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Manawatu Branch July Newsletter 2016


Next Meeting  Sunday July 17th 

China’s Ethnic Dance Heritage 

at  3 pm in the ETC (English Language Teaching College) Premises  

 1st Floor, BNZ House, 140 the Square, Palmerston North 

Presented by Mr Lin Hai,

Sichuan College of Culture & Arts, Mianyang, China 


Qiang dancersLin Hai has been a leading Choreographer and Community Dance Officer for the Municipal Government of Mianyang City in Sichuan Province [population 5m] for 30 years. He is President of the Mianyang chapter of the National Association of Chinese Dance Artists, a Director of the Mianyang Cultural Centre, and a Visiting Professor at Sichuan College of Culture & arts, He is also an authority on the rich minority folk cultures of Sichuan, especially their dances.

A lively and entertaining speaker, Lin Hai is in New Zealand at our Society’s invitation, to acquaint himself with our dance cultures and performers, and create links with our dance counterparts in West China. He will be assisted by his colleague Jan Mcleod from Whanganui

Anyone interested in dance & music, ethnic cultures or China’s performing arts will find Mr Lin’s talk enjoyable. 


At Our Last Meeting

Dr Janelle Ward, a wildlife consultant from Hamilton described and illustrated her work with raptors (birds of prey) in Mongolia. She was part of a team investigating the causes of mortality and poor reproductive performance of Mongolian Saker Falcons.  These birds inhabit the mountainous steppe landscapes of Mongolia and Northern China and nest on rock faces and now-a-days on man-made structures.

The Saker Falcon
The Saker Falcon
Janelle Ward examining a falcon chick from a man made nestbox
Janelle Ward examining a falcon chick from a man made nestbox

One of the main causes of death of adult falcons is electrocution on power poles which occurs when the birds straddle the live wires. Better designed poles and insulators are now being erected to prevent this problem.

The post mortem examinations of the dead falcons were able to provide useful information on their health problems and reproductive status. While she was there Janelle was also able to enjoy the typical generous Mongolian hospitality. 


Obituary – Merv Hancock

Merv Hancock was a life member of the Manawatu Branch and served as President from 1983-89. This was a time when Chinese students first began to arrive in the city and In his role as a City Councillor he was able to welcome the students and invite them to Branch meetings picnics and social activities.

Merv was born in Palmerston North and spent most of his adult life in the city.  His was a pioneer of modern social work and developed the first undergraduate degree in social work at Massey in 1975. After semi retirement he ran his own relationship counselling service, and was instrumental in the creation and development of many community groups, including Methodist Social Services, Birthright, Marriage Guidance, Parents’ entre, Home Budgeting, and the National Society on Alcohol and Drug Addiction.

He was actively involved in setting up the International Pacific College and helped establish our sister city relationship with Guiyang in Guizhou province. He stood down from the council in 1992,but continued to be actively involved in community organisations and in 2012 at age 86 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate from Massey University. He died on May 16th aged 90. 


NZCFS Explore South West China Tour – 11 October to 2 November 2016

The New Zealand China Friendship Society offers a  fully escorted,  23 day educational tour in the “Explore China” series. The tour will visit the two SW provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan for an in-depth experience of this area. Starting and ending in the two provincial capitals Chengdu and Kunming, the traveller will experience aspects of the social and physical geography this area has to offer. From the plains of Sichuan, the tour will travel  south and west across the grasslands and mountain folds to the NW corner of Yunnan. To register your interest and for more information contact Ann White: phone 03 614 8944 [email protected] 

A full pdf version of this newsletter is available at Newsletter-July-2016.pdf