Letter from Tommie Sun to Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


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Letter from Tommie Sun to Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


Letter from Tommie Sun to Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


Typed letter from Tom Sun in Shanghai sent to Dr. Stearns. States the tardiness in his response to Stearns' previous letter is due to an inspection tour for his company, China Insurance Company, Limited, in Indo-China. States that it has been years since they communicated and is happy to reconnect. Details his experiences during the war with Japan. Explains he stayed in Shanghai for his company and his parents stayed in Tientsin, due to their age. States the expected peace after the war is now social transformation by forceful means. Explains he is now assistant general manager of his company. Provides updates on his parents, who he has not had direct communication with, but knows are doing well.


17th March, 1949

Dr. Alfred E. Stearns,
12, Locke Street,
Andover, Massachusetts, U. S. A.

My dear Dr. Stearns,

Your letter dated the 7th November, last year, was waiting for me when I returned from a tour of inspection to the South. My tour began toward the end of last year and took me to most centers of population where my company maintains an organization. The letter was forwarded to me in Indo-China but was reforwarded to me here in Shanghai after I left that Country.

It has been a long time since we communicated with each other. During these intervening years many things had happened and it is fortunate, indeed, to even now possess good health and be able to write to those whose friendship one treasures.

China in general and I myself in particular had gone through difficult times. Our war with Japan caught me in Shanghai employed with my present company in the capacity of assistant manager. In the general migration away from the scene of hostilities., some were left behind and I was among this group who remained to guard the interests of the company. It was no easy task. During these war years, my Father and Mother remained in Tientsin, too old to follow the tide westward and I, together with my family, did the best we could whilst maintaining our principles. It was during this period that the teachings impounded into me during my boyhood days steered a straight and narrow course and guided my conscience despite of the carnage around me.

Ancient Asia was transformed and in place of the peace and happiness which we enjoyed during the years immediately prior to the war, there was madness. And when it came to pass that we are again to enjoy our peaceful lives, social transformation by forceful means befall us.

However, despite of all these, I am happy to be able to say that both myself and my own family are well. I am now the Assistant General Manager of my company. We have branches and agencies throughout the Far East and I am happy in the belief that at least through my own company that I may be of service to my country.

My father is now eighty-six years of age. He still lives in Tientsin. He was seriously ill last winter but is now well again. There were some quite anxious days when he first became ill. Before I could arrange things so that I could be with him, communications with Shanghai was cut. But through friends, I am informed that he is well again. I am still unable to secure means to visit him. The last letter received from him was dated last year. However, news is encouraging and I look forward to the day when it will be possible to have uninterrupted communication with my Father.

I very much regret the lateness of this letter, but believe me I have thought of you and forever I shall be indebted to you. One can never treasure too highly the fullness of one's youth. In this, I had my fullest with you.

My kindest regards to Mrs. Stearns, Charlie and Margaret. Please let me hear again from you and I promise that with every opportunity I shall not fail to write to you my benefactor.

For ever yours
Tommie Sun


Tommie [Tom] Sun


Phillips Academy


March 17, 1949


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