Sunday, June 13, 2010

Uncle Loon, Auntie Fay , Jimmy and Ming

Uncle Loon was one of the members of the happy clan at the Van Nuys Ranch. He was related to Jue Joe (grand nephew) and Jue Joe helped him come over to the United States . Because of the Oriental Exclusion Act he was unable to emigrate under his real name and used a fictious name as many Chinese did as a "paper son" , hence the name "Loon" .His real name was Jue Chan Lum. His grandfather was Jue Joe’s older brother. He was only 10 years younger then San Tong but belonged in the generation of San-Tong’s children. Fay , Loon’s wife was the older sister of Ping, San Tong’s wife , so the family bonds are deep .
Uncle Loon had two boys Jimmy and Ming , who are around my age . Jimmy and Ming have been regular members of our clan gatherings over the years and now their wives and children as well .

Here is Uncle Loon in 1938.
(Auntie Soo Yin:This is Cousin Loon (Chan Lum) in 1938 standing in front of Leong Shee's cottage.He was 22-years old, having arrived from China only six-years earlier at the age of 16 (the age that I was told).)

Here is Uncle Loon in 1941 at the Van Nuys Ranch

Here is Uncle Loon in 1942 at the Saugus Ranch.

The picture below is of Uncle Loon , Auntie Fay , Jimmy and Ming circa 1970 or so .

edited 3/23/2011
On his 1937 trip back to marry Yee Lai Ping, San Tong shot video of Fay Loon's first wedding . That video is featured and discussed in this post .


  1. Jew Nui was the oldest sibling of Jew Joe. He was the first brother to be sponsored by Jew Joe to California. Gentle by temperament, he took after his father Jew Leong Kao, Jew Nui became a fisherman and also worked for a canning factory in Monterey, California. In immigration deposition Jew Joe said that his brother then obtained a job in Alaska. Jew Nui set sail for Alaska to work on an offshore oil platform. But there was a violent storm and the oil platform (or ship) exploded and sank, drowning Jew Nui. News did not reach Jew Joe for several months. Jew Nui was survived by a son, San Shia Jeong, in Sum Gong Village, Sunwui District. San Shia Jeong was San Tong's 1st cousin. He was also Jimmy and Ming Loon's grandfather. San Shia Jeong later died in the Village and was survived by his son Nay Chan Lum ("Nay" being the generation name). Chan Lum's mother arranged a marriage for him, but later Chan Lum's wife died in the Village. They had no children. Jew Joe then sent for 16-year old Chan Lum to Los Angeles because he felt that his grand-nephew would have a better future in L.A. than in Sum Gong. With no opportunities for Chan Lum in Sum Gong Village Jew Joe feared that his grand-nephew might run wild and go "haywire." As Jew Joe became the head of his China family, after brother Nui died, he put the well-being of family members ahead of himself. He was determined to take care of his late brother's family as well as the families of his other brothers. I remember Chan Lum as a sweet and loving man. We all lived together on the Jue Joe Ranch and I used to follow him around and watch him do his errands. He played with my siblings and I, and I loved his gentleness. When he became a young man my father San Tong, my sister Pingileen, and I accompanied cousin Chan Lum to San Pedro Harbor where Chan Lum sailed to Sunwui, China (Xinhui town), to marry a special woman. That woman was my mother Yee Lai Ping's older sister, Fay (the mother of Jimmy and Ming). Fay's first husband left her a widow and then their 3-year old daughter died of childhood disease. According to Chinese custom, my older sister Soo-Jan would have been adopted to take the place of Fay's daughter, then she would have been Jimmy and Ming's sister. However, Fay was a devoted daughter and looked after her mother Madam Yee. When civil war created intolerable conditions Fay fled to Hong Kong with her mother and her two brothers. When Madam Yee died, there was no reason for Fay to remain in HK. So my mother Ping wanted her sister in America where she would have a better future. She arranged for Chan Lum and Fay to meet. It was a perfect match. I was so happy to hear from Cousin Chan Lum, when he returned from China, that his new wife would be coming soon. My mother Ping was so happy, too. In anticipation of Fay coming, Ping sewed new maternity clothes for Fay because she was pregnant with Jimmy. My sister Joan helped paint and decorate a baby basinet. And we all pitched in to make ready Leong Shee's cottage for the new family. When Ping saw Fay at the immigration station in L.A. for the first time after so many years (Ping was 19-years old when she last saw Fay), the two sisters embraced and cried their eyes out. It was a very moving moment. Auntie Soo-Yin.

  2. In Western culture Jimmy and Ming Loon are my cousins twice removed according to rules of relationship on their father's side. But they are my 1st cousins according to rules of relationship on their mother's side; this is because their mother is my aunt. In Chinese culture we are all considered "immediate family" without consideration of measured distances. Auntie Soo-Yin.

  3. According to San Tong: Nay Chan Lum had an older sister named, "Ah Gam." And Ah Gam married a man who's surname was "Yee." In the late 1920s or early 1930s Ah Gam and her husband moved to Hanoi, Vietnam, to live. For the French had many factories thriving there, and as a consequence, a growing pool of Chinese labor. Auntie Soo-Yin.