Louis Eli Statue Unveiling Ceremony in Honghu
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In the morning, November 22, in the Honghu Jiangtan Park embraced by fresh grasses and trees and immersed in the background melody of Extolling the Honghu Lake, guests from home and abroad came to participate in the Louis Eli Statue unveiling ceremony
The 3-meter high Louis Eli tin-bronze statue holds a camera on the left hand and a bamboo hat on the right with both eyes looking far into the Yangtze River. 85 years ago, it was this foreign friend from New Zealand who landed the river bank from the port nearby to help people in the Honghu Soviet Area fight against the flood, marking the inception of his predestined relations with Honghu people.
The ambassador of New Zealand to China - John McKinnon, the vice-chairman of New Zealand-China Friendship Society-Andrews, the vice director of New Zealand Hurunui District – Blake, the vice-chairman of CPAFFC – Xie Yuan, the vice director of Hubei Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office – Hu Yinghai, the vice-mayor of Jingzhou Municipal People’s Government – Fu Zhifeng, the Honghu municipal committee secretary and municipal people’s congress director - Zhang Yuanmei and the municipal committee vice-secretary and the mayor of Honghu City People’s Government – Shen Xianwu attended the ceremony.
In the speech delivered by the vice-mayor of Jingzhou Municipal People’s Government – Fu Zhifeng, warm welcome was expressed to all foreign friends joined us today at the ceremony to commemorate this valorous international communist fighter - Louis Eli who shared weal and woe with Honghu people and bless Honghu and Hurunui in terms of forever friendship and continuous development.
The vice-chairman of CPAFFC – Xie Yuan, on behalf of the CPAFFC, extended heartfelt congratulations on the unveiling of Louis Eli statue. He said that since this year, China and New Zealand had co-hosted substantial commemorative activities in various forms to cherish the memory of and carry forward Louis Eli’s sublime spirit of internationalism. Today, we held this grand gathering to witness the erection of Louis Eli statue was to commemorate his valorous spirit of internationalism worthy of our forever study and commemoration.
According to the ambassador of New Zealand to China - John McKinnon, he was greatly honored to attend the ceremony on behalf of the government of New Zealand. On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and the New Zealand, we should be proud of what we have achieved so far.
The vice-chairman of New Zealand-China Friendship Society-Andrews said that he was really impressed by the deeds and achievements done by Mr. Louis Eli in Honghu. All which displayed in the Louis Eli Memorial Hall and the Revolutionary History Memorial Park fully manifested the eternal continuity of the Louis Eli spirit and Honghu spirit.
In March this year, Honghu and the hometown of Louis Eli – Hurunui became sister cities, now, the vice director of New Zealand Hurunui District – Mary Blake was also at the ceremony. According to her, the sister cities marked the increasingly closer relations between the two cities and further development of cultural exchanges. Mary believed that this ceremony could be an important push to facilitate the relationship between both cities. She said: “let peoples of two cities remember the contributions made by Mr. Louis Eli all his life and pass his spirit on from generation to generation. ”
More honorable guests also participated in the unveiling ceremony, including Mike Williams - the representative of 120th anniversary of Louis Eli’s birthday memorial committee, Christopher Sprigg – the member of executive committee of the New Zealand-China Friendship Society, Jiang Bo - the president of New Zealand Cultural Bridge Art School, Hu Hong – the director of New Zealand Louis Eli Academy Institute, Qi Baoquan – the chairman of Hubei Natives Association in New Zealand, the representatives of the New Zealand-China Friendship Society, New Zealand Cultural Bridge Art Exchange Center and Chamber of Commerce of Hubei in New Zealand, Xu Fenghua - the vice-inspector of CPAFFC (America and Oceania Affairs Division), Wu Jianmin – the full—time vice chairman of Hubei CPAFFC, Liu Guozhong – the vice secretary-general of Louis Eli Research center and representatives of the provincial Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, provincial CPAFFC, Yangtze University, Jingzhou Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Bureau, Honghu government directly affiliated departments and student representatives from the Yangtze University and Honghu No. 1 High School.