Dear Legionnaires 親愛的會友：
We sincerely hope the Holiday Season brought everyone good health and happiness. The Lunar New Year is right around the corner and we wish you and your families a happy, healthy, safe, and prosperous New Year, the year of the Rooster.
The Post has been busy the last few months with many activities. In October, post members participated in the Republic of China Double Ten Parade in Chinatown. In November, the Post hosted the annual Veteran’s Day Parade on November 8th instead of the traditional November 11th to accommodate members who wished to participate in “America’s Parade” hosted by the United War Veterans on Fifth Avenue. The Thanksgiving Party was held on November 20th in the Chairman Peter Woo Auditorium where 230 Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of American Legion members, family and friends attended and enjoyed the holiday meal. For the fourth year, the Post hosted a visitation of 40 Midshipmen from the Naval Academy on November 12th. They are members of the Academy’s Chinese Cultural Club.
The most controversial and what many consider the most negative presidential campaign and election of the nation’s history have concluded. It is now time for all of us to unite and support our new President no matter whom you have voted for. To those who attended the National Convention in Cincinnati, both presidential candidates in their addresses to the convention delegates, promised to increase funding and create a better working environment for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The veterans, who have served our nation with distinction and honor, have been neglected for way too long. Their sacrifices and devotion to answer our nation’s call to defend our freedoms must not be taken for granted. The leaders of this nation must keep their promise to the service members and veterans for the benefits they have earned by providing better care to those in need of medical, housing, education and job opportunities.
The Department Membership Chairman Gary Schacher has expressed his concerns over the 56 percent membership renewal by Lt. Kimlau Post. In the past, the Post would have well surpassed the Department and National goal of achieving 75 percent membership renewal. The higher renewal rates in the past were largely due to the policy that was put in place many years ago to help members with transportation reimbursement. This policy was to be ratified by membership each year based on the financial health of the Post and other factors. The transportation reimbursement was purposely set at the same rate as the membership dues, to encourage member participation at Post functions and increase meeting attendance. Members qualified to receive the transportation reimbursement when they achieved five or more continuous membership years with our Post. We also encouraged members to substitute the transportation reimbursement for membership dues to reduce the extra steps of the back and forth mailing. At the first membership meeting of this year, the transportation reimbursement policy was modified so that qualifying members must achieve 30 continuous years instead of 5 continuous years.
One of the contributing factors for the change was to allow the Post an opportunity to find out how many of these members still want to be members of this Post or are even alive. Some people remain members of this Post mainly because they are enjoying free membership. There is no way for the Post to know about the status of a member when we receive no responses to inquiries or are not informed by the member themselves or by their families. With the new policy in place, we hope to eliminate this type of “ghost member” and not continue to waste our valuable resources. We also hope there will not be too many “ghost members” exiting. We would like to remind our members once again to remit your membership dues to the Post in a timely manner.
The Lt. Kimlau Post color guard unit has a long and proud history of serving our community. They not only an essential part of our annual Memorial Day Parade and Veterans Day Parade, they also participated in numerous community functions. They have received much praise and are widely recognized as the best color guard unit in New York County. But many in the color guard unit are of advanced age and we desperately need our younger members to step up and carry on this proud tradition. The Post realizes the cost of the color guard uniform is substantial; a reimbursement program to offset the cost has been instituted for many years. If you are interested in joining this proud and patriotic unit, please contact Post Headquarters for more information.
We sincerely thank the family of John H. Wong for making a $5,000 donation to create a scholarship in memory of our long time member. The purpose of the scholarship is to encourage members and member’s progeny for higher education. The “John H. Wong Memorial Scholarship” of $1,000 will be given to a student once a year for five years starting this year. Katherine Chew, granddaughter of Jue Wing Chew was selected by the Scholarship Committee to receive the inaugural scholarship award.
Katherine is a straight “A” student, majoring in Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
We were pleased to hand out Post Scholarship awards to ten well deserving recipients during the recent Post annual Christmas party, with each winner receiving $500. We would like to congratulate them on their outstanding achievement and wish them continued success in their future endeavors. We also handed out five Robert S. Wong Chinese Study Scholarship Awards. All award recipients completed a certified course in Chinese Study. Please note that the post has revised the scholarship application period to allow students to submit their scholarship applications from January 1st to August 31st.
