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Thursday June 22, 2017

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Library celebrates the lives of refugees By Emma McAuliffe

Newtown Library hosted a special event for children on Tuesday. The library hosted students from Newtown School’s English Language Learners alongside the Make It Foundation for World Refugee Day. Michelle Carlile-Alkhouri from the Make It Foundation and book designer Anna Brown read the children stories told by Syrian refugees and then rewritten and illustrated by Island Bay School students. Multicultural customer specialist at the Wellington City Libraries, Debbie House said this was the first time the library had worked with Newtown School and the Make It Foundation in

this way. “We wanted to acknowledge the strength and the courage of the refugee community by hosting a story time for the children,” Debbie said. World Refugee Day is celebrated internationally with support from the United Nations to commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. The Make It Foundation is a registered charity working to bring creative projects to Syrian refugee children living in hardship outside of Syria. This includes running educational and community projects encouraging understanding of the refugee experience and promoting empathy through stories of those with that experience.

Michelle Carlile-Alkhouri from Make It Foundation reads to Newtown School students. PHOTO: Emma McAuliffe

Be their guest: colleges prepare for Beauty and the Beast

Centre: Zung Mai who plays Belle and Antonio vaha who plays the Beast in rehearsal. PHOTO: Supplied By Emma McAuliffe

Wellington East Girls’ College students will be taking to the stage next week to recreate the magic of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The school has teamed up with

St Patrick’s College and Rongotai College to perform the wellknown classic, which was remade into a live action film this year. Wellington East Girls College head girl, Greta Healy-Melhuish, would be playing Cogsworth in

the production and said she was looking forward to the show. “I think this is really exciting for me because it’s the last one I’ll get to do,” she said. “The year 13 musical is always something you look forward to.”

Meanwhile St Patrick’s College student Antonio Vaka would be playing the Beast. He said he was looking forward to taking on the role, after playing Vince Fontaine in a previous production of Grease. “The Beast is very authoritative,” Antonio said. “He’s misunderstood, he’s the kind of guy who hides his emotions and he’s lost all hope of finding love. “Throughout the play he starts to loosen up. He starts to show human qualities again that were thought to be lost,” he explained. Antonio had not seen his mask yet but he knew it had one purpose, “it’s going to make me look ugly”. Greta, who was in the school’s 2015 production of Les Miserables, said the cast were all “very eager” to get on stage and start performing.

“I think there’s something really special about seeing it live,” she said. “I think we have a really great music team, it’s looking really good.” “We have an amazing team here,” Antonio added. “I think we can really recreate the Disney magic of the film with our show. “So jump on it.”  Wellington East Girls’ College production of Beauty and the Beast will be taking place from Wednesday, June 28 through Saturday, July 1. All shows at 7pm except Saturday, July 1, when show is at 6pm. Show will be taking place at Wellington East Girls’ College hall. Tickets available on the door and at the student services centre. Adults cost $15 and students/children cost $10.

Letters from China to Brooklyn By Julia Czerwonatis

When Barbara Francis met her Brooklyn landlady Agnes Moncrieff, known as Nessie, 60 years ago neither woman knew that years later Barbara would publish a part of Nessie’s life story. You Do Not Travel in China at the Full Moon is a selection of letters Nessie sent back to New Zealand while she was travelling through China as the YWCA’s (Young Women’s Christian Association) foreign secretary from 1930 to 1945. “The title wasn’t chosen by chance. Nessie was in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War, when the Japanese bombed the country,” Barbara said. “In her letters she often mentions the dangers of travelling

overland – especially at a fullmoon.” In April 1938 Agnes wrote to her mother “You do not travel in China at the full moon if you can help. There are always air raids”. Most of the typed and handwritten letters were addressed to Nessie’s mother, one of her friends or the YWCA. After returning from China, Nessie lived in Brooklyn from the early 1950s until the late 1970s working as a teacher at the Correspondence School. She was active in women’s affairs including being on the committee to set up the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW). Barbara first met Nessie when she came to Wellington in 1956 to study at the Teachers’ Training College.

Despite their 40 years age difference the women became good friends. After Barbara had moved to Christchurch she resumed her teaching career until 2005 when she returned to Wellington, some 17 years after her friend had died. “It was only then that I found out about the letters that had been deposited in the Alexander Turnbull Library,” Barbara said. “Nessie’s letters are a fascinating account of China. She not only describes the country but also captures the people’s lives along with her experience of living and working in China.” You Do Not Travel in China at the Full Moon, published by Victoria University Press, was launched at Vic Books Kelburn last week.

Former Brooklyn resident Agnes Moncrieff, better known as Nessie, lived and worked in China from 1930 to 1945. Barbara Francis (photo) recently published a collection of letters her friend Nessie send back home to New Zealand. PHOTO: Supplied

Cook Strait News 22-06-17  

Cook Strait News 22-06-17

Cook Strait News 22-06-17  

Cook Strait News 22-06-17