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Commemorative statues of two heroes of China, Rewi Alley and George Hogg, unveiled in Shanghai's Fu Shou Yuan

2017-05-18 07:46
-The two men are remembered for the selfless acts of courage during the Sino-Japanese War and the founding of the People's Republic

SHANGHAI, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Our Old Friends Forever - A ceremony to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the birth of Rewi Alley and the 102nd anniversary of the birth of George Hogg was held at Fu Shou Yuan, a humanities memorial park located in Shanghai, on May 13, 2017. More than 180 guests including International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (ICCIC) chairman Michael Crook and vice chairman Li Jianping, Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC)'s standing committee member and deputy inspector Xu Fenghua, FIAT-IFTA president Teresa Saavedra, as well as several other ICCIC members and representatives from local communities attended the event. 

The ICCIC holds a ceremony at Fu Shou Yuan to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the birth of Rewi Alley and the 102nd anniversary of the birth of George Hogg
The ICCIC holds a ceremony at Fu Shou Yuan to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the birth of Rewi Alley and the 102nd anniversary of the birth of George Hogg


ICCIC chairman Michael Crook giving a speech at the commemoration ceremony
ICCIC chairman Michael Crook giving a speech at the commemoration ceremony

Rewi Alley, a New Zealand social activist and founder of ICCIC, traveled thousands of kilometers to China on April 21, 1927, where he dedicated 60 years to fighting for the country's liberation and renewal. Alley started the Gung Ho, short for Chinese Industrial Cooperatives movement, to organize unemployed workers and refugees who contributed to the production of armaments to support the resistance against the Japanese army that had invaded China during the Sino-Japanese war. After the founding of the People's Republic, he became committed to the cause of world peace and friendship as well as to promoting the cause of the building of China as a nation. With the passion and love that he felt for China, he played a unique role in enhancing the friendship between the Chinese people and New Zealanders, as well as with global communities. 

George Hogg came to China in 1937. Having witnessed the brutality of Japanese army in Shanghai, Hogg decided to stay in the country and help alleviate the suffering that followed. With a common goal, Hogg teamed up with Alley and the two young men devoted themselves to the establishment of ICCIC, to China's liberation and to the construction of an independent socialist society via Gung Ho's activities.

Under the leadership of the ICCIC, Fu Shou Yuan commissioned memorial statues for Rewi Alley and George Hogg, who were also the founders of Shandan Bailie School for orphaned children as well as pioneers in internationalism. The first statue was completed in 2014 and the second in 2016, and both commemorate as well as promote the two men's contributions to China, helping Fu Shou Yuan become an important venue where visitors can express condolences to important individuals who have passed on.

In his speech at the event, Xu Fenghua recalled the touching story of Rewi Alley's lifetime dedication to China's national independence and nation-building, and spoke highly of Alley's positive contribution to the friendly relations between China and New Zealand. Xu also said that the CPAFFC will inherit and continue the mission started by Alley by carrying forward his valuable spiritual heritage and promoting non-governmental exchanges and collaborations between China and other countries worldwide, taking the friendly relations between China and New Zealand as well as with other nations around the world, to a new level. 

Crook, the ICCIC chairman, who also spoke on behalf of the sponsor, expressed his appreciation to the attendees for their presence, indicating that commemorating and cherishing the memory of the two pioneers in internationalism offers another opportunity for us to become better educated and knowledgeable about the meaning and benefits of internationalism. "It is our duty to inherit and promote their spirit of internationalism with selfless dedication, whist facilitating cultural exchanges with other countries worldwide and developing new friendships globally, in the hope of making additional contributions to common peace and development as well as the creation of a community of common interest for mankind," he added. 

Ms. Saavedra, the FIAT-IFTA president, praised Fu Shou Yuan's unremitting efforts in commemorating humanism, taking special note of the efforts to break national and cultural barriers in the quest to build a venue for remembering international friends who have passed away. Fu Shou Yuan, by rekindling an understanding of and respect for as well as preserving a living history of these two important individuals for the people of Shanghai, has set a good example for funeral and burial practitioners in terms of cultural innovation and commemoration. 

At the commemoration ceremony, Ms. Saavedra, Mr. Crook, along with China Funeral Association chairman Li Jianhua, Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau inspector Zhou Jingbo, respectfully presented wreaths to the Rewi Alley and George Hogg statues on behalf of the attendees. At the same time, two members of China's highly popular youth organization, Young Pioneers, who are also students at Shanghai Tianmashan School, placed red scarfs on the memorial statues, expressing their love and esteem for the two heroes. Former military attaché to the Chinese embassy in the Netherlands Zhang Jichun and Chinese Consul-General in Christchurch Tan Xiutian presented the poetry album Beautiful New Zealand as a gift to ICCIC vice chairman Song Zhendong and Fu Shou Yuan International Group president and executive director Wang Jisheng, while extending their best wishes for continued, friendly relations between China and New Zealand. 

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Source: Fu Shou Yuan International Group

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