Translated by SoYeon Lee
For the Overseas Presidential Award recipients from the New England Area, Jum-Soon Kim (Chairwoman of Maine), Kyung-Won Kim (Tae Kwon Do Master), and Myung-Jin Jo (Entrepreneur), The Korean Consulate General of Boston hosted the award ceremony on behalf of the Korean Government.
On Wednesday of 17th around 4pm at the Consulate General of Boston located at Newton, the former Chairwoman of Korean Women Association in Maine was honored with the Presidential award and the medal, while Mr. Kim, the chairman of the board of Tae Kwon Do Institution of Massachusetts and Cho , the former President of Korean Association of Rhode Island received the Prime Minister Award.
The president of the Korean Community of Maine, Chang-Ho Lee, praised the former Chairwoman, Mrs. Kim for diligently looking after the Koreans for last 40 years. He said she is “the very person whose right hand doesn’t know how the left hand is helping the others” and that she is not the leader who leads from the top but the leader who fills the shortcomings from the below.
Especially back in 2005, when she was the Chairwoman of Korean Women Association in Maine, Mrs. Kim took care of a pregnant woman who was left alone because of her husband’s job transfer during she was pregnancy, her childbirth, and postnatal; She was the mother figure to many of the women in Maine.
Mrs. Kim, who celebrated her 60th birthday this year, immigrated to Maine when she was 19. Reminiscing the past, she remembered “having a hard time because of the small number of Koreans but the number Koreans are increasing.” She also mentioned that “Koreans gather around twice or more every year for Korean Association events.”
Also, she recollected her mother who was pregnant with Mrs. Kim during the Korean War and her father who passed away fighting the War. She was tearing up while she mentioned that she “feels like I’m receiving this award on behalf of my father.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of Massachusetts Tae Kwon Do Institution, Mr. Kim who received the Prime Minister Award coached the American National Tae Kwon Do Team for the Olympics for 10 years since 1990; and since then he has established the first American Tae Kwon Do Institution and spread the sport through not only the public schools in Chicopee area but also in over 100 public elementary schools. He has put a lot effort over the years to introduce Korea.
Mr. Kim has been teaching the American children under his 100-year plan. He also mentioned that as these children learn Tae Kwon Do under his instruction, he hopes to teach them the mentality and etiquette of Tae Kwon Do which will help them throughout their lifetime.
Cho, the owner of Cho Electronic, who also received the Prime Minister Award along with Mr. Kim, immigrated to Rhode Island 33 years ago and now he runs his own business. In 1991, when he has successively filled various posts in the Business Association of Koreans, Mr. Cho organized arrangements for the Korean businesses to receive health care benefits from the health care organizations. Also in 2005, while he was the President of the Korean Community, he published the driver’s license manual in Korean.
Mr. Cho, who is looking forward to his 60th birthday, immigrated to America at age of 25. Mr. Cho said he worked “so that all of us could live well together.” And he also thanked for the award. “I will receive this award as a reminder that I need to gather strength of the Koreans with my accumulated Know-how’s.”
The Driver’s License manual written in Korean is currently on the Consulate General of Boston’s Web page. According to Mr. Jo, then the members of the Korean Community, for the cherished project that was waited for 30 years, were divided into several parts and spent over 700 hours for the translation Among, then the Korean residents of New Hampshire and Massachusetts demanded the Driver’s License manual in Korean and Mr. Cho sent the booklets in mail.
According to Cho “for places like New England where there are rich human resources, if people work together for the convenience of others then we will be able to work for our benefits.”
“I am very happy to receive such an award as the year ends” said Joo-Suk Kim, Korean Consul General of Boston at the award ceremony.
After the award ceremony, the President of Korean Community, Consular General Kim, and some of the Koreans around the area got together to talk about ways to develop each areas in Boston. Among many topics, Korean school and opening up a Korean Community building in other states were also mentioned.