Over fifty people turned up for the Nelson CFS shared lunch with the Chinese Association held at the NMIT Library Learning Centre on Sunday 27 November. President Barbara Markland said the day was a “roaring success and achieved everything we wanted”. The food table was laden with a fantastic range of dishes mostly made by the attendees. Among the favourites were Frank’s youtiao, Jane’s Xinjiang cold noodles (Liang Pi) and Barbara’s barbecued pork dish (Cha Shao) which disappeared in a flash.
President Barbara Markland (pictured speaking below with Dr Julie Bytheway left and Laurie Lu and Birte Becker-Steel right) welcomed everyone and said she was delighted that have this opportunity to mix socially with our local Chinese community. Laurie Shawn spoke on behalf of the Chinese Association expressing his pleasure that we could get together and enjoy each other’s company.
Dr Julie Bytheway, Head of Department – Learner Services for NMIT also welcomed everyone to NMIT in the spirit of the values of Te Pukenga (the new umbrella organisations for Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology) which includes fostering community engagement. The NMIT library was an excellent venue for the shared lunch and the wonderful support from the NMIT team of Julie, Yuka, Caesey and Mariana was hugely appreciated. Julie also blessed the food in Te Reo. NMIT have offered the use of this excellent facility for future events and as a way to reach out to Chinese students as their numbers start to grow again post-COVID. NMIT’s support is greatly appreciated.
One of our invited guests was Birte Becker-Steel, the newly appointed Welcoming Communities Officer for TDC. Birte said that this was an excellent event for creating understanding and tolerance and she is hopeful that similar events can be held regularly. She is looking at the possibility of holding a shared lunch in Richmond around Chinese New Year.
The room was full of chatter and excitement as everyone found people they knew and talked with people they were meeting for the first time. It was a real family occasion with many children enjoying games and activities provided by NMIT. It was also a great opportunity for many to practise conversing in English and Mandarin and language was no barrier.
This was the first time that such an event has been held with the Chinese Association and promises to be the first of many. This was a view held by everyone who attended.