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Nelson Branch President’s Report – February, 2015



The Nelson Branch President’s Report, as presented by President Christine Ward at the AGM on 22 February, 2015, is also available as a PDF at: NelsonPresidentsReport2014.pdf


New Zealand China Friendship Society Inc. – Nelson Branch


President: Christine Ward          23 Suter Street, Stoke, Nelson.

nzcfs  Phone: 03 538 0344                   email: [email protected]

Secretary: Barbara Markland    23 Polglase Street, Richmond.

     Phone: 03 544 4712                   email: [email protected]


President’s Annual Report, 22 February, 2015


It is my pleasure to present the 24th Annual Report for the Nelson Branch.


1. Membership

Sadly we record the death of two life members, Robin Brown in September and June Clark in December. They both made wonderful contributions to the Society and especially with our links to Huangshi.

Our membership has increased to over 90, and we send out nearly 250 newsletters.


2. Branch Meetings

In the Year of the Horse, we had seven branch meetings with more than 40 attending. Grateful thanks go to our excellent presenters who took us on their colourful journeys, reminding us of the depth of experience and commitment we have in Nelson.

February 9: AGM and New Year Banquet at Eastern Cuisine Restaurant. 

March 14: Huangshi Delegation Report from the group led by Barbara Markland.

May 2: Mandarin in Nelson with the teachers and learners of Chinese language.

June 20: Trade Talks with Mayor Kempthorne and Bill Findlater.

August 15: Teachers in Gansu Province with Ferry van Mansum and Aukje Both.

October 30: Prominent Persons and Leaders Tour with our 5 representatives.

November 28: Hunting Rhododendrons in Yunnan with Imogen McCarthy.


3. Other significant events

1. Race Unity Day brought fine weather this time as we served a range of Chinese teas and sold some treasures for He Ming Qing funds. Mark Soper joined in with his special teas created for the occasion.

2. The Nelson Chinese Association brought a Chinese New Year party to the Nelson public for the first time in February 2014 with entertainment and a shared meal at Victory Community Centre.

3. Mid-Autumn Festival. Once again we celebrated the spring equinox and the start of daylight saving with a Sunday afternoon tea party in the Chinese Garden. The Brown family joined in for the ceremonial tree planting to honour Robin’s contribution to the development of the garden.

4. RAFE fund award. A grant from the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange Fund will enable us to exchange children’s art from Nelson and Huangshi schools and stage an exhibition to publicise NZCFS and sister city links. Nelson City Council will help with the exhibition, with the timing for this not yet finalised.

5. Appo Hocton Scholar, Sucy Sun, graduated in December after a successful period of study at NMIT. She has returned to Huangshi where she will be a fine ambassador for Nelson.

6. A second Children’s Chinese Culture Camp in July gave local children more opportunities to experience language and culture from Xiaojing (Rebecca) Wu, assisted by Lori and Jeanette. This time we had a family meal on the last evening, with the children and members of the Nelson Chinese Association helping with the cooking. This extended NZCFS outreach to parents and other relatives.

7. Confucius Institute supports Mandarin Language Assistant in Nelson. Yuan Yuan Wang (Alicia) has been teaching Mandarin at NMIT and at 4 primary schools since Easter 2014. Another MLA will be here early in 2015 to continue the work. Thanks to Bev Harvey for her splendid homestay care.

8. NZCFS tours to China continue to be well supported by Nelson people, with several away in 2014 and three members already signed up for 2015 Garden and Mongolia Tours.

9. Youth Representation on Prominent Person and Leaders Tour. Nelson Branch was fortunate to be able to send five members on this tour. Nelson City Council selected and funded 2 high school students to be the youngest ever delegates to the International Friendship Forum. The group were honoured to represent New Zealand at the unveiling of Rewi Alley’s memorial in Shanghai.

10. Consul-Generals were farewelled and welcomed. Several Nelsonians attended the farewell for Consul General Tan Xiutian in Christchurch in August. The new Consul General, Jin Zhijian was welcomed to Nelson with his wife and attaché in November. NZCFS hosted them to dinner at the Nelson Oriental Restaurant.

11. Huangshi Delegation. A sister city delegation arrived for a very short visit on 14 December. We hosted the party of nine to a welcome dinner at the Nelson Oriental Restaurant with branch members who have been associated with Huangshi. Beverley Brown and Isabelle Jones, who were witnesses to the original signing 20 years ago, were honoured. 

12. National Conference and AGM in Nelson May 22-24, 2015.  Your Nelson Branch Executive Committee is developing an inspiring and colourful weekend at the Muritai Centre, Tahunanui Primary School. We are enlarging our committee to spread the load for overseeing the many aspects of this event. We will be showcasing Nelson, as well as demonstrating the projects through which the NZCFS, nationally, is finding ways to implement its goals and objectives. 


4. Thanks

I am delighted to thank Nelson Executive committee members for their continuing commitment, their fresh ideas and their assistance in finding practical ways to pursue society objectives. Secretary Barbara maintains vitality in that role, as well as her devotion to the sister city portfolio. Thanks to Treasurer Royden with his legendary skills with the finances, and the production of our much-admired newsletter. Vice President Lori has brought fresh enthusiasm to that role. Special thanks to Lori and Kathy Beatson too, for filling the VP position while Ferry was away for several years. 

Thanks to Pam Frahm for again presenting a delightful card for the ‘Year of the Sheep’, and to all those, too numerous to name, who have willingly contributed to a successful ‘Year of the Horse’.

Nelson Branch continues its strength and vitality, thanks especially to our historic membership who bring their friendship ideals into the third decade. New members and returning members are welcomed and are contributing to our freshness and energy. Nelson’s commitment to sharing the ideals of the New Zealand China Friendship Society with this generation of school children is linking our past with the future of the famous relationship between our two countries. 


Christine Ward, President

Chinese New Year, 2015