ICCS Newsletter Autumn 2009
For information on our programme, click
Remember our meeting venue,
United Arts Club,
3 Fitzwilliam Street,
(just off Baggot Street,)
2. Tao Kiang 1929 -- 2009
Professor Tao Kiang, Founder Member and past President, died suddenly on March 26th, 2009.
At the Remembrance Service held on April 9th 2009 in the Unitarian Church, St Stephen's Green, Dublin,
the following biographical note was included by the family with the order of service.
Tao Kiang (Jiang Tao) was born in 1929 in Yangzhou, China. He and his four siblings grew up in turbulent times;
the country was at war with Japan, and divided internally between old imperialist values and new communist ideals.
Tao, as the eldest son, was sent to Europe to escape these dangers, at the age of 15. He would not be able
to return to China for 20 years.
The last photo of Tao, 25th March 2009,
taken during his ICCS talk.
After a brief stint in newly-liberated Paris, Tao moved to London to study engineering, English, music
and (eventually) maths. There he met and married his first wife, Chen Xiao Ying. Despite the arrival
of a baby girl, Rosalind, the marriage was short-lived, and Tao and Xiao Ying went their separate ways.
Tao's whole life was characterised by a lively curiosity in intellectual, philosophical and spiritual matters.
This led him to a theosophy conference in 1957, where he met Trudi Kaczmarek. They would be married a year later.
They lived in London for the next eight years, and had a son, Ingmar, and two daughters, Sophie and Tanya.
While Tao's scientific career took flight, he also managed to pursue an ever-widening circle of interests:
taking up the recorder and the piano, Polish and Scottish dancing, as well as completing studies in English
literature. In 1964 Tao was finally able to go back to his beloved China, a trip which brought great joy
to him and the family to which he returned. Two years later, having attained his PhD in astronomy, he became
Chief Astronomer at Dunsink Observatory, Dublin. In 1975, his youngest daughter, Jessica, was born.
Tao became one of the lynchpins of the Chinese community in Dublin, and he came to visit and revisit China
with increasing frequency as the years went by. In 1975 he co-founded the Irish-Chinese Cultural Society,
which is dedicated to strengthening the ties of understanding between the two countries.
It was to this society that Tao gave a very well-received talk about his life, just the night before he died.
Following his retirement, Tao had maintained a busy schedule, continuing his work as translator of
Chinese Astronomy and Astrophysics, the publication he had helped establish, editing papers and mentoring
young students. Always a lover of fine food, Tao also had a great interest in wine, and was a
long-standing member of wine club Preamble. He was a member of the Probus discussion group, and also
sang as a tenor with the Bray Choral Society. Philosophically, in his last years Tao came to identify himself
as a humanist, and had become an active member of the Humanist Association of Ireland.
Tao died suddenly in Milan on the 26th March 2009, on the first leg of what was to be a short holiday
with Trudi in Locarno, Switzerland. He was lively, full of plans, thoughts and really terrible puns,
to the very last. We will miss him in ways we cannot yet imagine, and as a great friend, a darling husband
and a beloved father, we are proud to have known and loved him.
As can be seen, Tao was a person of exceptionally diverse interests, a fact reflected by
the wide variety of people among the huge attendance at that Memorial Service. Here it is appropriate
to say more about his involvement with our Society, and about Tao as we knew him.
Tao was a Founder Member of the ICCS, and was elected Vice-President at the inaugural meeting in May 1975.
He was President from 1979 to 1982, and was on the Committee almost continuously until 2000,
serving as Treasurer for two separate terms. During that time, and since, he contributed many talks
to the society.
Founder Members Dell Lundy and Tao Kiang
Tao, with great help from Trudi, for many years edited a beautifully produced and bound magazine
called "Chinese Culture". This had substantial articles of high quality by various contributors,
including Tao himself. This has lapsed for some years, but just a week before his death Tao was
talking about his wish to see it revived. (He also recalled that a special issue had been produced
in December 1985 for the visit to Dublin of the Terracotta Warriors. This was put on sale at the
exhibition in Kilmainham, and in fact was the only item of literature available there.
