CHAIRPERSON / COMMITTEE REPORT APRIL 2014
Another year has flew by and we have had very good attendance of our monthly meetings. Over the year we have had many interesting and informative guests.
Fraser Newman told us about his experiences regarding trying to run an English Language business while living there for about 3 years. Min Zhang spoke about the Confucius Institute. Min is a visiting tutor at Waiariki and has this year started a Mandarin Corner for those interested in learning Mandarin and learning more about the Chinese culture. This happens on Saturday mornings. This year will be her last year in New Zealand. Then thanks to Sheila and Gilda, who met Barbara Francis at a 3 day walking holiday we were able to fit her into our August meeting. She told us about Agnes Moncrieff 1930-1945, who worked for the YWCA of New Zealand during the revolution in China. Her research on this extraordinary New Zealand woman, who is relatively unknown for her endeavours, seems to have been overlooked. This was an enlightening story. I am amazed at the number of New Zealanders who were working in China during this difficult time in their history. It seems to me that per capita of the population they probably outnumbered many other countries ! We had an extraordinary number of people attend this special meeting.
Some of us were able to support the Moon Festival put on by the Multi-cultural Society and the Chinese Association. It was a very nice relaxed and enjoyable evening attended by many.
Also this year Laytee George took some language students to China and they shared their experiences with us. Unfortunately I missed that meeting. At the moment Laytee is in Nanchang Jiangxi Province with 3 WHHS Chinese Language students along with some art students from Tauranga high schools. This was organised by John Hodgson. Tauranga students are being supported through the Simon Deng Li Arts and Cultural Exchange Fund.
Bob Okell took us on a video trip comparing his previous trip to China with that of his recent trip with the Prominent Person/Leadership Tour of 2013. It was interesting comparing the differences within that short span of time. Our last meeting for the year was a presentation from John Chang Wong on the history of Confucius, the philosopher and his family. I was grateful to John for stepping up at short notice to fill in for our scheduled speaker, Fred, who because of circumstances of ill health within his extended family was unable to come. He has been rescheduled.
We have been able to welcome new people to our meetings on several occasions which is great and hopefully they have enjoyed their experience and will possibly continue to attend and contribute towards our successful meetings.
In closing I would like to thank all because without you and your contribution we would not be here today. So thank you for your support by attending the meetings, thanks to those who help set up and clean up for our shared lunches and the committee for their ongoing contribution towards the meetings. I don’t like singling out people but I think a special thanks needs to be given to Norma for keeping the books and opening up here for our meetings. Each and every member is important with whatever contribution they make. I think the shared lunch is important in making his not only an informative day but a sociable day for all.