為理事、余志偉和余美華主持頒發 2004 年度温哥華余風采堂獎學金。
紐約余風采堂於二月二十六日舉行了春節晚宴。宴會辦得非常成功。 波士頓的宗親像往年一樣趕來參加，他們又唱又跳，歡樂一堂。 或者是明天，又或者是明年，我們紐約的宗親定能趕上，甚至超過波士頓宗親的歌唱及舞蹈技術！ 我們需要的是一個婦女組作開始，一個青年組也可以…。
今年我們在晚宴上嘉獎一位非常不凡的宗妹余麗珊，我們為她頒發了一面獎牌，上面著有『風采之光』。意喻「余氏家族的榮耀」。 有些紐約和波士頓的宗親早已經認識她的父母余維謙夫婦。麗珊是余族中閃閃生光的新星，她於康乃爾法學院畢業， 在紐約市消防局及急援局（NYC OEM）曾出任過重要法律職位，今年初她被任命為紐約州急援局 （NY SEMO） 的法律總顧問。 我深感為社會服務是一件神聖的工作，因為難免被民眾的抱怨和批評。但是，英文有句俗語： 「總需要某君去賣力」才可以改善市民的生活及維持社會的運作。 在此讓我們以熱烈的掌聲去祝賀麗珊的成就吧！
在宴會上，很幸運我能跟一班脫俗不凡的青年交談。他們或多或少都與工程科有關。 他們是 Eddie （布碌侖理工），Michelle （復旦），Kin Hong （麻省理工），Kenton 教授（哥倫比亞）和 Herbert （石溪）。 他們在談論工程科的工作及找尋工作的前景。他們都是正在或已經完成一個良好科技教育。 我敢斷言他們將會發展得更高和更遠，我從他們身上能看到一個風采堂青年組的成長就快產生出來，有人已經建議舉行一個 「職業論談之夜」之類的活動。 但何日實現？ 讓我們拭目以待吧。
紐英崙余風采堂春節聯歡暨敬老宴會於二零零五年三月五日舉行。席設於波士頓帝苑大酒樓，延開六十餘席。 出席貴賓包括市議員，中華公所主席伉儷，台北經文處處長伉儷，僑教中心主任，風采堂美東總長余耿石， 紐約風采堂正副主席樹燦，景新與及數位宗親和波士頓各界僑領等。
主席積炎首先致歡迎詞，感謝宗親支持當選為主席，也特別歡迎紐約宗親遠道到賀。 當晚致詞的貴賓對紐英崙余風采堂在華人社區的貢獻作出了肯定，並感謝風采堂對慈善，教育方面的支持。 副主席超群致答謝詞，代表風采堂多謝各位的光臨，希望大家有一個愉快的晚上。 宴會中 頒發了獎學金 給就讀大學成績優秀的宗親子女，捐贈紅包給中華耆英會，廣教學校和僑立學校。
在鳳凰城不論大小宴會，能席開四百人「酒席」的場面實在不多，但余氏宗親會的「春宴」向來是熱鬧準時而又溫馨。 在晚宴上有來自舊金山世界余氏宗親總會長余習文夫婦及美西總會長余纘強夫婦以及副總長余振權夫婦和南加州顧問余以信夫婦等。 余習文指出，去年11月的世界懇親大會上通過一些重要事項，一是接納印尼余氏宗親會進入總會為會員，另一項是推選余文勁元老 與開平市政府合作， 整修年久失修的余氏太祖余宗襄公祠。 余習文特別頒贈獎牌「開創偉業，造福族人」給余文勁，感謝他多年來為宗親會所做的貢獻。
本市余風采堂於本週一（三月廿八日）晚上假華埠金豐酒家隆重舉行春節聯歡宴會暨慶祝成立八十六週年紀念慶典， 到賀嘉賓包括有中國駐加大使館江元松參贊兼總領事、黃永躍參贊、石偉秘書、胡昌智秘書、市政府官員、社團首長及從外地遠道而 來的該堂名譽顧問、 宗親等二百餘人，聚首一堂，喜氣洋洋，十分熱鬧。
晚上八時正，宴會由兩儀太極社雙獅登堂慶賀，在瑞獅威武起舞的鑼鼓聲中揭開了宴會的序幕，司儀余美紅首請該堂主席余紹然登台致詞， 他向大家報告了過去一年的堂務活動和去年在香港召開的第二屆世界余氏懇親大會盛況。 跟著講話的為名譽主席余國堯，他除了對余風采堂活動和第二屆世余懇親的補充外， 還著重介紹余風采堂是一個大家庭，各地余風采堂聯繫密切，情同兄弟手足，並鼓勵宗親多多參加該堂的活動，語重心長。 此外，應邀講話嘉賓還有黃永躍參贊、市議員、 市長胞弟馬賽爾•譚布利，他在講話中不忘鼓勵華人團結， 並重提市長實現了競選時向一群華人保證的諾言撥出款項支持文化宮，喜見快將落成開幕， 希望所有華人多多參與和享用，他還說今年來加的遊客很多，盼望人人合作，有個清潔的唐人街。 最後他表示：如下屆再當選， 必將繼續支持華人的事務，講話熱情洋溢，親切近人。接著由顧問余文蔚介紹嘉賓與眾見面及宣讀賀金，表示向熱誠的嘉賓致謝。 最後由副主席余海俊致答謝詞，言簡意賅。
在美酒佳餚上菜的同時，由台山同鄉會委員和友好組成的友誼歌唱小組繼續文娛表演，包括演唱、懷舊歌曲、台山木魚、樂器演奏 及嘉賓唱卡拉 OK 等，歌聲嘹亮，場面熱鬧，充滿歡樂。
酒過三巡，在余風采堂委員集體向嘉賓祝酒及拍照留念後，便是頒發獎學金和幸運抽獎。 今年的得獎者由余品廉之千金余淑華以平均 90 分的成績榮獲第一名； 余適輝之公子余永文以平均 88 分榮獲第二名； 各得余風采堂獎學金及紀念狀一面，以資獎勵。抽獎由余美紅及余健韶、余榮煥、余仲池三位委員共同主持，獎品豐富，有些家庭共 中數獎，滿載而歸，笑逐顏開。