The demand was huge. Tao rushed off and got a second edition printed, something like a thousand copies,
and it was a complete sell-out; a great financial boost for the Society.)
There is a Government organisation in China called "the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with
Foreign Countries", or Youxie for short. A major feature of the ICCS is that, though completely non-political,
it is in communion with Youxie: we host delegations from Youxie to Ireland, and they host delegations
from the ICCS to China. Many wonderful trips have taken place, and many warm friendships have formed,
through this arrangement.
The initial contact was entirely Tao's initiative. When he was in Beijing in July 1978, he called on the CPAFFC,
and told them about our Society. Two years later the first exchange visits took place.
Tao looked up with admiration to a great practitioner and theorist of literary translation, Jin Di,
who translated "Ulysses" into Chinese. Through Tao's contact, and through Trudi's and Tao's kindness
in accommodating him in the house in Bray, Jin came to Dublin in the Bloomsday Centenary year, 2004,
and gave a talk to the ICCS which was a memorable highlight for the Society.
Jin Di and Tao Kiang
It is right to mention that Tao worked tirelessly, and in many ways, to further astronomy in China.
As well as his prodigious translating work, and his encouragement of young Chinese astronomers
(there was even "the Tao Kiang astronomical paper writing award"), he was an advocate at
international gatherings. Former colleague Dr Ian Elliot described him as an "astronomical bridge
between China and the West", whose hard work finally bore fruit in 1982 with the admission of China
to membership of the International Astronomical Union. Fellow astronomer Zhou YouYuan paid tribute
to Tao's "important role in leading Chinese astronomy on to the world academic stage". Small wonder,
then, that he was an honoured guest at the 1984 National Day parade which he mentioned in the
last talk which he gave to the Society. (A reconstruction of this talk
will be given in our next Newsletter.)
Tao had a total understanding of Western modes of thought. There was never the slightest comprehension gap
when talking with him. (And it is remarkable that when, around 1980, he was giving extra-mural lectures
on Chinese in UCD, he could explain various linguistic points about Chinese by alluding to comparable
constructions in a number of different European languages.) In short, he was fully at home in two
civilisations, Chinese and Western.
This was a direct advantage in some of his astronomical research: for example, his work on Halley's comet.
In collaboration with a co-worker, using NASA computers, he combined ancient Chinese observations with
Western data to calculate accurately details of past and future appearances of the comet.
But Tao was not only a two civilisations man; he was a complete two cultures man, in the C.P.Snow Arts/Science
sense. His knowledge of, and involvement with, Chinese literature and philosophy was amazing, and
the wideness of his reading in Western literature, philosophy and history was also amazing.
In his later years he thought very deeply on the basic problems facing humanity, not in an abstract way only,
but in the hope of contributing to a solution.
Tao was a wonderful man, and his death is a huge blow. To his devoted wife Trudi, to his children
Ingmar, Sophie, Tanya, Jessica, and Rosalind, and to all his family, goes the deepest sympathy of the Society.
3. THE ORIGIN OF GREED by Tao Kiang
This is an article which Tao was preparing for publication before his sudden death.
Essentially complete, it is reproduced here by permission of Trudi Kiang.
The excellent article by Serwer and Sloan (Time Magazine Sept 29, 2008)
has pinpointed the cause of the latest crisis in world finance: people have been too greedy
in the last two years, recklessly borrowing and lending money inside a collective bubble of an illusion.
Greed, of course, is not a new thing. Pressing as the present crisis is, a larger perspective is
undertaken here, based on my own observations in diverse fields, and ending on the prospect of a
future fit for humans.
