Frank and Kathleen Chin Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at KKCS’ Centennial Celebration

Boston, May 2, 2016, — Mr. and Mrs. Frank Chin were honored at the 100th Anniversary celebration of Kwong Kow Chinese School(KKCS) at Marriott Hotel at Copley Place in Boston Back Bay on April 29. About 500 guests, including Gov. Baker and President of Boston City Council Michelle Wu, celebrated this special occasion.
(L to R)Michelle Wu presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Frank and Kathleen Chin.

Mr. Frank Chin is a key member on the Board of Directors of the KKCS. Within the community, Mr. Chin is affectionately and respectfully known as Uncle Frank, because of his long lasting friendship and commitment to Boston’s Chinatown, and his wife is endearingly cal led Auntie Kay by many of their friends, young and old.

Mrs. Kathleen Chin was Kathleen Wong when she was born in 1933 in Guangzhou, China. She moved to Hong Kong when she was very young, and later immigrated to America in 1953. Uncle Frank and Auntie Kay met in 1953 and were married in 1962.

It was during this time that Uncle Frank and his brother Uncle Bill began to organize various community projects to improve the living conditions in Chinatown, which included organizing voter registration and the Grievance Task Force to highlight the need for social programs. The brothers became politically active in order to lobby for state and federal funds. As a result, funding came for affordable housing developments, elderly care, ESL programs, and other social services. Meanwhile, Auntie Kay opened the Cathay Corner Gift Shop that featured unique products and antiques from China and Japan. Cathay Corner was a social gathering, information and counseling center for Chinatown residents for over 30 years until her retirement.

Uncle Frank has had his hand in launching many major community projects, including South Cove Manor Nursing Home, South Cove Community Health Center, the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, Asian American Civic Association, and Wang YMCA. Since the 1960s, Uncle Frank has led many community initiatives to improve Chinatown both as an economic base for the Chinese Americans in the Greater Boston area and as a home for new immigrants. He has played a major role in moving forward Chinatown’s first affordable housing developments, Mass Pike Towers and Tai Tung Village.

In 1969, the then Mayor Kevin White appointed Uncle Frank as co-chair of the Grievance Task Force, to highlight and address community needs. Uncle Frank was instrumental in bringing many issues to the forefront, especially the community’s need for government assisted services. For nearly five decades, Uncle Frank has relentlessly advocated for community needs: English as a Second Language, affordable housing, cleaner and safer streets, small business and economic development, and youth services.

For 25 years, Uncle Frank served as the Purchasing Agent for the City of Boston, under the administrations of three mayors, Kevin white, Raymond Flynn, and Thomas Menino. He maintained a close relationship to the late Mayor Menino who affectionately called him “Uncle Frank” and consulted him frequently in matters that affected Chinatown. In order to garner political clout for Chinatown, Uncle Frank has led many voter registration drives. Even now, Uncle Frank continues to be active in many political circles and many politicians continue to call on him for his support.

Uncle Frank is the leader and a key member the Development Team on the Board of Directors of the Kwong Kow Chinese School. He was actively involved in securing a permanent home for the school nearly ten years ago. As challenging as it is nowadays, Uncle Frank continues to raise funds for the operation of the school that he loves.

Uncle Frank is the patriarch of Chinese immigrant advocacy work. He has had an immeasurable impact on shaping the physical, social, economic, and cultural landscape of Chinatown over the years. It is Uncle Frank’s good fortune and the community’s too, that for more than half a century, Auntie Kay has been the strongest and unwavering support for Uncle Frank. To Uncle Frank and Auntie Kay, we are forever grateful.