二埠余風采堂於三月廿六日假麗寶樓海鮮大酒家舉行春節聯歡慶會，延開四十多餘席，熱鬧非凡。 蒞臨助慶者包括舊金山余風采總堂余氏宗親，士德頓余氏宗親，和馬氏世表。 節目包括沙加緬度中華學校小學生的歌舞表演，和卡拉OK。
是日中午舉行祭祖，奉獻金豬六隻。 禮成，開始頒發七十五歲以上耆老的宗親敬老金（幸運的紅包）。 會後拍照留念。
點城余風采堂於五月一日（星期日）晚假座龍廷大酒樓舉行春宴聯歡，由余偉毅擔任司儀，主席余林晃致歡迎詞， 全體理事向大家敬酒，余桂華、余英華先生等主持頒發獎學金及抽獎。 出席者有宗親及本市社團代表共三百多人，助慶節目有粵韻曲藝社演奏及歌唱， 洪門體育會五頭醒獅表演，鑼鼓喧天，生氣勃勃，余風采堂體育會多位健兒出場，全場充滿樂氣氛。
唐代詩人杜牧的《清明》詩精確道出了中國清明時節的特殊氣氛。 清明節是中國人傳統懷念親人、祭祖掃墓的日子。按照舊習俗﹐在這一天裡﹐人們都要帶著酒肉、果品、紙錢、香燭等到逝去親人的 墳上祭拜。
乙酉年二月二十日（2005 年 4 月 3 日、星期日），余氏宗人一起聚集在山景墓園「安魂亭」旁邊，拿住雨傘，輪候祭祖。 當天滿眼滿目望到的都是黑雲遮日，稀雨淋淋的。
啓康叔安排祭祖典禮活動。 中午十二時，隆重的余風采堂禮儀祭奠正式開始，燃香奠酒、燒些紙錢，書記榮燊虔誠地誦讀著祭文、 余風采總堂主席根洙，温哥華余風采分堂主席美湛，理事耀祥，顧問詠本等供上祭品、燃放鞭炮。
他在講座上提出了著名的「中國辛德勒」駐奧地利維也納領事館總領事何鳳山在一九三八至一九四零年向猶太人簽發中國簽証， 拯救了受無數納粹迫害的猶太人的事蹟，這些猶太人到了中國上海，後來在戰事平定後，他們都遷回以色列。 按猶太人委員會的長老安遜˙萊納表示， 這些猶太人從中國回到以色列後，在生活上部份依然保留著中國的文化與習俗。
余元愷教授共列舉了數項中國人與猶太人習性相近的共通點給人家研究。 余教授首先指出中國人的孔子儒家思想與猶太人的密西亞救世主的宗教思想相若。第二，兩大族裔都非常強調家庭觀念。 他們正面認同自己的文化身份。中國人常以自己是炎黃子孫而自豪，猶太人雖然無國，但他們在族俚之間卻有緊密的聯繫。 不過兩者都也曾對自己的國家抱著負面的感情。
第三，女性在猶太人社會及中國人的社會內同時扮演著一個孕育子女的角色，不過隨著時代轉變， 猶太人與中國人都對子女作了一個公平的寄望， 想他們在社會上成材。 這與第四點大家都重視教育是有關連的。 猶太人相信要建立社會地位，學識是相當重要，這與中國人的望子成龍思想相近。
至於第五點相近之處是兩個民族都非常勒懇工作，願意冒險來追求成功之路。余教授說笑表示，倘若中國人或者是猶太人惹上宮非， 大部份都是與金錢有關，反而暴力事件較少。 第六項相近之處是大家都是一個保護色素強列的民族。 中國人俗語說人無遠慮，必有近憂，猶太人也常為很多惡習想解決方法。
下一期的風采電子季刊將在二零零五年九月中出版。歡迎大家投稿。 稿件需在二零零五年八月十五日前經電郵 (editor @ yeefungtoy.org) 或郵寄 (風采電子季刊, 226 East Georgia Street, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6A 1Z7) 到本刊編輯收。
In this Issue:
Chinese New Year Celebrations and Spring Banquets:
Reports from Yee Fung Toy Chapters
Welcome to the third issue of the Yee Fung Toy Global Village Voice, an electronic newsletter for the World Yee community. In this issue we are featuring celebrations of the New Year and annual Spring Banquets from associations around the world. View photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/yeefungtoy/. We also have a report on observing Ching Ming in Vancouver.
Dr. Albert Yee compared
Chinese and Jewish experiences in a lecture presented
with the help of
the Seattle Yee
chapter. As I mentioned in this space in our inaugual
discovered the Seattle website and introduced himself to
us with an