Two decades ago the Cold War ended. The world had barely recovered from its shadows, on came a succession
of local hot wars each with its own quota of misery of the more tangible kind. Why ? Greed, I say, is again
the root cause; greed, this time, not on the part of individual persons or financial corporations, but
on the part of whole countries. And not for money, but essentially for oil.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, some of the states in the Middle East were among the poorest
in the world. Then oil was found, and overnight they became among the richest. But greed within meant
the new wealth was not shared amongst the citizenry, and greed without prompted foreign fingers in the pie.
Greed is when we want more than we need. Greed is pure foolishness when we want more than we can enjoy.
We all laugh at the old man who says, "I still chase girls, but I've forgotten why". Substitute "money"
and "oil" for "girls", we should all be laughing at ourselves.
The homely wisdom wrapped inside this chuckle is welcome now more than ever, as mankind is about
to enter its next Aladdin's cave. As surely as coal was replaced by oil in our time, so will oil
be replaced by the vastly more powerful source of energy that is locked up in every little bit
of mass, as stated in Einstein's formula, E equals m c-squared. (According to this formula, the
energy of piling up the largest pyramid of Egypt is equivalent to the mass of no more than a
grain of sand:-- if you don't believe the sums, ask a high-school member of your family to show you.)
At this point, I hear some experts interject, "but we have been working on this holy grail for years now
and have not succeeded. Maybe it is not a practical proposition, or at least not for a good while yet".
Now, more or less the same pessimistic note was voiced by Einstein himself 20 or so years after he announced
his formula, in regard to getting energy out of the atom, for he then shared with the experts of the time
the notion that it would take more energy to fire a projectile into an atom than can ever be got out of it.
But we know what happened: the neutron was discovered by some outsiders not particularly connected with
the business, and the idea dawned that if we just use the neutron as the projectile then the whole
energy balance sheet will be reversed. Major discoveries in technology have a habit of turning up
The implications can be tremendously bad or tremendously good. Bad, if we continue to allow ourselves to
be greed-driven; good, if we realize that this virtually unlimited source of energy in fact promises to
remove the very origin of greed. Let me explain.
It is widely held that greed is human nature, hence we can't do much about it. I do not agree.
This widely held opinion is just intellectual laziness. I maintain that greed is not human nature;
rather, it originated in the circumstance of limited resources prior to written history.
I was led to this insight by a heart-warming event well worth retelling. In 2005, while physicists were
celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Einstein's formula, the British TV
Channel 4 asked Londoners to vote for a First New Commandment. And the overwhelming choice was
"Treat others in the same way as you would like them to treat you". To me it seemed that humanity had
at last come of age. This proclamation by Londoners of today immediately recalls Confucius' summing-up
of morality of 2500 years ago, "What you do not like, do not do to others". But inevitably, also the
natural follow-up question, "Why stop at this negative formulation, why not an out and out doing
good to others?" Apparently, a direct answer to this question only appeared some 1500 years later,
when a Sung scholar commented on a famous, more spelt-out verbatim message by Confucius' spiritual heir,
The passage runs, "if each household with an acre of land grows a mulberry tree, and tends
domestic animals with care, then the over-50s can wear silk, and the over-70s can eat meat",
and the Sung commentary is that there was just not enough silk or meat for everybody,
so the older people are given preference. Thus, the limited form of the Confucian commandment
can be traced back to the circumstance of limited resources. This led me to think that greed may have a
The written histories of mankind are indeed full of examples of the working of greed, from the Bible
down to the latest economic theories. Of course, in the texts, greed often goes under the name of respect
for private property or capitalism. Thus we find in the Old Testament, alongside the loftiest mystical musings,
domestic inventories of sheep and cattle. And this is no wonder, when we remember the Old Testament was
written by people who were children of slaves in Egypt, when Egypt was already a place where human dignity
was equated with material possession. And what is true of Egypt is true of all human civilizations.
So to examine whether or not greed is innate human nature we must go further back in time.
Before the time of written history, man was essentially a hunter, and his chief concern was to wrest a
livelihood by killing other animals. To him the whole land was his hunting ground, every other man was
someone who can help kill the animal and then share the spoils if for no other reason than that
refrigerators weren't around then. In short, at that stage, the idea of private possession just wasn't there.
