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Thursday 24th May, 7.30pm.  
St Peter’s Cathedral Centre

On the hill opposite the Celebrating Age Centre and the Municipal Pool at the southern end of Victoria Street. Walk up the steps to the Cathedral and follow the covered way to the building at the right.
Parking should be available either at the top of the driveway to the Cathedral or in nearby streets.

 Loving and Learning in Rural China: Discussing the Movie ‘The Road Home

Come to enjoy and discuss a wonderful movie by renowned director Zhang Yimou. ‘The Road Home’ (2000, 89 minutes, English subtitles) tells how a city businessman, Luo Yusheng, returning to his village in northern Liaoning province, gradually uncovers the story of how his parents fell in love and their courtship. Zhang (who also made ‘Raise the Red Lantern’) weaves the glorious colors of the countryside into this love story. But because Luo’s father is the village teacher, primary schooling also becomes an important theme in the movie. No doubt we will find lots to talk about in this movie. After the viewing, Dr. Junjun Chen, an educator from Liaoning Province and now at the University of Waikato, will lead a discussion about what intrigued, excited and confused us in the movie.

The movie starts with a man arriving back in his home village in China after being informed of the death of his father. He meets with his Uncle and the Mayor, they inform him that his father died after becoming ill while out in a storm trying to raise money for a new school. He also learns that his mother insists that her husband be brought home by men walking down the road from the city to the village as was the old custom.

Much of the movie then reverts to his narrating the story of how his parents met and fell in love before ending with the father’s former students and others bringing him home, just as the old woman requested.

This movie is in Chinese with English sub-titles so will be of interest to native Chinese speakers, those learning Chinese, those interested in education in China, classic Chinese movies by one of China’s top film directors, and those who simply enjoy a good movie set in rural north China. All welcome, bring a friend. Cup of Chinese tea and supper provided. FREE to all.

The full pdf of this newsletter is available at NZCFS Hamilton May2012 Newsletter

NZCFS RAFFLE: With a wonderful first prize of two return tickets to Shanghai, China, provided by Air New Zealand to recognise the number of bookings we make through them for our tours, every dollar of the $5 ticket price goes to the Society, with $1 of those we sell going to our Branch. Tickets will be on sale at our meetings, with the draw done in Auckland on the Chinese National Day, 1 October, 2012. Please contact us if you want to buy any tickets, or if you would like to take a book of 10 tickets to sell to others outside the society.

VISIT BY WUXI DELEGATION: A high level delegation from Hamilton’s Chinese Sister City Wuxi paid a short visit to Hamilton on Monday 30 April 2012. The delegation was of senior level officials of the Standing Committee of Wuxi Municipal People’s Congress. Our co-President Miao, and former Chinese Garden Trust secretary Ian had been invited by the Mayor to meet our visitors from Wuxi. The delegation was welcomed to Hamilton, by Hamilton City Councilors Ewen Wilson and Dave Macpherson, on behalf of Her Worship the Mayor Julie Hardaker, and hosted to morning tea in the Councilors’ Lounge. Relationships between the two cities were discussed. Ewen had said that he was a member of the Waikato Health Board and noted that Waikato Hospital was one of the largest regional hospitals in New Zealand as well as being the medical training establishment associated with the University of Auckland. It turned out that Mr. Cao was by profession a doctor of Chinese Traditional Medicine and some interesting comparisons between figures of our two respective hospital systems were made. Mr Cao offered to introduce Ewen to the Wuxi hospital system when he visits Wuxi later in the year. We all then adjourned to the Hamilton Gardens where we spent some time in the Chinese Garden before briefly visiting the Indian, Italian and Maori Gardens. Peter Vautier, who was also a former trustee of the Chinese Garden Trust and Chairman of the Friends of Hamilton Gardens, met us at the gardens. We then hosted the delegation to lunch at Dong’s Restaurant before they returned to Auckland before flying on to Australia. Miao’s cousin Mr. CAI Dagang is the Director of Foreign Affairs of Wuxi Municipality, and well known to all the members of the delegation as well as being the BIG boss of Tom Gu.

