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Christchurch Branch Newsletter – February 2015


Editor: Dave Adamson   Email: [email protected]    Tel: (03) 389 1376 

Your committee wishes everyone a

Peaceful and Prosperous Year of the Sheep


The sheep (or rasheepm) is among the animals that people like most. It is gentle and calm. Since ancient times, people have learned to use its fleece to make writing brushes and skin to keep warm. As it is white, people describe delicate and precious white jade to be ‘suet jade’. Thus it is close to the meaning of good things.


Next Meeting – 26th February 2015

Annual General Meeting

The first meeting of the year always includes the branch’s Annual General Meeting. Please give some thought as to whether you would like to stand for the committee. We are all committed to the NZCFS. This is an opportunity to become more involved in our society’s activities and use your talents to achieve the aims of our organisation, and what’s more, being on the committee is fun! Following the AGM we will have a showing of the fascinating “Inside Red China”; details of it are towards the end of this newsletter.


New Members

We extend a warm welcome to new branch members David Stringer and John Doherty.


Annual Conference: Nelson, 22-24 May 2015

1This year it’s on the Mainland so for Cantabrians that makes it very doable!  Registration is only $100!!  Here are the details:

VENUE   Muritai Centre at Tahunanui Primary School, near Nelson’s famous Tahuna Beach. Near the airport, Tahuna Beach Holiday Camp, and many motels and eateries.

THEME   有办法 You banfa! There is a way! The title comes from Rewi Alley’s book ‘Yo Banfa!’ first published in 1952. The Saturday programme will be members’ presentations on ways NZCFS executive, committees, and branches are translating goals into actions.

TIMELINE   Registration packs will be posted on line before Chinese New Year (February 19). Registrations requested by April 24 (Easter) after which a late fee will apply. Be in early for much cheaper airfares to and from Nelson.

COSTINGS   Registration initially $100 ($30 late fee after April 24). Banquet booked with registration $40 at Eastern Cuisine in Richmond. Friday night carvery meal booked at Ocean Lodge near venue at own cost $27.50. Airport transfers courtesy of Nelson members. Accommodation: Big range for easy walking from $25 pp cabin to top class motels.

MORE   Keep watching for website updates which will show: Accommodation in Tahunanui, The You Banfa! Story, Invitation to contribute your You Banfa story at Nelson Conference, Registration information.

Further details or inquiries from Nelson President:   [email protected]


Registration forms will be available very soon and the suggested accommodation list is up on the NZCFS website at: https://nzchinasociety.org.nz/18050/2015-nzcfs-conference/  Be sure to support your society’s conference!


Chinese New Year Banquet – 15 February 2015

6.00pm., Sunday 15 February

Daphne’s Restaurant

398 Riccarton Road, Church Corner

Cost: $30

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to make your booking for this enjoyable event. This is always a great banquet, so make up a table with friends and come along and have an evening of fun and food. In fact if you’re a member of one of the many local Chinese associations, why not make up a table?  (booking form at end of newsletter).


Well done branch member Phil !!

phillI’m sure several of you will already be aware of the enormous honour recently conferred on long-term branch member Phil Rolston with the awarding of The International Science & Technology Co-operation Award in recognition of his work in China since the early 1980s, which has helped to change the face of that country’s farming systems. Phil is a senior scientist with AgResearch’s Lincoln-based forage breeding team. I received an email on 10 January from Phil “Hi Dave, I have had an interesting day at the Great Hall of the People attending the Science & Technology Awards Ceremony for both domestic & international scientists. I was one of 7 receiving the 2014 International S&T Cooperation Award. Premier Xi JinPing presided over the Awards and he shook our hands. There were two parts of the award, the Certificate awarded in front of 3000 people with Premier Xi and other senior state leaders and then a smaller medal ceremony for the international recipients, counterparts and embassy staff where vice Premier Liu Yandong made the presentations.  

