AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The 125th birthday of Rewi Alley, a pioneer in the New Zealand-China friendship, was celebrated by his extended family and friends at the Rewi Alley Reserve in Auckland.
Flowers, songs and Rewi Alley's life stories were shared to mark the 125th Birthday of Rewi Alley.
Born 125 years ago in the South Island of New Zealand, Alley arrived in China in 1927 and had worked together with Chinese people for 60 years in the course of liberation and construction of new China.
Alley, a prolific writer and poet who enabled the rest of the world to better understand China in the 20th century, initiated the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (Gung Ho) and established the Bailie Vocational Institute.
In a speech delivered at the event, Minister Counsellor Ye Su of the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand said Alley is one of the founders of the China-New Zealand friendship and he had a heartfelt concern and love for the Chinese people and devoted himself to the revolution, construction and development of China.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-New Zealand diplomatic ties, which is a significant milestone in bilateral relations. It is because of the joint efforts of generations of Chinese and Kiwi and the contribution made by friends like Alley that it has come a long way in the bilateral ties, said Ye.
Jocelyn Alley-Watkin from the Rewi Alley extended family and the host of the celebration event shared life stories of Alley. Welcoming friends and families who had come all the way from the South Island to the celebration of the 125th birthday of Alley, she believed that Alley's legacy and his spirit would be carried on by generations and generations.
John Gillon from the Kaipatiki local board where the Rewi Alley Reserve is located said the local government is dedicated to managing the reserve for friends and residents to remember Alley and to celebrate the friendship between the two peoples.
Alley's foster son Deng Bangzhen and Deng's wife Lu Bo also shared Alley's life stories and paid tribute to their foster father. Lu talked about the story of how the statue in the Rewi Alley Reserve was made 20 years ago by the couple.
Wang Junchao, Chinese vice consul-general in Auckland, said Alley's accomplishment was originated from his deep love for China and Chinese people.
Participants in the celebration events included Alley's extended family and friends, representatives from China-New Zealand friendship organisations, local government representatives, community groups and leaders, business leaders and media.
Flowers and sacrifice offerings were laid to pay tribute to Alley, the old friend of the Chinese people.