Nelson branch secretary Christine Ward passed away during the night of September 12, at the age of 80. She had entered hospital with complications and an infection on Saturday morning.
At May 2021 conference / AGM Christine was unanimously elected as South Island vice-president, after serving for a number of years on National Executive, and as Nelson Branch President. During this time, she played a significant role in transforming Nelson Branch into the branch we have all developed a high degree of respect for.
In Barbara’s words: “She’s the one who, during her presidency, dragged us from being a social club made up of people with an interest in China, the Chinese, and Chinese culture, to one very much committed to the ideals of NZCFS”.
Nelson Branch has become renowned for their participation in community activity, sister city relationships and exchanges, Chinese Language Week activity, and promoting an understanding of Chinese culture.
She was highly respected in China for her education work, and brought education delegations to New Zealand. Husband Bruce is related to the Alley family, and this connection brought a deep understanding of Rewi’s work, and commitment to increasing mutual understanding. For the last several years, she chaired the Simon Deng Li Fund committee.
Christine, we know you for your intelligence, wisdom, generosity and effectiveness. You were everything we treasure about NZCFS. When you spoke, people listened. We will miss your cheerfulness and strength and sincerity.
We extend our deepest sympathies to Bruce and family.