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Don’t miss ‘Rewi Alley in China’ Exhibition, Christchurch


On Friday 20 September, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker opened the ‘Rewi Alley in China’ exhibition at Canterbury Museum. This fascinating exhibition, which has been facilitated by the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (Youxie) in conjunction with the Shanghai Municipal Archives Bureau and the New Zealand China Friendship Society, is composed of about 80 framed photos and facsimiles of documents signed by Rewi during his time in China, and Shanghai in particular.

The exhibition is in five parts: “Early Life”, “Shanghai Memory”, “Participation in Gung Ho Cooperative Movement”, “Establishing the Bailie School” and “Days in China”.

The Shanghai Municipal Archives Bureau has also produced a very interesting 15 minute DVD to accompany the exhibition.

The exhibition runs until 27 October, 2013; be sure not to miss it!

For details (times, location) follow this link: http://events.nzherald.co.nz/2013/riwi-alley-in-china/christchurch-city

 A six person delegation, led by Ms. Cheng Xiuming, Deputy Director of Shanghai Municipal Archives Bureau, came to Christchurch for the opening.  During their brief time here I took them to Springfield (Rewi’s birthplace) and on the way back we popped into the Rewi Alley Chinese School, where Principal Adam Wei gave them a talk on its activities.

The good news is the Shanghai Municipal Archives Bureau has donated the exhibition collection to the society, which means that, while our branch will store and look after it (and right now we are looking for a suitable storage area; can you help with this??), the collection will be available for other branches and bodies around the country which feel they would like to exhibit it, in total or part.  If interested, please contact Dave Adamson mailto:[email protected]

Full marks to George Elder and the team in conjunction with the excellent people at Canterbury Museum, for handling the organisation involved in setting up the exhibition, and also full marks to Scott and Maggie of the Shanghai Youxie for their sterling work in putting the whole process together at their end.  We also thank the local PRC Consulate for their support of the opening ceremony.

 To recognize the importance of the exhibition, the Shanghai Municipal Archives Bureau invited the society to send a small delegation to Shanghai in early September, 2013, and several members from different branches took up the challenge. Next time you are in Shanghai, make a point of going to view more of the Rewi Alley story in China at Shanghai Municipal Archives, 326 Xian Xia Road; you won’t be disappointed.

Editor’s note:  The rest of the Shanghai tour has been described in some detail in other stories.  

Click on the appropriate title below: 

Signing of the Memorandum of Intent at Shanghai Writers Association;

Setting up Musical Links;

Visit to Shanghai Archives [article in preparation];

Visit to Qingpu – watertown and garden.

Dave Adamson (Vice President, South Island), September, 2013.