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NZCFS Wellington Branch May 2016 Newsletter

Next Branch Meeting

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 at 5.45pm

Barbara Francis

Will speak on

Correspondence of New Zealander Agnes Moncrieff from China 1930-1945

Barbara Francis
Barbara Francis

From 1930 to 1945, New Zealander Agnes Moncrieff, known as Nessie, wrote letters back to her family describing her life, that of the Chinese people around her and the work of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of China as the International Secretary. Her work also detailed the events in 1938, as the Japanese were advancing on Wuhan during the war.

Agnes Moncrieff
Agnes Moncrieff

On Nessie’s return to New Zealand in 1946, she was an early member of the New Zealand China Friendship Society briefing members about to visit China. She was also a member of the National Council of Women, Federation of University Women, Pan-Pacific Women and the New Zealand YWCA who appointed her to the committees for Women and Employment, and Equal Pay and Opportunity.

For the past nine years, Barbara Francis has worked with Nessie’s correspondence, as they both boarded together and became good friends. On Nessie’s notes, Barbara wrote Our Secretary in China, published by the Wellington YWCA in 2010. Now Barbara has transcribed and compiled the correspondence into You Do Not Travel in China at the Full Moon: Correspondence of New Zealander Agnes Moncrieff from China 1930-1945, which will be published later this year.

An optional Chinese buffet meal, supplied by the Fujiyama Café, will follow the meeting at 7pm. Orders for the $12 meal (please pay at the door) will be taken up till 6pm.  If you think you may be arriving late, please let the Secretary know in advance.

map of Connolly HallConnolly Hall
Guildford Terrace, off Hill Street, Thorndon, Wellington (see map)
   (Car park up Guildford Tce beside Hall)

(A full PDF of this newsletter is available at NZCFS Newsletter May 2016)

4-15 May       Doc Edge Festival, The Roxy Cinema, Miramar
8   May          Mandarin Corner resumes, Seminar Room, 20 Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington
13 May          Screen Edge Forum, Park Road Post, Miramar
26 May          All the Way (Chinese film), Committee Room One, WCC, 101 Wakefield Street.
Until 10 Jul     Liu Jianhua Art Exhibition, Dowse Art Museum, 45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt.


The dates Connolly Hall has been booked for monthly meetings this year are 15 June, 20 July, 31 August, 21 September, 19 October and 16 November.


The NZCFS would like to warmly welcome Alba Barrera. We look forward to your attendance at our events and meetings.

Zealandia: our continent revealed: APRIL BRANCH MEETING PRESENTATION

Wellington Branch Meeting 2016-04-26 On Wednesday 20 April 2016, the New Zealand China Friendship Society welcomed Hamish Campbell, Senior Scientist with GNS Science, and Geologist at Te Papa) to give a presentation. The main talk was entitled: ‘Zealandia: our continent revealed’. It was based largely on a popular book of the same name that was published by Penguin in 2014. Hamish is a co-author with his colleague Nick Mortimer. Hamish presented about 20 illustrations that helped explain the basis for regarding New Zealand and New Caledonia as the major emergent land areas within a much greater tract of continental crust that is largely submarine.

This ‘continent’ was named ‘Zealandia’ in the scientific literature by an American geologist, Bruce Luyendyk, in 1995. Critical to this interpretation is the definition of ‘continent’. It all depends on a geological definition (not a geographic definition). A continent is deemed to be a tract of continental crust that is surrounded by oceanic crust and is greater than three million square kilometres in area, and Zealandia is 4.9. Hamish explained the difference between oceanic crust (dominated by basalt) and continental crust (dominated by granite) and made the point that granite is less dense than basalt and hence is more buoyant.

Hamish Campbell.2Zealandia was rifted away from the eastern margin of Gondwana with formation of the Tasman Sea floor (new oceanic crust) over a 30 million year period between 83 and 53 million years ago. As it was rifted, Zealandia was stretched and thinned, which explains why Zealandia is 95% under water. Apart from the 5% that is land, the continental crust of Zealandia is too thin to hold its head above sea level. Geologically, Zealandia may be regarded as the thinnest, freshest, smallest continent on Earth.