Members of the delegation:
Mr. CAO Xirong, leader of the delegation, Vice President of the Standing Committee
Mr. HAN Xiaojiang, Vice Secretary-General of the Standing Committee
Mr. MU Jianwei, Vice Secretary-General and Director of General Office of the SC
Mr. QI Jiping, Vice Secretary-General and Director of Research of the SC
Mr. WEI Jianxin, Deputy Director of General Office of the SC
Mr. GU Junyao (Tom Gu) Interpreter, Foreign Affairs Office of Wuxi Municipality
It was the first visit to New Zealand for all members of the delegation.


Co-President Jenevere, Stan, and Ian met with the Mayor Julie Hardaker on 12 April 2012 and discussed the City and Branch relationship and history. Julie noted that although Hamilton has three sister city relationships, the Wuxi one has been the most active. As part of its planning process, the council will be reviewing sister city relationships. Julie has been on a personal visit to China and is involved in several personal business relationships with China and says she is committed to further contacts with China, but probably on a personal rather than on a council basis. A very worthwhile meeting as we have now met each other and better understand each other’s positions.

HE MING QING (KATHLEEN HALL) SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISING DINNER: Held on 15 April at Canton Hong Kong Restaurant on was a great success, although we were a little disappointed that so many of our members and friends were not able to come. We were honored to have Mayor Julie Hardaker and her husband Steve Perdia with us for the evening – they reported that they really enjoyed themselves. Local MPs David Bennet and Tim Macindoe and his wife Anne came along and supported us. Everyone appeared to enjoy the food and the company, and their generosity in supporting this fundraising effort raised $990-00 for the scholarship. We are very grateful for those who attended the function, made donations for raffle prizes, and assisted in organizing and running this evening.


It takes 30 crews of ‘high-rise supermen’ to clean the windows on China’s tallest building.  Photos by Niu Yixin / for China Daily. The 492-meter-high, 101-story Shanghai World Financial Center in Pu dong District, Shanghai, is the tallest building on the Chinese mainland. The more than 30 exterior crews that clean the landmark have earned the title of “high-rise supermen” as they risk their lives to work hard every day on more than10,000 glass curtain walls.  To join the ranks, applicants to become high-rise cleaners are required to have vocational certificates and be free from high blood pressure. Of course, those with a fear of heights need not apply. Crewmembers are prohibited from wearing watches or carrying mobile phones while working high above the ground and they must stop working if winds reach Force 4 on the Beaufort scale, defined as a “moderate breeze” of 20 to 28 kilometers an hour. Yang Bo cleans the 94th floor glass curtain.

WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS:  Annette Wright, Cao Diwen, Hao Truang, Helena Wang and Andreas Bigger, Sue Ellis, Gill and Richard Lawrence.


1. A suggestion was made that the Committee draw up and plan our meetings a year in advance, rather than only work one or two months ahead – this is seriously being considered.

2. A suggestion was made that we have name badges for our members showing the NZCFS Logo, branch, and member’s name. We are obtaining quotes.

3. We currently have an executive committee of 11 persons so participation in discussion in detail on all matters does take some time. It has been agreed that we form some sub-committees which should spread the workload and responsibilities, as well as save time at executive committee meetings, and hopefully make for increased efficiency in administration. Non-executive committee members could be appointed (with their consent of course) to subcommittees which would involve more of our members with more specific interests and skills. The sub-committees would present their findings and recommendations to the executive committee, and otherwise carry on with the functions agreed to by the executive committee. Our first sub-committee has already been set up being the Newsletter sub-committee comprising Stan, Harry, and Ian. Setting up of further sub-committees is being discussed. We welcome suggestions or input from any members. Our executive committee meets every month except sometimes December or January.

BOOK REVIEW: My China – A Feast for all the Senses by Kylie Kwong, published by Penguin group (Australia) 2007, ISBN 9781920989354.

Kylie is a fourth-generation Australian-Chinese who does not speak Cantonese or Mandarin and is the owner of the Billy Kwong Restaurant in Sydney, Australia. This is her fourth book and she has produced her own TV series. My China, continues Kylie’s exploration of the culinary delights of the land of her ancestors, while taking a deeply personal journey into the history, culture and peoples of China and Tibet.

