September 11 Digital Archive

Tin Din Ng

Title

Tin Din Ng

Source

transcription

Media Type

interview

Chinatown Interview: Interviewee

Tin Din Ng

Chinatown Interview: Interviewer

Florence Ng

Chinatown Interview: Date

0000-00-00

Chinatown Interview: Language

Cantonese

Chinatown Interview: Occupation

CCBA

Chinatown Interview: Interview (en)

Q: This is the Museum of Chinese in the Americas’ historical oral recordings. Today we have invited the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association chairman, Mr. Ting Deng Ng, for an interview. I am Florence Ng, and I will conduct the interview. Could you please tell us when you came to America?

NG: I came towards the end of 1975 to America. Before 1975, I went from mainland China to Hong Kong, and then came to America. For eighteen years, I worked in the Hong Kong educational environment. When I first came to America I, well, when I first came to America, the main reason was that I was concerned about my children’s education, I had four children that were going to go to college, and at that time, Hong Kong’s situation was very difficult, and there weren’t so many slots for students, and college was very difficult… So I came to America. Having arrived in America, my whole family worked at textile factories, laundries, restaurants, and for over ten years, I worked continuously for the sake of my daughters. So as far as that time goes, I didn’t really know much about New York’s Chinatown. That’s because I didn’t work in Chinatown during that time. I worked on the outside, in places like Manhattan and Queens, so I didn’t know too much about New York’s Chinatown. Ten years ago I had retired, and since I didn’t have anything to do after retirement, I went back to a family clan organization, and other community organizations, localized, locally organized community groups, and I joined some organizations of people with the same birthplaces. I got to know Chinatown from that time on.

Q: Chairman Ng, when you first came to America, what was your impression of Chinatown? What problems existed in Chinatown?

NG: In 1975 when I came, back in 1975, Chinatown didn’t have so many immigrants. The immigrants started coming after the eighties. When I came, most of Chinatown was garment factories, textile shops, and, as far as Chinese people went, they worked in textile shops or in restaurants. At that time, Chinatown wasn’t so flourishing. It was very quiet. That was thirty years ago.

Q: At that time, did Chinatown have any serious problems, such as safety, housing, or troublemakers?

NG: Back then, Chinatown, because most of the… the history goes like this, in the beginning, most of the people in New York’s Chinatown had been from Taishan, there were lots of people from Taishan, and a lot of decisions were made by those from Taishan, all the way until they created the Lian-cheng Gong-suo. In Chinatown, Wen-ye was mainly used by the people from Taishan. This situation continued all the way until the eighties before it started to change, because in the 80s, China became more open, and after it became more open, lots of new immigrants came. Due to the shock of this wave of new immigrants, Chinatown changed. It started to change. In any case… Because the living area within Chinatown is so restricted, a lot of the new immigrants expanded out into the outer areas, developing into the surrounding areas. Chinatown couldn’t handle so many new people, living there, staying there, working there, and so forth, and that’s why they expanded into the surrounding areas. So after the 80s, it shifted and expanded towards Flushing, Brooklyn, and developed into these new areas.

Q: Chairman Ng, when you joined the community organizations and did public service, which of the major groups did you join first?

NG: It was the Wu Xu Shan Gong-suo.

Q: At that time, what role did you serve?

NG: At that time, I joined and served as a copy clerk, a secretary. I acted as a secretary on behalf of Wu Xu Shan Gong-suo. And I also joined the Hai-yan Same-Village Organization, this was one of the Chinese-American same-village organizations within the Chinese Community Center. We had all been born in the same area, and I acted as the chairman of the Hai-yan Same-Village Organization. Later, I joined the Taishan Province Independent Middle School Alumni Organization, I joined that, and acted as the meeting chief for six years. Now I am still the chairperson of the Dong-shi Committee. After the eighties, I joined the Xie-sheng Gonghui, and the American Business Assistance Organization when I joined I became the secretary, I acted as the secretary for them all the way to today.

Q: Chairman Ng, how did you later join the CCBA?

NG: Well, it was like this, I was in a number of organizations, and I had worked as a chairman and a clerk and a secretary, and I came into contact with more and more of the Chinese-American organizations in the Chinatown Chinese-American community. There were a lot of meetings with Chinese-American organizations because I had acted as the chairman for sixty Chinese-American organizations, and often came back to hold meetings, so I met a lot of them.

Q: Chairman Ng, I believe you took office in 2002?

NG: Yes.

Q: So that was already about half a year after 9/11 occurred. How big was the impact of 9/11 upon Chinatown, in your opinion?

NG: Oh, it’s like this. Before I had taken office, the previous chairman, in ’01 -- At the time of 9/11, Zhong Qiao-zheng had been acting as the chairman of the CCBA. Ever since 9/11 occurred, the CCBA has done a lot.

Q: What do you think was the greatest impact that 9/11 had upon Chinatown, for example, which businesses or areas were most affected?

NG: 9/11 had a big impact on Chinatown. Ever since 9/11, since they closed off all the roads, it affected – all of Chinatown was paralyzed. Since nobody could move, business couldn’t go forward for about a week or two. Factories and textile mills all closed up, and transportation was stuck, causing there to be more and more unemployed people. So all of the business in Chinatown was impacted. After a few weeks, when they lifted the restrictions on entering, Chinatown couldn’t rebound, and business… There was nobody coming to Chinatown. The businesses at the time, all of the businesspeople suffered to an extent that can’t be put into words.

Q: After 9/11 occurred, did the CCBA lead in coordinating other organizations to do some services and planning related to disaster relief?

