Ching Family
—Photo Mrs. Anna Au Wong

Ching In’s children in an old Waipahu photo studio setting. Mrs. Yun Choy Au (“Apo”), Mrs. Yen Kam Lum, Ching Pui and Mrs. Yen Lun Tom.

Information about Apo’s family from the book

Ancestral Reflections
Hawaii’s Early Chinese of Waipahu
An Ethnic Community Experience, 1885 – 1935

by Douglas Dai Lunn Chong

CHING IN, one of the few first-generation vegetable farmers whose family could be traced, cultivated taro, rice, bananas and vegetables in the upper Waipahu-Waipi‘o area, in what is now the back road of Paiwa Street [near the current location of Waikele, the large outlet mall].


Naomi at Waikele

Naomi at Waikele, a large outlet mall on Oahu, near where the family farm was located.


Ching, who was born in March, 1840, in the Nam Long region of Chung Shan, came to Hawai‘i in 1874. He later settled in Waipahu with his bound-foot wife, Ching Lee Shee, following her arrival from China in 1884.

Ching Lee Shee
Great-great grandmother Mrs. Ching In (Ching Lee Shee).

A year later, their beautiful daughter, Yen Lun, was born. Together the Chings raised a family of five children on their farm of several acres leased from the ‘I‘i-Brown Estate for $60 a year. They retired around 1910.

Their children, all born in Waipahu, included three girls and two boys. One daughter married an O‘ahu Sugar luna, while another married a Nam Long rice planter from the windward side of O‘ahu.

Ching Kwan Yut [sic (this is the spelling used in the book)], their eldest son, became an early Waipahu butcher while the younger son, Ching Pui, was a skilled carpenter for O‘ahu Sugar who later became a noted Honolulu contractor. Both brothers were well known Waipahu baseball players in their youth.

•  •  •  •

 Kwan Yet’s birthday

Group photo taken at Ching Kwan Yet’s 75th birthday party at the well-known downtown Honolulu restaurant Wo Fat sometime in the very early 1960s. Thanks to Hung Chee Tom for sending us this wonderful picture.

Seated at the table, left to right: Aunty Mary Pearson, Aunty Ah Chin Loo, Grandma (Dorothy Kim Chun Sakamoto), Irene Tom (Hung Kee’s wife).

Standing: Yen Lun Tom, Ching Kwan Yet (the honoree), Apo, Uncle Bob and Aunty Anna Wong, Uncle Stanley Loo, Dad, Hung Kee Tom (Yen Lun Tom’s son, Hung Chee’s brother), and Ching Pui.

It was at this party that Apo accompanied her brother Kwan Yet from table to table to “help” drink a toast to his good health on this special occasion of his 75th birthday. Kwan Yet was sipping ceremoniously out of his teacup but after awhile Uncle George Au and others at Dad’s table noticed that Apo was refilling her jigger with the whiskey bottle at each new table. Uncle George finally got up and said, “I think I’d better go collect mother.”

It wasn’t until then that anyone realized that Apo drank at all. It was a shock to see that she was apparently quite accustomed to it and was unfazed by the large amount she had already consumed before being “collected.” On the other hand, it may explain why she looks very happy in the picture.