My award was sponsored by Lanzhou University (College of Pastoral Science & Technology), thus a strong Gansu link in this”.  Of course Gansu Province and Christchurch have enjoyed a strong sister city relationship since 1984. Those of us who know Phil well will have picked up his modest aw shucks personality all through this email; a clever and unassuming man.  


Our ambassador to China, Carl Worker said large parts of China which were once almost desert are now green pastures as a result of Phil’s work. The prestige of the award can be put into focus by pointing out only 40 people have ever received it! Congratulations Phil on this well-earned recognition of your work over the years during your 70+ visits to China.


Annual Prizegiving Ceremony

On the evening of Friday 28 November our branch held its annual prizegiving event, when prizes are given to young people at local schools who have achieved a level of excellence in their learning of the Chinese language. As usual it was a very happy affair, with family friends and teachers coming along to support these clever young people. This year the ceremony was held at St Margaret’s College.



Gung Ho Special Contribution Award

1112Industrial Cooperatives (ICCIC) has recently presented a special award to branch member Bill Willmott in recognition of his contribution to the Gong Ho movement over many years. Gung Ho is the slogan and nickname of the International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives, a project founded by Rewi Alley to foster genuine democratic cooperatives in various parts of China. The New Zealand China Friendship Society supports this movement both materially and morally as one of our major projects. Congratulations Bill, it’s wonderful to see your dedication to all things Chinese being recognised!


Farewell for Lin Lijun

2For the last five months of last year, our city hosted Lin Lijun of the Gansu Foreign Affairs Office. She was here under a Christchurch China Sister Cities committee programme whereby officers of the GSFAO are brought here to improve their English. Lijun had a wonderful time, and I am going to leave it to her to tell you about her visit, in the words she used at the farewell banquet; very moving.   

My dear friends, Good evening!

Nearly 5 months ago, I left my family and job with two goals of improving my English and getting kiwi experience. Today, I am very proud to tell you that “the Mission Accomplished!” I know that 150 days is but a span for language learning and for life, and I have tried my best. Over the past 5 months, I have been very busy with English classes, experiencing kiwi life, enjoying wonderful trips and surviving interpreting for your mayor. All of you sitting here gave me such great help along the way.

I can’t forget you, Shirley and Graeme. You gave me my first warm home in New Zealand. Your house is always tidy and your lifestyle is always gracious. I told my husband when I am back home I am determined to learn from you and make our rooms as comfortable as yours.

I can’t forget you, Michelle. You are my kiwi sister. You taught me how important it is to be an independent woman. I will never forget the delicious Chinese dumplings we cooked together.

I will miss you Caroline and Graham. You are so kind persons, you gave me the kiwi potluck experience, and I celebrated my 35th birthday in New Zealand with your best wishes!

3Dave and Carol, you are so considerate looking after me! You have a huge and wonderful family. Dave, please remember, in the future no matter which grandchild of yours come to Gansu, please let me know, I will show them kind hospitality.  

Bill and Jan, I can’t tell you how difficult it is to describe how moved I felt when I met both of you. Bill, you drove 7 hours and took me to see Mount Cook, and let me know how gorgeous the true New Zealand is. You called each other “boy” and “girl” wittily, I was deeply touched by your love. After I go home, I will encourage my husband to call me “girl” again.

Ruth, it is your great care, efficient coordination, hard work and thoughtful arrangements that have made my New Zealand experience fruitful.

It would be remiss if I didn’t express my sincere appreciation to Bernard and Jane. Many times I have been humbled by the kindness of your hearts. You’ve helped me through the difficult times, and shared the joyous times at your place. I will never forget once a time before I left your home you gave me a hot water bottle to help me to keep warm. My heart was warmed by this special memorable “gift”. Please allow me to keep it, because I really want to keep warm memories of New Zealand.

Some people judge their lives on what they do, others on who they are. I want my life judged on the friends I keep, and how enriched I am from just knowing you.
According to Buddhist philosophy, I do believe all of us are getting closer together today, we are the family members in previous lives, I truly believe the reason why I came here was just because I needed to look for you.