本會在過去的幾個月中為會員提供及舉辦了各項活動。在本年十月，本會參加在紐約華埠舉行的 雙十節遊行。在十一月，本會每年在十一月十一日舉辦的軍人節遊行改在十一月八日舉行以便會 員參加在十一月十一日曼哈頓五大道由紐約退伍軍人同盟會主辦的美國軍人節遊行。每年一度的 感恩節午餐聚會在十一月二十日本會二樓伍覺長董事長禮堂及三樓舉行，有近二百三十會員及親 朋參加。海軍軍官學校的中文文化交流學會繼以往三年來再一次派四十會員在十一月十二日拜訪 本會並受到本會熱烈歡迎。
被眾認是美國有史以來爭論最激烈及最貶義的總統競選已經結束，無論你在選舉前支持你理想中 那一位總統候選人，現在我們應該團結一致去擁䕶及全力支持被選出的新總統。兩位總統候選人 於今年八月在辛辛那提舉辦的退伍軍人會第九十八屆年會致詞承諾將會對美國退伍軍人事務部增 加資源，為退伍軍人事務部創造更好工作環境去為退伍軍人服務。我們國家領袖不能忽略退伍軍 人們對國家的貢獻，他們為捍衛我們的自由而作出的犧牲是不容忽視的，政府領導人必須履行他 們對現役軍人及退伍軍人的承諾，對他們應享有的醫療服務，房屋分配，高等教育及就業機會提 供更好的服務。
紐約州退伍軍人會會員管核主任格理錫加對本會今年會員繳交會費速度表示非常關注，至目前為 止，本會近一半會員尚未繳交今年的會費，與往年超過四分之三已經繳交會費程度有點反常。往 年會員繳交會費之所以能達到快速進行最重要的原因是本會在多年來通過領取車馬費議案，本會 為鼓勵會員參與本會一切活動及關心會務，多年來增設車馬費，為了節省將車馬貴郵寄给合格領 取車馬費的會員及會員將每年會費寄到本會的郵費及手續，特別將車馬費定於二十五元與會費配 合，並呼籲及鼓勵會員以車馬費替代會費。在本年六月會員大會通過更攺車馬費議案，將由以往 入會五年合格領取車馬費改為三十年才合格。更改車馬費領取條件部分重要原因是本會利用這個 機會探索有多少長年本會代繳交會費的會員是否仍然想繼續為本會會員，甚或已先逝，因為他們 享有形同免費會員，他們從不與本會聯絡，基本上是無法得知他們的存在，希望只有很少這些會員。我們想再次提醒大家，請及時將會費寄到本會。
擁有悠久歴史及向來是本會引以為榮的儀仗隊不但是每年本會舉辦的國殤日遊行及軍人節遊行的 重要份子，而且這一隊威風凜凜及歩履整齊的儀仗隊更是紐約區公認的帥哥隊伍，他們對於服務 社區更是不遺餘力。只可惜近年已現青黃不接的狀況，隊員們多已年及花甲，極需年青一輩會員 補充，繼續為本會儀仗隊發揚光大。本會為減輕新隊員購買昂貴的儀仗隊制服，早已設定補助措 施。如你有意參加為儀仗隊成員，請向本會辦公室詢問詳情。
本會非常感謝黃雄源家人捐贈五千元設立「黃雄源紀念獎學金」，這為期五年的奬學金是每年頒 發一千元給一位學業成績優秀的學生。獎學金委員會選出就讀於麻省理工學院主修化學系的 Kathline Chew 為首屆獎學金得獎者。
本會在今年聖誕聚餐時頒發十名獎學金，每位領取獎學金五百元以表揚這一班年青得獎者勤奮向 學，希望他們繼續努力，力求上進。本會並頒發五名司徒旺中國文化獎學金，他們成功地讀畢中 文有關的課程。並請注意本會獎學金申請期間現改為由一月一日開始至八月三十一日截止。