Saturday, August 20, 2016

Two Asian/American pioneers pass away


Frank Quan at the helm.
Reprinted from As Am News
THE FIRSTFilipino/American elected to public office on the United States mainland and the last remaining shrimp fisherman from China Camp near San Francisco have both died.

Frank Quan died of natural cases at the age of 90.

The Marin IJ reports he was the only remaining resident of China Camp which was established in the mid-1800s by Chinese immigrants.

"to his dying day, he fished in the waters there, maintained historic buildings and machinery and restored boats,” said Martin Lowenstein, executive director of Friends of China Camp. “He was a fully active member of the community, working to keep the village alive and functioning.”

At its height in 1880, China Camp was home to 500 Chinese shrimp fisherman,but water diverted to Southern California left the waters at China Camp too salty for shrimp to survive. In 1977, Quan was among those who successfully pushed to make China Camp a state park after developer Chinn Ho donated the land to preserve its legacy.

Monte Manibog
In Southern California, G Monty Manibog, 86, died Aug. 12 after a battle with lung cancer. The Asian Journal reports the former mayor of Monterey Park, Calif. was the first Filipino/American elected to public office on the United States mainland. He was elected to the city council in 1972 just as the city's Asian/American community was making its presence felt. He was the city's mayor for three terms.

"The desire to serve others is what motivated Monty to seek and to hold public office for so many years of his lifem" wrote his son, Monte Manibog Jr., in an essay about his father for Pasadena Now.

As a probate attorney, he maintained his law office in Pasadena. 

He was also an athlete and competed for the Philippines in the Helsinki Summer Olympic games in 1952 as a wrestler. In the 1990’s he won three consecutive gold medals at the California Senior Olympics.
(Views from the Edge contributed to this report.)