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Last updated: February 16. 2013 6:18AM - 82 Views

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BILL O??BOYLE
boboyle@timesleader.com
WILKES-BARRE – Two towns that border rivers and share a common cause on Tuesday exchanged gifts and talked about the importance of the Red Cross.
Five representatives from the Chinese Red Cross Delegation visited the Wyoming Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross in fulfillment of a Memorandum of Understanding agreed upon in November 2008, in order to share ideas, techniques and methods to help those who rely on the Chinese and Wyoming Valley chapter.
Mayor Tom Leighton presented a key to the city to Chuan Jun He, head of the Chinese delegation, who in turn presented the mayor with “Jia gu wen,” or oracle bone – which are pieces of bone or turtle plastron (underside) bearing the answers to divination chiefly during the late Shang Dynasty. The oracle bones are the earliest known ancient Chinese writings and contain important historical information, such as the complete royal genealogy of the Shang Dynasty.
“I take great pride in presenting the key to the city and I only give it to those who are most deserving,” Leighton said. “I present this to the delegation from China for all of their hard work on behalf of the Red Cross.”
The Chinese official said he was honored to receive the key to Wilkes-Barre.
Two Wilkes-University students served as interpreters for the event – Ang Zhang, a senior and president of the Wilkes University Chinese Student Union, and Fan Yang, a freshman.
The five delegates from the Henan Providence in China – Chuanjun He, Li Zeng, Yide Ren, Hong Wei Wang and Mao Xiu Niu – are visiting the Red Cross chapter in Pennsylvania over a five-day span. They will learn how the American Red Cross operates and the Wyoming Valley Chapter, along with the NEPA Regional Blood Center, will be demonstrating how health and safety programs are conducted, how blood collection is completed and processed and how disaster response operates in our area.
In November 2008, three representatives from the Wyoming Valley Chapter visited the Chinese Red Cross in the Henan Providence, to learn about their programs and services. The name of the province Henan comes from its geographic location. Henan means “the south of the river,” indicating that Henan lies south of China’s Yellow River.
The local group toured many areas throughout the second most populated providence in the country and obtained valuable information regarding their health programs and blood collections. They were also privy to the disaster response methods used during the earthquake that devastated part of the country early that year.
William Lewis, one of the three local people on the trip, said during this visit, a unique bond was formed and the partnership will be a valuable tool in creating a culture of appreciation for both country’s customs and dedication to serving their people.
Ed Winters, executive director of the local chapter, welcomed the Chinese delegation.
“They differ in that the Chinese Red Cross is a government entity, which generously financed this trip for the delegation,” Winters said. “The American Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work.”

 
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