In 1995, a few Chiu Chow people were having a gathering in a Richmond restaurant. Due to their background and where they were originally from, they naturally thought of forming a social association. After over a year of co-ordination work of Mr. Stephen Li, various meetings and discussions, as well as the support of fellow villagers from Vancouver and Richmond, a Chiu Chow social organization was formed. This association would enhance fellowship of Chiu Chow people, and to encourage their mutual exchange of all sorts.
With the guidance of Mr. Hok Kwong Yeung, Mr. Tat Yu Lee, Mr. S.T. Michael Lam, Mr. Wuen Chung Hung (translated) and others, over twenty of us were involved in the preparation work of setting up the association. After the enactment of constitution and election of officials, the organization was formally named “Chiu Chow Benevolent Association of B.C. Canada.” An inauguration dinner was held at Pacific Delta Hotel in Richmond on September 28, 1996. Thus completing the creation of the Association.
Eminent members of society from Hong Kong – Mr. Lit-Man Liu, Mr Lit-For Liu (translated), Mr. Hok-Yuen Tong, Mr. Hing-Chung Yip, among others – donated significantly for the foundation fund. President Mr. Joseph Hui and the Vice Presidents also donated generously, meeting with the overall financial needs. Ex-Lieutenant-General of the Province of British Columbia Dr. David Lam, benevolent industrialist Dr. Cheung-Kok Choi, and Hong Kong Justice of Peace Mr. Lit-Man Liu not only helped financially, but also supported in spirit and accepted being Honourary Permanent Presidents of the Association, giving immeasurable espousal to the directors, who were grateful of their encouragement.
The organization of the Association entails three Honourary Permanent Presidents, six Honourary Directors, fifteen Honourary Advisors, one President, six Vice Presidents, and eighteen Directors. The tenures are two years. The purposes of the Association are to unite fellow villagers, serve the community, develop education, promote commerce, putting together excellent and capable Chiu Chow talent, taking care of the elderly, and helping new fellow Chiu Chow immigrants to British Columbia.
The past year has seen the holding of ten events of various nature, enabling the members to get in touch with the three-tier governments and other sectors. Each event has had enthusiastic responses, with participations of between three hundred to six hundred each. Regarding a long-term goal, the directors agree that a location of its own where the Association can call home is essential, as all-rounded provision of services demand such a location. To that end, a committee has been set up in the hope of soon meeting the expectations of all.
When the Ninth International Chiu Chow Gathering was confirmed to be hosted in Shantao, the Association decided immediately to participate. Family members were also encouraged to attend. In 1997, the Association published the event programme of the First Inauguration Dinner, introducing the Ninth International Chiu Chow Gathering, so that fellow Canadians can get to know more about the event, letting the world know about the Chiu Chow people’s achievements. The Association salutes the representatives of the Gathering, wishing them a successful event. Last but not least, to all forerunners we invite and welcome your comments and suggestions.