NG: In that regard, Chairman Zhong Qiao-zheng, in 2001, Chairman Zhong Qiao-zheng was serving when 9/11 took place, and the CCBA immediately opened all our locations and let those relief organizations set up in our community centers. We supplied these locations without attaching any conditions. Lots of relief organizations, even government economic assistance organizations, all set up at the CCBA. We hoped that we could diligently assist the government, and we worked hard to help our Chinatown citizens.

Q: How big was the effect of 9/11 upon Chinatown? Has the total loss been calculated?

NG: There hasn’t been an official calculation. I think that at that time, for one year or half a year, none of the businesses could go forward, and all of them, not just some of them, they all said that they had huge losses.

Q: Chairman Ng, where were you when 9/11 occurred?

NG: I was in Chinatown when 9/11 occurred. I was there until after 9/11, in March of 2002, when I took over as the chairman of the CCBA. I continued with all of the work that had been done by the previous chairman, and we did things more openly. After I took over… it was like this… the important thing was restoring the economy of Chinatown, the most important and most critical first step was restoring the economy of Chinatown. In that regard, what I did was, I cleaned up Chinatown, that’s the first thing, I wanted to clean up and beautify Chinatown, and I wanted everything about it to attract visitors, because Chinatown is a tourist destination. If the visitors don’t come, then it doesn’t matter what we do, everything will be useless. So in that way, we worked hard to attract tourists, and we did things like hold parades and floats. Last year was the most successful, there were two or three hundred thousand people that came and took part in our parade activities, and we wanted to try hard to attract more of these visitors, because that’s the only way to restore Chinatown’s economy.

For many years, we requested that the government come and help us fix the roads, because a couple years ago the roads in Chinatown were really bumpy and raggedy and driving wasn’t convenient, and so we requested that the government fix the roads. They’ve already completed it, and they’ve opened up all the roads again. Now there’s only Park Row that hasn’t yet been reopened, the rest have been reopened. This has been a big help to Chinatown. Next, we worked hard to negotiate with the government about the parking problem. In addition, we have already started making a ceremonial gateway, we want to create a Chinese-style, a colorful Eastern, Chinese-style ceremonial gateway in Chinatown. We’ve collected donations from a lot of good people. Our work has already gone through the second district, and got the help of the third district and Manhattan, so we can do it. We’ve already asked Mr. De He Tie Ji to help us apply to the government on these plans. This work is all to beautiful Chinatown, and to attract visitors.

NG: In the beginning when I was at Hong Kong, because I had some siblings and some relatives, all of them in America. My entire family had already left mainland China then, they had all left mainland China.

Q: Left where in China?

NG: Taishan. Taishan in Canton. I’m of Taishan descent. After 1957, our entire family left Taishan. The old folks, several of the old folks, some somewhat younger ones and my sister, everyone came to America and Canada. Myself, I stayed in Hong Kong, because I hadn’t… I had to stay in Hong Kong to finish my education. I remained there all the way through 1967 or ’68, when Hong Kong started becoming having violent protests, at which time I had already applied to come to America. My older relatives applied for me to come, and I was accepted, but I didn’t go, at the time I thought that there was no point in coming to America. Especially if we could live all right in Hong Kong, we didn’t want to come to America and struggle. Especially my old folks and my other relatives all said: “You’re a teacher, and people in academics are useless in America, because you can’t speak English, so if you come, it’s just to suffer.” And they didn’t encourage me to go. Now, 1967 and ’68 was a time of violent protests in Hong Kong, and I had been accepted, but I didn’t go. All the way until ’73 or ’74, I continued to stay and work in Hong Kong, temporarily at Bo-ya Academy.

Because of my children, my children, they had all studied from elementary school to high school, and three or four of them were going to go to college in a row. In the 70s, in Hong Kong, having several children to go to college was an impossible financial burden, unless you were a rich family. It was just an impossible burden. The second problem was that at that time there weren’t enough slots for students in colleges in Hong Kong, there was only one Hong Kong University and a newly established Chinese Literature University, just these two. And in these circumstances, my children would have no chance of studying further. And my own abilities weren’t sufficient to provide, to provide for my children. In ’73, I had a daughter who tried to get into college, but was unable to test into it. She didn’t get a high enough score. After they finished studying at secondary school, they’d have to start work, and none of them felt they had any hope for the future. And so I decided to come to America. Standard of living was one thing, but the main issue was my children. I had heard, although I didn’t know it personally, in America, if you want to study, you can always study. And it was in search of that ideal that I brought them over with me.

Q: Chairman Ng, after you came to America, was the life there the same as what you had imagined? Or how did you adjust?

NG: I, I, as far as I go, I just do whatever, it doesn’t matter. Even when I was in mainland China, if I ploughed the field, I just ploughed it. In this regard, I didn’t think of doing anything else, I didn’t give up on things, I definitely wouldn’t do that. I just hoped that I could be very stable, that my life would be stable and that my children got a good education. That’s all.

Q: Chairman Ng, when you taught in Hong Kong, what did you teach, what classes and where?

NG: It’s like this, I was at an academy, Bernard College, I was an administrative head and I managed the administration.

Q: OK, Chairman Ng, could you please introduce to us to the CCBA and how you came to be selected as the chairman?

