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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, July 19, 2001

Scholarships perpetuate Lin Hing Society

By Hugh Clark
Advertise r Big Island Bureau

HILO, Hawai'i — When Man Chong Wong died in May at age 87, Hilo's Lin Hing Society lost its last member.

The Chinese immigrant support group will live on, however, through a $40,000 gift to pay for scholarships going to students of Chinese ancestry at the University of Hawai'i-Hilo.

The Lin Hing Society, a religious and cultural group, underwrote funerals and supported elderly Chinese immigrants who did not have immediate family.

The leftover money in the treasury will be used to benefit Big Island students of Chinese descent or those who come to Hilo from the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, a major source of immigrants who spoke the Cantonese dialect.

Man Chong Wong's father, Wong Kit, came to the Big Island as a contract laborer in 1900 and was a co-founder of the benevolent society.

"The Lin Hing Society wanted a better life for their generation and beyond," said Rodney Wong, son of Man Chong Wong and grandson of Wong Kit. "This money by itself is a small portion of what our ancestors have given us ... What better gift could you leave to future generations than a college education?"

Rodney Wong, a well-known Hilo musician, said it was his father's wish to use the money for a worthy purpose.

"My dad had very high moral standards and believed it would be wrong (to keep the money)," he said.