Wairarapa Branch Newsletter – January 2008

Xin nian kuai le ! = Happy New (Lunar) Year for The Year of the Rat, from 6 February.

Greetings from Lorna and Don Simpson at the start of 2008. Our Wairarapa Branch is ready to welcome the Year of the Rat at an oriental meal on Tuesday 5th February. Because our only quality Chinese Restaurant is “on vacation” until mid-February, Hermann (our Chairman) and I wish to invite you to join us at the Siam Kitchen in central Masterton between 7 and 7:15pm for a Thai meal. After all, we are international friends!

This will be an informal gathering but you will get an update on planning for the National Conference of NZCFS which we are hosting. President Margaret Cooper has already selected the wide range of dishes which Chan’s Restaurant will provide at the Chinese Banquet on Saturday 17th of May. Ambassador Zhang Yuanyuan will speak at Conference and at the Banquet. All will go well !! If you wish to attend this celebratory meal (on the 5th), please e-mail or phone Don. See you there !

Apologies from me for the lack of Newsletters over recent months. Our computer crashed after we returned from post-retirement vacationing in Europe and Scandinavia, so we had to purchase new equipment. Branch members have kept in touch over the past half-year by e-mail, and the Conference Planning committee has been quietly active for more than one year. Chairman Jacob Daniels headed off to teach in Sichuan Province, China , so Vice-Chairman Hermann Goeckel took over the task of monitoring our Conference planning. [Our AGM information out to you soon.]

National President, Margaret Cooper paid a visit to Masterton last November (before a National Executive meeting in Wellington). She enjoyed the train ride from Wellington and inspected lots of facilities around Masterton. Decisions were made concerning venues for National Conference and a Draft Programme drawn-up with speakers now being invited by National Executive.

Welcome home to Jan McLeod and Graham Jackson from Mianyang in Sichuan Province. Jan spoke to our Branch last November and has since had an operation on her wrist. During her recuperation Jan viewed dozens of CDs relating to China. These had been gifted by the Chinese Embassy in Wellington, and we will view some of them during Branch meetings. Jan will soon head back to her Dance teaching in Mianyang, while Graham will stay on to be our major Transportation Officer during National Conference.

Farewell to Janean Paewai, one of our Committee, who travels to live and work in Melbourne with her partner. Thanks, Janean, for your assistance with Maori protocol, in case we have a Maori powhiri in May.

Travel to China opportunities :

(1) NZCFS “Heartland China 2008” escorted tour for 3 weeks from 10th to 30th October (= autumn colours and harvests), NZ $8 200 pp twin-share. Good value ! Auckland to Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Mt Emei, Jiuzhaigou Valley (scenic/ historic), Huanglong scenery, Miao ethnic village, Zhenyuan County, Guilin and Shanghai, then home.

(2) “The China Experience 2008”, escorted by Karl Taucher of Holiday Shoppe Masterton, is 23 days from 27th May until 18th June 2008 (= early-summer, before the Olympic Games). Cost is NZ $9 835 per person twin-share, to/ from Masterton. Days in Shanghai, followed by a river cruise up the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) to Nanjing, Huangshan (Yellow Mtn), Wuhan, the Three Gorges Dam to Chongqing, fly to Xi’an, then to Beijing and Shanghai, then homeward with 2 days in Singapore.

Marvellous sightseeing opportunities on both tours. Tell your friends ! (Both trips are filling steadily.)

“Beijing Welcomes You” photo exhibition will be lent to Wairarapa Branch in April and will be on display in Aratoi and other venues leading up to National Conference. More details later.

Zai jian.

Please consider joining the NZCFS Wairarapa Branch. Information of how to become a member can be found on the NZCFS Wairarapa Branch homepage.