In the second part of his talk, Hamish described the story of his great grandfather, Dr Clifford Stubbs (1888-1930), who was a founding professor of chemistry at the West China Union University in Chengdu (a predecessor institution within what is now the University of Sichuan). The word ‘union’ refers to collaboration between Protestant Christian ‘missions’ from various church groups within the UK, USA and Canada. Hamish used nine illustrations from a book written by Charles Tyzak in 2013: ‘Nearly a Chinese: a life of Clifford Stubbs’ (Book Guild Publishing, Sussex, England: ISBN 978 1 84624 963 1). Sadly, Clifford was murdered for his bicycle on May 30, 1930, while cycling home from his university. The culprits were subsequently found and executed. This was a tragic end to quite a brilliant career as a Quaker missionary in Sichuan in the early part of the 20th century.

Charles TyzakClifford was educated at Rangiora and Christchurch (Christchurch Boys’ High, Canterbury University), won an 1851 Exhibition Scholarship, with which he studied chemistry at the University of Liverpool (1910-1913). He travelled to Chengdu from England (taking four months), arriving in January 1914. He married his fiancée (Margaret Lees) in Chengdu and they had three children there. After his death, the family returned to England and lived in Saffron Walden. Clifford was an extraordinary teacher who recognised that Quakerism was more in keeping with Chinese philosophy than any other Protestant faith, and he took pains to teach in Mandarin. He viewed the world from the perspective of China and as a result was much revered and respected, hence the title of the book: ‘Nearly a Chinese’.


good-things-take-timeNow is the time to mark the New Zealand China Friendship Society’s National Conference and AGM in your diaries. The theme of the Conference is “Good things take time!” (好事多磨 – Hǎo shì duō mó). The Conference and the AGM will take place in the Village Hall of Tauranga’s Historic Village, on May 27 to 29, 2016. To register please go to the NZCFS website or go to: https://nzchinasociety.org.nz/23968/register-now-for-the-societys-national-conference-agm/ to download the registration form.

We hope that you will make it, and will also be able to enjoy the delights of Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty! The Wellington Branch will subside the first 10 members who request assistance with registration costs associated with attending the Conference.


Please remember that 2016 membership subscriptions renewals are now due. Please renew if you have not already done so – download form here.

MANDARIN CORNER 汉语角 Saturdays 3.15-5pm
Seminar Room, 20 Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington.

Mandarin corner.1Mandarin Corner (Wellington), established in 1995 by NZCFS, is a weekly event where students learning Chinese meet with native speakers of Chinese for conversation and cultural activities in a friendly, relaxed setting. Mandarin Corner is currently run by a core team of Mandarin Language Assistants and is open to all level. Come along if you are interested, and attendance is free. Mandarin corner does not run during school holidays. For more information contact Yinghui Li at [email protected].

中国电影  – Thursday 26 May 2016, 7.15pm

All the WayVenue: Committee Room One, Wellington City Council, 101 Wakefield Street. Gold coin donation. With support from Confucius Institute, VUW.
(Please note that you need to press the buzz to the left of the Wakefield Street entrance, and ask security to let you. Txt 0210306853 if you cannot get in.)

Title: 走到底 All the Way [2001 movie, 85 minutes] Director: 施润玖 Shi Ruijiu  Cast: 莫文蔚Karen Mok, 姜武Jiang Wu, 张震岳Chang Csun Yuk.
China’s first Road Movie about three young people travelling in one car, lives tied together. Running away, chasing for a criminal…a series of accidents happening on the road.


In 2012 the China Oceania Friendship Association (COFA) entered into an agreement with the New Zealand China Friendship Society whereby to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the society, COFA would provide funding to our society over a period of five years to be used for projects. The Fund will mainly support the following types of projects:

  • Projects commemorating the legacy of Rewi Alley;
  • Friendly exchange projects agreed by both parties;
  • Other projects in terms of cultural and art exchange, educational exchange and youth exchange which aim to promote China-New Zealand friendship.

The society set up the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange (RAFE) committee to handle this process, and since 2012 has committed to an annual programme of calling for applications by branches for funding of projects, which comply with the terms of the fund, as specified above. Concept plans for the 2015 funding round are due 22 May 2016. Please contact the NZCFS Wellington Branch Committee if you wish to submit a concept plan at [email protected].

