Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Chan Calendar for December 8

Sad news for today in Chan history: The Honolulu detective that Earl Derr Biggers drew on to create Charlie Chan, Chang Apana, died on December 8, 1933, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Mr. Chang had been very ill for a month before the December 2nd admittance to the Queen's hospital.

His illness had required amputation of his left leg the day before his death plus transfusions of two fellow policemen of the Honolulu department, Captain En You Kau (patrol division) and Detective Thomas Quinn.

A third policeman, Officer Roger Whitmarsh, had been on hand in case a third transfusion was needed.

Mr. Chang had served longer and had been one of the best known of the city's police. His notoriety had eventually reached the mainland United States where he reached the attention of the noted writer of The Seven Keys to Baldpate, Earl Derr Biggers.

Mr. Chang became a policeman for the city and county when they were incorporated in 1898. He became, and remained, a popular as well as high-profile member beyond his pensioning in May of 1932 because of a serious car accident.

He had been a private-duty watchman until his recent illness.

Other veteran officers spoke highly of his courage and daring in dealing with the early days of opium smuggling stemming from Chinese immigration to the Hawaiian islands.

Mr. Apana had been born at Waipio, Oahu, and was 64 years old. He left behind a widow, Mrs. Annie Lee Kwai Apana; and eight children, Annie, Rose, Margaret, Cecelia and Alexander.

Mr. Apana had been married previously to Mrs. Helen Meheula and they had had two children, Victoria Apana and Samuel Apana.

He had also left behind ten grandchildren and a brother, Chang Kwock.

[From "The Honolulu Star-Bulletin," Saturday, December 9, 1933]

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