Phoenix Yee Fung Toy Family Association News Page




斐匿余風采堂 2014 年活動及文章











Yee Family Celebrates New Kitchen



The Yee Fung Toy Family Association celebrated its new Chinese cooking kitchen at its Association headquarters on 16th Street.



On hand using the new kitchen were, (left to right) Eddie Yue, David M. Yee, Yee elder John M. Yee, Rudy Yee and President Joe Yue.

(Photo courtesy of Jeff Jeng)







Phoenix Yees Spring Banquet Highlights

 

The Yee Fung Toy Family Association honored its 2014 outstanding high school seniors at its Chinese New Year of the Horse celebration banquet on Saturday, March 1st. Those receiving Yee Scholarship were (center L to R) Richard Yu, Erika Yee,and Elizabeth Yee. Also on hand for the presentation were (L) Yee Fung Toy President Cheak Yee and (R) Scholarship Chairman Betty Yee. 


National Yee leaders were also on hand at the Phoenix Yee Fung Toy 2014 Spring Banquet held at the Great Wall Restaurant. Those attending were, (L to R), Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Yee (National HQ Vice President), Mr. and Mrs. Alan Yee (Western Region Grand President), Yee Elder John M. Yee, Arizona State Senator Kimberly Yee and Dr. Nelson Mar, William Yee (National HQ President) and James Yee.

(Photo courtesy of John H. Tang)
   





Chinese United Association of Greater Phoenix New President - David M. Yee

 

David M. Yee was elected as Phoenix Chinese United Association of Greater Phoenix new President on March 26th at the Hong Lok Senior Living Center. All eighteen CUAGP members of the Phoenix Chinese United Association met in its annual general meeting and voted for its 2014 Board. David succeeded Helen Zhang as President. David previously served as First Vice President. Congrats David!

David follows now in the footsteps of his elder brother, the late Willie M. Yee, and his first cousin (Uncle) John M. Yee in leading the largest and broadest association in the local Chinese American community which previously had been almost entirely of Cantonese extraction of Siyi (‘Szeyup’) “Four Counties” area near Macau – with Taishan (Toishan) being the most prominent of the four.

Today in the Greater Phoenix area, David noted our Chinese American community has substantial numbers from Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Mainland, so that often enough, English is the common language.


Graduating from Arizona State University in Electrical Engineering, David has worked for forty plus years in that and related fields. First for Motorola, and now for a spinoff, General Dynamics.

He has been awarded numerous U.S. Patents. He has contributed generously of his time, talent, and resources to Phoenix Yee Fung Toy Family Association, to Phoenix Chinese Week, to Phoenix Chinese Seniors Citizen Association, to Valley of the Sun Koi Club, to Phoenix Matsuri Festival and Japanese Friendship Garden, as well as to various professional associations and charities.

David in his brief inaugural remarks stressed that all Chinese Americans need to work together and he hope to promote our general unity during his term of office.


Photo by John H. Tang






Phoenix Yees Celebrate Clan Hall 25th Anniversary


On Saturday, April 26th, the Yee Clan gathered at the Hall near 16th Street and Thomas Road in Phoenix in what indeed was a special celebration. This was the 25th Anniversary of the Hall that had the necessary expansion/renovation to the structure completed in 1989. For this occasion, not only was Bill Yee of Flagstaff (in his 90’s) attending but also Chuck Yee from the Tucson suburb of Marana. The farsighted vision of kinsmen and women to select, purchase, and retrofit a small commercial strip center has been truly borne out.

This unworthy writer, as the newly-elected President of the Yee Fung-toy Family Association, led in the rites of ancestral veneration and respect whose roots are as ancient as China’s history itself, for the turtle shell and shoulder blade “oracle bones” of the Shang Dynasty with the earliest version of the distinctive ideographic script – in their case 3,500 years ago – sought the guidance of their forebears, perceived undoubtedly to be supernatural and powerful, through ancestor worship. Then, the proper royal rites required the sacrifice of the “three living [creatures]” – an ox, a pig, and a ram, all freshly slaughtered in the blood-drenched ritualism of all primitive peoples, including the Israel of God.

