Friday, 17 August 2012 00:00
We are saddened by the sudden loss of former Angel Island detainee and docent volunteer Dale Ching. He passed away on August 6 at the age of 91.
Dale was a valued member of the AIISF family. He will be missed.
Rememberance by Eddie Wong, retired Executive Director, AIISF
I will always remember Dale Ching with deep appreciation and affection. As AIISF prepared for the grand reopening of the Immigration Station in February 2009, Dale always stood by ready and willing to be interviewed by reporters for the hundredth time. He was the "real deal" - a man who spoke simply and authentically about his confinement for 3 ½ months on Angel Island as a 16 year-old immigrant in 1937. He patiently answered any and all questions; his words reached national and international audiences and helped reveal the tragedies and triumphs that encompass the Angel Island story.
Becoming a voice of the Angel Island experience wasn't something Dale planned on doing. In fact, he only consented to visit Angel Island after his children and grandchildren urged him to "show us where you landed in America." During that visit, he saw dozens of schoolchildren and he asked them what they thought of this place. The answers dismayed him as the children only focused on the scenery and ferry ride. He made up his mind on the spot to become a docent.
He spoke softly, but he never afraid to speak up about the unfair treatment of the Chinese immigrants and their unjust detainment. Through his patient telling and retelling of his story, he made a lasting impression on thousands of schoolchildren who attended the tours he gave several times a week between 1991 and 2005.
I can see him now smiling broadly just as he did every year when he attended the AIISF Annual Gala with his sons Raymond and Bowman. He was so proud of all that we have built, and we will be forever grateful to him.