But when man became farmer, things changed. Here, he finds a patch of land with flowing water, this he works
throughout the warm season, just to get a limited amount of grain at the end, barely enough to last him
and his family through the coming lean times. Of course, he wants to keep the grain for himself and
claim the piece of land as his. So the idea of private property was born. This is just prudence,
and when resources are scarce, prudence means survival.
Meanwhile the remaining hunters would gradually transform themselves into herdsmen. Although not so
strongly tied to land, they still needed land for their animals to move about, and they would certainly
have developed a sense of private property in regard to their herd. And some of them may have even hit
on the idea that now it may be easier for them to make a living by raiding the farmers than dealing with
the animals. Conflict between the farmer and the herdsman was inevitable. The story of the First Fratricide
is popular in world folklores. It is interesting to note in passing that in the Jewish version,
it is the farmer who killed the herdsman; in the more mythologized, Egyptian version, it is the other way round.
In response to this and possibly other pressures, the farmers organized themselves into ever larger groups:
homesteads merged into villages, towns came into being, then grew into cities. And civilization began.
At each stage of this development, man would devise laws, customs and institutions to safeguard their
possessions so planting in their children’s minds ever greater reverence for private property.
Until, at the present time, in some Arab countries, thieves will have their hands cut off; and not so long ago
in the British Isles, stealing a sheep incurred the death penalty. Although we now speak of these practices
rather disapprovingly, and are even beginning to talk about the rights of burglars, showing that public opinion
on this issue is softening, the softening attitude has yet to filter through to national policies,
which are still based on out and out self-interest.
Greed was identified by the Buddha as one of the three root causes of the unsatisfactory nature of
human existence, which the sage told us to purge from our hearts. By identifying the materialistic origin,
I have taken moral and spiritual considerations out of the equation. On the other hand, it will be naive
to expect that once the world becomes one of material plenty, as for example, through the realization
of E-equals-m-c-squared, that greed will disappear. No, greed has gone too deep into our psyche for
this to happen. To rid ourselves of this deep-seated source of evil, the key step is to recognize
that while greed had a natural origin, its deep-seatedness is due to centuries of brain-washing
through man-made customs and institutions. We must, as the Chinese Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu
advised, distinguish what is of nature and what is of man.
The founder of the Taoist philosophy, Lao Tzu,
seeing that all evils (including greed) seem to accompany
civilization, advised people to forsake civilization altogether, to stop all research, to go back to nature
and so on. This programme of Lao Tzu's will never work, because it ignores the evolving nature of
human society, and the fact that man is naturally curious. As long as man is curious, he will mess about,
continue to research, including finding a way to realize e-equals-m-c-squared.
But "curiosity kills the cat", I can hear the wise shout. Well, I think man will eventually be saved
by one thing that the cat does not have: humour and reflection. As long as he can laugh at the
old man mentioned earlier and then reflect that he is no less laughable himself, he will be able
to pull himself away from the brink of self-destruct. Nay, more, he will then take full advantage
of a world of plenty that he has realized, and say goodbye to a life largely spent in material
acquisition and start.to lead a life of creativity and contemplation,
toward realizing all his potentialities.
4. January Talk -"Joseph Needham and China",
In January we were treated to a
most stimulating and entertaining
talk by a speaker distinguished in
has had distinguished careers as
an academic. a broadcaster, a TD
a Minister for Industry and
Commerce, a Senator and an MEP.
He is President of the Irish
Humanist Association, a Master
Farmer and an accomplished chef
who nearly won the title of Best
Amateur Chef in the UK!
by Justin Keating
The subject of his fascinating talk
was Joseph Needham, an English
polymath who fell in love with
China and compiled a seven-volume
encyclopedic series of books,
"Science and Civilization in
China", which grew to over twenty
volumes and is recognised as the
most comprehensive study of many
aspects of China, its people and
their accomplishments over the
Needham grew up in a manse near
Cambridge and, although a fervent
Communist, remained strong in
his Anglican faith giving many
sermons in his native parish.
