Alice Lee, who served as faithful secretary, hub, conscience, and institutional memory of our department since Jean Merritt’s retirement in 2001, retired at the end of April 2017, marking 26 years that she worked with us. In fact, her career at UVic began much earlier than any of the rest of us, with her first job for the English Department in 1973! She resigned in the early 1980s to raise a family but returned to campus in 1986 on a half-time position till she joined us in 1991. That marks almost forty years that Alice served in some capacity at UVic. She was awarded a distinguished service prize from the Faculty of Humanities in 2015 and given the honour to carry the mace in the June 2017 convocation for students in Humanities. Yuen-Fong Woon, who served a number of times at Chair of the Pacific and Asian Studies over her own long career with us, always called Alice “the boss” and for good reason: she knew how to run the department better than anyone else.

Chris Morgan got his B.A. and M.A. at UVic in Anthropology in 1978 and 1980 before receiving his Ph.D. in Anthropology and Pacific Studies from Australia National University in 1986. He taught at Simon Frazer and UVic as a sessional lecturer before being hired as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Pacific and Asian Studies in 1989. Having done extensive fieldwork in Tonga and Fiji, Chris was the pillar of Pacific Studies in our department until his retirement in August 2017, and he taught many of its core courses, such as PAAS 100, 300, and 400. His particular interest was in political and social change, and the effects of global trade, in small states in Oceania. He also taught on indigenous peoples of the Pacific. From 2014 until his retirement he served as Chair of the department and oversaw an important external review of our undergraduate and graduate programmes. Scrupulous in his attention to detail, over the course of close to three decades at UVic, he chaired or served on the supervisory committees of dozens of graduate students and numerous department and university committees.

A specialist in modern Chinese literature, Richard King (B.A., M.A., Cambridge; Ph.D. UBC), taught at York University in Toronto before coming to UVic in 1986. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1991 and to full Professor in 2011. A translator of fiction by Liu Sola, Zhu Lin and Zhang Kangkang, he is the author of two definitive studies on the literature and art of the Great Leap Forward (2009) and the Cultural Revolution (2010), and Milestones on a Golden Road: Writing for Chinese Socialism (2013). Richard is also editor of Leaping to Disaster: Village Literature and the Great Leap Forward (2007), which included translations by UVic students, and co-editor (with Katsu Endo and Cody Poulton) of Sino-Japanese Transculturation (2012). He served as Cultural Counsellor for Canada in Beijing from 1993-96, as Chair of the Department of Pacific and Asian Studies from 1998-2001 and as Director of the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives from 2004-2009. Most of us can claim to be good in only one or two skills, but Richard is that rare breed: a superlative scholar, administrator, and teacher.

One of our longest serving colleagues, Karen Tang came to the University in 1985 as a visiting lecturer, and leaves as the Department’s first Full Teaching Professor. During her 33 years here, she has been the mainstay of the Chinese programme: she has taught language at all levels, to non-native learners and speakers of non-Mandarin forms of Chinese. In addition, she has offered introductory courses in pre-modern and modern Chinese civilization, and upper-level courses taught in Chinese on film and the great novel Dream of the Red Chamber. Outside the University, she has been a leader in the Canadian Association for Teaching Chinese as a Second Language, and has developed the Provincial high school Chinese curriculum and prepared grade 12 examinations. Karen brought to the department great dedication, indefatigable energy, and remarkable grace under pressure.

Katsuhiko Endo came to us in 2006 as a post-doctoral student of Harry Harootunian at the University of Chicago after considerable teaching experience in San Diego, a Ph.D. from New York University and, before that, a career as a journalist for the Nihon Keizai Shinbun (Japan economic journal) in Tokyo. He taught several of our core courses as well as courses in modern Japanese history. Co-editor with Richard King and Cody Poulton of Sino-Japanese Transculturations, he was an avid eclectic, and original scholar of twentieth-century Japanese intellectual history. A true maverick, he leaves academia to take up intriguing work for a trading company in Vietnam with ties throughout Asia. We wish him the best on his exciting new career.

Finally, we wish to thank Tom Saunders from History, who so generously agreed to serve as our Acting Chair for the 2017/18 year. An energetic, selfless and impartial advocate for the interests of Pacific and Asian Studies, he negotiated an unprecedented three new positions for our department for the coming year. Spring of 2018 was particularly busy as Tom shepherded three searches (for a new chair and a senior scholar in Southeast Asian anthropology and religion; in modern Chinese literature and culture; and modern Japanese history), all the while holding down teaching and other administrative duties in his own department. We can’t begin to express how deeply grateful we’ve been for his decisive but delicate hand in steering us through one of the most important years in Pacific and Asian Studies’ own history. Thank you!