By Molly Finn
Longtime Chinatown resident and advocate, Frank Chin received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tufts Medical Center’s 2014 Working Wonders benefit on March 26 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
This award recognized Chin’s immeasurable impact on shaping the physical, social, economic and cultural landscape of Chinatown over the years.
Former Boston Mayor and Chin’s close friend Thomas Menino introduced Chin at the event. He said that Chin is more commonly known as “Uncle Frank” because everyone he encounters in the community feels like being part of his extended family.
“‘Uncle Frank’ is the mayor of Chinatown, Frank Chin did everything … a humble guy, he never expected any of this stuff — this honor this evening,” Menino said.
Menino recognized Chin’s fervent goals to clean up Chinatown by working with three different mayors, each had very different styles, and to fight for continuing the operation of Chinese schools.
He described how “Uncle Frank” has embodied not only the ideals of Tufts, but the ideals of Boston: “He’s all about people, that’s what Frank Chin is all about…one of the things that make Boston work, one of those individuals.”
Chin is the patriarch of Chinese immigrant advocacy work in Boston’s Chinatown. Chin was appointed co-chair of a Grievance Task Force established by then Mayor Kevin White in 1969 to highlight community needs. He was instrumental in bringing many issues to the forefront and introducing resources into the community through his activism and outspokenness. The creation of the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, Asian American Civic Association, South Cove Community Health Center, Pagoda Park, and the annual Chinatown August Moon Festival were all made possible by Chin’s tireless efforts. For nearly five decades, he has advocated for community needs — affordable housing, cleaner and safer streets, small business and economic development, and youth development among others. Working Wonders is an annual signature fundraising event for Tufts Medical Center that features awards and a live auction to support compassionate care, leading-edge research and Tufts Medical Center’s commitment to treat all of their patients as if they are a part of their family.