NG: It happened like this, the CCBA has already had 120 years of, 120 years of history. In the beginning, in the very beginning, the people from the Taishan Ning-yang Organization went and acted as the chairman of the CCBA. Because one hundred years ago, the Chinese in New York, 99% of them were from Taishan, Taishan people, so those who acted as the chairmen of the CCBA, and those that took responsibility for things at the CCBA were all people from Taishan. Each year, the chairmen came from the Taishan people. Later on, before 1990, there was a period of ten or twenty years when there were a different four, they weren’t from Taishan, I think Enping, Kaiping, and they weren’t Taishan, there were even those from other provinces, and when they came, there wasn’t any reason why the CCBA was just for Taishan people, so they formed a group, Mei-Dong Lian-cheng Gongsuo, Lian-Cheng Gongsuo, and later they had a revolving chairman. Later on, it would be two-year periods, the Lian-Cheng Gongsuo would lead for two years, and then it would go back to Ning-yang, and then Ning-yang would do it for two years and then give it back to Lian-cheng, like that. The selection of the chairman was done like this: once every two years, and I’m doing it now, it was in ’02, started in ’02, and I was put forward as a candidate by Ning-yang Gongsuo, and was selected by the greater organization, I was selected by 84 members to be the chairman. They have to put forward two or more candidates. Ning-yang Gongsuo has to put forward two candidates, and then the greater organization selects the chairman. They ended up selecting me. To put it another way, after I finish, it will go to Mei-dong Lian-cheng Gongsuo, and they will have to put forward at least two candidates. Speaking of the organizations within the CCBA, there are 60 Chinese-American groups, 60 Chinese-American groups, and outside those 60 Chinese-American groups, there are also twenty-four members, and of those 24, there are eight committee members who are selected from Lian-Cheng Gongsuo, and the other eight committee members come from Mei-dong… I mean, Ning-yang Gongsuo selects them. The other eight committee members are selected from the Business Organization, all together, that’s 24 members, and the 60 community groups, and in this way, they make up the CCBA.

Q: Chairman Ng, could I bother you to explain a little what the CCBA did after 9/11 occurred in order to provide disaster relief? Is there anything currently going forward now?

NG: After 9/11, besides doing some work that progressed over many months during the end of 2001, we also did lots of work with the government. All of that work, we did for the government without making any sort of demands. We didn’t get any kind of economic… everything we did, we ourselves believed that we should do however much we could do, however much we could help the government, we did that without any… so in this regard, we were just a kind of assistance to the government, and we didn’t have any sorts of demands towards them.

Q: For example, Chairman Ng, you must have been involved in the allocation of disaster relief funds—

NG: They didn’t come here for allocation of relief funds. There was 750,000 to be spent, but even up to now, they haven’t even done it.

Q: Why?

NG: Because there are many, many technological problems that haven’t been solved. Congressperson Velazquez worked with us to help us apply for 750,000 dollars to help with transportation issues, but now, because of technological problems, lots of things need to be solved, and there still hasn’t been a satisfactory resolution.

Q: As far as the transportation problems go, what kind of problems are they? Or what needs to be improved?

NG: This problem extends rather far, because it involves the entire Lower East Side, how to solve transportation issues, and they have to find an expert to do it, they have to do a “proposal,” how do we say “proposal” [in Chinese]?

NG: Jihuashu. So they need to find an expert to create the proposal, and after that they need to think about how they’ll carry it out, and only after that they can apply again to the government, so we’re still in the preparation stage. It hasn’t been completed yet.

Q: So the application has been going on from the time of 9/11 all the way until now?

NG: At that time when we applied, after 9/11, the Development Office still had some money left over, and they wanted to allocate that remainder to use, and we applied, and they approved 750,000 dollars, but all the way until now, they haven’t started.

Q: But have you calculated when they will be able to officially start?

NG: As far as that goes, we’re in the midst of consulting on it, because government matters have a lot of problems relating to support.

Q: OK, well, Chairman Ng, I’d like to ask in regard to the disaster relief carried out after 9/11, there were lots of Chinatown civic groups that took part. Do you feel that the overall coordination and progress went along smoothly, or were there some problems that had been overlooked?

NG: As far as that goes, it’s like this. As far as I see it, earlier, not before 9/11, but a long, long time ago, Chinatown was split into two worlds. One was the traditional overseas Chinese community; the other was Zeng-Zheng Organization, the American Fujianese Association, the Hua-lian Organization, and because of political issues, the two sides didn’t join up. You ignore me, and I won’t pay any attention to you. And on lots of issues, they opposed each other. When I took over as chairman of the CCBA, well, I had this kind of thinking – why do we Chinese people let these small issues divide us like that, you ignore me and I ignore you; if we don’t unite together, then no matter what we struggle for, we can’t achieve it, so in this area I put forth a lot of effort. I made overtures to a lot of other Chinese-American groups, other Chinese-American groups, and in this regard, I wanted everyone to work together in this direction. OK.

NG: While I’ve been at the CCBA, from the previous administration until now, and it will be two years in another two months, and then my term will be completed. I’ve always felt that two years is too short, I can not accomplish a lot during that time. My greatest wish, I believe that the Chinese-American community must become more unified. Regardless of whether or not someone is a member of the CCBA, they are still our fellow Chinese-American compatriot, and we should all be united. Everyone can have his own opinion, and can join together on the things we have in common and listen to those opinions different from our own. We can unite our efforts to work hard for things that we agree on, and on those topics we disagree on, you can have your opinion, and I’ll have my opinion. But everyone definitely has to unite, we have to unite on good terms, that’s the only way we can succeed, only as part of mainstream society can we actually accomplish something. If you strive for this and I strive for that, then there’s no benefit for Chinatown.

Q: Chairman Ng, 9/11 is already two years ago, now, with your remaining time, what areas of Chinatown do you wish to improve, or do you have any advice on what can be achieved?

