Dr. Matthew Lin’s parents loved Lacy Park. Both spent their last days enjoying the peace and tranquility of one of the finest recreational spaces in Southern California, if not the world.
Lin, a former mayor and two-term city councilman, even took a month away from his orthopedic clinic in December, 2006, enjoying the final days and hours with his father, who wanted to visit Lacy Park every day, even though he was wheelchair-bound.
“Lacy Park was a very special place for my parents,” said Dr. Lin. “They loved to spend as much time there as possible. It was a wonderful place for them as it has been for all of my family.”
In his parents’ memory, Lin and his wife, Joy, have made a donation of more than $117,000 to repair the Rose Arbor in Lacy Park, a spot they found particularly appealing. Additionally, the San Marino City Council voted on Wednesday evening whether or not to earmark approximately $20,000 for a contingency fund – which had been carried over in the budget.
The deterioration of the Rose Arbor was brought to the public’s attention in July, 2015 when then-San Marino City Councilman Dennis Kneier noticed that city staff had discussed dismantling the structure altogether. Inspection of the Rose Arbor by public works crews revealed wood beams suffering from dry rot and weathering. The last restoration had taken place in 2005. Kneier suggested that a community meeting take place to see if there was support for refurbishing the Rose Arbor.
‘We can’t just tear this down without hearing from the residents,” Kneier said.
Lin saw an article in The Tribune discussing the travails of the Rose Arbor and decided to make it a living tribute to the memory of his parents.
Lin’s father, Chi-Lan, was a doctor himself while raising his family in a remote, rural area of Taiwan.
My father would leave in the morning on his bicycle to make house calls,” Lin recalls fondly. “In the evening he would come home with things in his basket that people would give him in exchange for medical care. Sometimes it was money, but more often it was food or something else of value that my father didn’t want to take, but he did for the sake of their dignity.”
Dr. Lin’s parents relocated to San Marino in 1980. His mother, Wu-Ho, passed away in June, 1998 and his father on New Year’s Day, 2007.
“It was Joy’s idea,” Lin said of the donation.