email. As an author, retired university dean and
professor of cultural
psychology, he has much to offer and his presentation is
one of his
continuing efforts to share his expertise and insights.
reprinted reports of his lecture.
Another Yee Family member that was mentioned in our
issue is Mr. Yee Wah Sing, whose inquiry about the First
Convention I found in an online message board a year
ago. We have since
exchanged email, and discovered we originate from the
village district in Hoiping (China) and went to the same
high school in
Suva, Fiji about a decade apart. He wrote: "My father's
name is Yee
Chew Loy, from the village of Biu Kong, Wang Kong. He
was a farmer at
the Chinese Gardens in Lautoka [a town in Fiji] where I
was born in
1957. I also attended Marist Brothers High School (last
year Form 6-
1975). Four years ago, my family moved to Sydney but I
regularly to Fiji where I have business". Wah Sing has
successful in business, and has presented his thoughts
on core values
that create wealth in an invited public lecture in Fiji
last month. His
insights are applicable to every country, whether large
Please view the entire lecture.
Thank you, Albert and Wah Sing. From food for thought to thoughts of food and Spring Banquets in this issue, I like to thank the following for contributing articles, photos, and editorial assistance:
Jim Yee, Vancouver
The Vancouver Chinatown New Year Parade was held on a cool but sunny Sunday on February 13, 2005. Our colourful Lion Dance team attracted the attention of a roving CTV (Channel 9) TV crew even before we left our Society House on Georgia Street. They interviewed our lead dancer Hinson before following us to the parade starting point at the Millennium Gate. Besides the lion dance team led by Sifu Fan, the Yee Fung Toy of Vancouver parade team consisted of Canada Chairman Mr. Kan Yu, Vancouver Chairman Mr. Jim Yee, several of their Board members and Advisors. For the first time, we also had 4 special guests from the Seattle Yee Family Association join us: Fred Yee and Clara Cheung, and Lan and Tony Ching.
