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From the original hand written minute book records: 

Wednesday 27 February 1952 at 8pm saw a group of 4 women and 13 men meet in room 13, Tabernacle Buildings, Karangahape Road, Auckland in February “for the purpose of forming an organization of friendship and understanding of China and the Chinese People”.

Mr B Read took the chair and after discussion it was agreed the name be “The China Friendship Association” with a subscription of two shillings and six pence per year and it was agreed that the funds be spent to further publicize the Association. It was agreed that membership be open to all people who desired friendship with China.

Temporary officers elected were Chairman A. O‛Hallaran, Secretary Treasurer Mr Ching Lee, Assistant Secretary J. Callan, Working Committee Mrs Hawthorne, M. Lee, L. Sim, J. Callan, and A O‛Hallaran.

At the second meeting of the Association on 2 April 1952 with 14 people present, it was agreed that the aims and objects of the Association would be:

  • For the promotion of peace and friendship with the people of China
  • The development of cultural relations between the people of New Zealand and the people of China
  • The recognition by the New Zealand Government of the China Peoples‛ Government as has already been done by the British Government
  • The development of trade between New Zealand & China for mutual benefit
  • The China Friendship Association is non-party and open to all who subscribe to the above.

So that was the inaugural meeting of our society and we think now we have ample reason to look back then celebrate our many successes over the past sixty years and also, to look forward to set goals for an even brighter future.       




The Tauranga Branch of New Zealand China Friendship Society recently celebrated the Lantern Festival with a splendid garden party in Bethlehem when members welcomed many new Chinese guests. This year is a special celebratory year as the Society’s 60th Anniversary and it is focussed on building new friendships on the solid foundations established by New Zealanders Rewi Alley, Kathleen Hall and others working in China at the beginning of last century.

Lanterns festooned the garden, musical interludes were given by young Chinese violinists Ricky Balfour along with Cecilia and Kelly Yang and party guests enjoyed the wide range of occidental and oriental foods.

In actual fact The China Friendship Society’s Garden Party was quite a multicultural event with not only New Zealand Europeans, but Maori manuhiri, Russian, Spanish and Chinese from Taiwan, HongKong and The Mainland, and already there is some suggestion that we hold a similar event when the weather warms again just to celebrate Mid Autumn Festival.



March 20 Tuesday 7pm Tauranga Intermediate School

Annual General Meeting.

Following the AGM our very special guest speaker is  National President Eric Livingstone from Christchurch and he will talk with a Power Point on TIBET.

Eric will talk about the landmass that is Tibet, where it came from from earliest times through it’s earliest history, various invasions, the legendary kingdoms, Buddhism’s various changing situations and on through to the present day.

Meetings planned for the rest of the year.  Some details are yet to be finalised.

April 8 Sunday lunch at 12      @ Kwang Chow, The Mount        Qingming Festival

May 8 Tuesday 7pm Tauranga Intermediate       Guest speakers:  Roger Hay and Ramesh Sharma
        UN International Year of The Co-operative

June 10 Sunday lunch at 12  @Eastern Ocean Restaurant Grey Street     Dragon Boat Festival

July 10 Tuesday 7pm Tauranga Intermediate     Guest speaker:  Sandra King
        Twenty years happiness in the orphanages of China.

August 12 Sunday lunch at 12       @ Chinatown, Fraser Cove           Mid-Autumn Festival

September 11 Tuesday 7pm Tauranga Intermediate   Guest speaker:  Tom Sharman
        Delivering aide in the third world

October 14 Sunday lunch at 12     @ Peking Restaurant Devonport Rd    Chong Yang Festival 23Oct

November 13 Tuesday 7pm Tauranga Intermediate   Guest speaker: TDA
        Looking at the positives of China’s assistance to the poor.
(Yet to be finalised.)

December 9 Sunday lunch at 12        Tauranga Branch Christmas Celebration.

Other dates of significance:

February 25 National Executive meeting in Wellington.

18-20 May National Conference in Auckland: The Society celebrates 60 years. There is much going in to make sure that this will be a great event with some “BIG NAMES” coming from China for it.

For more information on our programme ring 07 577 0583 or any Committee member.

You will note that this year we are trialing meetings to be held in the second week of each month:

  • on the second Tuesday (evening meeting, generally at Tauranga Intermediate, including the offer of a meal brought to us from Chinatown Restaurant in Fraser Cove), and
  • on the second Sunday (luncheon at one of Tauranga’s various Chinese restaurants).


  • National Executive raffle tickets are selling well for the RETURN AIR FARE FOR TWO TO CHINA: The $5 tickets available from Committee Members. Second Prize a set of StoneLine Pots.
  • National Executive and members Celebratory Dinner with Chines Embassy Staff on Friday 24th February for the 60th Anniversary of NZCFS – three days early!
  • National Executive Meeting Saturday 25Feb.
  • Attached here is the latest copy of NZCFS National Notebook


THE BOOK REVIEW: The Poems of Du Fu

On one of my visits to China I purchased a book The poems of Du Fu (translated by Rewi Alley) and from time to time I read his beautiful and meaningful works that bring back so many memories of beautiful China. This man who wandered from one place to another, poor as a church mouse, made poetry his lifetime career. He recorded his life experiences with poems and they testified also he his troubles. He was not less respected as the historian among the poets. He was also revered as a poet among poets. According to written records, Du Fu lived between 712 and 770 A.D. a 59 year interval when the strength of the Tang Empire was failing. It was a most troubled period marked by constant war. Inspired by all that he had observed, Du Fu truthfully recorded in his poems the history of few decades prior to and after the An Lu Shan Rebellion. According to Du’s poems, he travelled for about three years during his twenties to areas south of the Yangtze River. After he failed in civil servicing examination one year, the poet travelled again in areas near the Yellow River for over seven years. He did not write much during this period, happily wandering from one place to another.

         Good Rain on a Spring Night.      A good rain falling       Just when it should      In Spring time : riding      On the wind it fills    A whole night, soaking          The land with its goodness:       Clouds hand heavily over          Country paths: a lone light   Shines from a passing boat: Morning and I see a damp        Redness on the branches   Laden down with flowers

Book review provided by Margaret Cooper.

When I was had just left school I spent my first wages on a Penguin Classic ” The Poems of the Late Tang” and like Margaret also enjoy reading poetry from Tu Fu, Tu Mu, Li Bai and others. JH                                                _____________________________________________________________________________________


“We have a useful expression in Chinese to encourage people to stick to their goal. We used it quite often when we studied English.

The expression is


bīng dòng sān chǐ, fēi yī rì zhī hán.

There is a similar saying in English which is “Rome was not built in a day”.

冰冻三尺,非一日之寒。 冰means “ice”; 冻 means “freeze”; 三尺 means “three foot”; 非 means “not”一日means “one day”; 寒 means “ cold”.

Literally, the whole sentence means that three-foot thick ice is not formed in one freezing cold day. The expression is used to express that one needs to make persistent effort in order to achieve success. “

This month’s saying has been provided by Li Peng of Bethlehem.        _____________________________________________________________________________________                                                                                                                                                                                         With the success of our first meeting of the year we now look forward to a good year for our branch and hope that you will be able to join us in many of our activities. Our next meeting as mentioned earlier is on Tuesday 20March and we hope that we can see you there.

If you have any comments on our programme or this newsletter we would be very happy to receive them. If you have recently read an interesting book involving China we would be delighted to receive your review of it.

John Hodgson