The last emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty abdicated in February 1912 as Asia’s first democracy, the Republic of China, was founded; long before then, while superstitions certainly persisted, the everyday Chinese was more likely to offer worship to the Mahayana Buddhist deities/emanations such as Avalokitesvara (as Guan Yin), or Gautama Siddhartha Buddha himself, or the Daoist Jade Emperor of Heaven than to his own certainly non-royal ancestors. He would recall his ancestors out of filial piety, typically at the Qing Ming Jie, the Clear Bright Festival, on or about April 4, 5, or 6 – depending on the Spring Equinox – when hopefully the winter snows had passed without the melts flooding so that the grave sites could be visited across the often wet fields to the nearest hillock – to “hang shan” [‘walk on the mountain’] where the tombs could be swept and trimmed of weeds, inscriptions renewed with fresh paint, and the modern offerings made: a chicken (with head & feet), a slab of pork, and a whole fish, all appropriately cooked for immediate consumption by participants. (Possibly, the digestive systems of the spirits have also evolved/degenerated, depending on perspective…)

A full house observed this remembrance, and then benefited quite tangibly forsooth from consuming and retrieving Cantonese style roast pork at the buffet luncheon; the homemade desserts of the Yee women likely outshone the commercial porkers. This year, the donors for these were -- Grand Elder John M. Yee, Advisers Joe Yue and David M. Yee, Vice President Kam Yui Yi, Jane (Mrs. Willie M.) Yee and Janet (Mrs. Jerry M.) Yee.

As an initial personal contribution for local Clan usage, this unworthy writer as the President produced and makes available an initial edition of an exhortatory/explanatory article “Emulate Our Model Ancestor” to further clarify that modern ancestral veneration is not the antique ancestor worship of a distant past: the name of the Clan Hall does not honor the known first Yee ancestor (Yao Yu). That Qin Duchy chancellor served his feudal lord (Duke Mu) during the Spring-Autumn [Annals] Era of increasing disunity during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (771-473 B.C.E.) before the concluding mass warfare of the Contending States Era brought about imperial unification in 221 B.C.E. under Qin.



In stark contrast, Yu Jing, 1000-1065 C.E., lived during the Northern Song Dynasty; he was posthumously ennobled as the Loyal Assisting Duke [Zhongxiang Gong] by the Zhiping-era Emperor. He is held up as the model ancestor for emblematic success in the civil service examinations and the subsequent career as a scholar-official – a uniquely Chinese phenomenon in world history. Offering incense, wine and food before the portrait of Yu Jing thoroughly misunderstands Chinese culture and Chinese history: if this were ancestor worship, the portrait ought to be of Yao Yu, who lived 16 centuries before Yu Fengcai/Yee Fung-toy, using the Romanization styles from Standard Modern Chinese (the so-called ‘Mandarin’) and informal Cantonese. Fengcai/Fung-toy was an honorific sobriquet conferred by others to praise his “elegant demeanor” – indubitably also something worthy of emulation.


If ancestor worship were involved, it would be useful to “sacrifice” to the right person, would it not? Rather, the Model Ancestor veneration crystallizes our own personal filial piety to our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents, etc., etc. etc. And, he provides at the same time an object lesson for the value of education: to study hard, to test high, and ultimately to attain success and recognition in career: thereby honoring those who came before and inspiring those who will come afterwards.


As an adult convert to the Christian faith, it is painful to note that the only ancient civilization/high culture that has ever been converted to the True Faith is the Greco-Roman one in which we cradled. Conversions by opposing the culture work rather well when the culture of the Christian missionaries is clearly more sophisticated, ennobling and humane than heart-ripping sacrifice on Aztec pyramids, or cannibalism in African rain forests. Conversion by transforming culture is perhaps the only route by which to make any lasting headway in China, in India, and in Japan. (Islam and the Middle East are a special case/conundrum indeed.) One cannot transform what one does not understand properly.