(Tape SIDE B)

NG: I think, as far as Chinatown goes, our ceremonial arch… we have to do it. We’ve already consulted on every aspect of it, and a lot of specialists have said to us, you don’t want to rush this sort of thing, you don’t want to try to get it all done in a couple years or a year and a half, this isn’t something you can hurry up. You’ve got to take your time to do it. My hope is that this is something that the next chairman and the following chairman will all continue working on. A ceremonial arch would be, Chinatown needs to have a symbol, and if it doesn’t, I think that’s not good. If we had a ceremonial arch, it would be good for the Chinatown economy, it would be good for everything, it would be a benefit to everything. The first thing we ought to do is the ceremonial arch, the second thing we need to do, as I’ve said before, the Chinese people need to unite. It doesn’t matter what form it takes, but we must expand our group in order to have the power to develop our Chinatown.

Q: Chairman Ng, I know that historically, Chinese-American organizations have divided up into political factions. Do you think that this situation has improved at all?

NG: Before, to the extent that I know, before, the leftist faction – what we call the left and the right don’t interact with each other, they almost consider each other enemies. There’s a lot of people who, when it comes to the right-wing faction, that is, the Nationalists, a lot of people won’t go join their Nationalist celebrations or anything else. Even if it was just having tea parties, just going out to drink together, they still wouldn’t go. And the tea parties hosted by the leftists went the same way, the Republic of China [i.e. Nationalists] and those of us who are more traditional won’t go join them. I think, that problem has gone too far. There’s no need for it to be like that. Why must it be like that? Everybody is Chinese, so why do we need this political stuff. If you want to talk politics, go talk it by yourself. But as far as Chinese go, as far as Chinatown goes, we need to unite. Towards that end, I’ve already worked really hard, and I’ve tried to invite those in the Hua-lian social circle to take part in the traditionalist activities. That would be the American Fujianese Association, the Fujian Tong-xiang-hui, the Hua-lian Zong-hui, and the organization of Mr. Liang Guan-jun. We’ve tried hard to invite them to come and do things with us. For example, beautifying Chinatown -- when we cleaned the streets, we invited them to come. When we cleaned up Mott Street and East Broadway, we did it together, everyone did it together, and we had a good time, and we at the CCBA did it together with them. So in conclusion, I hope that the Chinese people will unite.

Q: Chairman Ng, I’d like to ask, after 9/11, do you think that the mainstream media and the government treated Chinatown with sufficient importance?

NG: I’d say that looking at it from the present day, the government doesn’t treat us as important. I’ve said many times that we can’t cry sour grapes, but on many issues the government doesn’t consider us to be important.

Q: What do you think is the reason for that?

NG: We’ve already done lots of applications, and we’d like to work with the government to do things, but we haven’t gotten any help from them.

Q: Have you ever thought of what the reason for that might be? For example, the community groups in Chinatown not being sufficiently united? Or something else?

NG: One of the reasons is the lack of unity. I think the main reason is that we haven’t been able to push Chinatown out in the public eye. We definitely need to push Chinatown’s current situation out into mainstream society, and cause mainstream society to understand our situation. If we are always living closed off from others, then the problem becomes very serious, and it will greatly influence Chinatown’s future development. In the last two years, I have tried hard to push Chinatown onto the Western [i.e. non-Chinese] newspapers and mediums, and cause those people to understand that there is a Chinatown… We need to get them to respond. If they don’t respond to Chinatown, then the result will be very bad for Chinatown.

Q: Chairman Ng, I’d like to ask you, do you think there is something influencing the mainstream media and the government, causing them not to pay sufficient attention to us? Do you think there is anything we can do to improve the situation?

NG: Regarding this area, my thoughts are like this. A lot, a lot of people think that we are discriminated against. But in regards to the issue of discrimination, we need to examine ourselves first. My thoughts are like this: We need to work hard to push ourselves out in the public eye. We can’t just… decide that because of some discrimination, we won’t do anything anymore. The more you discriminate against me, the more I push my own things out there, and see what you do about it. I think American society is very free. There are a lot of things we can strive for and achieve.

Q: Chairman Ng, what work do you wish for the next chairman to do in order to improve Chinatown? For example, promoting Chinatown after 9/11?

NG: It’s like this. Speaking personally, I can say that the following chairman, maybe they have something that they want to do. Everyone has their own thoughts on this. I’m not needed. I hope that all of Chinatown can unite, and that I can do more work to push Chinatown out into the public eye, and work hard to improve the economy of Chinatown.

Q: Chairman Ng, after you finish your term as chairman, what will you do? Do you have some plans?

NG: I will retire.

Q: Retire. How old are you, this year?

NG: I am over seventy.

Q: Over seventy.

Q: Chairman Ng, I’d like you to please speak a little, what plans has the CCBA had for promoting the small businesses of Chinatown?

NG: We’ve requested that the government create a small credit organization to serve small businesses, and we’ve already gained the government’s approval, and now all the small organizations, and each small group needs to take responsibility to make progress. That small business credit organization will be able to help the small businesses do the work of getting credit, and we’re currently moving ahead on this project, we’re doing it now.

Q: Chairman Ng, how long will this plan take? And what does it consist of?

NG: The plan will last a year.

Q: And what does it consist of?

NG: It consists of helping the small businesses make their applications.

