NZ Governor-General Visits Soong Ching-Ling's Former Residence

2015-08-03 13:36:42   China Soong Ching Ling Foundation

Tang Wensheng, Vice Chairman of CSCLF, welcomes the visit of Governor-General Jerry Mateparae of New Zealand and his wife.

Governor-General Jerry Mateparae of New Zealand and his wife Janine Grenside visited China from July 20 to 24, 2015 at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. During his dense schedule, there's a special cultural exchange activity – a visit to Soong Ching-Ling's Former Residence.

In the morning of July 22, a special cultural relics exhibition on "Madame Soong Ching-Ling and Her New Zealand Friends" was prepared at the former residence, waiting for the delegation of Governor-General Jerry Mateparae. 23 pieces of cultural relics were displayed in the exhibition showcases. Those old letters that have already turned yellow, recorded the deep friendship between Madame Soong Ching-Ling and her New Zealand friends including Rewi Alley and James Bertram during the war period.

Children trained under the "Little Time Gentlemen" project proposed the warm applause to welcome the Governor-General and his wife. The Governor-General nodded to the children and said: "Thank you! I can't speak Chinese, but I can feel your warmth. I'd like to follow you to visit the exhibition."

Governor-General Jerry Mateparae of New Zealand and his wife visit a special cultural relics exhibition on "Madame Soong Ching-Ling and Her New Zealand Friends".

Then the couple visited the life exhibition of Madame Soong Ching-Ling and the display of the former residence. They were attracted by the stories between Madame Soong Ching-Ling and her international friends including Rewi Alley, Israel Epstein, Edgar Snow and Norman Bethune.

Governor-General Jerry Mateparae of New Zealand and his wife visit the display of the Soong Ching-Ling's Former Residence.

Governor-General Jerry Mateparae of New Zealand and his wife pose for a group photo with "Little Time Gentlemen".

After the visit, Qi Mingqiu, Standing Vice Chairman of China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (CSCLF), met the Governor-General and his wife. Qi expressed his welcome to the visit of Jerry Mateparae. He said Madame Soong Ching-Ling, as the Honorary President of the People's Republic of China, met international friends from all over the world in the former residence. Young people are the future of the country. Consolidating and developing the relations between two countries need to rely on young people. CSCLF hopes to build a sustainable and developing platform for the exchanges between young people in the two countries.

The Governor-General expressed his gratitude to the warm reception of the foundation. He said he had many resonances from what he saw and heard during the visit. He hoped more and more young people from New Zealand would come to China to understand the contributions their predecessors made to the friendship between the two countries. He also hoped CSCLF could offer opportunities to more foreign friends to experience the history and interact, as well as enhance the mutual understanding and friendship.

After the meet, the two sides presented gifts to each other. Governor-General Jerry Mateparae presented a gift full of symbolic meaning to the foundation – a hook-shaped New Zealand jade. He said jade has a special meaning in the New Zealand culture. The gift is in the shape of a hook, which he hoped to connect the two countries more closely like the role Rewi Alley played.

Governor-General Jerry Mateparae of New Zealand presents a gift to China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (CSCLF).

Qi Mingqiu, Standing Vice Chairman of CSCLF, presents a gift to Governor-General Jerry Mateparae of New Zealand.

Tang Wensheng, Vice Chairman of CSCLF, Don McKinnon, New Zealand's Ambassador to China, and Wang Lutong, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand attended the event.

Governor-General Jerry Mateparae (5th left) of New Zealand and his wife Janine Grenside (4th left) pose for a group photo in the Soong Ching-Ling's Former Residence.

Governor-General Jerry Mateparae of New Zealand writes his wishes to CSCLF.

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