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Nelson Branch Newsletter – August, 2012

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David Cogger

Police Ethnic Liaison Officer

 

 ~ Next meeting: 31 August ~

 

The full pdf of this newsletter is available at: NZCFSNelsonAugust2012.pdf

 

David Cogger, Ethnic Liaison Officer in the Tasman PoliceDistrict, is very keen to tell us about the position he holds and the variety of work it entails.

He will give us some background on why the position was created, what the objectives are for his role and what strategies he has been implementing within the Police so that they can become more culturally responsive.

Further to this, David will provide an introduction to the five drivers of crime and also outline the Prevention First strategy that is being implemented across New Zealand.

David works closely with the Nelson Multicultural Council and will be an excellent speaker with some very interesting insights into our Nelson and Tasman communities.

As usual, we will begin with a brief general meeting at 5.30 p.m. and then enjoy our meal from the Nelson Oriental, including vegetarian options, at 6 p.m., costing $12. Our speaker will begin about 7 p.m.

Friends and visitors are most welcome but please notify Barbara when you ring so that we have accurate numbers for the meal.

 

Friday 31 August .. Hearing House .. 5:30 pm

To arrange catering please ring:

Barbara Markland Ph. 544 4712 by Tuesday 28 August

or e-mail Barbara: [email protected]

 

If time allows, we may also show Rudall Hayward’s 1957 “Inside Red China” documentary in which Ramai Hayward gifts a Maori cloak to Mao Zedong. This was thoroughly enjoyed at Conference.

 

LAST MEETING: Over 40 members and visitors enjoyed a wonderful photographic tour of China as June and Bryce Wild showed us an amazing selection of photos from the thousands which they took on their April trip with the NZCFS.

It was a great privilege and pleasure for us to share their enjoyments and discomforts, presented in such a delightful way. Congratulations and thanks, June and Bryce for a great presentation. We look forward to another instalment sometime, as we suspect the Wild’s first trip to China will be followed by more!

 

HUANGSHI SISTER CITY DEVELOPMENTS – our Sister City Liaison, Barbara Markland reports:

Calligrapher’s Visit to Nelson: An invitation has been extended to Mr Zhang Defang and his wife, Madam Tian Yan, to visit Nelson. Mr Zhang is a former President of the Huangshi Calligraphers’ Society.

The purpose of the visit is to prepare some calligraphy to be engraved on a stone in the Huangshi Chinese Garden. Nelson City Council is providing an appropriate stone and Miller and Sons, Monumental Masons of Richmond, are able to do the engraving.

It is hoped that Mr Zhang and Madam Tian will arrive in Nelson on Saturday 29 September, in time to participate in the Moon Festival celebrations on the Sunday (see below). They can then meet with Andrew Petheram of NCC on Monday 1 October. It is hoped that the Mayor, or Deputy Mayor if he is unavailable, will also be able to meet our guests on the Monday morning.

Our invitation has been enthusiastically received and passports and visas applied for. The Branch is paying for Mr Zhang’s flight from our Chinese Garden and Sister City funds and the couple are being home-stayed while they are in Nelson.

Nelson College for Girls: President Christine Ward, and Sister City Liaison, Barbara Markland, spoke at an assembly at NCG recently. President Christine presented a scroll given to the College by its sister school in Huangshi, Number 3 High School, and talked of the history of the relationship. Barbara talked of the upcoming delegation visit in 2013.

Mayoral Visit to Huangshi: Nelson Mayor, Aldo Miccio, and Bill Findlater, CEO of the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency, are returning to Huangshi in October to follow up on opportunities and connections made during their visit in March.

Delegation Visit to Huangshi: The initial steps have been taken to arrange a “Friendship Delegation” to Huangshi in 2013. Letters have been sent to Nelson Hospital and Nelson College for Girls inviting them to participate and there have been some expressions of interest from Branch members. Under the protocol, up to 8 people will be hosted in Huangshi.

 

MEMBER NEWS: We welcome Pat and Don Burrage, neighbours of Chris Mouter, as new members.

