What a great honor to have Minister Qiu Yuanping, Head of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, visiting the Chinese Reconciliation Park on Monday, 21st September, 2015! The event was enthusiastically supported by the community, with attendees and representatives from Annie Wright School, Bates Technical College, City of Tacoma, Chief Leschi Schools, Pacific Lutheran University, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Tacoma Public Schools, and University of Puget Sound, to name a few. We are grateful for many volunteers and support from local businesses, with very short notice, donating event items and helping with setup and the reception. Special thanks go to Chief Leschi Schools, Tacoma Public Schools, Emerald Queen Casino, and GardenSphere.
Fuzhou Ting, which was freshly painted and restored to its pristine condition, stood beautifully as the center stage for a short program and presentation. Board of Director for Tacoma Public Schools Karen Vialle provided the welcoming remarks and City Council Member Joe Lonergan spoke on behalf of Mayor Strickland. I gave a brief history of the Park and Mr. Henry Chen and I presented Minister with art work that a CRPF Board member designed that incorporated a railroad spike to signify the contribution of the early Chinese in building the railroad to Tacoma. Students at Chief Leschi Schools and members of the Puyallup tribe performed traditional songs and ceremony to honor the presence of our Chinese guests.
We are most grateful for the support of our Sister City, Fuzhou, which is responsible for the restoration of the Ting. A special delegation led by Vice President Chen Yuanbang of the Fuzhou People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries attended the event as well.
Minister Qiu spoke of the history of the early Chinese immigrants and the significance of the Park’s effort to strengthen the relationships between China & US across the Pacific. She also commented on the diversity of cultures in Tacoma and the strengths of America as a multicultural society.
Event photos can be viewed at https://www.tacomachinesepark.org/photos-of-the-honorable-qiu-yuan-ping-visit-to-chinese-reconciliation-park/.
Due to Phase III construction, we are not able to celebrate the Tacoma Moon Festival at the park this year; however, we hope you will continue to support our effort by renewing your membership. Membership due and donations can be made online at https://www.tacomachinesepark.org/membership-donations/.
Finally, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to wish you an early Happy Moon Festival. Please feel free to stop by the Park this Sunday (27 September the Moon Festival date), to enjoy a great view of the full moon from the Fuzhou Ting and all the new improvements onsite.
Theresa Pan Hosley
Photos courtesy of Gabriel Newman.