Samuel Chinque in 1951 — handsome dude!
Chloe Chinque introduces our father's archive, donated by his widow, Kin Yung (seated)
David Yip and Anna Chen, a chip off the old block
Anna, Chloe and Kin Yung
Today saw the launch of my father's archives at the London Metropolitan Archives as part of the Footprints of the Dragon project which documents the Chinese community in the capital. His is the "largest and richest" collection, including poems, political writing and diaries spanning 30 years of active political life, the earliest dating from 1936.
Samuel Chinque — Chen Tian Sheng — came over here as a seaman in the 1920s. His direct experience of the miserable conditions of his fellow Chinese sailors led to his radicalisation during a time of political upheaval and renewal. In 1936, when Japanese imperialism was devastating China, he formed the Anti-Japan Salvation Front in the UK, an organisation gathering overseas support for the Chinese in struggle against fascism, and which is now the Kung Ho Mutual Aid Association. He also helped form the Chinese Seamen's Union, studied Marx and became a communist.
In 1947 the Chinese CP asked him to set up the first overseas branch of the Xinhua News Agency which he ran until his retirement in 1981. He died in 2004 aged 96.
Samuel Chinque's Guardian obituary
Later, actor David "Chinese Detective" Yip gave a talk on his life in film and TV, and Dr John Seed took us through the history of Limehouse, the earliest Chinese community in London.
The food was fab.