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Nelson Branch Newsletter – August 2011


The full pdf is available at: NZCFS Nelson August 2011


~ Next meeting ~

Fifteen Chinese Teachers

Bring Their Stories to Nelson


Our picture shows 5 teachers from Beijing and 6 teachers from Nanjing meeting with Maryan Street at the Saturday Market. The teachers are here for three weeks and have been enjoying NZCFS hospitality and their training course with President Christine. An NMIT graduate is acting as interpreter for the group as only a few have good English. They are experiencing the New Zealand way of life with NZCFS homestays: some in Stoke with Sue Truman, the Beatsons and the Wards, while others are with Joan Skurr and the Brudvik Lindners in the city.

Three tutors from Kaifeng University, Henan Province, are at NMIT for 6 weeks, under the care of Nisa Rose. Kaifeng University has sent many students to NMIT over the years, and their tutors are here to become familiar with Nelson programmes and study requirements. They are staying at the student accommodation in Nile St.

These 15 teachers will be at our next meeting to meet more of us, share in our meal and tell us about themselves and their work in China. They are also preparing some entertainment, and maybe, in return, we can sing “Now is the Hour” for them, as the Beijing/Nanjing group will be leaving for Queenstown the next morning.

We will have an extra supply of chairs, chopsticks and dumplings for a good crowd for this special friendship event.

As usual, we will begin with a brief general meeting and then enjoy our meal at 6 pm, costing $12. Our stories from China will begin about 7 pm. Friends and visitors are welcome but please notify Barbara when you ring so that we have accurate numbers for the meal.

Friday 19 August .. Hearing House .. 5:30 pm

To arrange catering please ring:

Barbara Markland Ph. 544 4712 by Tuesday 16 August

or e-mail: [email protected]



NZCFS members are also invited to Kathy and Michael’s at 11 Trolove Place on Friday 12 August at 6pm to meet the visitors from Beijing and Nanjing and share a pot luck meal. Finger food would be best.


LAST MEETING: Our last meeting gave a large audience a fascinating insight into the migratory and breeding habits of the incredible little godwit and its long non-stop flight from Alaska to New Zealand, arriving in September, and then its return via China and Korea in Autumn. Ornithologist David Melville provided a passionate presentation of his studies of the godwits around the Nelson area and his work in China on the Yalu Jiang wetlands in Liaoning Province where many of the godwits make their one stop on the way back to their breeding grounds.

Auckland Branch has been working with the Miranda Naturalists Trust, the Chinese Consulate in Auckland and our friends at Youxie to garner support from China to protect this wetlands stopover. Beijing’s Ministry of Forests has written a 7-page letter to the Auckland Branch promising to “try the best” to restrict development threatening the Yalu Jiang wetlands.

Listen out for the ringing of the Cathedral bells when the godwits return to the Nelson region at the end of September.


HUANGSHI SURPRISE DELEGATION: A few short weeks ago, we discovered that a delegation of 19 from our Sister City was planning to visit Nelson for a few days in August. Dot Kettle from the Nelson-Tasman Chamber of Commerce had an idea that this might be happening some time, but we were all surprised about the numbers and the timing. This is, however, a good opportunity for Nelson and Tasman commercial and industrial enterprises to further their connections with Huangshi. Since the first notification, the dates of the visit have changed twice, and now the visit will be from the morning of Friday 19 August to the morning of Monday 22 August.

NZCFS is helping the Chamber of Commerce by arranging the airport transfers with the help of NMIT buses, hosting an evening meal with invited guests at Nelson Oriental Restaurant on Saturday 20 August, and a trip to Golden Bay on Sunday 21 August, again with the kind assistance of NMIT buses. You can see that the arrival of the delegation coincides with our meeting on 19 August, but that night there is a Mayoral Reception which will be attended by just a few NZCFS representatives, while the rest of us are enjoying our other visitors at Hearing House.

It was not possible to arrange ‘The Bridge’ opening at such short notice during this visit, so this event is still expected to take place on November 18 when the Chinese Ambassador will be here for our meeting.

THE CHINESE GARDEN BRIDGE: Perhaps you have had a chance to cross our new connection between New Zealand and China in the Queens Gardens? 

The entrance to the Chinese Scholars’ Garden is not yet quite complete, but it is certainly a significant addition to our China links. From some of the funds saved for this purpose, the Nelson Branch has commissioned an explanation board to be placed near the Queens Garden side of the bridge. Debbie Daniell-Smith, Arts and Heritage Team Leader at the Nelson City Council, is also creating a Chinese Garden Walk page to add to the series of walking tours of Nelson City. Rebecca Wu has kindly offered to translate the English into beautiful Chinese, so the two languages will be side-by-side in both cases.

