Friday, November 2, 2012

November 18, 2012 Chapter Meeting

The November 18 meeting will be held at the Alinari, 800 N. Tamiami Trail, hosted by Jill and Duane as President Archie and VP Lolly will both be out of town.  The meeting begins at 3 pm.  The program will be a discussion of the new leadership changes in China.  Please bring a covered dish to share.

VP Lolly will be in charge of the December meeting as the McKees will be out of town for the holidays.  She will announce the details at the November meeting.

USCPFA Nov. 18, 2012 Meeting Minutes by Colette Penn

We had a triple bill at our 3:00 P.M. November 18, 2012 meeting held in the Alinari condominiumtheatre as guests of members Duane Finger and Jill Dye.

First, as we enjoyed our snacks, Duane gave us a talk on the role of new Chinese leader Xi Jinping's father as a communist revolutionary, the significance of Xi being a Red Prince or "princeling", Xi's personal connections with the U.S., and insights into Xi's character and political views.

Our special guest, JoAnn Matray, then gave us a vivid description of her experiences living in Chongqing, southwest China, while serving in the U.S. Peace Corps as a teacher of IT subjects tomasters degree students at Chongqing University.  JoAnn discussed a myriad of topics, including her living with a local family, food, shopping, supplies, medical care, and local customs.  She also explainedsome University procedures, such as admission, instruction, and testing.  A lively question and answer session followed.

Thank you, JoAnn, for sharing your fascinating experiences with us.

To close the meeting, Duane showed a brief scenic documentary film, "The Symbol of Eternity in China", with spectacular views of Anhui Province, including Huangshan (Mount Huang).

This meeting had something for everyone.Thanks to everyone who assisted.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 21, 2012 Chapter Meeting

We had another great meeting at the Village Gardens Condo community room, Sunday, October 21 at 2 pm. 

When Alfonz arrived, we surprised him with a birthday cake with sparklers and balloon.  We sang "Happy Birthday to You" in Chinese.  Then, we helped him blow out all the sparklers and shared his cake.  Today Alfonz was 91! 

Photos by Laz:



President Archie gave us dates of upcoming events that might be of interest:
Wednesday evening, October 24 -  "What Next for China?"  Carter Center in Atlanta.  You can view this online.  Just Google it.
  • Thursday evening, October 25 - Ringling Museum presentation by Dr. Daphne Rosenzwieg on Deco Japan.  Go to for more information.  Registration necessary.
  • Monday evening, October 29 - China Town Hall Meeting, Lakewood Ranch Campus of State College of Florida.  Registration necessary. 
  • Ongoing exhibits at Ringling Museum:  "Mythic Creatures of China" and "Deco Japan."
Member Martine Moore announced that her son Jonathan Moore (piano and French horn) will perform in a FREE CONCERT, 2012 Emerging Artist Showcase, Sunday, October 28, 2:30 pm, at Holley Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center on Van Wezel Way.  Even though free, advance reservations are required.  Call 941-776-5522 or email:

Today's program was a documentary entitled, "The China Question," which brought about a stimulating discussion.  All present participated in the discussion and shared their individual views of the topics in the documentary.  

Carolyn was inspired by an earlier viewing of this documentary.  She shared a spreadsheet of five categories of  products in her home and where they were made.  Her categories were short sleeve woven shirts, knit tank tops, tee shirts with logos, household items, and books.  Surprising how the percentages of Made in China products were much lower than one might expect.  She plans to have her students perform a similar survey in their homes.  You might want to do this too. 

Email if you need additional info about upcoming events or the books he mentioned during the discussion.

Next meetings:

November 18, 2 pm - President Archie and VP Lolly will both be out of town.  Archie is asking Duane and Jill to host this meeting.  Details to follow from them.

December 16, 2 pm - VP Lolly will preside.  She will be sending out information about location and program.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

September 2012 Chapter Meeting

We had a great meeting at the Village Gardens Condo community room, Sunday, September 23.  If you missed it, please try to make the October meeting, same place, October 21 at 2 pm. 

 We had one guest, Drew Deininger,  VP for Membership for Sarasota Sister Cities Association.