Justin had met him in London at
Marxist soirées where he had gone
to hear the philosopher-scientist
JD Bernal, whom he admired greatly. He
also met there the famous
historian, Eric Hobsbawm.
Justin’s talk brought Needham
alive for the rapt audience and we
marvelled at the breadth of
knowledge and vision of this great
friend of China and the Chinese.
He was a major influence in
getting the Western world to
recognise how far the Chinese had
come in scientific discovery long
before us. Justin listed just a few
surprising examples of the several
hundred inventions that we owe to
Needham died in 1995 at the age
of 95. His life’s work, the great
Science and Civilization in China,
continues to be developed and to
grow in size.
5. February Talk - "The Jesuits in China"
by Fr Tom Morrissey SJ
Fr Tom started by telling us about
St Francis Xavier who was sent as
a papal legate in the 16th century,
first to Goa and then
Japan. The Japanese
told him that they
would be more
willing to go along
with his teaching if
he succeeded in
Valignano, a lawyer,
succeeded him as
superior of the Jesuit missions in
India, Japan and China. When in
Padua he had received Matteo
Ricci, also a lawyer, into the
Society of Jesus.
Valignano also appointed Michele
Ruggieri to head up the Chinese
mission. Ruggieri established a
policy of inculturation whereby all
missionaries would become wellversed
in Chinese language,
philosophy and culture before
being sent into the field – a policy
which was adhered to by the Jesuit
missioners for many years.
The most successful proponent of
this was Matteo Ricci, who steeped
himself in the study of Buddhism
and was extremely proficient in
Chinese, so much so that he was able to debate and discuss many aspects of mathematics,
astronomy, philosophy and various scientific subjects, including horology
(the science of clockmaking), with Chinese savants. So
impressed were the
scholars that many
in the Imperial
converts, notably Xu
Guangqi (Xsu Kuang
-Chi), who was the
Chinese scholars had
always considered their Empire as
the centre of the earth (the Middle
Kingdom) and were surprised to
learn from Ricci of the extent of the rest of the
world. They were very impressed
when he was able to predict an
eclipse when their scholars had
failed to make an accurate
prediction, and took on his method
of calculation. Ricci (an
compiled an atlas of China and
drew them a map of the world with
China in the centre. They were
relieved to learn that Europe was
so far away and unlikely to invade!
Ricci (also a musician) made them
a spinet which they played along
with their own instruments. He
went so far as adopting the
hairstyle of the Buddhist monks as
well as the silk robes of the
scholars. He was called Li Madou
by his Chinese friends. Working in Guangzhou, Zhaoqing,
and Shaozhou (Shaoguan) in
Guangdong before moving to
Nanjing and later to
Beijing, Ricci published many
works, including a detailed treatise
on Chinese culture and science,
which came to be seen in Europe as
the most comprehensive and
accurate work of its kind. He died
His successor, Adam Schall,
another Jesuit missioner and
astronomer, became President of
the Academy of Science in Beijing.
This heyday of the Jesuit mission
came to an end when other
religious orders persuaded the
Pope to issue a decree forcing it to
cease its approach to evangelism
and retreat from its inculturation
programme and the use of the
Chinese rites. The emperor was
unhappy about the new approach
which ignored Chinese culture and
the Chinese language and as a
result Christian missionaries were
banned from China for many years;
until the 19th century, in fact.
This is just a short summary of a fascinating lecture which opened our eyes
to the many facets of scientific and artistic achievement that marked this period
of the Jesuit mission to China.
6. March Talk - "Emergent China"
by the late Tao Kiang.
This outstanding talk was Tao's last to the Society, given on the very night before his sudden death.
A reconstruction of this talk will be given in our next Newsletter.
7. The April talk - "Chengde and the Imperial Mountain Resort"
by John Ryan, Norman O'Galligan and David Judge.
