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Nelson Branch President’s Report – February, 2014


The Nelson Branch President’s Report, as presented by President Christine Ward at the AGM on 9 February, 2014, is also available as a PDF at: NelsonPresidentsReport2013.pdf


New Zealand China Friendship Society Inc. – Nelson Branch


President: Christine Ward 23 Suter Street, Stoke, Nelson.

nzcfsPhone: 03 538 0344           email: christine@brainward.com

Secretary: Barbara Markland 23 Polglase Street, Richmond.

Phone: 03 544 4712            email: erm@xtra.co.nz


President’s Annual Report for 2013

9 February, 2014

It is my pleasure to present the 23rd Annual Report for the Nelson Branch of the New Zealand China Friendship Society.

1. Membership

Our membership continues to rise to a total of 85. This includes our 3 Life Members, 5 schools, and 2 corporates. Our newsletter goes out to an even larger audience of interested people.

2. Branch Meetings

As usual we had seven meetings through the Year of the Snake with a good variety of topics and attendances averaging over 40. We continue to enjoy our catered meals from the Nelson Oriental Restaurant.

• February 10: AGM at Eastern Cuisine Restaurant in Richmond, attended by 85 members and friends, including a visiting delegation of teachers from China who entertained us with some traditional songs.

• March 15: North Korea Tour with Royden Smith.

• May 2: Prominent Persons and Leaders Tour Report (2012) with Marilyn Gibbs and Lillian Li.

• June 28: Chinese Immigration with Richard Brudvik Lindner.

• August 16: Mahjong Evening organised by Kathy Beatson.

• October 11: Tea Tales with The Tea Man, Mark Soper.

• November 22: South East China Tour with Pam Frahm.

Grateful thanks are due to the organisers and speakers at our meetings. We are truly blessed with the quality and variety of our presentations, which all came from our own members in 2013.

3. Other significant events

• Race Unity Day. For the second time our branch turned out in the rain in March, selling Chinese teas and artefacts for the He Ming Qing Scholarship at a convenient spot next to the Chinese food stall.

• Formation of Nelson Chinese Society in July was a great step forward for local Chinese families to have an official presence in Nelson. Two related societies will further strengthen the Chinese focus here.

• Mid Autumn Festival. Once again we celebrated our spring equinox and the start of daylight saving with a Sunday afternoon party with a range of Chinese teas and music in the Chinese Garden.

• Welcome to the first Appo Hocton Scholars. Our cooperation with NMIT is extended with the first two sponsored scholars arriving in August, making a fine start to their NZ qualifications.

• Garden Calligraphy. Our final financial commitment to the Chinese Garden came with the calligraphy inscribed above the moongate and on the rocks at the entrance. Mr Zhang, the calligrapher from Huangshi, has also left us with calligraphy to put on banners for special occasions.

• Deng Fund Award: Our big project in 2013 was gaining an award to reprint the Appo Hocton Story so as to assist the Nelson Museum to supply the book, and for us to sell books to earn funds for NZCFS youth projects. This led to sponsorship of our first Chinese Culture Children’s Holiday Camp at the end of January, a unique venture to spread awareness and skills of Chinese cultural arts for Nelson children.

• Sister City Activities. It has been another big year, especially with the highly successful friendship delegation to Huangshi. We farewelled Marilyn Gibbs as co-ordinator of the council’s Sister City Committee and welcomed another of our members, Gail Collingwood, to the role.

• Hosting: Members have, on a number of occasions, hosted representatives from the Confucius Institute based at the University of Canterbury, visitors from the Chinese Embassy in Wellington and visitors from the Chinese Consulate in Christchurch, including Consul General Madam Tan, as well as delegations from China.

4. Appreciations

To our secretary, Barbara Markland, goes my grateful thanks for her continuing superb attention to the details of committee work, and her huge commitment to the sister city portfolio.

To Treasurer Royden Smith who continues to keep us in good financial order, as well as producing our excellent newsletter and serving tirelessly in so many ways.

Thanks to Vice-President Lori and to committee members for their dedication and for extra work during my absences.

My thanks also to the wider membership who continue to keep Nelson a strong and vibrant branch. The reliability of your support for the aims of the New Zealand China Friendship Society has far-reaching effects.


Christine Ward