Truly, there are too many things to be thankful for. My thanks also go to all those who have given me so much help and support. I will have to say goodbye to my friends, but my happy memories will remain fresh in the years to come. You can be rest assured that you will have a good friend in Gansu. Come to see me!

Thank you all.


Visit of Hon. Dr. Feng Jianshen to Christchurch to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Relationship Between Gansu And Christchurch

The Christchurch China Sister Cities Committee was pleased to recently host a delegation from Gansu Province in north western China, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Christchurch-Gansu sister city relationship.  This relationship was suggested by Rewi Alley as he said that the mountains and hills of Gansu Province reminded him of his birthplace in Canterbury.

1The delegation was led by the Hon. Dr Feng Jianshen, Chairman of the Consultative Committee of Gansu Province.  He was accompanied by other Gansu politicians and members of the Gansu Foreign Affairs Office.

The delegation had formal meetings with Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Consul-General Mr Jin Zhijian, Science Alive and staff at the University of Canterbury.  Visits were also made to the Canterbury Earthquake Authority, Darfield High School, the Rewi Alley Memorial at Springfield and Lincoln University.

There was a strong commitment in discussions from both sides to lift the relationship to a higher level, particularly in the education and tourism sectors.  Mayor Lianne Dalziel will be visiting Gansu in March to continue these discussions, and it is intended that a new Memorandum of Understanding will be signed at that time.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary, the sister cities committee presented to the delegation an oil painting of the Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps as a backdrop.  This painting will be hung in a Sister Cities Hall to be constructed in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province. 


Tours Update

Mongolia and North  Central China Tour, 9 – 29 July 2015

Genghis Khan – the man who made the modern world, or a violent marauder? How did his grandson Kubilai unite China? Explore this fascinating history, and experience the distinct culture of the Mongolian people in their harsh grassland steppe and Gobi environment in Mongolia and Inner Mongolia.
Back in north central China, participate in how NZCFS continues the legacy of Kathleen Hall – a New Zealand missionary nurse in China who was swept up in the war against Japan. Learn how NZCFS supports a community health project commemorating her. Add in a selection of China’s best preserved sites – a Buddhist grotto, a hanging temple, UNESCO world heritage walled town and much much more; what a great tour this is going to be!  Cost: $7,250 per person (estimated, subject to currency exchange rates). Have a look at   www.nzchinasociety.org.nz for more details.


Photographers’ Tour 4 – 25 September 2015

Visit destinations specially selected for amazing photographic opportunities in different environments ranging from Huanglong & Jiuzhaigou UNESCO parks with waterfalls, multi coloured lakes, and minority villages to modern cityscapes and peaceful landscapes to the bustle of daily life. A broad varied offer of old and new.

Our visit includes:
–  Sichuan landscapes and pandas
–  Tibetan culture  and train trip
–  Scenic Dongchuan Red Land
–  Chengdu cityscape

Fully escorted.

All inclusive Price $7,800 (estimated, subject to currency exchange, excludes Chinese visa and insurances) 4 star, twin share accommodation, where available. All meals provided. Have a look at www.nzchinasociety.org.nz for more details.


“Inside Red China” DVD on Sale Now!

You will remember the article in the November newsletter on the DVD recently produced of the 1958 movie made by NZCFS filmmakers Rudall and Ramai Hayward; among the first Westerners to travel widely in the People’s Republic. Their documentary exploring the new China soon after liberation includes a remarkable sequence when Ramai Hayward presents a Maori cloak to Chairman Mao.

The great news is that this DVD is now available for purchase! Click on the following link to read how to obtain your copy of this historic film: https://nzchinasociety.org.nz/18899/get-your-own-dvd-of-inside-red-china-film/   Having seen it I can absolutely recommend it; what a great Christmas present!


Food Glorious Food

Have a look at  http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/themes/food/63709298/A-guide-to-Chinas-best-street-food


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