By Lynne Murphy – Contributing Correspondent for Liverpool
Sunday the 21st of August 2016 saw a double celebration for the See Yep Assocoation UK when the presentation ceremony for The Queens Award For Voluntary Service an accolade they won in June of this year was combined with their 110th birthday party celebration!
Attended by over 180 guests the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE on behalf of her Majesty the Queen presented the group with the certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal and in the presence of the Consul General to the People’s Republic of China. The award is the group equivalent of an MBE.
Accompanying Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE were Colonel Martin Amlot OBE and Lieutenant Colonel Sean McEvoy BEM both Deputy Lieutenants to the Merseyside Lieutenancy and High Sheriff Jim Davies.
Distinguished Chinese Elders from across the region and VIP guests including assistant Mayors Cllr Gary Millar and Cllr Wendy Simon enjoyed a lavish Chinese banquet. Lion dancers, musical ensembles, traditional Chinese dancing and a beautiful large 3 tiered birthday cake all gave the memorable day a sense of grand occasion.
Founded in 1906 The association was originally set up to to assist Chinese men arriving in Liverpool from China, who would find themselves feeling alone and alienated with no friends, or family, and of course the language barrier.
See Yep, means ‘Four Counties’ and refers to the historical four counties of Jiangmen prefecture: Xinhui, Taishan, Enping and Kaiping. The majority of the original Chinese population who settled in Liverpool and indeed Across the globe came from these four counties.
Under Chairman Mr Kwong Ngan BEM BCAc guidance spanning more than 20 years the See Yep Association has been transformed into a modern and yet still traditional vibrant community centre of excellence. With a strong structure, comprising of a committee and sub-committees ensuring that all duties and services are carried out in a thorough, efficient and professional manner.
The oldest Chinatown in Europe relies on groups like the See Yep’s community spirit to survive. Ensuring Chinese culture can be enjoyed by everyone and for future generations regardless of race or religion whilst promoting integration into the wider community.