Our heartfelt condolences go to Margaret McLachlan on the loss of her husband, Arch, and to Lori Brudvik-Lindner whose father passed away recently in the USA.

September is a popular month for travellers and we give our best wishes to:

  • Christine and Bruce Ward and Chris Mouter as they travel the magical Chinese Silk Road and enjoy the celebrations in Shandan and Beijing as part of our NZCFS 60th Anniversary Tour,
  • Royden Smith, who is spending a little time in Beijing on his way to and from North Korea, and
  • Marilyn Gibbs and Lillian Li-Kurtovic as they head off on the Society’s Prominent Persons and Leaders Delegation to the Sister City and Friendship Forums in Changchun and Chengdu. Afterwards, Lillian is meeting up with Ivan, and taking Aviva to visit her grandparents in Europe.

 

RAFFLE TICKETS: Bring your $5 along to this next meeting as it will be the last opportunity to purchase tickets, and you could win yourself return flights for two from Nelson to Shanghai for 2013.

Remember that the draw will be on 1 October, 2012 and the Branch keeps $1 for each ticket sold.

 

MOON FESTIVAL: The Branch is planning to hold a celebration of the Moon Festival in the Huangshi Chinese Garden on Sunday 30 September from 2 – 4 p.m. Come along and enjoy some Spring sunshine with Chinese tea and a moon cake. We strongly suggest you put this in your diary now as it won’t be possible to send out reminders during September when many of your committee are away.

The Legend of the Moon Festival by Thomas W. Chinn from http://moonfestival.org/legends/chango.htm

Originally named the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Moon Festival is one of the most important holidays celebrated by Chinese communities around the world. Traditionally, it is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month in observance of the bountiful Autumn harvest. Although old rituals are no longer followed, families continue to gather for a day to relax and eat moon cakes. Upon this occasion, the legend of the Moon Goddess, Chang-O, is often told to children.

Once upon a time there was a famous archer, Hou Yi, who, with his arrows, was able to slay mankind’s worst enemies – ferocious beasts that inhabited the earth. Yi was married to Chang-O, a beautiful but inquisitive woman who had been an attendant of the Queen Mother of the West before her marriage. Now at this time, there were 10 suns that took turns circling the earth – one every 10 days. One day, all 10 of the orbs circled together, causing the earth’s surface to burn and threaten mankind. The wise Emperor of China summoned Yi and commanded him to kill all but one of the suns. This Yi proceeded to do. Upon the completion of his task, Yi was rewarded with a pill, the elixir of life, and advised: “Make no haste to swallow this pill, but first prepare yourself with prayer and fasting for a year”. Being a wise man, Yi took the pill home and hid it under a rafter while he began healing his spirit. Then Yi was summoned again by the Emperor.

While her husband was gone, Chang-O noticed a beam of white light beckoning from the rafter. She followed it and a fragrant perfume, discovered the pill and swallowed it. Immediately, Chang-O found she could fly. Just at that moment her husband returned home, realised what had happened and began to reprimand his wife. Chang-O flew out the window into the sky.

Yi sped after her, bow in hand, and the pursuit continued across the heavens. Finally, Yi had to return to the earth because of the force of  the wind.

His wife reached the moon and there, breathless, she coughed, and part of the pill fell from her mouth. Now, the hare was already on the moon and Chang-O commanded the animal to take pestle and mortar and pound another pill so that she could return to earth and her husband. The hare is still pounding.

As for Yi, he built himself a place in the sun as Yang (the sun and the male principle), and Chang-O as Yin (the moon and the female principle). Once a year, on the 15th day of the full moon, Yi visits his wife. That is why the moon is full and beautiful on that night.

 

SONG FOR NELSON: From 24 July, twenty-two teachers and education researchers from Beijing and Nanjing spent 18 days in Nelson, enjoying a wide range of activities and hospitality from NZCFS members, in addition to their study sessions on teaching methods with Christine Ward at Stoke’s Barbican Centre.

