A Tribute to Ming
August 10, 2013
On this August (!) day in high summer CHF Friends celebrated the 89th birthday of its founder, Ming Tchou. Ming’s birthday, on the fourth day of the seventh month on the Chinese lunar calendar (hence her July 4th birthday on her U.S. passport), fell on August 10 on the western calendar this year. Following a Chinese tradition of celebrating the 9th year of a decade (9 in Chinese is pronounced the same as ‘for a long time’) and therefore looking forward to another decade in a long, full life, CHF Friends feted Ming at a gala dinner at the Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington on her actual 89th birthday on August 10.
A steady stream of guests began to arrive promptly at 5:00 PM. They included many of Ming’s longtime friends in the Twin Cities, as well as supporters of CHF. They mingled in the Garden Terrace, sipping champagne (real or imaginary) and snacking on a roasted suckling pig (a must on a birthday) richly decorated by Asia Bistro Catering. Soon it was time to move to the dining room that had been richly decorated with hanging red lanterns and illuminated dragonfly lanterns at each table.
Upon being seated at their assigned tables, guests were pleasantly surprised to find photos of themselves (usually taken at Passage events over the last nine years), each with a personal note from Ming. Many were overwhelmed by this touching gesture from Ming and the upwelling of good will surged through the rest of the evening.
After a dinner of delicious beef and cod board members of CHF Friends gave a biography of Ming, grantmaking history of CHF, and activities of CHF Friends. Among the most significant of these activities was the commissioning of a new, contemporary opera by Chinese composer Bright Sheng and librettist David Henry Huang, to be produced by San Francisco Opera in the fall of 2016. Bright, a dear friend and admirer, had expressly carved time out of his busy schedule to come in person to offer Ming his (and David Henry Huang’s) personal good wishes. More information about this project will be forthcoming on a separate page. To conclude the festive evening everyone toasted Ming and wished her many more years of a fruitful and full life.