The parade started at noon. The parade around Pender Street, Gore Street, Keefer Street, then back to where we started, took more than an hour to complete. We then swung by the offices of a local TV station located in Chinatown, Channel M, for a prearranged interview and lion dance performance that was videotaped for later broadcast. Before returning to the Society House for a well-earned rest and a buffet lunch, our lion dance team turned to the 100-block Keefer Street to perform in front of retail and business storefronts, "devouring" green lettuce and collecting red packets of donations. This year money collected by all participating lion dance teams were donated to the Red Cross Tsunami Relief fund.
For a report and pictures from our Seattle guests at the Parade, visit the Seattle webpage.
The Yee Fung Toy Society of Canada celebrated its 101st anniversary and the Chinese New Year of the Rooster at its annual Spring Banquet on February 26, 2005.
The ancestor ritual started at 1:30 pm in the YFT House on 226 East Georgia Street, Vancouver, B.C. where Chairman Mr. Kan Yu, the YFT advisors, and the Board of directors made offerings to our ancestor Yee Chung-sheung. Mr. Wing Yee emceed the program.
Special guests who attended this ceremony included the
People's Republic of China Vancouver Consul General Tian
Consul Li Shaoching, Vice Consul Wang Chien, and Consul
Feng Lin; US
YFT Grand Advisor Dr. James Yee, Seattle YFT President
Mr. Hing Ng; our
cousins from the Mah and Tse Benevolent Associations,
and the Fung Toy
Alumni Association Chairman Mr. Raymond Lee.
After the ritual Mr. Shui Ji Yu read the commemorative remarks. Mr. Kan Yu delivered a welcoming speech that touched on the history of the Society. This was followed by congratulatory speeches from our guests. After the speeches, we all had lunch in the YFT House, we especially enjoyed the delicious home made traditional dim sum provided by members of the Tse Benevolent Association Women’s Committee.
Our Spring Banquet started at 6 pm at the Floata Seafood Restaurant. Honoured guests included the PRC Vancouver Consul General Tian Chunyan, MLA Mr. Patrick Wong, US YFT Grand Advisor Dr. James Yee, Seattle YFT President Mr. Hing Ng and Advisor Mr. Fred Yee. Special guests included Judge Bill Yee, Sifu Franky Fan, the Coach for the YFT Women Singers, and our Legal Advisor, Mr. Norman Morrison. Other guests included the Mah and Tse Benevolent Association members, Fung Toy Alumni, and other invited guests from the Chinese Community, and of course, our own YFT members and their families. We had over 450 people attend this happy gathering.
The Banquet festivities began with the Lion dance, provided by the YFT youth group. Ms. Michelle Yee and Mr. James Yu emceed the formal evening program. Mr. Kan Yu reviewed the past term (2000-2004) and announced plans for the new term (2005-2008). Greetings from the PRC Vancouver Consul General Tian Chunyan, MLA Mr. Patrick Wong, Minster of Immigration and Multiculturalism and Yee Family Association of Seattle President Mr. Hing Ng. After the introduction of our special guests in attendance, the Chairman introduced members of the new YFT 35th new Board of Directors as the first course of the dinner was served.
Following a toast to the New Year and introduction of guests from the Community. Vice Chairman Mr. Jim Yee delivered a Thank You speech. The highlight of his speech was a demonstration of the new World Yee Family Association Web site and other sites such as Canada, US, the Philippines, Vancouver, and Seattle. All these sites have homepages in both Chinese and English. The Canada Chinese homepage was printed and framed, and presented as a memento to Consul General Tian Chunyan by Chairman Kan Yu.
Mr. Phillip Yu emceed the entertainment portion of the program. Performances by the Fung Toy Alumni and songs from the Women’s Singers were followed by Karaoke.
Mr. Harvey Yee and Mr. Phillip Yu emceed the Vancouver Scholarship Awards to 10 students (3 form Elementary, 3 from Secondary, and 4 from University). Ms. Anne Yu and Mr. Jimmy Yee assisted with the presentations.
This anniversary cerebration was a tremendous success! Thanks to the volunteers and YFT board members who helped to organize this annual event. Hope to see you all next year.
We just had a New Year banquet in New York on Feb 26. We all had a great time. Our Boston Yee cousins came as usual. They sang and they danced. Any day (or year) now, we in New York will match or exceed what the Boston cousins can do! All we need is a women's league as a start. A youth league will help too...