M. Cheak Yee / Yu Wenchuo
Photos by John Tang
Originally appears in Asian American Times as of May 1, 2014






President of Hong Kong Yue Clansmen Association Visit Phoenix



 

Dr Peter Hoi-Fu Yu, President of the Hong Kong Yue Clansmen Association, visit our Phoenix YFT Association Clan Hall on June 29, 2014.

 

(Photo courtesy of Benny Yee)


Arizona State Senator Kimberly Yee Highlighted

 

The first Asian-American woman elected to the State Legislature of Arizona, both to the House first and now the Senate was honored at a fundraising banquet on Tuesday evening, October 21st, 2014 at the Great Wall Hong Kong Cuisine Restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona. Senator Kimberly Yee, wife of Nelson Ma, DDS and mother of the young Mitchell Ma, has been an award-winning legislator in Arizona, but achieving prominence with her Republican Party and national-level venues. Even before her career in Arizona, she had already served in California state government as well, with a consistent focus on education and health aspects so vital to everyone of any age.

The Republican Party State Chairman, Robert Graham, has been consistently present at many community events, and not only among Chinese-American organizations, to commence the program; the President of her chamber, State Senator Andrew Biggs, was the keynote speaker and stressed how hardworking, effective, and reliable Senator Yee has been. In keeping with the political and patriotic aspects of the evening, the karaoke entertainment consisted of several well-known songs in English expressing love of country. This was quite unique, but hopefully will not remain so.



  

In her own remarks, Senator Yee recalled the experiences of her own Chinese-American family, with its long roots in America, but also both characteristic as well as challenged by the singular difficulties of our ethnicity: the toxicity and totality of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 makes the loyalty and the contributions of Chinese Americans individually and in whole families all the more remarkable.
 
A further mark of the prominence of Senator Yee in herself and for our Chinese-American community was the presence of leaders and representatives from every segment – from the long-standing Cantonese, as well as the more recent folks from both Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Chinese mainland.

M. Cheak Yee / Yu Wen-chuo
Photo by Shamway Lo and Jeff Jenq





Phoenix Yees Welcome Friends At Picnic

  
  
 
 

October 26th, 2014, as blessed Autumn weather took hold in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Yees of every age welcomed many dozens of friends, as well as quite a few first-time kindred, to our traditional Picnic. The Ramada area in the (Mayor) Margaret Hance Park was overflowing with good feeling and tasty foods and beverages, both American standbys (hamburger, hotdogs, fried chicken) and of course the necessary Chinese stir-fried noodles and vegetable combinations. The nearby Japanese Friendship Garden, thanks to free admission tickets provided by our Adviser David M. Yee for his long-time role among their directors, was a popular retreat throughout the afternoon for truly a treat in aesthetics and serenity (even if the techniques and approaches of a Japanese garden are not quite those of China).

It was a notable honor to all of us Yees that so many community leaders from all the other local organizations and associations chose to join us on this occasion; while our Spring Festival banquet for the Lunisolar Chinese New Year at that bright season leading to the singular heat and sun of our Sonoran Desert summer is also well-attended, of course seating is limited and the atmosphere is properly more formal. A picnic in an expansive and lushly green municipal Park with adjacent and plentiful recreational facilities (newly installed in fact) for the kids cheers the heart and assaults the ear in a notably more joy-filled way.


For two years running now, even though we’ve increased the amount of free edibles provided, we have fallen just short at the very tail-end, at least for having the full variety of choices available. To be sure, no one went hungry for some leftovers did get boxed up; likely our planners for 2015 will need to calculate on more than 300 attendees just to be on the safe side. Fortunately, the number of raffle prizes for both adults and children were the most numerous ever – and these too were also all won, so that re-stocking will be another happy task to look forward to next summer.


M. Cheak Yee / Yu Wen-chuo Photos by Kevin Lee