Author: Ming Cheng Liau
I have spent 32 long years in the United States, living through moments of pure happiness and intense bitterness, moments of utter satisfaction and total frustration; however, the moments I think back to the most are the various Taiwanese community activities that I participated in. We were all motivated to come to the United States for different reasons. Regardless of whether we came to study, to start a business, or to search for a better life, we were all first-generation immigrants of an ethnic minority group, and we needed to mutually help and support one another in this foreign country. Had we not established our own communities, we would not have been able to generate power, and we would have found it difficult to survive in these foreign lands. Forming Taiwanese organizations was one of the United Formosans for Independence’s (UFI) important tasks in their early years. On Christmas 1969, I met Chen-rung Lin, who at the time was a high-ranking official in UFI, for the first time at Rung-chang Lin’s home. He told me that George Chang had assigned him to find Rung-chang Lin and I in Houston and ask us to help him establish a Taiwanese organization in Houston. Houston’s Taiwanese students already met fairly frequently, but they didn’t have a formal organization, so shortly after the Lunar New Year passed, the three of us gathered up our old friends, Sheng-Yi Chuang, Ho-I Huang, Chung-liang Kuo, Chia-ming Kuo, Wen-kui Yu, Tung-yun Ho, and Huai-chung Chen to discuss the establishment of the Houston Taiwanese Association. UFI was very popular in its early days, with the majority of its members being overseas Taiwanese students who all had a common vision. We didn’t distinguish between who was a UFI member and who wasn’t, we all worked together regardless, and UFI played a very important role in the birth of many Taiwanese Associations.
In the beginning, this organization was called the Formosan Club, since the use of the “Formosan” meant that it was an organization for Taiwanese people, with the implication that it opposed the Kuomintang. The firm stance that this should be an organization that “threats cannot bend and riches cannot corrupt” continues to hold true, even now. I drafted the charter and bylaws, and I still clearly remember one of the provisions in it, which stated that the Formosan Club was a non-political social organization. In those days, White Terror was rampant, and no one dared to openly participate in political activities, even though it was the thing they cared about the most. This truth was later proven by the fact that the association’s political activities attracted the most participants. With the detailed rules of the charter written out, we invited the highly respected Dr. Wen-rung Chueh to serve as the first president, and our preparations were complete. The Formosan Club was officially established and began operations in the second month of the lunar calendar, and in a blink of an eye, 25 years have already passed since then, with the association continuing to endure throughout all those years. Had it not been for Chen-rung Lin, the Houston Taiwanese Association could never have existed; after he came to Houston, he actively pushed for its creation. In 1975, when Cheng Y. Eddie Chuang was President, he proposed changing the name of the association to the “Taiwanese Association,” since “Taiwan” had become the more widely accepted name. That same year, he founded the Texas Formosan Federal Credit Union. The creation of the Houston Taiwanese language school and birth Taiwanese Heritage Society of Houston laid a very solid foundation for Houston’s Taiwanese community, which allowed for an even more brilliant future, and the eventual creation of today’s Taiwanese Community Center.
Sourced from Cheng Y. Eddie Chuang 08/2017
Translated from 308. 記休士頓台灣同鄉會起源 / 廖明徵 /08/2017