This is a large book of 483 pages with many excellent photographs by Simon Griffiths. There are 59 pages on Tibet – excellent reading and photos which would be of great benefit to anyone considering visiting Tibet, or to bring back memories for those who have already visited Tibet. “Now, I must admit that you wouldn’t really go to Tibet for gastronomic inspiration. The climate here is so harsh that the Tibetan diet is largely limited to what you can make from barley and yak meat: tsampa, soups, momos, and a few other variations on the same theme. In this context, it’s also perhaps not so strange that Tibetans, unlike other Buddhists, eat meat – if they didn’t, they’d starve.” For tourists, and locals who can afford it, there are Indian and Szechuan (heaps of chili) based meals available at restaurants and hotels.

The whole book is not just about recipes and cooking – there is a wealth of interesting notes and comments on local culture and beliefs as well. Kylie is an enthusiastic and compulsive cook who explains techniques and offers helpful hints and strategies. Reviewed by Ian Howat.

Remembrance of Things Past.
In the 1930’s through the 1940’s a large number of Jewish emigrants settled in Tianjin in China. They formed a quite large community extending over forty streets in the city. They integrated well and lived happily with the ordinary Chinese citizens of the city. Many of these Jewish people now live in the United States and other parts of the world. This film has interviews with past residents of the city, and their reminiscences and accompanying photos give an interesting account of a less well known slice of China’s recent history.

Light Rail #3.
This is an entertaining story of a young couple living in the suburbs of a big city. They have bought a house in the suburbs and have a heavy mortgage, Both travel daily to work in the city on Light Rail #3 and get entangled in romantic and stressful situations here, and in their differing work environments. This is an interesting film because it highlights to those unfamiliar with everyday life in China, the modernity of big city infrastructure, and the problems and aspirations of middle class people no matter how different their ethnicity or culture.

LIBRARY: Ian has several books and DVDs available for loan to members.

“You Banfa!” by Rewi Alley.
“Rewi Alley – an autobiography”.
“Rewi – the story of Rewi Alley” by Tom Newnham, published in 1997.
“Rewi Alley – from Canterbury to China”
“New Zealand Women in China” by Tom Newnham
“Kathleen Hall – Kiwi Heroine in China” by Tom Newnham
“Kiwi Dragon – The Chinese in Aotearoa New Zealand – History, Culture, Hope” by Bill Willmott, published 2009.

 DVDs – (kindly provided by the Consulate-General)
“One Thousand Years of Shaolin Temple” 36 minute documentary – language options.
“Remembrance of Things Past” 25 minute documentary on Jewish migrant refugees in the 1930’s and 40’s who settled in Tianjin. Language options.
“Merchants on the Ancient Silk Road” 26 minute documentary on the lifestyle and expectations of a contemporary Uygur(ethnic) merchant. Language options.
“Ancient Folk Buildings in Huizhou” 30 minute documentary on ancient classical architecture in southern Anhui Province. Language options.
“Harmony in a Dong Ethnic Group Village” 25 minute documentary – the village of Tang’an in southwestern Guizhou Province is regarded as “a good example of human’s living in harmony with nature”. Language options.
“The Dancing Career of a Mute Girl” 25 minute documentary on a disabled girl from Zhenjiang. Language options.
“Dancing with the Cranes” 25 minutes on the breeding programme on the red-crowned crane in the Yancheng Wetland Nature Reserve in Jiangsu Province. Language options.
“Colors of Mount Tianshan” 10 minute documentary on this scenic wonderland in Xinjiang. Language options.
“Su Embroidery” 15 minute documentary on the famous Suzhou silk embroidery. Language options.
“A Chinese Girl” 25 minutes documentary on a Kenyan girl, (descendant of Chinese landed there in the 1500’s from one of the Zheng He voyages) who was given a scholarship to study in Nanjing at the University of Traditional Chinese Medicine as part of the celebration of the 600th anniversary of  Zheng He’s voyages abroad. Language options
“Light Rail” 95 minutes Feature Film of a couple facing the stresses and pressures of modern life. Language options.


Jenevere Foreman ph. 850 1312
Miao Fan ph. 854 8051
Secretary and vice-President: Meryl Lanting ph. 843 5260
Treasurer: Diane Lanting ph. 843 8009
Vice Presidents:
Stan Boyle ph. 847 4504
Peter Vautier ph 855 3922
Howard Zheng ph 856 3380
Harry van den Berg ph 0278 710 2411
Committee members:
Miles Barker ph. 856 3778
Muriel Adams ph. 839 4488
Ian Howat ph. 855 9431

TRANSPORT TO BRANCH EVENTS: If you require transport please phone a committee member to arrange this for you.