One Night in ShanghaiONE NIGHT IN SHANGHAI AT THE Wellington Night Market

Each year, the Wellington Night Market holds the Winter Love Festival to bring people a romantic and exciting date night in this cold season. This year, the Wellington Night Market Winter Love Festival presents “One Night in Shanghai”. It will be held on Cuba Street on 1-2 July 2016.

Qipao ShowThe Wellington Night Market is also looking for female volunteers to be part of their Qipao Show Team. As you all know, as part of the Chinese culture, Qipao represents the elegance of Chinese ladies. A lady in Qipao is not only elegant, but also full of grace and beauty.

As a participant of our Qipao Show events, you will have opportunities to meet more people both from Asia and New Zealand, which will expand your network and enhance your learning experiences during your stay in Wellington. If you would like to be involved in the fun, we would love you to join us! Please contact Sarah at: [email protected]

The Documentary Edge International Film Festival

Doc EdgeNew Zealand’s foremost documentary film festival reaches its 11th year in 2016. This popular and growing festival features a cultural smorgasbord of films both home-grown and from around the world. The carefully curated line-up includes numerous international award-winning films, giving New Zealand audiences a chance to experience gripping stories, meet incredible people and open their eyes to the diversity of our planet. For the full programme and the latest news regarding the 2016 season, visit http://docedge.nz/.
Key Dates: 4-15 May 2016 – Doc Edge Festival: Wellington – The Roxy, Miramar
13 May 2016 Screen Edge Forum: Wellington – Park Road Post, Miramar

Liu Jianhua Art Exhibition

Lia-Jianhua-workingFrom the Venice Biennale to the Dowse Art Museum comes works by one of China’s best known contemporary artists, Liu Jianhua. Liu Jianhua is presenting two full-gallery installations: a signature work of over 1,500 everyday objects cast in white porcelain, and a new work of glistening pools of gold-coated porcelain. The exhibitions are available to view at the Dowse Art Museum, 45 Laings Road in Lower Hutt until 10 July 2016. Attendance is free. For enquiries, please contact [email protected].


Remember to check out the NZCFS Youth Website www.nzcfsyouth.org and Wellington Branch Facebook page www.facebook.com/NZCFSWellington for more information on the Society. It contains articles, upcoming events and information. If you would like to learn more or contribute, feel free to contact Kirk McDowall at [email protected].

Xi hails “unprecedented” China-NZ cooperation

NZ-Prime-Minister-John-Key-and-China-President-Xi-JinpingChinese President Xi Jinping met with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in Beijing in April 2016, hailing “unprecedented” cooperation between the two nations. Reviewing progress of bilateral relationship over the past 44 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, Xi said China stands ready to work with New Zealand to seek further development of their comprehensive strategic partnership on the basis of mutual respect, equality and reciprocity.

Xi proposed the two sides enhance mutual trust, boost economic cooperation, promote people-to-people exchanges, elevate law-enforcement cooperation and increase military-to-military interactions. According to Xi, China hopes to build a long-term agricultural partnership with New Zealand and Chinese companies look forward to participating in New Zealand’s infrastructure construction.

“The two sides can join our development strategies and work together cultivate new growth points of cooperation in bio-medicine, energy-saving, environment protection and innovative industry,” said the President.

ad4aeba4314ee34eee2338718127c3c4c73a59b2_620x310Xi also looked forward to closer cooperation with New Zealand in the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and other multilateral mechanisms. Echoing the President, Key said there is great opportunity for the development of the bilateral relationship. The Prime Minister said New Zealand hopes to make joint efforts with China to speed up the negotiations to upgrade the free trade agreement between the two countries and deepen reciprocal cooperation in agriculture, tourism, education, law-enforcement and other sectors.

As the first Western country that has joined the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, New Zealand is willing to cooperate with China on regional economic integration, Key told the Chinese President. The Prime Minister also voiced New Zealand’s willingness to increase communication with China in international and regional affairs.
New Zealand Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11627235


Explore China the SW. landscapeThe Society offers a further educational tour in the “Explore China” series. The tour will visit the two SW provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan for an in-depth experience of this area.  A reasonable level of fitness is needed to accommodate the travel, going over 4000 masl on occasions. There has been considerable interest in this tour and only a few places are now available. If interested please contact Ann White: ph 03 6148944, [email protected] as soon as possible. 

See https://nzchinasociety.org.nz/22403/nzcfs-explore-china-the-south-west-tour for full details.

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