ASIA SOCIETY Societyís 50th Milestone
Honors Rockefellers Story and Photos by Tim Boxer
AVID ROCKEFELLER remembers when his brother, John D. Rockefeller 3rd, went to Asia in 1929. He brought back works of art and a love of Asia that was transmitted to the entire family. In 1956 he established the Asia Society in New York to foster relationships and connect Asians and Americans.
At a gala dinner celebrating the 50th anniversary of the society in February at the Waldorf-Astoria, David said he didnít visit Asia till the 1960s. "Since then Iíve been making frequent trips."
Asia Society chairman Richard C. Holbrooke announced that the 1200 guests had raised $4.2 million, triple the amount raised at last yearís dinner.
He said that Asia Society is no longer a New York institution but has grown into a global entity headquartered in New York. It is expanding to engage the next generation of leaders of Asia and the United States. It has amassed more than $100 million if commitments to fund a major expansion that will include the building of multimillion dollar facilities in Houston and Hong Kong, and the opening of a new Asia Society India Centre in Mumbai (Bombay).
Currently the society maintains offices in New York, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Manila, Shanghai and Melbourne.
The gala honored David Rockefeller and his nephew, Senator John D. Rockefeller 4th, for the familyís continued support of the societyís goals in fostering understanding between Asia and the U.S.
"For my father, Asia was always his focus," the senator said. "He and my mother visited Asia for 40 consecutive years, visiting every country, seeing as much as they could, staying for two months at a time. Iím so proud for what my father did in founding the Asia Society."
Henry Kissinger took the sling off his arm to address the audience. His wife Nancy told me that he slipped poolside in the Dominican Republic on Christmas Day and broke his left shoulder. "He does therapy twice a day," she said. "Heís wonderful about it."
Thirteen years ago Nancy broke her left shoulder. "Thatís good; weíre both right-handed," she said.
Among the guests were United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and wife Nane; Peggy Dulany, David Rockefellerís daughter; Happy Rockefeller, widow of New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller; Charles Rockefeller, son of Senator Jay Rockefeller; Nicholas Platt who was society president 1992-2004; current president Dr. Vishakha N. Desai; John C. Whitehead.