Monday, January 28, 2013

December 2012 Chapter Meeting

USCPFA Dec. 23, 2012 Meeting by Colette Penn

Our December meeting and holiday party beganon Dec. 23, 2012 at 2:30 P.M. in the Alinari condominium gathering room with a feast of specialdishes brought by members.

Our hosts, Jill Dye and Duane Finger, introducedeach of us to our special guest: Mr. Jiang Yingshan, who asked to be called "AJ Rivers" for simplicity. AJ is a representative of The Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries ("YOUXIE"). In 2005 he was that association's National Tour Guide for our USCPFA Sarasota Tour to China.

AJ then gave two presentations:

First, he described the structure and purposes of YOUXIE, a vast Chinese non-governmentalassociation affiliated in 115 countries with 364 organizations, including our USCPFA.  One of YOUXIE's many tasks is to coordinate and establish a Sister Cities relationship between Chinese cities and others worldwide.  In his capacity as YOUXIE representative to the U.S., AJ assisted Sarasota in establishing its current Sister City relationship with Xiamen.

Next, as a special treat, AJ showed a film made by YOUXIE to record the gratitude of the Chinese people to the amazing American Volunteer Group(honorifically called "The Flying Tigers") for their service during World War II in training the Chinese Air Force and in fighting with them to destroy invadingJapanese air forces in China.  We who watched the film were deeply moved; and some of us went to the Tigers' official website to learn more about these remarkable men.

We would like to express our thanks to Mr. Jiang Yingshan ("AJ Rivers") for visiting us and for his highly informative and fascinating presentations.

Our meeting concluded in the Alinari theatre with a return gesture to AJ: A screening of "It's a Wonderful Life", the perennially favorite American Christmas film.

Those who stayed to the 9:00 P.M. end of thismarathon meeting left smiling and content.

Thanks to Jill and Duane for your efforts in bringing this event to us.