Much water has crossed under the bridge since the Wa Sung Baseball Team commenced its conversion in 1952 toward a service organization. With 16 stalwarts to "brave the unknown", they concentrated their efforts, without hesitation, to achieve their goal.
From the beginning, a rummage sale was their money-making project and with those assets they provided food baskets on Thanksgiving eve to the needy. The Bowen boys, George, Henry, and Al (related) were the backbone of Wa Sung. Others were: Gay Wye, Loche Kai Kee, Joe Lee, Ed Yee, Blackie Chan, Al Huie, Wing Lew, Hector Eng, Ralph Liu, Frank Lim and Ed Hing.
Many of the meetings were held at the Chinese Presbyterian Church; dinner meetings were also popular, enjoyed at the Bamboo Kitchen on Grand Avenue. In later years the pancake breakfast provided supplementary funds, consequently, additional community services were added, i.e., Alien Registration, Chinatown Beautification, Chinese Swim Party, Oakland Junior College Loan Fund, Scholarships and Chinese movies. Various projects were gradually eliminated because they no longer served their purpose, to be replaced by others. Monetary aid to all the Chinese Churches and to the major Chinese school, youth support and isolated emergency requests, which occasionally surfaced, were seldom neglected to complete additional worthy projects.
The first Wa Sung directory was published in 1962. Each additional year they improved and today they are in great demand because of the numerous interesting illustrations, information available and historical value. Profits from the annual brochures contribute toward our community service programs.
To be successful, an organization should have an incentive, a goal, a worthy cause which would attract dedicated members. We are fortunate many qualified members from various professions, the business world, civil services, etc., responded. In the past decade Oakland Chinatown has grown tremendously; somehow this resurgence must have influenced inactive members because now some have resumed interest and return to fraternize among their own. Since many of our meetings are held in Chinatown they feel comfortable in an old environment where their roots lie.
Many outsiders look upon the Wa Sung as an important and influential organization representing the Chinese Community, we must not disappoint them.