Portland Lodge Charter Officers 1921
By Raymond Douglas Chong, AsAmNews staff writer
During the Year of the Ox, the Portland Lodge of Chinese American Citizens Alliance in Oregon will celebrate its 100th anniversary. They will mark the anniversary year with several events. On Sunday, February 28, 2021, they will kick off with a virtual party.
During the era of 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, a group of Chinese Americans founded the Portland Lodge on February 24, 1921. Lee Hing was charter president, and Chuck Wing Moy was Charter vice president. Grand President Leong Kow from San Francisco chartered the Portland Lodge and installed its officers.
Portland Lodge immersed itself in the local community under the national mission of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance. The Lodge teamed with community groups for China relief.
Portland Lodge fought on the national stage in a campaign to obtain family reunification of wives in China with their native-born husbands. The Immigration Act of 1924 virtually shut down the hope of immigration for the non-citizen women. The United States federal law prevented immigration from Asia
In 1933, Portland Lodge hosted a national convention for the first time, the 14th Biennial National Convention, during a term of Walter U. Lum as Grand President. Foremost issue was immigration rights and family reunification, namely bringing Chinese wives to America.
Membership dwindled for Portland Lodge in the time of the Depression and then World War II.
During the second half century, Portland Lodge thrived with its Basketball program and other marked accomplishments.
The teams competed in the City of Portland’s Parks and Recreation program for seasons over several decades. There were many teams that served boys and girls , 5th Grade to 12th Grade boys, and middle school as well as high school girls. A highlight of the season was the annual Portland Jamboree Tournament as well the road trips to Seattle for the Al Mar Invitational Tournament.
Recent Advocacy Efforts
Since 2007, the Portland Lodge has striven to transform a barren gravel space of old graves to the Cultural Heritage Garden at Lone Fir Cemetery. As a memorial, it will honor the Chinese sojourners in Block 14 to right the historic wrongs and actions.
In 2017, Commissioner Dan Saltzman and Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat dedicated a bronze plaque in the heart of the city’s original Chinatown. Portland Lodge donated the plaque to commemorate the contributions of Portland’s early Chinese settlers
In 2017, Portland Lodge advocated passage of Oregon Senate Bill 280 to fund Oregon Social Studies and make it inclusive of all Oregonians.
They wanted to ensure that Oregon students learn about the history and incredible contributions of Chinese Americans and communities of color whose stories seldom make it to the history books.
In 2019, Mayor Ted Wheeler issued a Proclamation on the 150th Anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. It recognized the sacrifice and contribution of the Chinese railroad workers.
In 2021, Portland Lodge will honor World War II Chinese American Veterans. They will present individual Congressional Gold Medal replicas to living veterans and next of kin of deceased veterans C.A.C.A. National led the efforts in advocating to Congress to pass Chinese American WW II Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act.
The Portland sponsors an array of annual programs for the Chinese American community.
- Asian American Youth Leadership Conference. It helps Asian American youth rise above the obstacles before them to achieve their potential by promoting education, instilling self-confidence, and developing leadership skills.
- Fred G. Lee & David Lee Quan Memorial Scholarships . It is open to qualified students of all ethnicities in Oregon and Clark County, (State of Washington) high schools.
- Awards & Recognition Dinner. It showcases the activities of the Portland Lodge, recognizes the many volunteers, and presents awards to the local winners of the C.A.C.A. National Essay Contest and the winners of scholarship recipients.
- Toy & Food Drive – With the Asian Health & Services Center , Portland Lodge purchase gift cards and will share the gifts with needy Asian families, during holiday season.
- 1882 Project Celebration – In 2011, the House and Senate passed resolutions expressing the regret of the Senate for the passage of discriminatory laws against the Chinese in America, including the Chinese Exclusion Act. The 1882 Project Celebration educates people about the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and its history. C.A.C.A.
- Social activities. They socialize Spring Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Holiday.
- Voters registration. Portland Lodge strives to increase voter registration, voter participation, and sustained community involvement for the Asian American community They are supporter of National Voter Registration Day.
- Annual Chinese New Year and Anniversary Celebration. This annual event brings together members, friends and elected officials to celebrate Chinese New Year and Portland Lodge’s anniversary where they showcase their accomplishments and garner support to help fund the youth and civic education programs.
At the national level, the Portland Lodge is involved with several programs with Grand Lodge.
- National Civil Rights Discussion Series. C.A.C.A. hosts discussion on various civil rights issues.
- National Essay Contest. The Contest provides a forum for expression by the youth intended to foster creative thinking and encourage an awareness of current local and world events.
- National Art Contest with Chinese American Museum. The Contest is a nationwide juried art competition for students from kindergarten to 12th grade, in four grade divisions.
- C.A.C.A. National Biennial Convention. Lodges of C.A.C.A. celebrate their achievements, work for greater progress, and hear from inspiring speakers, members of the community, and the voices shaping the Chinese American future.
- C.A.C.A. National Advocacy Program. C.A.C.A. advocates against racial discrimination, defended civil rights, opposed anti-immigration movements, and countered efforts to marginalize American Chinese culture and heritage.
Portland Lodge invites the public to kick off a yearlong celebration of its 100th Anniversary. Travel down memory lane as they go back in time to 1921. A journey that unfolds highlights benchmarks and milestones along the way.
- What: Portland Lodge Chinese New Year & 100th Anniversary Celebration
- When: February 28, 2021, 4 to 5 pm (Pacific Standard Time)
- Where: Virtual Event via Zoom
- Registration: Register for the event with [email protected]
Feel free to contact them at [email protected] for questions or further information.
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