As soon as the news of a new medical organization planning work among the Chinese refugees in Hong Kong (April/May 1962) was made known in San Francisco, Dennis Wong, pharmacist and the “unofficial mayor of Chinatown,” and Doctor Carlyn Halde, professor of microbiology, contacted me to become involved. Dennis flew to Hong Kong and helped build the floating clinic, Yauh Oi, and Carlyn started bringing several of her microbiology student volunteers from the University of California at San Francisco to Casa de Todos in Tijuana to help with the clinical challenges of one of the largest and poorest of the several barrios in that border city.
Carlyn’s shared concern never wavered through the 53 years of our growing mission. She regularly, privately and publicly, extolled the virtues of and involvement in PCI, resulting in numerous volunteers for Hong Kong and Vietnam – as well as substantial support – based largely on her enthusiastic endorsements.
As founder, in looking back over the tenuous and fragile early years of our work, I find that she was a force, an angel, a professional of the highest caliber whose growing concern became a world-embracing cause, enhancing the building of a solid foundation on which our work today is firmly erected. We are a better and more effective organization because of this remarkable lady, and her commitments and resolve. Rest loved in your eternal milieu, Carlyn.
Dr. Jim Turpin