American Legion Lt. B. R. Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post 1291, Inc.
Legion Year 21 – 22 Newsletter No. 4
Dear Legionnaires 親愛的會友：
We want to thank our members and their families for joining us at the lunar New Year Eve celebration at House of Joy Restaurant. We hope the year of the Tiger brings everyone good health and prosperity. Due to the surge of Omicron at the end of last year, fewer members and their families were able to enjoy the dinner. Unlike previous years when we would need two separate restaurants to accommodate close to 800 members and their families.
As we now enter the spring season, it is a good opportunity for us to take stock of what we have accomplished as we transition from a winter filled with uncertainty as the Pandemic continued to rage and then gradually subsided with restrictions becoming less severe.
Although the mid-Winter conference had to be cancelled, we conducted our Executive and general meetings in person in January with good attendance. On February 1, 2022 representatives of our Post attended the Lunar New Year Celebration hosted by the CCBA and heard from government and community leaders including Mayor Eric Adams who wished all in attendance a healthy and prosperous Year of the Tiger.
Post 1291 has been an active participant in the Chinatown Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), a program sponsored by New York State, which seeks to revitalize Manhattan Chinatown as a cultural destination with a view toward building an economic engine driven by arts and culture. Among the many goals of the program is the rebuilding of Chinatown’s economic base by attracting tourists while also improving the quality of life for its residents and visitors alike.
New York State has earmarked twenty million dollars for infrastructure related projects to accomplish the objectives of the DRI. One of the cultural anchors identified is Kimlau Square, the site upon which our Kimlau Memorial Arch is located. It is slated to become a meeting point that would be expanded, renovated and transformed into the “Columbus Circle of Lower Manhattan” as imagined by the DRI. We will keep a close eye on these developments to assure that the Arch and its surroundings are restored and improved as an important symbol of our community.
An important program that is receiving the support of our Post is SAR, which stands for Suicide Awareness & Remembrance. Members Derek Mei and Wilem Wong have been heavily involved in promoting the immediate goals of SAR, which are:
Advancing a Resolution within the American Legion to adopt the SAR flag to encourage Congress to raise awareness of the high suicide rate (22 per day) among veterans and to facilitate suicide prevention and mental health treatment.
Adoption of the SAR flag nationally to fly with the National Ensign and the POW/MIA flag.
Officially recognize September 22 as an annual observance by the American Legion as “Veterans Suicide Awareness & Remembrance Day” to raise awareness of suicide by active duty members and veterans and to encourage respect to their memory and support for their families.
On March 13, 2022, a presentation was made by Fred Nielsen, chaplain of the Glenwood Landing Post, to a group of members of our Post about his efforts on many fronts on behalf of the goals of SAR. On March 27, 2022 he was joined by Kevin Hertell, the founder of the SAR movement in an expanded presentation at our Post.
We will be participating in a SAR flag raising event on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 10:45 AM at the Glenwood Landing Post, 190 Glen Head Rd, Glen Head, NY 11545 to further advance public awareness of suicide among active/retired members of the armed services.
Please join your comrades in participating in upcoming events including our Memorial Day Observance, the election and installation of officers for the next legion year, and our Annual Picnic.
By Commander Hon. Randall Eng
It is hard to believe that our community is going through the most difficult time we have ever endured. With crime rising out of control and especially the Asian Hate crime going rampant in the city, it seems no one is safe. To make matters worse, a mega jail and the proposed additional five homeless and drug rehab shelters to the exiting five shelters to make a total of ten in a small geographic area is gravely damaging to our community. Government policies and the war in Ukraine have created historic inflation that has surpassed the record set 40 years ago. Just as we thought the COVID-19 pandemic we have been dealing with for more than two years has subsided and everyone is starting to feel a sense of normalcy, we are now learning that the Omicron variant, BA.2 is on the rise. Hope everyone stays vigilant and remains safe and healthy.
We are happy to inform you that Certified Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructor Wilem Wong, Executive Committeeman of our Post, is offering a MHFA education session to our members and families which aims to teach the skills needed to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health and substance abuse challenges or crises. Each training session is led by two certified MHFA instructors that will facilitate the learning experience by having each participant examine mental health concerns through their own lenses as an individual, family member, neighbor, or peer. Please see the complete details concerning this training enclosed. The first session is tentatively scheduled on June 18th. RSVP to confirm your attendance is required by June 10th.
Post leadership attended the Journey Wall Unveiling Ceremony at Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) honoring Major General William S. Chen, U.S. Army Retired and Ed Gor, National Director of Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project on April 1st. As we have reported in our last newsletter, the Chinese-American World War II Veterans Congressional Gold Medal presentation ceremony for New York area veterans and their families finally took place on December 18, 2021. Our Post has tried to reach the descendants of our WWII members over the past three years and notify them to register to receive their Congressional Medal. Even with that all-out effort, we have been receiving many inquiries that families of our members either had missed the May 31st deadline to register for the medal or were not able to attend the ceremony held at Dr. Sun Yet-Sen Middle School in Chinatown. For the members who were not able to attend the presentation in New York but registered, we were told they could still receive the medal from Chinese American Citizen Alliance (CACA) by covering the shipping and handling costs.
