“Ho la ma, pung yow – – nay sick fahn, may ah?”

And now that my Chinese self has properly greeted those of my own ancestry, may my American self extend a similar courtesy to our non-Chinese members and supporters?

“Greetings, friends, and welcome to the first issue of the Gum Saan Journal, published by the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California.”

Being the editor of any publicat~on is a great responsibility. However, I have a very capable staff, and would like to thank each of them for volunteering so willingly (and instantly:) to assist with this journal. (Thank you, Munson Kwok, Ella Leong, Micki Nakagiri, Nancy Wey, Mary Yee and Chuck Yee). My staff and I will do our best to give you a publication which will be interesting and informative, with perhaps a few grains of spice thrown in to give it flavor! This first issue of the Gum Saan Journal is in reality a “Warm-up” edition, a “let’s get acquainted” kind of venture. For future issues, we will be publishing articles of a histroical nature, curre_nt news of Chinese communities throughout the country, and a varied assortment of items which would be of special interest to the Chinese population. Bear in mind, please, that this is your journal – – any suggestions, new ideas, comments, contributions are most welcome. I will be delighted to hear from you.

A special note to the Society’s non-Chinese speaking members and friends regarding the Gum Saan Journal – – perhaps you are wondering what Gum Saan really means? Literally translated, the two words are: “Gold Mountain”. When gold was discovered in California in the late 1840’s, the mere mention of the word was like a siren call to thousands of men seeking a better life, including the citizens of far-off Cathay. To the Chinese in that period of time, the United States was indeed “Gum Saan”, the land of opportunity, the land with many “mountains of gold”.

Passing thoughts …. A capsule description of the Society’s first president, and its current one:

Stan Lau – – energetic, capable, progressive . . . . .
George Yee – – energetic, capable, progressive . . . . .

so what does that tell us? Simply this – – the Society began its existence with excellent leadership, and is continuing with the same outstanding guidance. Reassuring, isn’t it?

Do a friend a favor – tell him (or her) about the Society and its activities. Several interesting programs are being arranged for future monthly meetings; specific guided tours are being considered; an “oral history” project has been started; a week-end field trip to the Mother Lode country is in the planning stages; and a number of other ventures are just in the “thinking” stage, waiting for some volunteer “project coordinators”. Which brings up the following final thought from my Chinese brush ….. With a growing membership, it is hoped that many more members will get involved in helping the Society achieve its goals. Maximum cooperation and eager participation – – what an impressive picture to present to the community, to other historical societies, and to the members themselves. And speaking of pictures, who was it that said, “One picture worth 10,000 words!”

With this I will close . . . . . for now.