This year we honored a very special cousin, Lai-Sun Yee, during our banquet. We had a plaque for her and it says, and I try to translate semantically: An Honor of Yee Family. Some of the folks in New York and Boston know her parents already. Lai-Sun is a shining star of our Yee family. She finished law school at Cornell; and she had held different important jobs at NYC Fire Department and NYC Office of Emergency. Recently she became General Counsel for NY SEMO. I think it is very noble to dedicate oneself to public service. We always complain about the government. But let's say "someone has to do it" in order to make life better and put everything in order for the country we live in. Let's give a big hand to Lai-Sun. She is now on our email list.
I also had a great opportunity to speak to a bunch of cool guys during the banquet. They all are somewhat related to engineering. These guys are shown on the photo (from left to right): Eddie (Polytechnic), Michelle (Fordham), Kin Hong (MIT), Prof. Kenton (Columbia), and Herbert (Stony Brook) with Andy. They were discussing engineering jobs and what the job market would look like in the near future. These guys are getting or got already a good technical education. I am sure these guys will go far and do great. I am seeing a youth league right there. Somebody already suggested we could hold a "career night", or something. Let's see.
Check out our banquet photos.
The Yee Family Foundation held their 105th Anniversary and Spring Banquet in Philippines on February 27, when they also installed a new Board of Directors.
This year's banquet was held at the Empire Garden Restaurant on Saturday, March 5. Among the over 600 people in attendance were Grand President , Eastern Div.. Mr. Peter Yee (NY), Presidents of NY Chapter and cousins from the New York Association. The general membership worked overtime in greeting, ushering and performing to help make this a memorable night.
At 7 pm the MCs Melinda and Winston announced the program start with 2 songs bearing good wishes for the New Year and some of our members and their spouses dance the swing and foxtrot to their music. After singing, another group of members performed line dancing of a waltz and a Cha-Cha. A New York member performed Tai-Chi. It was truly a very entertaining opening to the Banquet for our guests, friends and relatives.
Following the opening entertainment, there were speeches expressing good wishes from our presidents and guest speakers. This year's speakers were:
The final segment of the evening included the Association's donations to the Golden Age Center, Kwong Kow Chinese School and Chung Wah Academy. Scholarship monies were awarded to 11 qualifying college students. The closing event was the drawing of the many door prizes.
We had another very successful evening. This year we had new member and his spouse to participate to the group singing and dancing. We hope more relatives will join us at the Association and participate in our activities. Your inquiries, comments and suggestions of new activities are also welcome. Please feel free to E-mail them to us. If you were unable to attend the Banquet, you missed a grand time and hope you and your family will be able to attend next year.
Check out Banquet photos from our Picture Gallery.
World Yee President Damon Yee and his wife Mrs. Angie Yee arrived at Phoenix to attend the annual Yee Fung Toy Spring Banquet on March 5, 2005. He presented a "Great Contribution to the Yee Community" commemorative plaque to Phoenix Chinese Community’s own “Godfather” - Mr. John M. Yee. The Phoenix Yee Fung Toy Family Association presented 12 scholarship awards to their outstanding students.
There are only a few Chinese banquets with four hundred or more guests in Phoenix nowadays; Because of its festive atmosphere, the Yee Fung Toy’s annual Spring Banquet is always well attended. In attendance from San Francisco were World Yee President Mr. Damon Yee and his wife, US HQ Western Grand President Mr. Art Yee and his wife, Grand Vice-president Mr. Gene K. Yee and his wife, and Southern California advisor Mr. Alan Yee and his wife. Mr. Damon Yee pointed out that Indonesia applied for and has been accepted as a member of the World Yee Family Association during the second World Yee Convention. Another important event was the renovation of the Yee ancestor shrine - Yee Jing’s Shrine, facilitated by Mr. John M. Yee working closely with the Kaiping Government. Mr. Damon Yee thanked Mr. John M. Yee for his outstanding service to the Yee community.
Translated by Martin Yee
The Yee Fung Toy Family Association headquarters in San Francisco celebrated our annual spring banquet on March 20, 2005 on nice sunny Sunday. Our celebration started at headquarters with our traditional ceremony of honoring our ancestor “Ah Goong” at 12 noon. Afterward, there was a lion dance performance also honoring our ancestor on the fourth floor and the dangerous lion dance stilt walk in front of headquarters. Our luncheon had over 350 people in attendance that provide them with opportunities to meet families and friends throughout the United States and Canada. We had family members from New York, Boston, Detroit, Phoenix, Sacramento, Los Angles, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Stockton, and Canada.