New York Department leadership Commander Frank LaMarsh, Auxiliary President Mary Farley along with Detachment Commander David Lee visited New York County on March 26th. The day started with a welcoming breakfast in Chinatown and attending the Vietnam Day Ceremony. Our Post arranged a very special reception for the Department Leadership with traditional lion dances at the Post Chairman Peter Woo Auditorium, which was well received. The Department Commander Testimonial Dinner was held at House of Joy Restaurant later that evening. The Testimonial Dinner honoring National Commander Paul E. Dillard was held on April 15th at Antun’s in Queens. Our Post was well represented with over thirty members and family attending.
We are delighted to announce the scholarship awards have been expanded from the existing twelve awards to fifteen awards, and the scholarship amount awarded from $500.00 to $700.00 per scholarship for a total of $10,500.00 annually in addition to any memorial scholarships from members’ donations. Please note that in order to make it easier for students to arrange for transcripts to be sent to us while they are still in school the post has revised the scholarship application period. The scholarship application submission period will now be from January 1st to August 31st.
Post Activities 會務
The following motions were approved during the January 30, 2022 General Meeting:
Approved to amend the Lt. B. R. Kimlau Post 1291 By-laws.
Approved to increase the number of scholarships from 12 to 15, and the amount of award from $500 to $700 for each scholarship.
Approved the appointment of Chinese Secretary David Lam and Past Commander Mimi Wang to co-chair the annual Picnic Committee; annual picnic to be held on July 31, 2022.
Approved to purchase the Suicide Awareness and Remembrance (S.A.R.) Media Packages to support the S.A.R. Project.
Approved to create the Suicide Awareness and Remembrance (S.A.R.) Committee. Members are Commander Randal Eng, Adjutant Gabe Mui, Vice Commander Kenneth Wong, Vice Commander Thomas Ong, Vice Commander Sean Tse, Past Commander Richard Shin, Past Commander Mimi Wang, Past Commander Wing Y. Tam, Past Commander Frank Gee, Executive Committeeman Wilem Wong and Derek Mei.
The 2022 Memorial Day Parade/Ceremony will be held on Monday, May 30, 2022. All members are encourage to participate and should sign-up prior to 12:00 noon that day and be ready to assemble at the corner of Mott Street and Canal Street for march-off on or about 12:30 pm. Lunch will be served at the House of Joy Restaurant, 28 Pell Street at 2:00 PM. Standard uniform required (Jacket and tie, Legion cap, shoes, no sneaker) to receive the $10 transportation reimbursement.
The Legion Year 2022-2023 Post Installation ceremony and banquet will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2022. Installation of officers is scheduled for 4 pm at the Post Chairman Peter Woo Auditorium; follow immediately by the annual banquet at House of Joy Restaurant at 6 pm. Anyone who wishes to attend the banquet must register with the Chinese Secretary from Monday May 2, 2022 to Sunday, May 15, 2022 (2 – 4 pm daily). First come first served, with no exceptions. Eligibility and cost for the banquet are as follow –
Members with 2022 membership card and who had made a donation of $15.00 or more – one complimentary
Companion ticket $15.00 each – limited to one per eligible member, no exceptions.
Members of the Lt. Kimlau American Auxiliary Unit or the Lt. Kimlau Sons of American Legion Squadron are invited to join this banquet if they are not otherwise qualified. Cost is $15.00 per ticket and maximum 2 tickets each. Please bring your 2022 Auxiliary or SAL membership card.
Additional tickets can be purchased beginning May 8, 2022 for $35.00 Maximum of 8 additional tickets per member.
We are sad to report the following legionnaires have passed on to the Commander of us all post everlasting.
May Our Comrades Rest In Peace!
Henyin Eng 伍 廣 強 (Oct 17)
Jack Lum 林 澤 森 (Oct 21)
Lindy Wong 黃 良 佐 (Oct 21)
George Tai 戴 光 (Nov 21)
Dun L. Chin 陳 進 來 (Nov 21)
Ging H. Law 羅 景 慶 (Jan 22)
New/Transfer Members 新入會會員
There were two new members approved by the last General meeting
Naiqi Yao 姚 乃 綺 (Gulf – Navy)
Michael Mun Lui 廖 曜 文 (Vietnam – Army)
Please join us to welcome the above new members. Hope to see all of you in future functions.
We hope the above information will be of interest to you and we hope to hear from you soon. Let us know what we can do for you. Until we meet again, stay well!
THE STAFF 本會行政小組
Kenneth Wong黃建中, Thomas Ong鄧燦業, Sean Tse謝國寶
Gabe B. Mui 梅本立, Mark Eng伍顯宗
David Lam 林善群, Howard Chin 陳煥寧