by Dale Finlayson, 19 June 2016
The SCA celebrated its 50th anniversary on Saturday 11 June, in historic Abden House, the home of Edinburgh University’s Confucius Institute. From 10am an enthusiastic crowd of members gathered for coffee and tea; to view poster boards illustrating significant events that took place in the life of the SCA and in China during each of the five decades; to watch a video expressing the congratulations of Vice-President Song Jingwu of the CPAFFC for the 50th anniversary and another showing photos taken during the SCA’s delegation to China in 1973. On sale were China-Scotland tartan scarves and ties, anniversary mugs, and tickets for the prize draw of three original paintings donated by Janice Dickson and for the afternoon raffle of smaller items.
The poster boards and video on display; the AGM in the drawing room; Tony Butler speaking;
Soon after 10:30 a brief AGM took place in the beautiful drawing room of Abden House, to be followed by the speakers of the day: Tony Butler on Joseph Needham, whose Science and Civilisation in China sparked off academic interest in China and who was at the founding both of the Society for Anglo-China Understanding (SACU) in 1965 and of the SCA a year later; Valerie Pellatt on her year as a student in China in 1974, and the tremendous contrasts with China today; Neil Taylor, travel writer and former tour organiser with Regent Tours, which was instrumental in starting tourism to China; and, coming up-to-date, Angus Hutchison and Rowan Harvey, who visited China with other pupils from Kinross High School and Perth Academy in 2015. The proceedings finished with a congratulatory address by Consul-General Pan Xinchun (which can be read on the Consulate’s website.
Speakers: Valerie Pellatt; Neil Taylor; Rowan Harvey
Great excitement then ensued, as Consul-General Pan drew the three winning tickets for the prize paintings, won by Youling Sun, Tom Nisbet, and Joan Gibson.
A glass of prosecco preceded a substantial Asian buffet lunch, provided by Edinburgh First, and an opportunity to network and to buy raffle tickets before moving back into the drawing room for the afternoon’s entertainment.
Mr. Pan Xinchun, Consul General with the paintings in the draw; Harmony Ensemble; Robin Lumby on violin
First up was Harmony Ensemble, with SCA Vice President Eddie McGuire and featuring Fong Liu as lead singer, her eight-year-old son Robin Lumby on violin, and Yanmei Wu on the guzheng. Fong’s vocal range and dramatic delivery held everyone spellbound. Harmony was followed by the Edinburgh Chinese Choir, directed by Wang Fan, which performed a well-received mix of traditional and popular Chinese songs. The entertainment was rounded off by both groups joining together, along with the audience, in singing Auld Lang Syne in both Chinese and English.
Pupils from Kinross High School and Perth Academy with the Consul-General [credit: Chinese Consulate]; Edinburgh Chinese Choir singing; tutti for Auld Lang Syne, with Eddie McGuire on flute
The final event of the afternoon was the raffle, drawn by Fong Liu assisted by Robin, in which 25 lucky winners took home a selection of attractive Chinese items.
Thanks to Tong Shenxiao for all the excellent photos taken