We will have a draft copy of the ‘walk’ page available at our next meeting so interested people can check Debbie’s text, which she developed in consultation with Andrew Petheram, the designer of the garden and bridge.

NEW MEMBERS: We welcome Daphne Crampton, who was at one stage Secretary of Christchurch Branch and who moved up to Whareama after the earthquake in February when her home was badly damaged.

NEXT BRANCH MEETING: For your calendar, our next Branch Meeting in 2011 – Friday, 30 September.

LETTER FROM HE MING QING SCHOLAR, SHI HONGLI: “For this new semester, I have more understanding about campus life. I have changed a lot from the first year to now. I was shy, lost and worried, but now I am more confident, positive and brave. All these changes are due to the help and support from you because I know that there is hope plus responsibility, which makes me move forward without hesitation.

We have some new courses this semester. We often go to the hospital to have some internship so that we can have more understanding about what we are studying.

Meanwhile, we have a chance to know some knowledge about equipments. We went to the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit, knowing more about health care. I used to have the idea that health care covers only injection, changing pills and so on. However, I have a clear idea now that nursing is not just taking care of people. Instead, we need more basic theory and practical operation skills. The hospital is the place where we will work in the future, where the patients are the important purpose of the work. What we need to do is from the patients’ perspective.

In the health care training room, we do some imitation operations. And then we do some real person operations. During this process, we suffer the patient’s pain while we know our position as a nurse. With the encouragement from my classmates, I have more confidence and courage. I was deeply moved the moment when we succeeded in feeding patients by nose because of the cooperation from partners. I experienced the pain together with joy. Even if the injections make us have the feeling of real pain, we feel comfortable after our success.

The Nursing Festival is around the corner which is the second one for me. It is also an important festival for our college. Awarding of hats on that day marks the transition from an ordinary student to nurse. When former classmates from our school pass the candle to us, we feel moved and have the sense of obligation too. We need to make some contribution to this society.

People consider nurses as angels. They praise nurses with nice songs. However, behind all is a kind heart… It is full of simple and ordinary love… I take pride in becoming a nurse soon. Nevertheless, I have more gratefulness and sense of duty in my heart. I have the same growth experience as others and I have the parents’ care, teachers’ training, the platform and support given by the hospital, with understanding from patients.

I need to say thanks to this job, which allows me to know how to treat every life equally, kindly and sincerely. It is this job that makes me know that living well is kind of beauty. I need to say thanks to this job, which makes me know how to cherish the life, understand happiness and make contributions. I have no regret to be in the rank of nurse while I am proud to be a nurse.

I join a lot of activities like debating and lectures, which make me feel more relaxed in the process of hard work. I learn a lot from society and communicate with others more. All these have enriched my life. In addition, I have some party knowledge training classes. By becoming a party member earlier, I will do better.

At last, wish you all the best during all those countless busy days. Have good health and work smoothly.

Yours sincerely,

Shi Hongli”

STUDY TOUR – “LEARNING MANDARIN, EXPERIENCING CHINA AND ENJOYING CHINESE NEW YEAR”: As the first activity in a relationship that NZCFS is establishing with the Beijing Bailie University, they are offering a Chinese language and culture study month from 27 December, 2011, to 26 January, 2012. The course is targeting learners of the Chinese language of all ages who are at an elementary level and combines Mandarin language learning with a range of cultural activities, regular local sight-seeing trips in the Beijing area, and includes the Spring Festival Celebrations. The estimated cost (including living expenses in Beijing) is $1700 to $1800 plus international airfare. Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested. 

All enquiries (before 31 August) to Jenevere Foreman at [email protected]. More details and other contacts at:


FUTURE NEWSLETTERS – from Nelson President, Christine Ward: After many years of working together to produce our widely-acclaimed newsletter, both June Clark and Royden Smith are bowing out this year. We owe them huge gratitude for the thoughtfulness and dedication they have put in to getting this newsletter out about seven times a year, 10 days before branch meetings. It is nationally recognised as an excellent publication, sent out by e-mail and post to all our members, to other interested parties, and, from time to time, overseas to travellers and relatives. It is also regularly posted on the NZCFS web-site.

Kevin Symns will be indoctrinated into Royden’s secrets in time for the September production, when Royden will be away, and I am already trying to follow in June’s footsteps as she has been unable to continue in the role this year. Many, many thanks to June and Royden for long service, much appreciated by us all.

Dave Feickert is President of the Whanganui Branch and spends several months each year in China advising the authorities on mine safety. You will have seen him in the news commenting on the tragedy at Pike River.

MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE PAID OFF – FOR NOW: “My first encounter with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) came last winter. I had returned to freezing Beijing from the equally cold Yinchuan, the capital city of Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, with a badly sprained ankle. I did not know how it had happened but I must have twisted it during a high fever I had while out there. The fever was a real shocker, suddenly taking me over in my hotel room, with eruptions from every orifice.

