Commander’s Report 2009-2010
By Commander Harvard Tang
Time goes by so quickly. Suddenly one year has elapsed. I remember last June, I was encouraged to accept the nomination as Commander of the Lt. B. R. Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post 1291. At that time, I was hesitant about what I should do in order to fulfill my duties as commander of this great organization. I pledged to adhere to the principles of the American Legion and serve the Post earnestly. I am grateful to my officers and staff: Vice Commanders, Kai S. Chung, Mimi Wang, and John Chang, Adjutant Gabe B. Mui, Assistant Adjutant Wing Yuen Tam, Treasurer Robert G. T. Chin, and Chinese Secretary David Lam. I also thank the past Post Commanders for their enthusiasm. I am glad to report that we had a very successful year. Due to our past commanders who had the foresight to purchase the building in the 1960’s, we are financially sound. This has enabled us to provide many activities for our members and for our community.
During this past year, I attended numerous Legion related functions, such as the New York County meetings, New York Department and National Conventions, the Testimonial Dinner in honor of the American Legion’s National Commander, the First District Legislative meeting, and the New York Department Legion College event. I also participated in as many community activities as possible. We donated annually to The American Legion’s National Emergency Fund and to the Legacy Scholarship Fund. In support of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association’s (CCBA) sponsored fund raising efforts, we made donations to the earthquake victims in China, Haiti, and Chile, and to the typhoon victims in Taiwan. We also made donations to the community school education fund and the Day Care Center. We awarded scholarship monies to the off-springs and grandchildren of our Legion members.
Many of the Post’s family, including Legionnaires, Auxiliary, and Sons of the American Legion members, and the Post Color Guards, have participated in the Veterans Day and Memorial Day parades, as well as the community sponsored parades. Over two hundred Legionnaires and their family members on each occasion attended our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas parties, and our annual picnic. We have about seven hundred members and family friends attend our annual Lunar New Year’s banquet. The most significant events that our enthusiastic members participate in are the visits to comrades who are in a hospital or a nursing home, and the eulogies rendered at the wake upon a hero who passed away.
As a community service, we continue to provide “Tai Chi for Life” classes to the community in our Post auditorium, a service in partnership with the NY Downtown Hospital. We have been doing this since February, 2001. In April, 2005, St. Vincent’s Hospital used our auditorium once a week to provide an acupuncture clinic for people with stress and sleep deprivation. These two programs proved to be very successful. Several hundred students have graduated from the “Tai Chi for Life” classes. The acupuncture clinic sessions average about sixty patients who receive treatments each week. We also held several seminars given by professionals, which are open to the Legionnaires and to the community. The topics include “Medicare and Social Security Benefits”, “Medicines and you”, “Financial Planning”, “Sleeping Disorder”, and “Are You Prepared for An Emergency”. This year, we accepted many new members to our Post.
If we do not move forward and think ahead, we will fall behind. We need to take risks and encourage new ideas and thoughts to maintain our organization. Being a Chinese-American Legionnaire, we need to pay more attention and get involved with our community’s developments and activities. I believe that working with the community leaders and the CCBA, we will be able to improve the quality of life in our community and society.
Lastly, I would like to commend Fang A. Wong for his candidacy for National Commander of The American Legion in LY 2011-2012. Fang’s involvements with the Kimlau Post include his service as Post Executive Board member and Post Adjutant for thirteen years. As an American Legionnaire, he has served as the New York County Commander, Department of New York Commander, and National Vice-Commander. If elected as National Commander, he will be the first Chinese-American to hold this high office in The American Legion. I hope everyone will support him and provide him with all the encouragement he needs.