The following is an excerpt from an interview by Sue Mar with Cathay Post #186 Service Officer Francis Gregory as part of a documentary video project funded by Cathay Post #186 and the City of Seattle’s Neighborhood Matching Fund. The video, Cathay Post, American Legion #186: A Legacy of Camaraderie, Community and Patriotism, will premiere at the Wing Luke Museum on November 12.
Sue Mar: What are your thoughts on Cathay Post and their role in the community?
Francis Gregory: Well, that’s a tough question. It’s changed quite a bit. As the members get older, and we’re not getting newer members, it’s hard. I guess once it was quite active in the community, now it’s not so much because the members are older—we need young blood, is what we need. At one time [Cathay Post #186] was quite active in the community so right now what I see at the Post is we don’t do that. We don’t have the manpower or the members.
Mar: As a fairly new member of Cathay Post, do you have any recommendations on how Cathay Post can stay alive and keep flourishing?
Gregory: Well, one of the things I was thinking about, is to become more visible. I know we are visible in the community, but to become more visible on college campuses. Like I said when I retired I had worked at Edmonds Community College for a while at their veterans office and that’s how I got involved with the Post. So I’m thinking if more veterans who are going back to school would become aware of Cathay Post, especially Asian veterans, that might be an attractive place for them to come to. And also the benefits that the Post would have, I think that would be attractive.
Mar: Would you like to say anything else about Cathay Post?
Gregory: I’ve gotten to know quite a few of the members and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them and working with them. Jack Pang is quite an interesting person. … Yeah, Jack’s an interesting guy. He’s the one who got me involved with the service. He’s great. But, it’s been quite interesting. I wish I had gotten to know some of them when the Post was more active.
To learn more or join the Cathay Post, #186 of the American Legion, contact post Commander Lloyd Hara at [email protected] or (206) 283-9681. For more on the International Examiner’s Cathay Post #186 project, visit www.iexaminer.org/cathay-post-186-project.