[END]

Chinatown Interview: Interview (zh)

<p> 問︰這是華人歷史博物館口述華埠紀錄計劃。今日我們請到中華公所主席伍庭典先生接受採訪。採訪人是我﹐吳翊菁。請你講一下你是幾時來美國﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰我是一九七五年年尾來美國的。在一九七五年以前﹐我一九七五年由大陸到香港﹐直至來美國。那十八年就在香港教育界做事的。我初初來到紐約﹐我做過…因為當時我來美國主要就為仔女的教育問題﹐當時我有四個仔女要上大學﹐因為香港當時的環境不容許、沒有那麼多學位﹐而且大學好不容易…所以我移民來到美國。來到美國之後﹐我全家人在製衣廠、洗衣館、餐室我都做過﹐十幾年我只為生活為兒女的教育奔勞的去做。所以當時來講﹐我對紐約華埠是沒甚麼認識的。因為我所工作的地方不在華埠﹐是在外圍﹐好似曼哈頓區、皇后區做事﹐我對紐約華埠的認識不多。十年之前我就已經退休﹐我退休後沒有事做﹐我返來姓氏團體、其他的社團、地方性地方組織的社團﹐我就參加這些同鄉會的組織。自從那時起﹐我接觸了華埠。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐當時你來到美國對唐人街的印象如何﹖同唐人街有甚麼問題?</p>
<p>伍廷典︰一九七五年我來的時候﹐一九七五年﹐唐人街未有那麼多移民﹐移民多是八十年代以後的事。我來的時候﹐<br>

唐人街多數是做衣廠、做衣館﹔唐人來講﹐做衣館、做餐室﹐當時唐人街沒有現在那麼旺盛的。是好靜的﹐這是三十年前的事。</p>
<p>問︰當時唐人街有沒有譬如治安上、住屋或人蛇的問題﹐比較嚴重的?</p>
<p>伍廷典︰當時唐人街﹐因為多數是… 還有這樣的歷史的—初時在紐約唐人街的多數是台山人﹐台山人多﹐所有好多事決定是在台山人手裡﹐直至後來才有聯成公所。初時來到需要做事的、在唐人街搵野做的都是以台山人最多。這情形﹐直至八十年代才開始有轉變﹐因為八十年代中國大陸改革開放﹐開放之後﹐好多新的移民到﹐受新的移民的衝擊﹐唐人街就變了﹐就開始變。無論…亦因為唐人街地方環境的局限﹐所有好多新的移民要向外發展﹐向外圍去發展。 因為唐人街不能容納那麼多﹐住呀﹐居住、工作等一定要向外發展。所以形成了八十年代以後﹐形成要向法拉盛、布碌崙兩國新的地區發展去。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐你參加社團公職的時候﹐第一個參加的主要的團體是那一個?</p>
<p>伍廷典︰是伍胥山公所。</p>
<p>問︰你當時擔任甚麼職務﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰我當時是進去當文書﹐書記。於伍胥山公所做書記。再加入去海燕同鄉會﹐這是中華公所屬下僑團之一的海燕同鄉會。<br>

是我們的出生的鄉下﹐我做了海燕同鄉會的主席。隨後再參加台山縣立中學校友會﹐我加入去﹐做了六年的會長。現在仍是董事會的董事長。八十年代之後﹐我參加了協勝公會﹐ 美商協勝公會﹐入去都是做書記﹐擔任他們的書記長直至現在。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐你後來怎樣加入中華公所﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰當時是這樣的﹐因為我在幾個會當中﹐我做了主席﹐做了文書、書記工作﹐同華埠僑社的僑團接觸越來越多。有好多中華公所入面僑團的事﹐因為我做了六十僑團的主席﹐常常回來開會﹐所以接觸比較多。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐你應該是二零零二年上任﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰是。</p>
<p>問︰ 即九一一發生之後半年左右。你覺得九一一對華埠的影響有多大﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰哦﹐是這樣的。我未上任以前﹐前一任﹐ 即零一年﹐ 九一一時是鍾僑征做中華公所的主席。自從九一一發生之後﹐中華公所做了很多功夫。</p>
<p>問︰你覺得九一一影響華埠那一方面最大﹐ 譬如甚麼行業﹐或者地區﹖</p>
<p>
伍廷典︰九一一以後對華埠影響大啦。自從九一一發生﹐因為封鎖了所有的道路﹐所以影響到﹐整個華埠是癱瘓了。即不能動﹐生意全部沒有得做﹐曾經有一兩個星期。工廠、衣廠最部關門﹐交通又不到﹐即是令失業的人越來越多﹐華埠所有的生意全部都受影響。經過幾個禮拜解了封之後﹐仍然華埠都是一闕 不振的﹐生意‥都沒有人來華埠。當時的商家﹐所有商家都苦不堪言。</p>
<p>問︰其實九一一發生後﹐中華公所有沒有統籌其他的團體做一些譬如賑災的服務或計劃﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰這方面﹐由鍾僑征主席﹐零一年﹐鍾僑征主席任內﹐九一一發生﹐中華公所即刻開放我們所有的地方給那些救濟的機構來我們的公所辦事﹐我們是無條件的供應地方。好多慈善機構甚至甚至政府的救濟機構都來中華公所﹐我們在這方面希望儘量幫得政府的亦幫得我們華埠唐人的我們盡力去做。</p>
<p>問︰911對華埠經濟上的打擊有多大﹖有沒有統計過損失的﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰正式的統計就沒有。我想當時一年半年內﹐所有的生意都不行﹐全部﹐不只是個別﹐個個都說要蝕本的。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐911發生的時候你在哪兒﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰911發生時我是在華埠。直至前任主席做了我於911之後的2002年三月份我就接任中華公所主席。我仍然按照上一任主席所做的工作﹐我們再加開放的去做﹐去做。<br>

