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Auckland Branch: Annual General Meeting (18/03/2021)

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The Annual General Meeting for the Branch was held last Thursday evening.

Attendance:
A good number (in the mid to high 20’s) of members attended the meeting which was very encouraging. Lively discussions took place before, during and after the meeting.

Guest Speakers:
We had the pleasure of two unexpected guest speakers – Bernie Richmond and Sally Chow (Zhou).
Bernie and his wife, Elaine, are Life Members of the Wellington Branch of the Society. Several years ago, they moved to settle in Auckland, and this was the first meeting that we had seen them at for some time. Bernie spoke about the NZCFS Tours that they joined several years ago and had travelled to many parts of China. Their experiences in Tibet and Xinjiang were some of the highlights of their many visits. Especially the occasion when they visited Lhasa and found that they lacked energy because of the high altitude and the shortage of oxygen.
Sally Chow (Zhou) had not intended to come to the meeting but through a chance telephone conversation with the Branch President, earlier in the day, Sally ended up locating the venue of the Branch AGM and enjoyed conversations with several members during the evening.

Sally talked about her teaching English in Hong Kong and Wuxi, the latter city where her former Chinese husband originated from. She also recalled the chance meeting in Hong Kong where she and her husband met for the first time and how she raised four sons. Sally is keen to contact Wuxi again and will make a further trip to the Wuxi Scholars Garden in Hamilton to search out information about her husband’s family.

Election of Branch Officers and the Branch Executive Committee.

The following persons were elected as Branch Officers:

  • Branch Patron George Andrews
  • Branch President Michael Hart
  • Branch Vice President Kris Sproull
  • Branch Secretary Nicholas Dynon
  • Branch Treasurer Graeme Doherty
  • Branch Assistant Secretary/
  • Treasurer Gareth Shen

The following persons were elected as members of the Branch Executive Committee:

  • William Wan
  • Ken Liu
  • Dorothy Waymouth
  • Dr Danping Wang
  • Jing Feickert
  • Dongyang Ye
  • Mark Price
  • Matthew McCreanor
  • Daniel Chang
  • Drew McCartie
  • Taufiq Haider Chowdhury
  • Bryce Coughlan
  • Dr Mike Yin

Our new Executive Committee has a wide range of talent, experience, and age ranges. At least 85% of the committee can speak, and understand Putonghua.

Over 40% of our committee members were born in China and all our Kiwi or foreign-born committee members have worked, studied and/ or lived in China at some stage of their lives.

Membership:
We are very pleased to report that our Financial membership has more than doubled since 31 December 2020. The membership at that date was 29 and as of last Thursday, the financial membership has reached 61. This is a great effort by all concerned.
Newer members of the committee are keen to help build the Branch membership numbers from hereon in.

Events:
Like most other Branches, Auckland has had several of its planned events disrupted or cancelled because of Covid19. The new committee is planning to have an active Events programme for members to look forward to in the coming year.
Recent Day trips by members to Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf and, this past weekend to visit the Godwits at Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre in the Firth of Thames have been well supported and enjoyed by all who attended.