The meeting began with some snacks, steamed dumplings, Chinese tea, munchies, wine, and cheese and crackers.  Archie found that he could not get vegetarian dumplings so if anyone has a source, please let us know.  We did have vegetarian buns available.

Membership information:  Mary Namey is now in a local care facility, Horizon Bay, and Dr. Lengyel shared that George and Lucienne Arvay recently each had an accident.  Both Arvays are home again at this writing and recovering well.

The discussion then turned to current events in China:  The controversy over possession of the Shenkaku (Japanese name) or Diaoyu (Chinese name) Islands just north of Taiwan; the upcoming party congress where up to 80% of the senior Chinese leadership may change; and China’s economy.  A good bit of insight and interesting information was shared.

Archie announced that he (in our chapter’s name) has successfully placed two teachers in Anhui Province for the present academic year.  He has heard from these two young people and they are happy and excited about this opportunity.  Anyone interested in possibly spending a year in China teaching English conversation should contact

Our guest Drew shared some ideas that he has used to increase SSCA membership and encouraged members to attend and others to join SSCA.

The group then watched a movie, “Beijing Children’s Opera.”

Hope you can make it to next month’s meeting.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15 Meeting Hosted by Hilda Desenberg

What a wonderful afternoon!

Hilda Desenberg invited us to meet at the clubhouse at Covered Bridge Estates in Ellenton.  She was a delightful hostess!

As guests arrived, they were greeted by Archie, chapter president, and Hilda, hostess.  Many were  decked out in beautiful Chinese outfits.  We had time to chat and get to know one another better.

Duane picked up our lunch from King's Wok and brought it to the clubhouse.  We all highly recommend this Chinese restaurant next to KMart across from the Ellenton Outlet Mall.  We enjoyed our food, talked and laughed.  Instructions for the upcoming auction were given; everyone was given a preview of the items to be auctioned.

It is traditional to have jaiozi for Chinese New Year.  Hilda had prepared all the ingredients beforehand to teach us how to make delicious Pork Jaiozi (dumplings).   She even printed out the recipe with added tips.  Chinese cooking is labor intensive.  She had gone to much trouble to marinate the pork and to chop all the vegetables ahead of time.  THANKS, HILDA!

Once Hilda had lead us through the recipe adding many ingredients to the marinated pork, we took a break while we had an auction.  Everyone was given LOTS of joss money in red envelopes--100,000 in Heaven money and TEN MILLION in Hell money.  Items brought by members were looked over by the participants and then the bidding wars started.

Grace served as the auctioneer and had much fun doing so.  The wars began!  In the middle of the auction, a pack of million dollar Hell money was auctioned off.  Our chapter members need some lessons in finance perhaps.  Over 20 million dollars in Hell money was purchased by Duane for ten million and he could have had it for ten thousand in Heaven money.  From that point he had LOTS of money to enhance his bidding.  Although he was kind to the others and did not outbid everyone on every upcoming item, he did announce that the bank was open and loans could be made at only 1000%.  LOL

Everyone won at least one item and back we went back to making dumplings. 

Hilda led us in shaping the dough and stuffing it with her tasty filling.  Here is Pat in her beautiful dragon dress, earrings, and necklace following Hilda's instructions. 

Hilda added our creations to boiling water and patiently added 1/2 cup cold water THREE TIMES and awaited a return to boiling each time. 

We each sampled our creations and approved our efforts.  At this point Hilda admitted she had never before made dumplings.  We had all believed her to be an EXPERT!

A collection was taken up and offered to Hilda to defray the cost of her ingredients.  She declined and gave us the money for our chapter treasury.  Thanks again, Hilda!

Archie had prepared a brief presentation about various Chinese holidays.  Time was running short so he opted to send this out to the members via email.

Everyone pitched in to take down decorations, return the table and chairs to storage, and generally return the clubhouse to its original state.  How easy clean-up is when everyone helps!  Thanks!

President Archie announced that next month's meeting will be hosted at The Alinari by Jill and Duane.  We all hope you will be well by then, Jill.  We missed you.

NOTE:  We missed those of you who were unable to attend.  Be sure to mark the third Sunday through May and save those dates for USCPFA.