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Affinities: A Farewell to “Auntie Rose”

A gathering of mourners from Chinatown power broker Rose Pak’s memorial.


Garret Tom

(1 of 10)

Miranda Lin

(2 of 10)

Manly Wong

(3 of 10)

Zhen Zhen Li

(4 of 10)

Anna Au

(5 of 10)

Patrick Mak

(6 of 10)

Benny Lau

(7 of 10)

David Luo

(8 of 10)

Ana Marie Guber

(9 of 10)

Steven Kay

(10 of 10)


See all the Affinities photo shoots here.

Hundreds gathered at Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral the morning of September 24, some clad in suits and black dresses, others in street clothes, clutching white roses and boxes of Chinese pastries. All came to pay their respects to the departed civic leader Rose Pak, a lifelong champion of the Chinese community. “I moved to San Francisco in 1973,” said Miranda Lin, who woke up early to snag two Chinese newspapers containing tributes to Pak. “I saw all she did for us.” That included heading campaigns to rebuild the Chinese Hospital and construct the Central Subway. “Rose was colorful, dynamic—and demanding,” chuckled SFPD deputy chief Garret Tom, who served as a pallbearer. The service drew a throng of media and politicians, including Mayor Ed Lee and three former mayors. Around the corner, on Grant Avenue, Chinatown residents quietly convened before a screen playing a slide show of Pak photos. Many expressed gratitude and deep respect. “Despite all her sharp edges and even sharper tongue,” said Lee from the church’s pulpit, “at her core, Rose was motivated by love.”


Originally published in the November issue of San Francisco

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