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Recent History

January 2014

  • President Cathy Chinn, Past Presidents Robert Fraser, Lynne McIntyre and Board Member Peyton Chapman with the assistance of the Director of International Affairs, Judy Parker , made a multimedia presentation to the Mayor and City Council on the occasion of PSSCA’s 25th Anniversary Mayoral Delegation Visit to Suzhou. The presentation was streamed live on the Internet from City Hall.

February 2014

  • Suzhou/Portland Student International Exchange Program In February of 2014 in the height of a snow storm Portland schools hosted 100 Suzhou students from the following schools during the Chinese 2014 Spring Festival week. PSSCA celebrated these exchange programs by PSSCA Board Members presenting each school from Suzhou with personalized welcome letter from Mayor Hales, as well as a beautiful four color book of photography and poetry entitled “Trails of Bliss” by artist Grace Lim featuring the four season of Portland and the Pacific Northwest. Students from many of these schools will be visiting their host families in Suzhou in the summer months. The following Portland-Suzhou Sister City Schools exchanges included:
  1. Suzhou Jiangfan Middle School — French American International School (set up in 2011)
  2. Suzhou No.1 High School — Cleveland High School
  3. Suzhou Experimental Elementary School — Woodstock Elementary School ( set up in  2004)
  4. Lida Middle School —— Hosford Middle School
  5. Suzhou #10 High School ——- Jackson Middle School
  6. Suzhou Xiangcheng Experimental Elementary School — Cascade Heights Public Charter  School ( set up in  2012 )

March 2014

  • PSSCA President Cathy Chinn, Past Presidents Robert Fraser and Lynne McIntyre,  Director of Government Affairs Martha Pellegrino, and Michael Gurton with the Portland Development Commission joined our Suzhou delegation of Vice Mayor Zu, Director of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Zu, and Suzhou Foreign Affairs Advisor, Dorathy Lu in Washington DC at the Sister Cities US-China Conference to accept the Award for Economic Development and Trade.

January/February 2013

  • Suzhou/Portland Student International Exchange Program In January/ February of this year Portland schools hosted 100 Suzhou students from the following schools during the Chinese 2013 Spring Festival week. PSSCA celebrated these exchange programs by PSSCA Board Members presenting each school from Suzhou with personalized welcome letter from Mayor Hales, as well as a beautiful four color book of photography featuring the sights of Portland. Students from many of these schools will be visiting their host families in Suzhou in the summer months. The following Portland-Suzhou Sister City Schools exchanges included:
  1. Suzhou Jiangfan Middle School — French American International School (set up in 2011)
  2. Suzhou Xujiang Experimental Middle School — West Sylvan Middle School (set up in 2011)
  3. Suzhou Experimental Elementary School — Woodstock Elementary School ( set up in  2004)
  4. Lida Middle School —— Hosford Middle School
  5. Suzhou #10 High School ——- Jackson Middle School
  6. Suzhou Xiangcheng Experimental Elementary School — Cascade Heights Public Charter  School ( set up in  2012 )
  7. Suzhou No. 4 Middle School — Franklin High School ( set up in 2013)
  8. Suzhou High School SIP campus— Lincoln High School
  9. Suzhou Blue Tassel School- Portland International School

April

  • The Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association commemorated its 25th Anniversary with a special poetry and photography exhibit entitled “The Trails of Bliss.”  The event was co-sponsored by the Portland Center for the Performing (PCPA), the Regional Arts and Cultural Council (RACC) and the Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office (SFAO) and PSSCA’s many sponsors. The Exhibit was free and open to the public April 4 through May 31, 2013 at the PCPA. There were 28 poems and photographs featured in this exhibit exalting the natural beauty of the four seasons in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. An opening reception was held April 4.

 June

  • PSSCA Board Member and Royal Rosarians Lynne McIntyre chaired the Portland Sister City’s Rose Festival Mayor’s Reception at City Hall in conjunction with Portland’s Rose Festival Week. PSSCA participated in the Rose Festival Parade with the assistance of the Northwest China Alliance.

 August

  • Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association Evening Under the Stars Gala was heldWednesday evening August 21 at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Chinatown, Portland Oregon. This was the 11th annual gala, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association. This event included a buffet dinner, hosted beverages, award presentations, proclamations from Portland City Commissioner Amada Fritz, an annual scholarship presentation, silent auction, performance of Kunqu Opera and a calligraphy and silk weaving demonstration.
  •  The Suzhou Calligraphy Exhibition featured 30 newly created calligraphy prints from masters in the arts from the Suzhou Jiangsu Province region of China from Saturday August 17 through Sunday August 25 in the Rotunda of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts. This exhibit was possible with the cooperation of the Suzhou Calligraphy Association and the Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office. Admission was free.
  •  PSSCA hosted the Suzhou Calligraphy Association delegation, performers and artisans for a short stay in Portland in conjunction with PSSCA’s 25th Anniversary. Suzhou guests were treated to an opening luncheon for the exhibit at the Marriott Hotel. A city tour, visit to the Portland Art Museum, as well as a visit to the Columbia Gorge for those members remaining in Portland for a few extra days were provided by PSSCA.

