For the Tenth Anniversary of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California in 1985, the Board of Directors charged the five past presidents to project goals for the Society’s future. This message, principally drafted by George Yee, is the result.
The past presidents of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California recently met and our thoughts reminisce back ten years to a Saturday night on November 1, 1975 when a small group gathered in the basement of the Cathay Bank in Chinatown to discuss the idea of forming an organization to record the history of the Chinese in Southern California. Stan Lau was elected president. Dr. Robert Nash stepped forward to sign up as the first member, and the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California was on its way.
In looking back over the past ten years, our Society has come a long way. From the 106 charter members recorded that first year, the membership has grown beyond 350. Monthly meeting attendance now attracts 50 to 75 on a regular basis. The Society has recognized and honored a number of local Chinese pioneers, commemorated historical events, supported research projects, sponsored field trips and published a book. Today our Society is recognized as one of the most active in the area. Our schedule overflows with ongoing projects.
Certainly, the Society is not expected to rest on its past laurels. The past presidents have reviewed a number of projects and recommends that in the next ten years, some priority should be given to the following:
The El Pueblo State Park is providing room for a Chinese American Historical Museum.
Where else can we find a better place to tell the story of the Chinese in Los Angeles than
where it all began? The Society should devote effort to support the museum project by providing guidance and appropriate display material whenever possible.
For the past ten years, the Society has used a member’s home as an office and have stored the Society’s collection of materials in various members’ homes. It’s time for the Society to set a goal to find a permanent office, preferably near Chinatown, and find financial means of supporting it.
The Society should devote more effort towards publishing a book of the history of the
Chinese in Southern California. The Society has the oral history project background material available. The project can be simplified by having contributing authors write individual chapters.
Ten years ago, we proclaimed our Society as NEW – BIG – FAST – BEST! Let’s keep it that way for another ten years.