I hope everybody had a good break over the holiday period, and are keen to get back into an active year with NZCFS! The early focus for this will be the Conference and AGM in May, where Nelson is looking for exciting inputs of Branch activity from around the country.
Here in Hawkes Bay, our focus has turned to a specific goal to send up to 20 members of the HB Youth Orchestra to Hastings Sister City, Guilin, in early 2016. We held a fundraising working bee this weekend, and it was gratifying to see the enthusiasm for this from the twenty plus parents and youths who turned up anticipating their partcipation in this visit. I am sure there are many stories in the pipeline for Nelson!
Since the last newsletter, there are two new articles from our super contributors to the NZCFS website, Teri and Duncan France. Firstly, congratulations to Phil Rolston, Christchurch Branch, for his being awarded the International Science & Technology Co-operation Award. The link on the website is here: nzchinasociety.org.nz/19242/chinas-highest-science-honour-for-christchurch-member/
Secondly, a fascinating report detailing NZCFS work in establishing co-operatives in NW China by two long-time workers in the field has been received. For an online introduction to the report (to be serialised on our website in 6 parts over the coming months), click: http://nzchinasociety.org.nz/19171/nzcfs-assisted-co-ops-in-china-a-report-part-1/
and for the unabridged Part 1 of the report go to: http://nzchinasociety.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Co-operative-Case-Studies-Part-1.pdf.
This book /report was made possible through a RAFE (Rewi Alley Friendship Exchange) funded project.
With the November state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping there were a lot of Chinese reporters in New Zealand, and NZCFS was closely involved in some of the reports that went back to China, as well as Chinese reporting in New Zealand. Have a look at Wellington Branch newsletter report and links to reporting of November Branch meeting in the Chinese media at http://nzchinasociety.org.nz/19017/wellington-branch-meeting-gets-coverage-in-china/
Finally, I would like to wish everybody a fruitful Year of the Sheep. Thanks to Dunedin Branch for this introduction, uplifted from their February newsletter:
This year we welcome the year of the Green Wooden Sheep(/goat/ram). The sheep is the 8th animal in the 12 year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. The sheep sign is the eighth sign in the Chinese Zodiac calendar and 2015 is the year of the Green Wooden Sheep. Sheep like peace and quiet and getting on with life in their own individual way. Sheep are calm and easy-going people, who go with the flow and are content to be in the middle of the action rather than in charge of it. They enjoy cultural things and focus much of their energy on artistic hobbies. People born in Sheep year are artistic, kind, inspired, very empathetic, and naturally creative. They appreciate beauty in all its forms and are connoisseurs of the best life has to offer. Happy 2015!