The news of Lim Yu-shin’s (林又新) passing hit the Taiwanese-American community like a shockwave. We are all saddened. Yu-shin died on Oct. 7, at home in Plano, Texas. He is survived by his spouse Helen (溫惠蘭) and son Andrew.
Because Yu-shin spelled his legal name as Yow Think Lin, we got used to calling him YT.
I first met YT in the spring of 1997 at a World United Formosans for Independence-USA (WUFI-USA) conference in San Diego to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 228 Incident. Peter Chang (張信堂) chaired WUFI-USA then. In attendance were Ng Chiau-tong (黃昭堂), Koh Se-kai (許世楷), Ro Fu-chen (羅福全), Wallace Liu (劉清白), Bob Yang (楊英育) and other members of the WUFI-USA Central Committee. Guests included Chen Wen-yen (陳文彥) and Lee Cheng-san (李正三).
I was invited by Strong Chuang (莊秋雄) to the event as a guest speaker. My talk about the cause and historical significance of 228 was later published in my Chinese-language book Freedom Calling — Voice of Taiwanese Americans and in America’s Security and Taiwan’s Freedom, which is in English.
Yu-shin served as the discussant of my presentation.
I shall always remember what he told me at the conclusion of his remarks: “We expect a great deal from you.”
Later that year, I decided to join WUFI-USA, which to me is a descendant of Formosans’ Free Formosa, which I helped organize in 1958 in Philadelphia.
In 1999, YT was president of the Taiwanese-American Association (TAA) and in that capacity, he did an outstanding job of coordinating all the chapters around the US. He also worked closely with the Formosan Association for Public Affairs and communicated regularly with high-ranking government officials in then-president Chen Shui-bian’s (A-bian, 陳水扁) administration.
In May of that year, Yu-shin convened a TAA representatives’ meeting in Houston. My wife Helen (翁進治) attended as a representative of the Philadelphia chapter and I as coordinator of the 30th Taiwanese American Conference–East Coast.
I took advantage of the meeting to give a talk about an anti-missile defense system the US was planning for East Asia at that time. What I did not realize then was that Tan Ganseng (陳彥升), an expert on missile technology, was in the audience. Happily Ganseng did not find fault with my presentation. A group photograph taken on that day is included in Freedom Calling, showing YT and Ganseng sitting in the front row.
As TAA president, YT coordinated the invitation of keynote speakers from Taiwan, to be shared by the Taiwanese-American summer conferences around the US. In 1999, YT also attended many such conferences in person. He presented a talk on “Cooperation among Taiwanese American organizations” at the 30th TAC-EC at Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania.
YT graduated from National Taiwan University in 1972 and earned his doctorate in chemical engineering from Rice University in Houston in 1979. He worked for BP and ARCO for 21 years, winning a number of awards for outstanding technical achievement.
In 2001, Yu-shin went back to Taiwan to work as an adviser to China Petroleum Corp (now CPC Corp, Taiwan) and general manager of its subsidiary Overseas Petroleum and Investment Co (OPIC). In May 2008, YT was found to have colon cancer. After surgery in Taiwan, he returned to the US for further treatment. In 2009, he resigned from his job at OPIC, but continued to make several visits to Taiwan to help with CPC’s affairs.