Marvels of China: Pathways to the Pacific Rim


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Marvels of China: Pathways to the Pacific Rim navigateright Episode

SHOW #123: June 9, 2018

When I was in Hawaii recently I read a very touching obituary about the one and only Vera Ako -whose stage name was Vi Wong- who at age 88 years â€œwent over the rainbow” in Kailua on March 23. In the 1960s she was among the first wave of Asian American pioneering entertainers who dazzled audiences across North America, Europe and Japan at such venues as the legendary Forbidden City Nightclub in San Francisco, California. Celebrities who attended these Chinese performers included Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Duke Ellington. Vi Wong was part of the dance team headed by legendary Dorothy Toy -who just turned 101 years young- and Paul Wing -at a time when Hollywood overlooked the talents of Asian American performers. 
Joining me from Honolulu on Conversations on the Saturday, June 9 broadcast of Marvels of China: Pathways to the Pacific Rim was Vi Wong’s daughter, Diane Ako. An award-winning journalist, Diane Ako anchors and reports for Honolulu’s ABC affiliate KITV Island News. She’s also reported at stations in California, Pennsylvania and New Mexico and worked at KHON2 and KHNL. Her reporting has garnered ten first-place award from the Society of professional Journalists’ Hawaii Chapter and four Emmy nominations from the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Check out her blog at 

Vera was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in Year 2013. Her family requests that you consider a memorial contribution to the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine â€œin memory of Vera Ako.”  Here’s how:
1) Indicate if it's for the Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Education Fund (#12722004), the Preclinical Research Fund for Alzheimer’s (#12583204), or both

2) Please make checks payable to UH Foundation

3) Mail to:
University of Hawai‘i Foundation
P.O. Box 11270

Honolulu, HI 96828