Punahou third-graders welcomed a high-ranking delegation of China officials to campus with their gifts of oli and mele. Jia Qinglin, a senior member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee, along with 30 government officials, visited Punahou on the morning of Dec. 11, 2012, to view the school attended by Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1883), often called the father of modern China.
After enjoying the welcome oli by Maxine Nu‘uhiwa’s third-grade class, Jia applauded enthusiastically and said through a translator: “I hope you study hard and grow healthily.” The group then entered Cooke Library, where archivist Kylee Mar displayed documents related to Sun’s time at Punahou.
Jia generously donated 22 volumes from the “Collected Works of Mo Yan,” and presented President Jim Scott ’70 with a beautiful, lacquer plate. Scott expressed his appreciation and offered Jia a commemorative plate depicting Sun and Old School Hall. Punahou School Trustees Claire Olsen ’58 Johnson and Warren K.K. Luke ’62 joined Scott in presenting the gift.
After touring Old School Hall and viewing the tamarind tree near Mamiya Science Center — sites on campus associated with Sun — Jia was sent off with a joyful mele by the third-graders. A member of the delegation called the visit “perfect.”