The visit to Chengde in Hebei was made after the Youxie-sponsored visit to Sichuan and Henan had ended.
On the recommendation of Denis Mullen, Norman and Anita, John and Mary, and David went to see the amazing
Mountain Retreat, the "Mountain Villa to Escape the Heat", started by the Kangxi Emperor and built between
1703 and 1792 by successive Qing Emperors. Particularly under the Qianlong Emperor, it became an important
place for meeting Mongol nobles, Uighur begs (Muslim notables) and Tibetan Buddhist prelates.
Lord Macartney was received there.
Little Potala (Putuo Zongcheng Temple)
Chengde lies some 250Km north-east of Beijing, and was reached after a 4-hour train journey with
many views of the Great Wall. Imagine the logistics of moving the entire court
(sometimes as many as 3000 people) such a distance without trains! (Our friends even went in a ruanzuoche
(soft seat carriage), rather than yingzuo (hard seat)!) Determined to continue the very serious business
of administration, the Kangxi Emperor designed the formal reception area to resemble The Forbidden City,
and in the surrounding hills to have sufficient accommodation and other amenities to keep his court and
visitors well entertained. (He enjoyed hunting bear and deer inside the vast wall-protected estate, and
this also kept the horsemanship and archery skills of his soldiers well-honed!).
Lying outside the Resort are the Eight Outer Temples. The architecture, as well as many of the texts and
inscriptions inside them, reflects Mongol and Tibetan influences as well as Han; the Kangxi Emperor intended
Chengde to symbolise the unity of China under the Qing.
Prayer wheels in the Puning Temple
Our speakers visited two of them. We were shown the very impressive Putuo Zongcheng Temple, built in the
style of the Potala Palace in Tibet. Stretching up a hill, with walls of contrasting white and dark red,
and roof made of copper-gold tiles, it dominates its surroundings. Also located to the north of Chengde is
Puning ("pu" meaning universal, "ning" peace) Temple which is also known as "Big Buddha Temple",
housing the tallest wooden Buddhist statue in the world. It is unusual, being of the Bodhisattva Guanyin
(Avalokitesvara in Sanskrit) with a thousand arms and eyes, standing a massive 22m tall, and made of
five kinds of wood - pine, cypress, elm, fir and lime.
(To the east of Putuo Zongcheng Temple lies Xumi Fushou Temple, which is said to have been built as a
residence for the Panchen Lama , who travelled from Tibet to celebrate the 70th birthday of Qianlong.
The Pule ("pu" meaning universal, "le" joy) Temple is to be found in the northeast of the complex.
These we were tantalisingly shown on the map only!!)
There are many pavilions within the Mountain Retreat. The most famous is the Yanyu Lou
("Mist and Rain Pavilion"), built on a lake island.
(This was the backdrop for China's National
TV gala performance to celebrate the 2007 Mid-Autumn Festival: our travellers saw the preparations.)
The pavilions were built for contemplation of exquisite vistas, perhaps including the extraordinary
Qingchui peak, an impossible-looking rock formation, likened to a sort of hammer with its handle sticking up.
The surrounding park includes 7 other lakes (stocked with fish!), reflecting the high peaks and
tumbling gardens brimming over with many species of highly scented wild flowers.
Certainly an outstanding World Heritage Site, the visual treat we had was definitely
an intoxicating glimpse of a place it would surely take weeks to explore fully.
We are most truly grateful to our Committee members for this enticing talk.
8. Summer(!) Outing to Dublin Zoo 6th. June 2009
We chose the wettest day of the year (in the middle of an otherwise wonderful dry spell, a rarity this year) to
visit the Zoo! As a result of the weather only 18 people came -- but I know they
enjoyed it. We started with coffee and chat in the restaurant, and then with
Orlaith, one of the Zoo Volunteers, we braved the elements and had a close
encounter with the Elephants indoors.
