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Nelson Branch President’s Report – February, 2017



The Nelson Branch President’s Report, as presented by President Ferry van Mansum at the AGM on 12 February, 2017, is also available as a PDF at: NZCFSNelsonPresidentsReportFeb17.pdf


New Zealand China Friendship Society Inc. – Nelson Branch

NZCFS NelsonPresident: Ferry van Mansum 

Phone: 03 546 6574      email: [email protected]  

Secretary: Barbara Markland 

Phone: 03 544 4712      email: [email protected]


President’s Annual Report for 2016

It is my pleasure as President of the Nelson Branch of the NZCFS to present this 26th annual report on behalf of the committee. 2016 was a relatively quiet year with the highlight being the opening of the Nelson Garden as part of a new project in our sister-city Huangshi. Membership consists of 32 singles, 18 couples, 3 life members and 11 schools and educational institutions. Bruce Ward is the newsletter editor and responsible for our Nelson branch newsletter. It is extremely well received by members and other branches and is sent out to a total of 262 addresses (email and postal addresses).

Branch Meetings

February 14: New Year’s banquet and AGM at the Eastern Cuisine Richmond
March 11: Steven Chen: Create a bridge between China and Nelson
April 29: Mandarin Language Assistants Emma Zhang and Haley Tang: Experiences of living and teaching in Nelson
May 27: Rose Renton: Traditional Feng Shui with tips to improve your home
June 24: Christine Ward: Nelson-Huangshi Art Exchange; Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the branch
July 29: Jifang Black: Prominent Persons and Leaders’ tour 2016
August 26: Barbara, Roy Markland and June, Bryce Wild: Hidden Hong Kong
September: the Garden Party had to be cancelled due to bad weather.
October 28: Jordan Lankshear: Nelson Youth Councillor at the opening of the Nelson Garden in Huangshi and Jeanette Jones: Visiting friends in China.
November 25: Rose Kerr: A student in Beijing during 1975/76, the last year of the Cultural Revolution.

The meetings in the Hearing House on the last Friday of each month were very well attended, one evening with an audience of more than 50, which shows the interest in and appreciation for the choice and variety of our speakers.

Executive Meetings
As usual the 10 Executive Meetings to prepare for branch meetings and activities were held in the Oriental Restaurant in Hardy Street.

National Events
With the theme “Hao shi duo mo, Good things take time” the National NZCFS Conference and AGM were held from 27-29 May in Tauranga.

Professor Hong Hu returned after 3 years in New Zealand to China and was replaced by Professor Jing Jiang at the Confucius Institute in Christchurch. Professor Hong was instrumental in bringing the Mandarin Language Assistants to Nelson to work at schools to promote and teach the Chinese language and culture.

Jifang Black, visual artist and long-standing member, and Rachel Boyack, working for First Union Incorporated and co-director of the Cathedral Choir, represented our branch at the 2016 Prominent Persons and Leaders tour. The delegation attended the 7th Friendship Forum held in Chuzhou, Anhui Province, from July 4-8. The theme was “Different Culture, One Heart”.

The National Sister-City Conference was held in Nelson from 28-30 April and a Youxie delegation attended. Christine Ward won the Air New Zealand Award for “Best Youth Education or School Project” for the Art Exchange Exhibition, organised between schools from Huangshi and Nelson.

Local Events
In May we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of our branch and former president and life member Isabelle Jones presented the history of our branch for the period from 1991-2016. Life membership of the Nelson branch was awarded to Royden Smith for all the work he has done for the NZCFS, for the branch as well as at national level for many years.

Race Unity Day was on March the 20th this year and our stall promoted the NZCFS, the sister-city relationship with Huangshi and the He Ming Qing fund and received many visitors.

It was farewell to Mandarin Language Assistant Emma, Hang Mengjie, in June and to Haley, Xuting Tang, in December. In July we welcomed Julie, Xiaochen Zhu, and Amy, Xin Gao, who will be with us until June 2017. In the second part of 2016 the MLAs worked with 8 schools.

The Appo Hocton Scholar for 2016/17 is Kristen, Yuang Meng, from Hubei Polytechnic University in Huangshi and she is studying for a Bachelor of Arts and Media at the NMIT.

Due to the earthquake in Kaikoura the inaugural celebration that the Confucius Institute had planned to reward the local mandarin learners in November had to be cancelled.

During 2016 there were 3 Sister-City Coordinating Group meetings with Chairperson Gail Collingwood, Mayor Rachel Reese, Counsellors Eric Davy, who was replaced after the elections by Bill Dahlberg, and local sister-city coordinators from Huangshi, Miyazu and Eureka.

Bill Findlater made many visits to Huangshi, Yan Jiang, Yantai and other places in China as part of his work for the Nelson Regional Development Agency, a good way to emphasise the sister-city and other relationships that exist between Nelson and these cities.

Business delegation visits from Yan Jiang and Huangshi took place in May and November.

In September there was a delegation from Nelson to Huangshi for the opening of the Nelson Garden in our sister-city. Leader Bill Findlater, Ferry van Mansum and Jordan Lankshear attended the opening ceremony of “The First Hubei Province (Huangshi) Garden EXPO”. Jordan is the third Nelson Youth Councillor to visit China and he was able to travel through the prize Christine Ward won at the Sister-City Conference earlier in the year. Now Nelson is honoured with its own garden to signify the bond between the two cities.

Education Nelson visited Huangshi and a sister-school contract between Nelson College for Girls and No.3 High School was signed by Principal Cathy Ewing. A delegation from Education Nelson Marlborough spent time exploring possibilities for placement in the Nelson area. Henley School Principal John Armstrong made a visit to Huangshi as part of a visit with senior education officials organised by the Confucius Institute.

Thank you
As always many people have contributed to the successful running of the Nelson branch of the NZCFS. It is great to see the support from members, Nelson City Council and others to put together an interesting programme to work on the aims of the society.

VP Lori Brudvik-Lindner, IPP Christine Ward, Secretary and Sister-city Liaison Barbara Markland, Treasurer Royden Smith, Bill Findlater, Jeanette Jones, Lilian Li-Kurtovic, Jane Lister, Mark Soper, Bruce Ward and Sally Warren all contributed with time, ideas, arranging meals, organising activities, stepping in when others were away, looking after visitors and promoting the idea of friendship. And finally a big thanks to all the members of the branch who were such great company at meetings and activities in 2016.


Ferry van Mansum
Nelson Branch, NZCFS
12 February, 2017