It all started in 1868 when Lam Toi got on a boat in Hong Kong and, after 68 arduous days at sea, landed in Honolulu. Here he became a successful businessman, started a family, and in 1889 was one of the founders of Lum Sai Ho Tong, a Lum (Lam) family benevolent society designed to help others immigrating to Hawaii. Fast forward to today, Ron and Pat Rollins of Minneapolis, Minnesota, organized a Lam Toi Family Reunion. Pat Rollins is Lam Toi’s granddaughter born to his 13th child, Grace. The reunion was sparked by Ron and Pat’s recently published book, “Our Lam Family History in Hawaii”, and it was time for the descendents of Lam Toi to gather and see each other at Ala Moana Beach Park.
The following day, Ron and Pat, and 20 members of the Lam Toi Family visited Lum Sai Ho Tong to pay homage to the organization that Lam Toi founded 133 years ago.
Ron and Pat’s book details the early history of the Chinese in Hawaii in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It includes research into the five generations of Lam Toi family and the efforts to find the information. It also includes the recent trip to their ancestral village in China and information on the two benevolent societies that Lam Toi founded. A lot of excellent research went in to writing this book and is definitely a good read for those interested in the Chinese in Hawaii.
Lam Toi Family Reunion at Magic Island, Ala Moana Beach Park. It was a beautiful day for a picnic.
At Lum Sai Ho Tong, Ron Rollins tries his hand with the Chinese Fortune Sticks. He asks the goddess Tin Hau a question and shakes the container until a stick comes out which is her answer. It must have been a very complicated question because a whole bunch of sticks fell out… we decided to give him a “do over”.
On the top floor of the Lum Sai Ho Tong clubhouse, under the watchful eyes of the past presidents, descendents gathered to pay respect to Lam Toi who was a past president of LSHT for 18 years. Granddaughter Pat Rollins is seated holding Lam Toi’s picture (wearing black).