October

  • The Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office hosted the Portland Mayoral Delegation Visit of 20 participants representing education, culture and trade in Suzhou October 26 to 30. Visits were arranged with the Port of Taicang, Mayor of Taicang, the Nike Distribution Center, Shanghai/Suzhou American Chamber of Commerce, the Suzhou Singapore Industrial Park, Mayor and Vice Mayor of Suzhou, the China Energy and Environmental Protection Agency, the Suzhou Municipal Education Bureau, the Suzhou Garden Development Company and Suzhou Design Institute Company, the Suzhou Daily Group, the Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office and a performance of Romeo and Juliet by the Suzhou Ballet Theatre. The Suzhou Daily Group hosted PSSCA’s 25th Anniversary Trails of Bliss poetry and photography exhibit at the wonderful Tongli International Cultural Exchange Center. PSSCA offered as our gift to Suzhou, four beautiful paintings celebrating natural scenes from Oregon’s Pacific Northwest by artist and member Frances Li.

December

  • PSSCA participated the evening of December 12 at the Olympic Mills Commerce Center in the World Affairs Council Young Professionals Annual Holiday Party and international showcase. This free (and fun) event connects young, globally minded Portlanders with locally based, .internationally focused organizations
  •  PSSCA’s 25th Anniversary Installation Dinner was held December 5 at the Dragon Wells Bistro. The occasion provided an opportunity to recognize PSSCA Board members who served with distinction.
  •  PSSCA’s Strategic Planning Meeting was held December 8 at the Mark Spencer Hotel to set an agenda of exciting programs for the 2014 year.

From the Beginning

March 1985
Oregon Congressman David Wu initiates contact with representatives in Suzhou, introducing the idea of a sister city relationship.

September 1985
A delegation led by Portland Commissioner Mike Lindberg visits Suzhou, following Portland Mayor Bud Clark’s request to find the “perfect” sister city for Portland.

June 1988
The agreement establishing a sister city relationship is signed in Portland by Suzhou Mayor Yu Xinde and Portland Mayor Bud Clark.

In anticipation of the event, the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association has already been formed and approved by the Portland City Council.

Oregon Congressman David Wu is named founding President of PSSCA.

August 1989
Tang Ronglong of the Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office comes to Portland as a visiting scholar at the invitation of Portland State University. He works closely with the Mayor’s Office to develop the sister city relationship. Before Tang Ronglong returns to China in 1990, Mayor Bud Clark names him an honorary citizen of Portland.

October 1990
Roger Luedke, President of the Classical Chinese Garden Society, leads a delegation to Suzhou to discuss the creation of a Suzhou-style garden in the heart of downtown Portland.

May 1992
PSSCA President Conni Diack leads a delegation to Suzhou and presents three tons of textbooks, donated by David Bean. During this visit discussions begin on a Portland-style rose garden in the heart of Suzhou.

September 1993
During a visit to Suzhou led by Portland Commissioner Mike Lindberg, a fire engine donated by the City of Portland is delivered and the Rose Garden Ground Breaking Ceremony takes place.

October 1994
The Rose Garden in Suzhou opens. Portland Mayor Vera Katz leads a delegation from Portland attending the opening ceremony.

May 1995
Friendship agreements are signed between Jackson Middle School and Suzhou #10 Middle School and between Wilson High School and Suzhou High School to exchange students and faculty.

September 1998
A 16-ton Taihu Rock, a gift from Suzhou Mayor Zhang Xinsheng to Portland Mayor Vera Katz, is installed in Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland. The Taihu rock is a symbol of appreciation for the Suzhou Rose Garden and an expression of dedication to the sister city relationship.

September 2000
The Portland Chinese Classical Garden – Lan Su Yuan – opens.

April 2001
An agreement between the Foreign Affairs Office in Suzhou and Portland State University establishes a program for Suzhou students to begin their undergraduate studies at PSU.

May 2003
“An Evening Under the Stars,” PSSCA’s first annual fundraising gala, is held at the Chinese Classical Garden. Tang Ronglong is honored for his work in strengthening the cultural, educational, and economic ties between Portland and Suzhou.

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