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Nelson Branch Newsletter – No. 5, August, 2014



“Gansu Experiences”

with Ferry van Mansum and Aukje Both


~ Next meeting: Friday 15 August ~


 The full pdf version of this newsletter is available at: NZCFSNelsonAugust2014.pdf


 For 2 years, Aukje Both and Ferry van Mansum have been teaching in Gansu Province, China. 

Aukje with some of her students

They will show us some superb photos and tell us about their work at Hexi University, one of the three schools supported by the NZCFS. The thousands of students that they taught were very interested in life outside China and enjoyed this rare opportunity to talk and learn with foreigners.

Aukje and Ferry’s presentation will also include pictures of Zhangye, where the university is situated, and show the diversity of Gansu Province, interestingly situated between deserts and an important part of the magical Silk Road.


As usual, we will begin at 5.30 p.m. and then enjoy our buffet meal (cost $12), at 6 o’clock. Our speakers’ presentation will begin about 7 o’clock. Friends and visitors are most welcome but please notify Barbara when you contact her so that we have accurate numbers for the meal.


Friday 15 August .. Hearing House .. 5:30 pm


To arrange catering, please ring:

Barbara Markland ph. 544 4712 by Tuesday 12 August

text: 021 447 180 e-mail: [email protected]


LAST MEETING – “TRADE TALKS”: We were privileged to hear Tasman District Council Mayor, Richard Kempthorne, share his insights and enthusiasms after his first visit to China. He had prepared carefully, seeking to understand protocols and learning some Mandarin and this enhanced his experiences, setting a helpful example for future Tasman delegations. Mayor Richard reminded us of our own reasons for friendship with China and was clearly committed to leading the TDC into the further development of strong relationships, with business benefits coming from those friendly connections. Many thanks, Richard, for your commitment, your friendly enthusiasm, and for sharing your interesting experiences with our meeting.

Bill Findlater arranged and led the April Economic Development Agency delegation and is clearly the famous “Ambassador of Nelson Province in China”. Bill has proved his credentials by steadily increasing his circles of friendship since he first went to Huangshi in 2010. Because of his love for China and its people, he finds that doors open easily for him, even in high places. As head of the province’s EDA, he sees this as his role in the development of trade links. He can open the doors, but business representatives must understand the processes and step through themselves if they hope for future benefits. Our society and our province are so fortunate to have Bill working for friendship and trade with his effective, quiet humility. Congratulations on your achievements, Bill, and thanks for sharing your valuable insights into the business of cementing the twenty-year relationship between the people and institutions of the two cities.



  • Sister City: Barbara Markland and Christine Ward attended a meeting of the Nelson City Council Sister City Coordinating Group. Barbara attended a civic dinner hosted by the EDA, the Nelson City Council and the Mayor to welcome a delegation from Yangjiang. President Christine attended a lunch at the NCC where a Memorandum of Understanding was signed that establishes their ‘Friendly City’ status.
    Kristina Eddy and Carla Lindley  MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
    Kristina Eddy and Carla Lindley
  • Rewi Alley Arts Friendship Exchange Fund: $5,500 have been granted to our branch for the Art Exchange project with Huangshi.
  • Prominent Persons & Leaders Tour: Nelson Branch is fortunate to have 5 representatives from Nelson this year – executive members Jeanette Jones, June Wild and Barbara Markland, and youth ambassadors Kristina Eddy (Nelson College for Girls ) and Carla Lindley (Nayland College) who are both being supported by the NCC.


  • The 2015 NZCFS Conference will be held in Nelson from May 22-24. Several possible venues have been visited and options are being discussed.
  • It is hoped that the PRC Ambassador will attend our Chinese Garden party and Spring celebration on Sunday 28 September.
  • Hearty congratulations are extended to the Nelson Branch of the NZ Chinese Society on their first birthday and for all that they have achieved in that time.


  • Congratulations to Ferry van Mansum who became a pensioner and granddad (again) on the same day!
  • We welcome new members LJ and Shawn Lawson from Mapua and Yang Yue (Monica), who has recently moved to Nelson from Wanaka. Both joined via the Society’s website.


SHANDAN BAILIE SCHOOL TEACHER: Nelsonian, Jane Furkert, leaves for Shandan on 14 August and we wish her all the very best. We will look forward to regular updates on her life in Shandan.


TOURS: While it is a shame to see that the Arts Tour has had to be cancelled, there are some great China travel opportunities in 2015. See the President’s Newsletter for more information or keep an eye on:


CHINESE LANGUAGE WEEK: Look out for some activities and publicity associated with the inaugural New Zealand Chinese Language Week which will most likely take place from 8-14 September.


