Mary Soo Hoo Park to open this Saturday

Anyone who has followed our little blog over the years will know that we are excited to share the following invitation:

Mayor Thomas M. Menino , the Boston Redevelopment Authority & the Soo Hoo Family invite you to attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Mary Soo Hoo Park

Saturday, November 19, 2011, 1:00 PM

at the Chinatown Gate in Chinatown Park (adjacent to Mary Soo Hoo Park), corner of Hudson and Beach Streets.

This is an exciting day for Chinatown and all of downtown Boston. For us, it’s been a learning experience trying to see the park improved  over the years. We’ve also been taking photos of the construction—here’s our photostream:

Finally, here’s a short piece on Mary Soo Hoo, provided to us by a friend in the neighborhood:

Mary Soo Hoo
1937 – 2005

Mary R. Soo Hoo, was born in Cambridge where her parents operated a hand laundry. The youngest of four children, her mother died when she was just three years old. Mary met her husband Hing at the original Golden Gate Restaurant on Beach Street. They married in 1973 and were the parents of three beautiful daughters, Jadine, Cynthia and Angela. Mary and Hing were also business partners and successful res-taurateurs.

While still in her early twenties, Mary opened Mai Mai Coiffeurs on Tyler Street, the first hair salon in Chinatown. An involved business woman, she saw the need for services within the Chinese community. She was a founding member of the Asian American Civic Association where she helped launch Sampan, a bi-lingual English-Chinese language newspaper. She was a member and co-moderator of the Chinatown Neighborhood Council and it was Mary’s leadership, along with area vendors, business owners and law enforcement, that resulted in ridding the community of the combat zone. A founding member of the Asian Community Development Corporation, Mary was active in its efforts to develop Oak Terrace and the Metropolitan. In recognition of her active civic participation, Mayor Thomas Menino appointed Mary to member-ship on the Boston Housing Trust.

Mary received many honors and awards for her extensive com-munity work, among them the Red Cross Clara Barton Human Service Humanity Award and a special award presentation “Heroes Among Us” at a Boston Celtics game against the Houston Rockets during Yao Ming’s first appearance in Boston.

Wife, mother, grandmother, entrepreneur, businesswoman, pio-neer, philanthropist, community activist and civic leader, Mary was above all, a strong, loving and courageous woman who welcomed every-one into her community, businesses, home and heart. She dedicated her life to making Chinatown a place where families could thrive in a vibrant and safe environment.