The 11th Worldwide Zhongshan Association Convention was hosted in Fiji 26-28th October 2017.
The Auckland NZ branch of the international Zhongshan network, AZSCA, was represented by Chairman Jilnaught Wong and a delegation of 14 local members.
A fun time was had by all and more photos will follow.
A more detailed summary of the event, written by our Vice Chairman Christine Ng follows after the photos below.
Special thanks to Simon and Christine Ng who sponsored the outfits of the AZSCA team.
The 11th Worldwide Zhongshan Association Convention
Sheraton Fiji Resort, 26 to 28 October 2017
Aims of the convention
- To enhance communication among people of Zhongshan origin from different parts of the world.
- To improve our relationship as a harmonious community through exchange and cooperation in economic affairs, trade and tourism.
The convention venue was the Sheraton Fiji Resort, Denarau Island, Fiji. Delegates could choose their accommodation from a number of hotels. Our Auckland Group stayed at the Sheraton Fiji Resort, which was a very nice 5-star hotel.
Representatives from the Auckland Zhongshan Clan Association
- Professor Jilnaught Wong, Group Leader. He was designated our Group Leader because, not only is he our Association’s Chairman but, more importantly, he was born in Fiji and is very familiar with the country. His father, the late Eddie Yan Kong Wong MBE, was a prominent businessman in Fiji, was Mayor of Lautoka City, and a Senator in the House of Senate in Fiji’s Parliament. The Convention’s official book contains an article of his life and contributions to Fiji.
- Mrs Young Suk Wuan Wong, Honorary Consultant to the Convention
- Mr Alex Cheung, Honorary Past Chairman
- Mrs Judy Cheung, Association Member
- Mr Simon Ng, Past Deputy Chairman
- Mrs Christine Ng, Deputy Chairman
- Mr Lum Kwan Kwong, Committee Member
- Mrs Lana Wong, Committee Member
- Mr Michael Yuen, Committee Member
- Mr Lynn Lum, Association Member
- Mrs Jan Lum, Association Member
- Mr Lee Ngai Shing, Association Member
- Mr Tang Shi Tang, Association member
- Mrs Hua Zhag Wong, Association Member
Program of activities
Day1: Thursday, 26 October 2017
Our group arrived at Nadi International Airport just after midday. We received a very warm welcome from the Chairman of the Convention and the President of the Fiji (West) Zhongshan Clan Association, Mr Feng Jieyou.
We were driven to Lautoka, approximately 16 kilometres away, for a delicious lunch that included a Fiji lobster, much to Michael Yuen’s delight, at Nanyang Restaurant. The drive was on a beautiful sunny day and we enjoyed the view on the way, together with an informative commentary from our guide, David Ling, who looked about the Auckland Group throughout the Convention.
We checked into the Sheraton Hotel at 4 pm while our Group Leader attended a leaders’ meeting. The principal outcome of the meeting was the overwhelming votes for the Costa Rica Zhongshan Association to host the 12th Worldwide Zhongshan Convention in 2020. There was one other contender from Las Vegas, but they did not gain much support.
There was a welcome buffet dinner that evening which was attended by 450 delegates. This was held on the beach on a beautiful warm evening. There were speeches and group leaders presented their respective gifts to the host association. The dinner was followed by traditional Fijian dances and singing. A most enjoyable evening that provided a wonderful opportunity to meet friends and family from other parts of the world.
Day 2: Friday, 27 October 2017
The official opening ceremony was held in the morning and delegates were welcomed by many dignitaries:
- Dr Ze Wen Liu, Vice Chairman of the Convention
- Mr Praveen Bala, Fiji’s Minister of Local Government
- Mr Shaheen Ali, Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Industry Trade and Tourism
- Mr Chen Quan, Deputy Vice Secretary, China Federation of Returned Overseas
- Ms Liang Lixian, Standing Committee Member of CPC Zhongshan Municipal Committee and President of Zhongshan Overseas Friendship Association
- Tan Sri Dato’ Koo Yuen Kim, Vice President of China Overseas Chinese Chamber of Commerce Executive
Following the opening ceremony was a seminar on “China’s One Belt One Road Initiative”, which is China’s economic and strategic agenda by which the two ends of Eurasia, as well as Africa and Oceania, are being more closely tied along two routes – one overland and one maritime. This is an economic and diplomatic program that could transform trade.
The afternoon program had different concurrent sessions on the following topics:
- Promotion of Fiji tourism
- Convention for youth and forum on peace for Chinese living overseas
- Chinese medicine, acupuncture and consultation
In the late afternoon, all the delegates, wearing their Fijian bula shirts, gathered on the beach for photographs. We stood in a “中 山 FIJI” formation while a drone aerial photographer flew above us taking photographs.
This was followed by a buffet dinner in a large Sheraton reception hall that had three long buffets to cater for the 450 guests. Entertainment included performances by a Chinese orchestra and Fijian traditional dances that included audience participation around the reception hall. Our Auckland Group also toasted Michael Yuen as he celebrated his birthday.
Day 3: Saturday, 28 October 2017
There was one activity on the last day of the convention. We visited an indigenous Fijian Village – Viseisei Village – which is situated on the coast between Nadi Airport and Lautoka. The villagers performed a kava ceremony, which is a traditional part of Fijian culture. Kava is a mildly narcotic drink made from mixing the powdered root of the pepper plant with water and results in a numb feeling around the mouth, lips and tongue and provides a sense of relaxation. The villagers also entertained us with their singing and dancing, which are part of their culture.
We were then treated to a traditional Fiji lovo lunch. The lovo meal is traditional Fijian food cooked in a pit oven under the ground, similar to the Maori hangi.
The Convention officially concluded after lunch.
That evening, our Chairman, Professor Jilnaught Wong, invited the Auckland Group as well as his relatives from Sydney who also attended the Convention and friends from Fiji, to a banquet seafood dinner – Fiji prawns, crabs and lobsters – and other dishes at the local LC Chinese Restaurant. After two days of Western food at the Sheraton Fiji Resort, everyone enjoyed Chinese food.
Day 4: Sunday, 29 October 2017
Ten of our Auckland Group returned to Auckland on the 1 pm flight, while four of the group stayed on for a further two days to visit with friends and relatives.
A special thank you to our Vice Chairman, Mr James P Y Wong, who made all the arrangements for our trip even though he did not join us due to other commitments. As we have come to expect from James, everything was organised “to a tee” (perfectly).
Thanks also to Simon and Christine Ng who donated a red polo shirt with our Auckland Zhongshan Clan Association badge on it to each group member that we wore proudly. We were certainly easily identifiable with the bright red colour.
Thanks to all members of our Auckland Group who cooperated throughout the Convention.
The Convention was a very successful event and congratulations to the Fiji (West) Zhongshan Clan Association for their organisation and wonderful hospitality of delegates from all over the world.
Our Auckland Group members enjoyed the time meeting fellow clan members from other parts of the world, learned about Fijian culture, and greeting each other with “Bula”, which is hello in Fijian as well as a blessing of health and happiness. This was also a wonderful opportunity for our group members to get to know each other better as we spent quality time talking with each other over breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as on walks on the beach.
Look forward to the 12th Worldwide Zhongshan Association Convention in Costa Rica!