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Celebrating a century

Jennifer Dix, correspondent
Tuesday May 29, 2001

Annie Quan Lee, who will celebrate her 100th birthday June 5 reminisced recently with visitors at the Berkeley rest home where she lives. Lee was born in 1901 in San Francisco. She said she was the oldest of 14 children born to her parents, who had immigrated from Canton province in China. “They called me Sister One,” she recalled. After the 1906 earthquake, Lee’s family moved temporarily to Oakland, where she said she saw the first black person she had ever seen. The family later moved back to San Francisco’s Chinatown, where Lee attended elementary and middle school and later worked as a bank teller. She has a lifelong love of music: “I love to sing,” she said. “I was a soprano in school.” She then sang the first verse of “Jesus Loves Me.”