CCBA Recognized as Georgia’s Oldest Chinese Organization
Friday, April 28th, 2023
In 1927, a group of 59 Chinese men signed a petition to charter the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of Augusta. When the state of Georgia granted the petition on Oct. 25, 1927, that action made the CCBA the first documented incorporated Chinese organization in Georgia.
Now, just four years from its 100th anniversary, the CCBA is being officially recognized by the Georgia Historical Society as the state’s oldest Chinese organization.
Gary Tom is president of the CCBA; his great uncle, Sam Jue, was one of the CCBA’s original petitioners. “When you ask people around town, they are surprised there’s a Chinese community this old in the state,” said Tom. “The marker is a lasting legacy to those Chinese who came in the 1910s and ‘20s and found a way through. It’s created a diversity, which has attracted business and educational opportunities. We are a part of the cultural experience of Augusta.”
Throughout the month of May, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the CCBA is celebrating this recognition with historical exhibits at Augusta University’s Greenblatt Library through May 15 and the Augusta-Richmond County Library through May 31.
The public is also invited to attend the CCBA’s historical marker dedication ceremony on Friday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the CCBA building, 548 Walker St. Speakers include Tom; a representative from the Georgia Historical Society; Dr. Ray Rufo, longtime member and the first Chinese-American graduate of Emory University’s School of Dentistry; Justice Carla Wong McMillian, who grew up as a member and serves on the Georgia Supreme Court; and others.
A reception and self-guided historical exhibit follows. To RSVP, CCBAAugusta.com.