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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Hawai'i's influence on Sun Yat-sen to be discussed

By Vicki Viotti
Advertiser Staff Writer

The birthday of Sun Yat-sen, the one-time Hawai'i resident who came to be known as the father of the Republic of China, will be marked with a free public panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Hilton Hawaiian Village South Pacific Ballroom.


• Contact: Janis Koh or Bernice Bowers at 536-1539, or janis@neaforum.org or bernice@neaforum.org.

The event, "Hawaii's Impact in Shaping Dr. Sun Yat Sen's Activities and Modern China," will begin with remarks by Al Castle, historian and executive director and treasurer of the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation.

The panel also will include Michael Lestz, China scholar and special adviser to the University of Hawai'i president. The moderator will be Rose Tseng, chancellor of UH-Hilo and vice president of the university system. A question-and-answer session will follow presentations by Castle and Lestz. Their discussion will provide a view of the life and times of Sun Yat-sen in China and Hawai'i.

Topics to be covered include the role that Hawai'i academic institutions played in Sun Yat-sen's life, including 'Iolani School, Punahou School, and Mid-Pacific Institute. Panelists also will cover Hawai'i leaders and supporters who influenced his worldview and the Western model of democracy that Sun witnessed in Hawai'i.

There will be an exhibit of artifacts from his life and work and materials from the many Hawai'i groups that supported him throughout uprisings against, and eventual defeat of, the Manchu Dynasty. Architectural renderings and descriptions of the planned Sun memorial park will be presented by Donald Goo, principal with Wimberly, Allison, Tong and Goo.

The event is sponsored by the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Hawaii Foundation with assistance from the Northeast Asia Forum. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to create the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Asian Garden and Learning Center at the Foster Botanical Garden, which will be an important cultural, educational, and historical bridge.