Highlights were a visit to Colin and Marilyn Gibbs’ farm, a barbecue lunch at Rabbit Island, a visit to O2B Healthy with Kevin Symns, shopping at the Saturday Market and many retail outlets (especially for wool products), Mid-Winter Christmas Dinner with international students at Unite Church, watching a ballet recital at the Theatre Royal (Jifang and John Black’s daughter was performing) and a farewell gathering for host families and their guests at Sue Truman’s. Sue had also arranged a tour of the Cathedral.

Our Chinese members were very helpful: Yuan Wang provided interpretation in the classroom, Jifang Black and Miaolin Li also did some translations, and Super Zhang organised a great lunch at the Nelson Oriental Restaurant on a very rainy day in the city.

Nelson’s usual sunny face failed this time, but there was plenty of enjoyment, nevertheless. Very few of the visitors were English-speaking, but they were united in praise of the welcome they had from Nelsonians, especially their homestay hosts – made up of 3 Kiwi, 2 Chinese, and 3 “multi-cultural” families. Here is a translation of a special song for Nelson they performed at the farewell party:

STORIES IN THE CITY

There are so many stories in this city full of joy and happiness.

You will achieve more, if you can come to this city.

Looking like a pretty picture, sounding like a beautiful song,

This fantastic city is filled with honesty, kindness and beauty.

People talk to each other happily.

Such a lovely place,

Such beautiful stories.

Welcome to all our friends,

Here to be guests in the city.

 

PHILIPPA’S FAREWELL: It was wonderful to have such a good representation from the Branch at Philippa Reynolds’ funeral and Royden spoke on behalf of the NZCFS and Nelson Branch, including:

“…While we have only enjoyed Philippa’s company as a member of the Nelson Branch of the NZ China Friendship Society for 3 short years, China has been part of her life from a very young age and her involvement with the Society goes back two decades or more.

Bill Willmott tells me that Philippa’s father, Pip Alley, was Rewi Alley’s champion in New Zealand throughout the Cold War years, exchanging weekly letters with him and doing whatever errands he needed done in New Zealand. Philippa told Bill that she remembered Pip sitting down to write to his brother in China every Sunday morning when her mother went to church. And, of course, she met her famous, and infamous, Uncle Rewi during his rare trips to New Zealand.

When she lived in Christchurch in the mid-1990s, … and when they were planning the celebrations of Rewi Alley’s centennial for 1997, Philippa … wrote a highly readable biography, based on a considerable amount of research in various archives, as well as interviews and her own memories. It is easily the most accessible of the three biographies and one autobiography and has been an important resource for … members of the Society and thousands of students. Philippa much enjoyed giving copies as gifts to people she met in China.

As an active member of the Christchurch Sister-City Committee and the New Zealand China Friendship Society, Philippa has contributed greatly to better relations between New Zealand and China. She went to China for the first time in 1997 on the Rewi Alley Centennial Tour, “In the Footsteps of Rewi Alley”, returned to China for the Rewi Alley Commemorative Tour in 2007, celebrating the 110th Anniversary of his birth, and, since she has been in Nelson, has been to China three times – twice on China Friendship Society tours, … and once to represent the Alley family in The Great Hall of the People when Rewi was recognised as one of the ten most highly regarded foreign friends of China over the last 60 years. In her humble way, she was overwhelmed by the Business Class travel and the VIP treatment she received.

She was going to go to China a final time, this coming September, on the Society’s 60th Anniversary Tour and she was very much looking forward to revisiting Gansu Province and the Shandan Bailie School, established by Rewi, and meeting many old friends. Sadly, it is not to be.

While it is true that she has provided a very important family link for us, it is Philippa’s quiet, sincere friendship that we will miss the most. She travelled with me on my “Discover China” tour last year and she was always so wonderful to have around. Nothing was ever a bother to her and she had the smallest suitcase of anyone on the tour! She didn’t mind sitting on a bench while the rest of us went off to do something more physically demanding than she could manage. We would come back to find she was having a lot of fun with the local people and especially the children. She just loved being over there and she was interested in everything that was happening around her.

Philippa had a truly attractive manner: quiet and modest but delightfully friendly. A real treasure… We have loved having her here in Nelson. We are deeply sorry that her happy life here with us has been all too short. Zaijian, haera ra, our special friend.”