A collaboration between the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury and Timaru based Aoraki Polytechnic the opening of the Timaru Confucius Resource Centre at the Polytechnic was celebrated on 28 September 2014.
Members of the Timaru Branch NZCFS were invited and branch secretary Ann White was amongst the speakers. She spoke about NZ Nurse Kathleen Hall and the scholarship the NZ Society provides to assist the training of young nurses in China.
The Hon Jin Zhijian, recently appointed Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Christchurch and former Timaru Mayor and current Chair of the Polytechnic, Janie Annear unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion. Prof Jonathan Le Cocq, Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Canterbury and Alex Cabrera, CEO Aoraki Polytechnic signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
Following the ceremony, the Beijing based Jasmine Art Ensemble performed a programme of Chinese music on traditional instruments. Many of the audience had not heard Traditional Chinese music before and were amazed by the skill of the musicians.
The opening of the Resource Centre in Timaru will enhance the awareness of Chinese culture and language in Timaru. In a first for the area, the Timaru Girl’s High School has recently appointed a Mandarin teacher and pupils from several schools are attending the classes.
The Timaru Branch, NZCFS is supportive of these developments which can only enhance the awareness of Chinese culture and language in South Canterbury.