The Yee Fung Toy Gala Spring Banquet was celebrated by over 1,200 people with San Francisco’s dignitaries in attendance. California Assemblyman Leland Yee PhD. Speaker pro Tempore, the highest elected Chinese official in California introduced our Mayor Gavin Newsom who presented Certificate of Achievement to Damon Yee, President of the World Yee’s; Peter Yee, Eastern Grand President; Art Yee, Western Grand President and Wesley Yee, President of Yee Fung Toy Family Association HQ. Following the mayor was San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, along with former Assemblyman Lou Papan who said he has attended four Yee’s spring banquets. We also had in attendances, California Board of Equalization, District One member Betty Yee and District Attorney Kamala Harris’s representative Sean Do.
We were treated to the Yee Fung Toy’s musical group performing for the first time, singing in unison and dressed in wonderful outfits. The group was led by our English secretary Gene Yee who spent countless hours rehearsing the group. Karaoke sing was excellent and everyone had a great time.
San Francisco Yee Fung Toy Family Association HQs would like to thank our cousins Ma’s and Der’s, all the community leaders, volunteers, attendees, distinguish guests, families and friends for coming to our annual spring banquet. In the Year of the Rooster, we wish everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful year. See everyone next year!
A banquet was held at Rice Bowl Restaurant for this event. Over 400 people attended and enjoyed another wonderful multi-course dinner, the Confucius School Children’s singing and dancing performance and Karaoke. Lucky money was presented to the association’s elders. Members from the Yee Fung Toy Regional Headquarters in San Francisco, Yee family members from Stockton, and members from the Ma Family Association also attended. Earlier in the day, the association paid respect to the ancestors with 6 roast pigs.
The Yue's Clansman Association held their Spring Banquet in Hong Kong on April 2, when they also installed a new Board of Directors, and presented scholarship awards.
The Yee Fung Toy Society of Edmonton held their Spring Banquet on May 1.
Ching Ming is a Festival day on the Chinese lunar calendar that occurs near Easter. Also known as "Spring Remembrance" or "Grave Sweeping Day", it is the day of fondly remembering past family members. This Chinese tradition is formalized into a ritual of offering wine and cooked meat, fruits, paper money, incense and candles to ancestors. On this Ching Ming ("clear and bright") day Chinese people would pay homage and respect to their family members' graves, and clear away the weeds that have grown up since their last visit.
On Sunday, April 3rd, the Vancouver sky was gloomy with dark clouds; the rain was pouring down in buckets. As we (the Vancouver Yee Fung Toy Society members) huddled together at the Mountainview Cemetery Chinese Pavilion area, holding up our umbrellas tightly and waiting for our turn to tender offerings to our ancestors, we were mindful of the well known poem about Ching Ming by Tang Dynasty poet Du Mu (803-852). The Chinese original is on the left; our attempt at translating it follows (view another translation):
The Ching Ming rain pelts
At 12:00 noon, we slowly filed into the ceremonial area immediately after another group had completed their ceremony. Our memorial service officially began as Mr. Steven Yee and his volunteers made preparations: candles and incense sticks were lit, fruits, roast pigs, chicken, dim sum, etc, and liquor were laid down on the ceremonial altar, paper money was burnt. Society secretary Mr. Wing Yee reverently read aloud the memorial ceremony oration. Canada Chairman Mr. Kan Yu, Vancouver Chairman Mr. Jim Yee, director Mr. Phillip Yu and advisor Mr. Wayne Yee; all took turns to pay homage to our ancestors, Mr. George Yee set off the firecrackers as the ceremony ended
After the ritual was over, we headed to the Society house where we all enjoyed the BBQ pork and other goodies for lunch. Participating families also took home BBQ pork portions, as per Chinese customs.
By James Tabafunda
Albert H. Yee builds bridges. While they are not the typical ones made of steel girders or rivets, his cross-cultural bridges do more than span great distances. More than 40 people gathered at the Wing Luke Asian Museum on Mar. 22 for his lecture, "Wonton and Kreplach: Comparing the Chinese and Jewish Experiences."