MMTanCHRISTCHURCH CONSUL-GENERAL: Tan Xiutian, the first PRC Consul-General in Christchurch, has worked tirelessly to establish the Consulate in Christchurch and has developed wonderful, convivial relationships with communities all around the South Island, including Nelson. She returns to Beijing at the end of August for a well-earned retirement. Her husband, Zhang Jichun (Jayson), has been of immense support and through sales of his stunning book “The Beauty of New Zealand” has donated $5,000 to the NZCFS. We wish them both all the very best and thank them for their sterling work and delightful friendship. They are welcome in Nelson any time.


MEMBER SURVEY: Thanks go to all those members who took the time to complete the survey that was sent out earlier in the year. Each branch has received a summary of the responses from their members and your feedback has been invaluable as it has endorsed so much of what happens in our branch and has also given us some suggestions for the future. Some interesting points from the Nelson Branch results include:

  • 33% of the respondents have been members for more than 15 years.
  • 77% joined for cultural/language knowledge and 42% for social contacts, fellowship and tours.
  • 89% are happy with how our branch operates with such comments as “very welcoming”, “vibrant and growing branch”, “very strong, dedicated leadership group”, “a shared meal is an excellent incentive to come”, “a dinner included gives time to socialise as well”.
  • 75% are very satisfied with their Nelson membership, and 25% satisfied. No-one was neutral or unsatisfied. “Great variety of speakers”, “well-focussed”, “great food” and “I love the meal and fellowship”.
  • 85% thought our meetings were interesting, enjoyable and informative.
  • 89% have recommended that other people join our branch.
  • 75% think a lack of interest from a younger audience is a real challenge for the NZCFS.
  • Suggestions for improvement include: “regular monthly meetings”, “more interaction with local Chinese”, “more visibility and outreach”

If anyone would like a copy of the Nelson Branch survey summary, you are welcome to contact Royden ([email protected] or ph 547 6608).


AlisonWongAward-winning novelist and poet, Alison Wong, has been selected to take part in an inaugural writers’ exchange with China this year. She will be the first New Zealand writer to join the prestigious Shanghai International Writers’ Programme in September and October, run by the Shanghai Writers’ Association. About eight writers from all over the world are selected for the opportunity each year. They receive free travel, accommodation in Shanghai, time to write and to absorb the culture of the largest city in China.

A third-generation Chinese New Zealander, she will work on a family memoir while she is in Shanghai and hopes to be able to visit her ancestral villages in Guangdong before the residency begins.

silverearthShe spent time in China in the 1980s and 1990s, which deeply influenced her writing, but she never had the chance to meet Chinese writers. “This is such an exciting opportunity to forge literary connections, to go on a personal and literary adventure, which cannot but influence my writing and, I hope, contribute to wider conversation and understanding.”

The residency is part of a writers’ exchange arranged between the Shanghai Writers’ Association, the NZ China Friendship Society, the Michael King Writers’ Centre and the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (Youxie). The exchange is the first of its type between China and New Zealand and follows on from the inaugural Rewi Alley Fellowship last year when a young Chinese writer, Huo Yan from Beijing, held a two-month residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport, Auckland.                                                        – with thanks to Hawkes Bay Branch.

CHILDREN’S CHINESE CULTURE DAY-CAMP: Many branch members were involved in this two-day event, 17-18 July, designed as an outreach to families of children aged 8-15. At the end, the children all shouted “YES!” to the question “Do you want to go to China now?” They had experienced tai chi, food with chopsticks, paper cutting, dancing, calligraphy, brush painting and tea culture. All these activities were integrated with speaking, reading and writing Mandarin.

The organising committee have noted these outcomes as assessed against NZCFS goals and objectives:

  • The Nelson NZCFS name became very visible in the media through advertising and reporting.
  • Connections with non-NZCFS families were established for future developments in China friendship.
  • Children aged 8-15 enjoyed a holiday activity which could extend into future study and career opportunities.
  • Nelson children and their families improved their knowledge and understanding of Chinese language and culture.
  • Working together with members of the Nelson Branch of the NZ Chinese Association and with local young Chinese enhanced those connections.

There are so many people who contributed to the success of our second holiday programme and we thank: Rebecca Wu for her superb teaching,  Sophie Chan (dancing tutor), Sucy Sun (teaching assistant), Lillian Li’s family (dumpling making and loan of costumes), Mark Soper (tea culture), Mimi Xiao, Lili Li, and Kathy Beatson (meal preparation) and all those setting up and breaking down duties carried out by Jane Furkert, Ferry van Mansum, Royden Smith, Richard Brudvik Lindner, and Bruce Ward.

Gail Collingwood was our official Nelsonian who presented the certificates and the camp committee, Lori Brudvik Lindner, Jeanette Jones and Christine Ward did so much from beginning to end and showed a real commitment to sharing the values of our society in Nelson.