The full pdf version of this newsletter is available at: Nelson Branch Newsletter March 2017
~ March meeting ~
~ Chinese Calligraphy ~
Friday, 31 March, 5:30 p.m.
Mr. Shen Ming is now the Director of Cultural Section of the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand. He will give an introduction on the basic knowledge about Chinese calligraphy by displaying how to use brush-pen and ink to write Chinese characters in a beautiful form.
Mr. Shen became interested in Chinese calligraphy from his young age. He began to learn it in his middle school and has been persistent to practise it for several decades. He facsimiled many great Chinese ancient calligraphers’ master-works and those practices enable him to master the basic skills of calligraphy. He is the member of the China Nanjing Municipal Calligraphers’ Association and many of his artworks had been displayed in the various calligraphy exhibitions in China.
Last Meeting (AGM and Banquet) – Once again a good number of people met at Eastern Cuisine in Richmond for our Annual General Meeting and Chinese New Year Banquet. Once again it was a little later than the actual New Year date (January 28) as a result of the proximity of Nelson Anniversary weekend and then Waitangi Day. Special guests were Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese and her husband, Mr and Mrs Li from the Nelson Chinese Association, and our MLAs and Appo Hocton Scholar.
Thanks to Pam Frahm who created the place cards for the tables as she did last year. Each year they reference in some way the Chinese calendar and this year’s one is shown here.
AGM Reports were presented by President Ferry van Mansum and Treasurer Royden Smith. The election of Officers for 2017 resulted in:
President: Ferry Van Mansum
Vice President: Lori Brudvik Lindner
Past President: Christine Ward
Secretary: Barbara Markland
Treasurer: Susie Su
Huangshi Liaison: Barbara Markland
Our present MLAs, Xiaochen Zhu (Julie), Xin Gao (Amy), Xing Wang (Cindy) and Appo Hocton Scholar, Yuan Meng (Kristin), entertained us with song before we began the delicious banquet.
Kathy Beatson – Although we knew Kathy was not well, it was a shock to hear at the AGM the news of her death. She had been a branch member and committee member for a number of years, and Vice-President for 2 years, until failing health forced her to resign in 2016.
Barbara Markland spoke on behalf of the Society at Kathy’s funeral, mentioning that she was an active member and took particular interest in the Society projects in China and the He Ming Qing Scholarship, as well as considerable involvement in organising the conference we held here in 2015. In addition, Kathy went on a number of NZCFS tours to China, and was one of the group representing Nelson at the anniversary celebrations of our sister city Huangshi.
We will miss her greatly.
2017 Subscriptions – It was confirmed at the AGM that our subscriptions will remain unchanged and these are now due. Payment can be made either by cheque or cash at our next meeting, by a cheque in the mail, or via internet banking. Details are on the subscription form. Please make sure you let us know if any of your details have changed by completing the subscription form, so that we can keep our records up to date.
Youth/Student ~ $5 ; Single ~ $15 ; Couple ~ $25 ; School ~ $25 ; Corporate ~ $30
Karen Ye reports on her time in New Zealand – At the invitation of the New Zealand China Friendship Association, Karen from CPAFFC visited New Zealand as the second recipient of the Margot Cornwell Scholarship, and finished a three-month study at University of Waikato in Hamilton, from early February to late June in 2016. Read her report at the Sister Cities web-site:
NZCFS AGM and Conference 2017 – This year Conference is in Christchurch May 19 – 21. The theme of the conference is Rewi Alley – “The Spirit Continues”.
This conference is significant in that Rewi came from the Canterbury region and this year holds 3 notable anniversaries:
120 years since his birth at Springfield in 1897
90 years since he first landed in Shanghai
30 years since his passing in Beijing
Discounted early registrations close April 30 ($110), after that date it will cost $140. Of course there will also be a Conference Banquet (optional – $45).
Since this is being held by our nearest branch neighbour in South Island, perhaps we could make an effort to have a group attending from Nelson.
Further information is available on the NZCFS web-site.
From Nelson Executive, March
- The branch will not participate in Race Unity Day this year but, as it was felt participation is worthwhile, it will be added to the agenda for November to allow more time for arrangements to be made for 2018.
- Lori and Ferry attended the official Chinese New Year celebrations at the Beehive in Wellington where Judith Collins, Minister of Ethnic Affairs, spoke on her ideas and perspectives.
- Richard Brudvik-Lindner has been selected by National Executive to accompany the Rewi Alley Prominent Persons and Leaders tour.
- Greetings have been received from Xu Zugui in Huangshi and from MLA Haley who has returned to China.
- The proposed budget has been sent to NCC with a request for funding of $4000. Barbara thanked Royden for this.
- There will be a gradual transfer of responsibilities from Royden to new Treasurer Susie Su with Royden remaining as Membership Secretary in the meantime with responsibility for subscriptions, data base and email distributions. Royden and Bruce will work together on the website.
- Sister-City Coordinating Group Committee meeting, 22 February, was attended by Huangshi Liaison Barbara and President Ferry. China Week will be in October or November; the Vice Mayor of Huangshi, who visited Nelson recently, expressed interest in business links and noted that there were environment issues of interest; the need for translators to be given copies of speeches to allow the preparation of translation was stressed.
- Youth Delegation to China: Introductory details and application form have been received. It was decided that the document should be sent to Secondary Schools, NMIT, NCC Youth Council, Scouts/Guides asking for expressions of interest.
- Report on National Executive Meeting attended by President Ferry. He Ming Qing: Because of the difficulty of finding scholars nominations will be sought further afield with the objective of supporting students in China.
May meeting and Book Club – In May, Helene Wong, author of ‘Being Chinese’, will be here for our branch meeting. We intend to host a book-club discussion evening in the weeks after her presentation. You may wish to read the book, available at Page & Blackmore or as an e-book, before the meeting.
Helene will be in Nelson for a few days and we are planning some activities at that time, some related to Appo Hocton who was the first Chinese to have New Zealand citizenship.
Rewi Alley Poetry for March 2017
As NZCFS celebrates the Rewi Alley anniversaries this year, Nelson IPP Christine Ward has been exploring Rewi’s poetry as a way to understand the spirit of the man and his on-going influence. Much has been written about the 60 years of his life in China, but Alley’s philosophical drive can best be found in his own English words in ‘poems’, often written as a diary at the end of the day, or for including in a letters to his mother. More properly described as free verse, many poems have been collected and published in New Zealand. This month we have some Rewi Alley thoughts (1951) on one of his favourite themes, honouring the work of common people whom he saw as poetry in action as they built their new China. This is abbreviated from ‘A Learner in China’ by Willis Airey, p284.
Forgotten are the old poets, sitting in the gardens, gazing into the sky
. . . .
In our today, and all around us, we have new poetry in action.
Peking itself is a poem like a stiff sea breeze.
Drivers of trucks, to whom trucks are a new thing;
The swing of cadres as they march together to meeting;
Children dancing Yang Kao in the Summer Palace courtyards;
The determined lift a garbage collector gives his shovel.
First they’ll live their poetry, then they’ll write it,
The language of tomorrow will be tied to factual living,
Total man triumphant over nature.