Fortunately, my partner, who was negotiating risk assessment contracts in the city, turned her TLC toward me and got me through. Stumbling around, delirious, I must have twisted my ankle. It was the worst sprain I have ever had, much worse than the many I have had playing sport or hiking. After a few days it became so painful I could not walk on it; so on Christmas Day I went to a Western clinic. They X-rayed it, cast it and gave me a pile of pills to take.

“Come back in two weeks,” the young Portuguese doctor said, handing me a pretty large bill. After two weeks it was still hurting like a really bad tooth, but this was a whole ankle.

“Use these,” my partner, Jing, said, handing me some patches. “They will solve the problem.” I wrapped the two patches around my ankle, with the brown pad against the skin and went to bed. The next morning the swelling and pain had gone.

Like many Westerners, I used to be a sceptic about TCM. This was partly from being trained in a scientific tradition that saw itself as superior, because of the rigour of its experimental testing. This did not seem to apply to medicines that were several hundred or thousand years old. I also knew people who believed in TCM and took it, but nothing much seemed to happen. With my ankle, the experiment was clear-cut. My ankle had been painful and swollen. It had been so for two weeks, but now overnight both these symptoms had gone. I could walk on it without pain. It could not have been mind over matter, as I did not believe it would work and thought it would take months for the injury to really heal.

So when the Auckland Hospital Liver Unit took me off the liver transplant list last May and told me my cancer was inoperable, with only two non-curative treatments now available, my thoughts turned instantly to TCM. I had been in China in April and Jing’s boss had bought me some very expensive TCM. Pien Tze Huang was developed a few hundred years ago for emperors with liver problems and the price remains imperial. Even if you get it at the cheapest price, it still costs around $40 a day. It is not specifically an anti-cancer medicine, but Chinese people swear by it.

“You can keep taking Pien Tze Huang,” Dr Li Jie, one of China’s leading tumour specialists, told me, “but it hasn’t been tested as a cancer remedy.” He put me on his prescribed treatment for liver cancer, made up of more than 20 herbs. “We are going to boost your immune system, so that the anti-cancer cells can do their job better,” Li told me. “You can keep taking your Western medicine. Come back next week.”

The South Beijing Hospital where Li works is huge. In the mornings there are hundreds of people flowing through the registering halls and on up lifts to the clinics. It is both Western and TCM. The aroma of cooking TCM is all pervasive but you can hear the MRI machines working away, too. TCM is very much a family affair, with sons, daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers all in attendance and taking part.

My friends around the world are very concerned but also very curious. I keep a diary but my message is a simple one: I feel better in myself. It took two weeks to feel this, but I have more energy. I know, too, that the Auckland team are keen to get me in their MRI tube again to assess the results in a few months time. That day, Western technology will test TCM’s effect.

Courtesy of: www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/669323/My-experiments-with-TCM-paid-off–for-now.aspx

NZCFS PROJECTS AND TIBETAN COMMUNITIES TOUR: It is wonderful to report that Philippa Reynolds will be joining this year’s Projects Tour. If you would like to join her on this great adventure, there are a couple of places still available. Please contact Dave Bromwich at [email protected] or see:


Please remember to advertise our tour to all your family, friends and colleagues – those Nelsonians who have been on previous Projects and Communities Tours will very happily endorse them. Have a chat to Sally, Kathy or Royden.

OUR 60th ANNIVERSARY IN 2012: It will be the Society’s 60th anniversary in 2012 and 40 years since New Zealand’s official recognition of the PRC. Planning is well under way for several events to mark these significant occasions including our NZCFS Conference in Auckland, where it all began, from 18-20 May and a 60th Anniversary Tour that will combine visits to areas of historical interest to the Society with the Silk Road. Start saving now!

CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE VISIT TO NELSON: The Confucius Institute is an organisation dedicated to helping develop Chinese language skills and an understanding of Chinese culture throughout the world – similar to the Alliance Francaise, the Goethe Institute and other groups.

There are now three Confucius Institutes in New Zealand – in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. They are all based at universities in those cities and are able to access some paid staff, university lecturers and volunteer teachers who come out specially from China. The CI based at Canterbury University has responsibility for the whole of the South Island and, along with education personnel from the PRC Embassy and the new Consulate in Christchurch, recently visited Nelson for a Chinese Culture Day at the invitation of Nayland College.

While we only heard about these activities at the last minute, in time to email details out, it was great to see that several of our members took advantage of the opportunity to learn new skills – fan dancing, tai chi, calligraphy and dumpling making.

President Christine, and some other Branch members, were able to make some very worthwhile connections and we look forward to these delightful people making another visit to Nelson, perhaps for Race Unity Day in March, 2012.