我接任後﹐我…是這樣…主要是恢復華埠經濟﹐等華埠的經濟復甦是最緊要的最急需要做的第一步。在這方面﹐我就這樣﹐清潔華埠﹐ 第一個﹐希望清潔華埠美化華埠﹐ 希望各方面能夠吸引遊客﹐因為華埠是一個旅遊景點。如果沒有遊客來﹐根本我們講甚麼都沒有用。好像這方面﹐我們儘量去吸引遊客來﹐好像我們舉辦過的的遊行﹐即花車遊行。去年我們做的最成功﹐有二十、三十多萬人來參加我們遊行的活動﹐我們儘量希望吸引多些遊客來﹐只有這樣才能恢復華埠的經濟。</p>
<p>年多以來﹐我們呼籲政府來幫我們鋪路﹐因為唐人街早兩年的路真的是凹凹凸凸不平的﹐行得好不方便﹐曾經呼籲政府為我們鋪路﹐已經完成了﹐於華埠重鋪路﹐開放了其他的街道。現在只有柏路(Park Row)還沒有開放﹐其他的已開了。這幫助華埠不少﹐其次是泊車的問題我們儘量與政府洽商。另一方面﹐我們曾經、已經在做的是牌樓﹐我們想籌建一個中國式、東方色彩的中國式的牌樓﹐在華埠。得到我們善長人翁的捐錢﹐我們的工作亦已經經過第二區、第三社區和曼哈頓區的協助﹐我們可以做。我們最近又請得何鐵基 先生幫我們向政府申請劃則各方面﹐這些工作都是為美化華埠﹐即是吸引遊客的。</p>
<br>
<p>伍廷典︰我初初在香港的時候﹐因為我有些兄弟有些親戚全部在美國的。我整個家庭就已經在那時全部離開了大陸﹐全部離開大陸。</p>
<p>問︰離開大陸哪兒﹖</p>
<p>
伍廷典︰台山﹐廣東台山﹐我是台山人。57年後﹐我們全部整個家族都離開了台山。我的大佬、幾個大佬、細佬和妹﹐個個來了美國和加拿大。我自己﹐我留在香港﹐因為我又不…我留在香港搞我的教育的事。直至到我在1967、68年的時候﹐香港暴動的時候我已經申請來美國的﹐我的大佬申請我來﹐批准了﹐但我沒有來﹐當時認為來美國沒有用。即是說香港如果生活可以安頓﹐我們不希望再來美國「挨騾仔」。甚至我的大佬、親戚都說︰「你一個教學、辦教育的人來美國無用﹐你不會英文﹐你來只是來挨苦。」亦不主張我來。即1967、68年正是香港暴動的時候﹐批准了﹐我沒有來。直至到73、74年﹐我仍然在香港辦緊‥臨時的在博雅書院在做…</p>
<p>因為我的仔女幾個仔女﹐個個都讀到初中或者高中﹐成三、四個都要連續要上大學﹐因為在7幾年﹐在香港如果要供給幾個仔女上大學﹐經濟是一種沒可能的負擔﹐除了你是富豪啦。就是沒可能的負擔。第二個問題是香港當時的大學位不夠﹐只是一間香港大學和最新的發展的中文大學﹐是兩間而已。以這樣情況下﹐以後仔女需要讀書的是沒可能。以我自己的能力來講我是供不起﹐供不起仔女。在73年、74年之後﹐我有一個女直情要上大學﹐考不到。考不到點﹖以後讀完中學便要做事﹐ 即個個認為都沒有甚麼希望。我決意來美國。生活是另外一件事﹐但主要的是仔女﹐我聽說﹐我當時未知﹐美國如果你讀得書的﹐讀度邊度都有得你讀。只是為著這個理想﹐我就帶著他們來了。</p>
<p>
問︰伍主席﹐你來到美國之後﹐現實的生活與你來之前的期望是否一樣﹖<br>
或者怎樣適應呢﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰我﹐我來﹐我這個人﹐我做甚麼都得。甚至在大陸﹐我耕田我都一樣耕。對這方面﹐我無不想做邊樣﹐沒有放不下甚麼﹐這個我絕對無。我只希望能夠平平穩穩﹐生活上是平穩﹐等仔女受教育。只是這樣。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐你在香港時教書譬如是教甚麼科目或在哪裡教書的呢﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰這樣的﹐我在在一間書院(Bernard) college 做校務主任﹐我是打理行政的。</p>
<p>問︰ok﹐伍主席﹐麻煩你介紹一下中華公所的背景和當初你為甚麼被選為主席的呢﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰是這樣的﹐中華公所已經直至現在已經120年﹐120年的歷史。初初﹐最初的中華公所是台山寧陽會館的人去做主席的。因為點解呢﹐一百年以前來New York的華人﹐百份之99的都是台山人﹐是台山人﹐所以中華公所的事全部<br>
主席﹐和負責在中華公所打 的人都是台山人。年年的主席都是由台山人做下去的。後來﹐90年前﹐經過十幾二十年有其他四 ﹐即非台山的 - 好似恩平、開平﹐即不是台山的、甚至第二省的人來﹐來到無理由 中華公所只是由台山人做的﹐所以他們組織一個美東聯成公所﹐聯成公所呢﹐以後的輪流做主席﹐以後兩年一屆﹐聯成公所做了兩年﹐輪返給寧陽﹐<br>

