By Charles Burress | The Patch

Tom Panas of El Cerrito was honored with an “Outstanding Leadership” certificate from the Contra Costa chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League for helping preserve and tell the history of local Japanese-American flower growers. … Panas is a board member of the El Cerrito Historical Society who has devoted considerable time and energy to documenting the history of the Japanese-American nurseries that once flourished in parts of the Richmond and El Cerrito.
     He was at the library Thursday night for a screening of on the bygone flower-growing community and the ordeal of being uprooted by the World War II relocation of people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast. His role at the event was to provide a historical overview of the nurseries and the families who operated them.