China rewarded the now retired psychology professor from Missoula, Mont., with a rare visa in 1972. Chinese officials recognized his work in improving U.S.-China relations; he successfully helped the White House plan President Nixon’s historic visit.
As a Stanford University student, Yee noticed many of his professors were Jewish. Their presence would change his life. “I had a lasting desire to learn more about them,” Yee recalls.
In 2001, he and Rabbi Anson Laytner, executive director of the Seattle chapter of the American Jewish Committee, published a study on Chinese and Jewish characteristics. Both currently serve on the Board of Directors of The Sino-Judaic Institute in Menlo Park Ca. (Sino means Chinese). They explored both similarities and differences between the two groups in their study. Yee spoke in detail, discussing seven “factors” (Messianic impulse, family values, the role of women, educational values, the drive to learn and achieve, defensiveness and retribution, and inherited characteristics).
Of all the factors, educational values are the most prized. "The core value of both (groups) is the scholar, the learned person," Yee emphasized.
He characterized Sino-Judaic relations as being positive and long. "Their history is inspirational and a credit to both sides," commented Yee. "The Jews wrote positively of their experiences with the Chinese."
The Chinese, in turn, developed a deep admiration of their newest immigrants. Several hundred Jewish settlers made up the second wave of immigrants in the 1930s, mostly in Shanghai. Yee focused on an important figure in Sino-Judaic history - Feng Shan Ho. While serving as China’s consul general in Vienna during World War II, Ho saved countless Jews from the holocaust. From 1938 to 1940, Ho issued thousands of visas for them to leave Nazi-occupied Austria for the safe refuge of China.
"His humaneness went unrecorded," acknowledged Yee. Ho died at age 96 on Sep. 28,1997.
"Ho said, 'I thought it only natural to feel compassion and want to help. From the standpoint of humanity, that is the way it should be.'" Yee added.
"The Jews asked for visas, and his staff would say, 'How many do you want?'"
Sino-Judaic relations blossomed as many Jews remained in China, sought out Chinese citizenship and even became local heroes. To the south, there is a 3,000-strong Jewish Hong Kong community. Many other Jewish citizens reside in nearby Singapore. "Both (communities) can learn so much from each other," said Yee.
Fred Yee (no relation to Albert H. Yee), born and raised in Hong Kong, is the vice president of the Seattle chapter of Organization of Chinese Americans.
He said about the speech, "I think it’s a good event to kick off a possible future dialogue on various aspects of life for Chinese Americans and the Jewish community here."
Rabbi Laytner agrees: "We hope tonight’s gathering will lead to further discussions. There are lots of issues worth exploring together."
Albert H. Yee authored 11 books. His latest book, Yeee-Hah!: Remembrance and Longing, covers his study of the two groups, but he points out it's more about his own life experiences, both its highlights and challenges.
For more information on Dr. Yee, view a short bio [PDF].
Address by Yee Wah Sing, Managing Director Marco Polo Holdings Ltd- developers of Garden City, Suva, Fiji.
USP/Parkinson Memorial Public Lecture Series, May 3rd, 2005 on BREAKING THE POVERTY CYCLE
... I begin my talk by assuming that we all espouse some common principles: that mankind is one, that our society is moving towards greater inter-dependence and that we must work together to eliminate extremes of wealth and poverty.
In a multicultural country such as Fiji, the battle to reduce poverty isn’t just about tinkering with the economic mechanism but also about promoting greater social cohesion and human dignity in our community. The creative energies of every citizen must have a suitable channel through they can be expressed through meaningful work, both as a means of livelihood for the individual and as a way of contributing to the development of our nation.
I have been invited here to share my personal experience of “winning against poverty”. I am not here to give you a rags to riches story, or how to become a millionaire in a few years.
Winning against poverty is a development process of upgrading the quality of life through the systematic application of the core values that I strongly believe in - because I have seen these values in my parents and others like them. ...
The next issue of the Yee Fung Toy Global Village Voice will be published in mid September of 2005, featuring summer picnics and the outdoors at Yee Fung Toy associations and other activities around the world. Please submit your articles to the Editor via email (editor @ yeefungtoy.org) or postal mail (The Editor, 226 East Georgia Street, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6A 1Z7) by August 15, 2005.