PROFESSOR PAUL T.K. LIN (1920 - 2004)

Professor Paul Ta-Kuang Lin was born in Vancouver on March 14, 1920. He received his early schooling in Vernon, B.C. After completing his studies at the University of British Columbia, the University of Michigan, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard University, he went to China in 1949. For the next 15 years, he lived and worked in the People's Republic of China, engaged in literary translation, as artistic director of English-language radio, and as a professor in international Law and Relations. He spent one year in a North China village as a participant in the programme for sending intellectuals down to the grassroots of Chinese rural society.

He returned to Canada in 1964, and taught Chinese and East Asian history for 18 years at McGill University, where he concurrently held the post of the Centre for East Asian Studies and Chairman of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature. After his retirement from McGill, he accepted an invitation to become rector of the University of East Asia in Macau, a post from which he resigned in 1988.

Prof. Lin was instrumental in promoting the normalization of western relations with China, especially Canada-China and U.S.-China relations. He revisited China on numerous occasions on academic or trade-related missions. During these visits he was often received by many Chinese leaders, including the late Premier Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping.

Prof. Lin was active in many international research institutes, including the United Nations University, the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara, and the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa. He was a founding Director of the Canada-China Trade Council, had appeared frequently on national television as a commentator of Chinese affairs, and was a public affairs columnist in a major Chinese-language newspaper. In 1992, he was named "most distinguished Chinese scholar" by the Society of Hong Kong Scholars.

In 1981, he founded and later became the Honorary Chairman of the Soong Ching Ling Children’s Foundation of Canada (SCLCFC). He received the SCLCFC’s “For the Children Award” in 2001, and the “Soong Ching Ling Honorary Camphor Tree Award” from the China Welfare Institute in 2003.

In 1998, the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable Romeo LeBlanc, announced the appointment of Paul Ta-Kuang Lin to be a Member of the Order of Canada, the centrepiece of Canada's system of honours.

Professor Lin passed away in Vancouver on July 4th, 2004 at the age of 84.



Eileen Chen Shu Lin was born in China in 1924 to a banker’s family. She went to study in the United States when she was 15, attended Ohio Wesleyan College and later graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Social Studies. She met Paul Lin in June 1941, and the two were married in June 1944. Eileen moved with Paul back to China in 1950, where she worked as an editor and journalist while also raising the couple’s two children. After returning to Canada in 1965, she moved with Paul to Montreal where she worked as a librarian at McGill University, where Paul was teaching. With her wisdom, Eileen provided strong support to Paul throughout his career and to his endeavours to improve the relationship between China and the West.

In 1981, Eileen and Paul together founded the Soong Ching Ling Children’s Foundation of Canada in 1981, in order to honour their friend Madame Soong Ching Ling and continue her spirit of international cooperation and her work on behalf of children. In subsequent years Eileen served continuously as a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, including a term as President of the Board, and most recently in addition as Honorary Chairperson of the Foundation, a position she continues to hold. In 2001, she was honoured by the Foundation, together with Paul, as a recipient of the prestigious “For the Children Award,” recognizing her tireless work on behalf of children in China and Canada.

When Paul passed away in 2004, he had just begun work on his own memoir “In the Eye of the China Storm.” Although already in her eighties, Eileen worked intensely for seven years to complete the book, using the documents and notes put together by Paul, and occasionally inserting her own comments. The book makes an invaluable contribution to our historical understanding as it gives a rare glimpse of life in China during the early years after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. It was published by McGill Queens University Press in 2011, and was translated into Chinese and published by Tian Di Publishing in Hong Kong in 2013.
In 2008, Eileen donated over 5,000 rare and important books collected by Paul during his lifetime to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library, and in 2014, she donated a collection of historical papers and manuscripts to the same library.

In 2001, Paul and Eileen through their Linbridge Foundation donated $190,000 representing the entire principal of their personal charity to the SCLCFC to establish the Paul and Eileen Lin Endowment Trust to support children’s development as healthy, happy and helpful citizens of the world. In 2015, Eileen supported the donation of all the funds from the Paul and Eileen Lin Endowment Trust amounting to Canadian $400,000 to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s Connect Program, to establish a permanent grant to support a social service learning program for the students.

Eileen continues to live in Vancouver BC, and to support the work of the Soong Ching Ling Children’s Foundation of Canada in her role as the Honorary Chairperson