Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Tree Memorial Ceremony

Harry Panagiotes, Director of the Monterey Park Recreation and Parks Department welcomed all to this special event that is held every year. Residents and/or service clubs can nominate the honorees. The honorees are people who gave beyond the call of duty. A committee selects the people who would be honored for that year. He introduced Committee Members Edward Brogan, Susanna Cheung, Kathryn Foster, Herb Motonaga and Patricia Reichenberger.

Mayor Mitch Ing, Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Wong, Councilmembers Betty Tom Chu, David Lau and Frank Venti joined with residents in honoring Dr. Francis Wu, the late Milton Ching Shai and G. Monty Manibog on May 20 with trees planted in honor of their dedication to Monterey Park at City Hall.

Councilmember Frank Venti and Beth Ryan of Langley Center nominated Dr. Francis Wu. In 1980 she chose Monterey Park as the city she wanted to live in. She established the Golden Age Senior Village. It is affordable housing for low-income senior citizens.

Dr. Wu said a lot of Chinese come to Monterey Park who do not speak English. She built the project to help the Chinese speakers live together.

Mr. Wong praised her as a lady of good taste and generosity. She provided housing for 150 families to enjoy living in Monterey Park.

Mrs. Chu congratulated Dr. Wu. It was difficult to set up the funding to build the project. Funding was denied to most Chinese groups. She was able to get HUD involved in the project to get the funding. She built the project and still tends to the gardens and the residents. She is a real hands on person who gives from her heart.

Mr. Lau said he has known Dr. Wu for many years. She is an activist with passion for seniors. Her project is the best maintained in the city. She is a hometown hero.

Mr. Venti advised the audience the Golden Age is opened to all. The Chinese immigrants had a language problem that motivated her.

Mr. Ing read the proclamation honoring Dr. Wu before he presented it to her.

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Council joined Dr. Francis Wu, Beth Ryan and Senior Senator Song Park in front of her tree planted at City Hall near Newmark Avenue.

Councilmember Frank Venti nominated the late Milton Ching Shai, a dedicated volunteer at Langley Center. He was always there for the seniors. He was a volunteer. Mr. Venti said he met with Mr. Shai 15 minutes before his untimely death. He choked to death on a piece of meat during lunchtime and was not able to be saved.

Laverne Wong, his sister, praised the Lord for Milton. He was born in Hawaii. He struggled with his disabilities at school. He helped out his friends since he was unable to hold a job.

Mrs. Wong praised her brother as a dedicated volunteer at Langley Center for the last six years. He cherished life after the death of his parents and brother. God put Milton in our live to share God’s love.

Mr. Venti praised Milton Ching Shai as a special person. He is pleased to have known him.

Mr. Ing praised Milton Ching Shai as a volunteer for our city.

Mr. Wong praised Milton Ching Shai as a person with a smiling face. He was a good citizen and a volunteer.

Mrs. Chu remembered Milton Ching Shai as brightening up the lives of the senior citizens.

Mr. Lau praised Milton Ching Shai as a person with a lot of energy, love and passion to serve people. He was so friendly.

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Mr. Ing and the Council presented a proclamation to Laverne Wong in honor of her brother, Milton Ching Shai, who died at the age of 63 at Langley Center.

A tree was planted in his honor in the yard at Langley Center where he spent many happy hours volunteering.

Norma Rodriguez and several other community members nominated G. Monty Manibog for his dedication to the city. His wife Jean and he raised their family of six children in the city. She stated that Mr. Manibog brought Chinese businesses into Monterey Park. She praised him for all that he has done for the city as a Councilmember who helped Monterey Park become an All American City. He was the tie-breaking vote to approve the construction of the new City Hall and Langley Center. He dedicated himself to make Monterey Park a better place for all.

Monty Manibog congratulated Dr. Wu and the family of Milton Ching Shai. He thanked Mrs. Rodriguez for her introduction. He thanked the Council for his award. He thanked his family and friends for their support. He is pleased to be here to achieve this award. It is like icing on the cake. The promise of America is that we can rise up to do anything.

Mr. Ing joked that Frank Venti would not endorse him in the race for City Treasurer because he was endorsing Monty Manibog.

Mr. Wong congratulated Monty Manibog. He called him a great leader for endorsing several new public buildings in the city. He is an unselfish leader.

Mrs. Chu praised him as a well-known person in California. She asked Monty Manibog to help her get March Fong Yu elected. His reputation has crossed generations. She thanked him for making life better in Monterey Park.

Mr. Lau stated that he has known Monty Manibog for many years. He had the foresight for Monterey Park. He keeps in touch will all the residents. He is a great person, family man, husband, grandfather and a friend to the community. He is our hero.

Mr. Venti told several stories about Monty Manibog. He praised him for building the new City Hall, Langley Center, the Police and Fire Department buildings. He is so glad Monty Manibog had the guts to build this building. He is proud to stand by Monty Manibog.

Mr. Ing read the proclamation honoring Mr. Manibog before he presented it to him.

Mr. Manibog explained all the buildings were built with tax increments. No taxes were raised for the projects.

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Monty Manibog and his wife Jean were joined by Council in from of his tree that is on the Ramona Avenue side of City Hall.

Each memorial tree planted at City Hall, Langley Center or on Garvey Avenue has a brass plaque naming the honoree.

Refreshments were service at the end of the ceremony.

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