After this, still in the pours of rain, we
went back to the restaurant for lunch. Everyone agreed that the Zoo has
come on by leaps and bounds and would be well worth another visit on a better
day, but most people went home after an enjoyable lunch; except for an
intrepid few who walked round the lake and admired Big Cats and Primates
in the rain!
Red Panda a native of China
9. From the Annual Report 2008-2009 of the Honorary Secretary Nora McDowell:
Our Summer Outing to Dalgan Park on 14th June 2008 was truly memorable. It was arranged through our distinguished
life member Fr. Tom Murphy, now Superior of the Columban Missionaries. We were greeted by Fr.
Pat Raleigh and the highlight of our visit was meeting and listening to Fr.Michael Healy and Fr.Dan Fitz-
Gerald from Cork who had gone to China in 1946 and stayed there till expelled in 1952 . None of us who had
the privilege of being there will ever forget it.
On Sunday 7th. September our Annual Barbecue was held in the grounds of the Centenary Methodist
Church/ Wesley House,Leeson Park. Dr. Yanyi Blake one of our Committee members arranged this venue
for us and it was a very enjoyable occasion . The weather was perfect and we were delighted to welcome the
Chinese Ambassador His Excellency Liu Biwei and some of his staff, as well as members of the Chinese Professionals
On the 24th. September we had the first of our Autumn Talks. It was given by Ruadhan MacCormaic who is
the Irish Times Migration Correspondent. He told us about the problems of young Chinese who come here
to study and need to work as well. There was a very interesting discussion afterwards.
On Wednesday 22nd. October Dr. Yanyi Blake and her friend Shu Rong gave a very interesting demonstration
of Chinese Cookery and and we enjoyed eating the results! Then as a follow on from this we met on
Saturday 25th. at the Asia Market in Drury Street where Yanyi and the staff of the Asia Market advised us
and helped us with our purchases. We then adjourned to the Good World Chinese Restaurant where under
Yanyi's guidance we had a very interesting and entertaining lunch.
On 26th November Dr. Marie-Elaine Grant who was the chief Physiotherapist to the Irish Olympic Team
gave a fascinating Talk about the five Olympic Games she has attended and told us about the preparation
for the Games and her visits to China before and during the Games. She showed wonderful slides and we got
an insight into what goes on behind the scenes and we could see how all the hard work by China really paid
Wednesday 10th. Saw the start of Christmas celebrations with our Annual Chinese Christmas Quiz with
David Judge as our genial Quiz Master and at the end we all enjoyed tea and mince pies organized by Jenny
The Year of the Ox started on 26th January 2009 with our Annual Chinese New Year Dinner, held again in
Wong's restaurant . About one hundred people attended and were very well fed and entertained. There was
as usual a very successful Raffle and the Committee would like to thank all who gave prizes.
We were delighted to have Dr Justin Keating as our speaker on 28th.January. His Talk was about Joseph
Needham (Li Yuese) a remarkable man of amazing erudition and energy, who initiated a massive multivolume
study of Chinese science and technology.
On Wednesday 25th February Fr. Tod Morrisey SJ who has just published a book about the Jesuit Missionaries
world wide told us about the Jesuits in China in the 16th and 17th centuries and the methods they used
to get recognition and convert the Chinese people.
We were so fortunate to have a very interesting Talk on “The Rise of China” by the late Professor Tao Kiang
on 25th March . He singled out the influence of the intellectuals Lu Xun and Hu Shi and the economic policies
of Deng Xiaoping in bringing about the current renaissance in China, in spirit as well as material
power. He gave many fascinating insights into Chinese attitudes based on his own experience.
It was almost impossible to believe the news that the very next day this wonderful man, a founder of the Society,
who had given so much to it over the years, died suddenly in Milan.
The last talk of the season was given on 22nd April by John Ryan, Norman O'Galligan, and David Judge,
describing the trip that they made to Chengde “under their own steam” after the end of the official Youxiesponsored
visit to China in September 2007.
