A month or two back the Christchurch branch committee decided to hold a function for Consul General Madame He Ying, where it could thank her for her friendship and the positive impression she has made since she arrived in Christchurch. It was also seen as a way for the committee and Madame He to get to know each other better, which of course is very important in all relationships.
Branch member Dave Adamson offered the use of his family bach at Wainui on Banks Peninsula as a suitable venue. The function was held in April, and weather in the week previous was not good, with the forecast even worse for the weekend of the function. Happily, the Saturday dawned calm and by afternoon brought us sunshine, which meant all were able to sit on the deck and enjoy the views.
A delightful day of good food, good fellowship and good views over Akaroa Harbour was enjoyed by all. With the salmon farm being a short distance along the coast, it was of course important that we had delicious salmon steaks amongst the range of food available.
By a happy coincidence, Kiwi Andy Boreham, who has lived in Shanghai for several years and is a journalist with the Shanghai Daily, was in town with two of his colleagues as they were working on a movie to do with Rewi Alley. This was a chance too good to miss of course so the committee ensured they were invited along to the day as well. For his two colleagues, it was their first visit to New Zealand, so to be able to visit a typical Kiwi bach by the sea added another exciting experience for their time here.
For the committee, this was a great opportunity for it to get to know Madame He better, and she really is a very delightful woman. Very kind, very friendly, very smiley.
Judging by the buzz of interest and voices, we can confidently say the afternoon was a resounding success. Certainly, Madame He Ying did not seem to be in a hurry to leave!
The committee knows that something like that will for Madame He Ying will have been a welcome piece of pleasurable relaxation from her normally very busy life, and of course it gave the committee the ability to give her an insight into Kiwis; who we are, what we do etc.
All in all a very successful function, and the committee is quite confident it and Madame He Ying now know each other much better, which will undoubtedly lead to even better relations in the future.