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Christchurch Branch February Chinese New Year Banquet

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As usual, our February Chinese New Year Banquet was a huge success. We had about 85 diners. We’ve been cutting back on the numbers since Covid 19 reared its ugly head. Unfortunately, the mayor was unable to attend at the last moment, (but of course the ever-loyal Councillor Jimmy Chen was there!).

The consulate was also unable to be represented as it has been directed by its Wellington embassy not to attend public functions during the Covid 19 pandemic. Speeches were given by branch president Michelle MacWilliam and Councillor Jimmy Chen, representing Mayor Lianne Dalziel. Michelle was able to announce that, just like at last September’s China National Day banquet, the consulate has generously donated $300 towards the He Ming Qing scholarship.

He Ming Qing is the name that the Chinese people gave Kathleen Hall, a New Zealand missionary nurse in China who worked in poor rural areas under extremely difficult conditions in the 1920s-30s and trained local nurses to work alongside her. The scholarship was established by our society many years ago in her honour, to provide three-year scholarships for young Chinese women from poor rural areas, enabling them to complete nursing training in order to return to their villages and work to improve health standards. Our branch has supported this very successful and satisfying programme for many years now.

At its February meeting the branch committee agreed that raffle profits from our annual Chinese New Year banquet would from now on go to the Rewi Alley Chinese School, which was established in Christchurch in 1998 as a charitable trust, with the purpose of operating a Chinese language school for people of all cultures and to provide other support and assistance.

This means that from a very enjoyable banquet the Christchurch branch was able to raise $300 for the He Ming Qing scholarship and $500 for the school; what a great result!