Our thanks are due to our Honorary Programmes Secretary Jane Almqvist for arranging these very enjoyable
Talks and outings and to all who helped to find speakers and of course to our members for their support
throughout the year. The Arts Club is a very good venue and our thanks go to our Committee member
Jenny Slevin Williams for arranging the dates of our Talks for us. Before I finish I would like to remind
members that items of interest arising between issues of our Newsletter can be found on this website.
We look forward to another successful year in 2009/2010.
10. Chinese New Year 2010 and St Valentine.
2010 Chinese new year has competition with St Valentine
Next year Chinese New Year falls on the 14th February
which as we all know is St Valentines Day. So how does
the Metal Tiger measure up to St Valentine?
The Metal element gives the
Tiger its sharpness in action
and speed of thought. Tigers
born in the Metal year like to
stand out in a crowd. With an
inspiring assertiveness and competitive demeanor, they
determine their goals and then do anything necessary to
achieve them. This good-looking character sometimes
suffers from mood swings and temper tantrums. The
Tiger can be known to jump to conclusions or to act too
quickly without weighing the options or understanding
the consequences. This is a flaw Tigers must learn to
One legend contends that Valentine
was a priest who
served during the third century
in Rome. He may have been
killed for attempting to help
Christians escape harsh Roman
prisons where they were often
beaten and tortured.
11. Did you know...?
Did you know that Cork City is
Twinned with Shanghai?
Twinning became fashionable after
the second World War as a way of
reuniting bitterly divided communities
in Europe, with the most famous
partnership involving a link between
the two most-bombed
cities: Coventry in the
English Midlands and
the German city of
Cork, for example, is
twinned with no less
than six cities: Coventry,
Rennes, San Francisco,
Cologne, Swansea and
12. Evening Courses
Night time courses in Chinese Language this Autumn
40 Fitzwilliam Street Upper,
(Corner of Baggot St Lower),
T: 01 668 5808
F: 01 658 7805
|The Sandford Language Institute
26 Merrion Square North,
Tel: 01 - 260 1296
Fax: 01 - 686 5570
|UCD Confucius Institute
UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4
Tel: +353 1 716 4747
Fax: +353 1 716 4844
Night time courses in Chinese Studies this Autumn
|Colaiste Dhulaigh (CDVEC)
T: 01 8481400
F: 01 8481544
Off Grangegorman Road,
T: 01 6705419
Adult Education Centre
T: 01 2884376
F: 01 2782478
Chinese Language & Civilisation
13. Chinese Snuff Boxes at the Chester Beatty Library
In the latter half of September and
through October 2009,
the ‘Arts of the
Book’ gallery was reorganized to feature
an exhibition of Chinese snuff bottles
from the Library’s collection. Dating
mainly from the Manchu Qing dynasty
(1644-1911), snuff bottles were among
Chester Beatty’s earliest acquisitions.
The exhibition included some 600 bottles
of jade, porcelain, crystal, lacquer, glass
and many other materials, and 275 of
these are also published in a new
catalogue. The exhibition was mounted
and the catalogue released to coincide
with the annual convention of the International
Chinese Snuff Bottle Society.
The Chester Beatty Library
is situated in the
gardens of Dublin Castle
in the heart of the city
centre. The library is a
two-minute walk from
Dame Street (via the Palace
Street Gate of the
Castle) and close to
(enter via the Ship Street
Gate of the Castle).
Nearest LUAS stops:
Jervis & St Stephen's
Nearest DART station:
routes: 13, 16, 19, 123
(from O'Connell St)
1 May to 30 September: Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 5.00pm
1 October to 30 April: Tuesday to Friday, 10.00am to 5.00pm
(All year) Saturday, 11.00am to 5.00pm
(All year) Sunday, 1.00pm to 5.00pm
Closed 1 January; Good Friday; 24, 25 and 26 December; and Monday public holidays.
ADMISSION IS FREE.
is published by the
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Colm Coleman, 3 Pacelli Ave., Sutton, Dublin 13.