寧陽做兩年又輪返給聯成﹐是這樣。主席的選出是這樣︰兩年輪一次﹐好似我現在做這樣﹐就是02年﹐02開始﹐由寧陽會館選舉候選人出來﹐ 由大會去選- 由84個會員去選主席﹐推舉一定要兩個以上。寧陽會館一定要推舉兩國候選人﹐就由大會選出主席﹐我僥倖在上次大會選出我。換句話說﹐我做完以後輪到美東聯成公所﹐要由他們推舉兩個以上的候選人出來。選主席亦是由84個會員來選﹐今年訂在19號選舉﹐下一屆的主席就會選出來。講到中華公所的組織﹐它是有60個僑團﹐60個僑團﹐60個僑團之外﹐另外有24個議員- 這24個議員內有八個議員是由聯成公所派出來的﹐ 另外8個議員是美東…是寧陽會館派出來。其他的8個議員是由商會派出來﹐即24個議員﹐60個社團﹐這樣構成中華公所的組織。</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐麻煩你簡介一下911發生後中華公所的賑災工作﹖有甚麼在進行中﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰我們911之後﹐除了01年年尾做個多月進行 的工作﹐我們曾經與政府做了好多功夫。所有那些工作我們全部是無條件為政府做的﹐我們沒有向政府拿到一個經濟上的…全部是我們自己認為做得幾多得幾多﹐我們認為幫得政府幾多得幾多﹐我們無…對這樣我們只是一種協助政府﹐我們對這是無要求的。</p>
<p>問︰但政府應該對譬如 911 賑災撥款…</p>
<p>
伍廷典︰賑災的撥款﹐它不是來這裡。即﹐ 有一個75萬的撥了出去﹐但直至現在仍然未成事。</p>
<p>問︰為什麼﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰因為有好多好多﹐技術上的問題尚未解決。維洛貴絲國會議員同我們幫我們申請了75萬給我們做即關於交通的﹐但現在因為技術上的問題好多事情要解決﹐現在未有未滿的結果。</p>
<p>問︰那交通的問題﹐大概是甚麼問題﹖或者是有甚麼要改善﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰這個問題涉及好廣﹐因為涉及整一個下東城﹐如何去解決交通﹐要找專家去做﹐先先做proposal ﹐proposal 叫甚麼? </p>
<br>
<p>伍廷典︰ 計劃書﹐計劃要找專家去做﹐做好了應該如何去實行﹐才再向政府去申請﹐現在我們還在辦理中。未有結果。</p>
<p>問︰即自從911那時已經申請到現在﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰即那時申請的﹐911以後﹐發展局有一筆款剩下的﹐剩下要撥落去做﹐<br>
我們去申請﹐它批了75萬﹐但直至現在沒有開始去做。</p>
<p>問︰但你有沒有預計甚麼時候可以正式開始實行的﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰這個﹐我們正在接洽中﹐因為政府的事情﹐有好多支持 的問題。</p>
<p>
問︰ok, 那伍主席﹐我想問譬如911之後的賑災工作﹐有很多華埠民間團體的參與﹐你覺得整個統籌上或進行上順不順利或者有甚麼忽略的﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰關於這個問題﹐是這樣的。照我看﹐以前﹐不是911以前﹐好耐好耐的以前﹐唐人街是分兩國部份﹐一個﹐就是傳統僑社﹔一個﹐是崇政會、福建公所、華聯會那邊﹐即因為政治上的問題﹐兩方面是格格不相入。你不理我﹐我亦不睬你。甚至有好多問題是對立的。我上任中華公所以後﹐就﹐我有這樣的看法- 為什麼我們華人來到這裡為了些小事你不睬我﹐我又不﹔如果你不團結的時候﹐你們要爭甚麼都是假的﹐我在這裡我出過力。我呼籲好多其他的僑團﹐其他的僑團就﹐在這方面﹐希望在這方面大家合作。ok.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>伍廷典︰我在中華公所﹐ 上任了直至現在﹐還差兩個月夠滿兩年了﹐我亦任滿了。我總是感覺得兩年的時間太過短了﹐我自己本身亦做不了甚麼出來。最大的願望﹐我希望僑社一定要擴大我們的團結。無論它是否中華公所的屬下的會員﹐總之是我們的僑胞團結﹐我們都應該一致的。大家﹐你可以有你的自己的意見﹐可以求同存異。同的地方可以儘量去協調去做﹐不同的地方﹐你可以有你的意見﹐我有我的意見。但一定大家要團結﹐要融洽地的團結﹐先﹐才可以爭得…即在美國主流社會上我們才可以爭得到東西﹐你爭你的﹐我爭我的﹐這不是華埠的福利。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐那911過去已經過去兩年多﹐現在剩下的時間﹐你希望華埠有甚麼地方更加需要改善﹐或有甚麼建議應該落實的呢﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰我想在華埠來說﹐我們的牌樓…</p>
<p>(錄音帶SIDE B)</p>
<p>伍廷典︰ 就﹐我亦任滿了﹐我總是感覺得兩年的時間太過短了﹐我自己本身亦做不了甚麼出來。最大的願望﹐我希望僑社一定要擴大我們的團結。無論它是否中華公所的屬下的會員﹐總之是我們的僑胞團結﹐我們都應該一致的。大家﹐你可以有你的自己的意見﹐可以求同存異。同的地方可以儘量去協調去做﹐不同的地方﹐你可以有你的意見﹐我有我的意見。但一定大家要團結﹐要融洽地的團結﹐先﹐才可以爭得…即在美國主流社會上我們才可以爭得到東西。你爭你的﹐我爭我的﹐這不是華埠的福利。</p>
<p>
問︰伍主席﹐那911過去已經過去兩年多﹐現在剩下的時間﹐你希望華埠有甚地方更加需要改善﹐或有甚麼建議應該落實的呢﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰我想在華埠來說﹐我們的牌樓…要做。我們已經同各方面接洽過﹐有好多專業的人對我這樣說﹐不要把時間 太緊﹐即不要希望一兩年或一年半載可以完成﹐這個時間無可能快的﹐只有慢慢的去做。我希望呢這件事就以後落一下一任或再下一任﹐一路做下去。有一個牌樓呢﹐就﹐唐人街先至有主要的目標係度﹐如果沒有的時候﹐我想不是太好。有一個牌摟在﹐對華埠的經濟、 甚麼都好﹐都好有陴益。第一樣要做的是個牌摟﹐第二樣要做的﹐我仍然講我的話﹐<br>
唐人一定要團結先﹐無論如何情形我們要擴大我們的團結先至有力去發展我們的華埠。</p>
<br>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐我知道歷史上華埠的僑團分了好多的黨派﹐你覺得這個情況有沒有些改善的呢﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰以前呢﹐照我所知的以前﹐左派﹐我們所稱的左派與右派是的不相往來﹐甚至或者敵對的。有好多﹐或者右派﹐國民黨那邊的﹐中華民國的慶典或如何的事左派的不會參加﹐甚至春茗﹐去「飲」而已﹐都不參加的。左派舉行的春茗﹐一樣﹐中華民國﹐即我們傳統的僑社都不去參加。我認為﹐呢個問題﹐太過﹐無需要這樣﹐為什麼要這樣呢﹐<br>

