China’s Ambassador to Samoa, Wang Xuefeng was accompanied by his good lady, Tong Xin, when they visited the Samoa Voyaging Society on Tuesday afternoon.
The cool evening breeze of Mulinu’u was just in time boarding a motorboat from the Apia Yatch Club shores to the Gaualofa ship where they were welcomed.
The Samoa Voyaging Society has been invited by to a Waka Festival in New Zealand Festival next year. On Tuesday, they received a much-needed financial injection thanks to the Chinese government.
Mr. Xuefeng presented a $40,000 to the Samoa Voyaging Society to help with their preparation for their trip.
The assistance was welcomed by the Samoa Voyaging Society President, Schannel Van Dijken.
“We have been invited by the New Zealand Festival to partake in their gathering of Vaka or Va’a in Wellington Harbor,” he said.
“In order to get to New Zealand the Society had been fundraising and trying to get as much partners as possible and the Chinese Embassy is one of the partners have come on board to hold our hand and support us to get to New Zealand.”
Mr. Van Dijken said the Samoa Voyaging Society has a full schedule while in New Zealand.
“We will be having outreach programmes, we will be partaking in the Auckland Anniversary, Vaka regatta they will be having on Auckland Anniversary as well as the Waitangi Day celebration.
“It’s a full schedule for us from January to March, and our crew and all the logistics involved obviously needs some financial assistance and Chinese Embassy has come on board for that.”
For Mr. Xuefeng, he said he enjoyed the experience of boarding the Gaualofa.
“It was a very happy experience boarding the traditional Samoan Gaualofa ship to experience the great culture and tradition,” he said.
“With Samoa’s long history of navigation we are happy and honoured to provide the assistance to Samoa Voyaging Society. We are happy to be part of it.”