大家都是唐人為什麼要為這個政治﹐你返去講政治﹐你自己返去講。但在唐人﹐華埠來講﹐我們要團結先得﹐我在這方面﹐我亦做過工作﹐即我儘量希望邀請在傳統僑社做的活動﹐邀請華聯那邊的社團來參加﹐好像是福建公所、福建同鄉會﹐華聯總會﹐即梁冠軍先生那個總會。我們儘量邀請他們來做。甚至美化華埠﹐掃街都請他們來﹐掃勿街同掃 East Broadway我們都一起去做﹐大家一起去做亦得他們的好樂意同中華公所合作去做 。講到底﹐我總希望唐人一定要團結。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐我想問一下﹐911發生後﹐你覺得華埠接受主流媒體或者政府的重視 夠不夠﹖同其他譬如受災的社區比﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰我想照現在來講﹐政府不是很重視我們。我幾時我都講﹐不要話<br>
葡萄吃不到是酸的﹐好多事情政府不是很重視我們。</p>
<p>問︰你覺得原因在那裡﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰即是話我們好多申請﹐想幫政府甚麼﹐都得不到他們有任何的幫助。</p>
<p>問︰其實你有沒有想過原因在那裡﹖譬如華埠社團不夠團結﹖或者﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰不夠團結是其中之一﹐我想我們不能將華埠的東西推廣出去是最大的問題﹐我們一定要將華埠現在的情形 全推出到主流社會﹐等主流社會知。如果我們常封閉住﹐就呢個問題是相當嚴重﹐對以後華埠的發展相當有影響。<br>

在過去兩年內我儘量在西人的報紙、媒介我們儘量將華埠推廣出去﹐等人知道下有一個華埠﹐先至…有聲音啦先得﹐如果全沒有聲音﹐對華埠一些聲音都沒有﹐呢個後果真的好壞。</p>
<br>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐我想問一下你﹐你會不會覺得有一個印象﹐ 我們華埠的事情主流媒體和政府不夠重視﹖和你覺得有甚麼改善的辦法﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰在這方面來講﹐我的看法是這樣。好多﹐好多意見話我們被歧視。原本其實呢歧視本身來講﹐我們要自己檢討自己。我的看法是這樣︰希望儘量將自己推廣出去﹐不要…話因某一種歧視我們不想去做事。你越歧視我﹐我就越將我自己的事搬出去﹐看看你怎麼做。我想美國的社會都有自由呀﹐有好多事我們可以爭取得到的。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐那你希望下一任的主席做甚麼的工作改善華埠﹖譬如振興華埠911之後﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰即是這樣﹐個人來講﹐我可以講﹐即下一任﹐或者他們有甚麼要做是下一任的主席他們有 。全部有主見。我不用。。我希望華埠大家自己團結﹐自己多做工作將華埠推廣出去﹐儘量呢將華埠的經濟做得好一些。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐你離任之後﹐你會做甚麼呢﹖你怎麼打算呢﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰退休啦。</p>
<p>問︰退休。你幾歲啦﹐今年﹖</p>
<p>
伍廷典︰七十多啦。</p>
<p>問︰七十多。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐我想請你講一下﹐你們中華公所關於振興呢個華埠小商業的計劃﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰我們曾經向政府申請一個小型商業貸款的小組﹐就亦得到政府的批准﹐我們現在由小組﹐我們一個﹐ 一個小組去負責進行。呢個小型商業貸款是有些講座呀幫助小型商業做貸款工作﹐現在我們在進行中﹐在做。</p>
<p>問︰伍主席﹐這個計劃為期幾耐﹖同…有甚麼﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰這個計劃是一年。</p>
<p>問︰是包括﹖</p>
<p>伍廷典︰即包括我們所有的講座和幫些小型商業去申請。</p>
<br>
<p>[完]</p>

Citation

“Tin Din Ng,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed March 29, 2020, https://911digitalarchive.org/items/show/88950.