Finding Wee Paddy

In our I in NI Programme we have been exploring the links between Northern Ireland and China down through the centuries. From Lord McCartney the County Antrim aristocrat and first British diplomat to China to today's trade and tourism exchanges we have more links than we often realise. In Northern Ireland's recent Decade of Centenaries the impact of the First World War on society, culture and even our place in the world has been explored. China interestingly was our ally in that war, and contributed massively through the Chinese Labour Corps.

Between the wars British soldiers were stationed in Hong Kong and when Japan invaded China they were sent to China to stop thew Japanese advance. Based in Shanghai the Royal Ulster Rifles, a regiment raised in Northern Ireland helped to protect an area of Shanghai and offered humanitarian aid to the local Chinese population. They even broke their own orders to engage the Japanese forces in order to protect Chinese civilians as they fled the fighting.

In August 1937, the 1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles was moved at twenty-four hours notice from Hong Kong to Shanghai on emergency deployment following the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

The Battalion's task was to assist with the protection of the International Settlement. The British frontage extended for five miles and there was much to be done. Military posts had to be re-designed or re-constructed and wire fences erected. Refugees had to be controlled and internal security maintained. The perimeter wire was well outside the Settlement boundary and the area between was policed by a Chinese force responsible only to their own Government.

Five Riflemen were killed by the Japanese during three separate incidents. On 24 October, Rifleman McGowan was killed on duty at Outpost Q on Keswick Road by fire from a Japanese aircraft. On the 29 October, Japanese shells killed Riflemen Mellon and Howard at the outpost near Jessfield Station and Delaney, who was with them, died of his wounds on 31 October. Also killed that day, by a Japanese shell that hit the Honeyland Bar where he was off duty, was Rifleman O’Toole.

The Northern Ireland soldiers were buried in Shangai with the local Chinese population attending the funerals which were said to be the largest seen win the city. The incidents caused international outrage and made the front page of the New York Times as well as local Belfast papers.

In recent years the Neice of one of the Riflemen Paddy McGowan determined to find his grave and the poignant story has become the subject of a local film "Finding Wee Paddy". It tells the story of Paddy and his act of heroism saving local Chinese civilians. Then how in recent years efforts by his family the British and Chinese Governments as well as historians and the community have helped to locate his final resting place.




Gift to the Sudanese Community

At the end of Ramadan, we had the pleasure of presenting some vouchers to support vulnerable families in the Sudanese community. We hope that we will have many more opportunities to work with SCNI in the future.

(Abubaker Khalifa CWA Finance officer,  Mutasim Suliman and Mohamed Musa - Sudanese Community Northern Ireland, William Olphert Managing Director of Chinese Welfare Association)

Mindful Walking Training



Last month CWA held some training at a local park coordinated by our South Belfast BME Link worker Camilla Reynolds.

Information packs and resources were distributed.

If you would like to find out more about our programmes and the newly established BME WhatsApp Walk Leading Group, please do get in touch.


Cwa NI - Congratulations to all 10 Walk Leaders who completed an... | Facebook

We are Recruiting

We are looking for a committed, enthusiastic and skilled project manager for an exciting new heritage project. You will lead the ‘I in NI’ Project which will help the Chinese and other Ethnic Minority Communities better understand the history and legacy of Northern Ireland in this its Centenary Year. The project is a first for the organisation and marks success for our recent adoption of heritage work as a priority area. Funded by the Shared History Fund the project aims to produce educational resources, study Partition in its international context and join in the current debates around the Centenary of Northern Ireland. The project which we hope to see continued beyond the present round of funding will be a foundational piece of work and is an opportunity for a motivated candidate to make their mark and make sure that it continues well beyond March 2022 when the present funding comes to an end.

We see the project as the first step with many of the outputs such as educational material needing to be taken forward and actually into schools. Part of the project management post will be to look at how the project can be built upon and made not only successful in its present form but sustainable into the future. The Candidate Information Booklet will outline the job and its wider context in greater detail.


Key responsibilities

To manage and implement the CWA NI Centenary Project Action Plan in line with the application submitted and the input and overall project coordination provided by CWA;

To manage the delivery of the specified outputs such as development of ‘Know Norn Iron’ Programme other education and community engagement work.

To Manage the delivery of the Partition Solutions Programme while working with relevant historians, experts and others to develop an international context.

Manage and monitor any tendering or third-party work to ensure successful completion of the project on schedule.

Oversee the engagement and ongoing management of a number of consultants, experts or contractors ensuring ongoing contact, progress monitoring and output as well as quality control of work especially training provision and digital development.

To work with above consultants and contractors to ensure they receive information, instruction and in the case of the website and app development content and imagery.

To oversee the development of the “I in NI” Programme, this will involve ensuring the digital platform is fit for purpose and a structure given to participants as well as editing and monitoring content.

Establishment, development and management of Chinese Community and wider BEM engagement with and knowledge of the wider NI Centenary events and the Shared History context.

Essential Criteria:

By the closing date for applications, candidates must be able to demonstrate:

A relevant degree, or equivalent qualification plus 1 year’s experience in a paid or voluntary capacity in community based heritage or cultural tourism.
5 years’ experience in a paid or voluntary capacity in community based heritage or cultural tourism.

  • Experience of project or programme management in the community and voluntary sector.
  • Background in heritage or history with awareness of the events, issues, and
  • sensitivities around the centenary of Northern Ireland.
  • The ability to plan and project manage, work effectively and work on his/her own initiative, taking the lead where necessary.
  • Excellent communication skills – oral and written.
  • IT skills to use common productivity software such as Microsoft Word, Excel PowerPoint and Apple equivalents, as well as video conferencing and other virtual platforms such as Zoom.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Post graduate level experience in Twentieth Century Irish History or Politics
  • Experience of producing publicity materials and an ability to produce and/or oversee the development of a newsletter using appropriate software;
  • Experience of the heritage and cultural tourism sector
  • Have knowledge of basic website maintenance and content management;
  • Ability to create use social media accounts and other forms of social media marketing.
  • Ability to relate and communicate with the diverse range of organisations
  • Experience of organising conferences, or other front facing events
  • Working with heritage and cultural tourism;
  • A demonstrable knowledge and understanding of Chinese and BME heritage and culture as well as experience of working with such groups
  • Previous experience of completing funding applications.
  • Hold a full license valid in the UK with access to a car. This criterion will be waived in the case of an applicant whose disability prohibits driving but who is able to make alternative arrangements

Full details of the Project, Post and Applicant Information as well as application and monitoring forms can be downloaded from Community NI -

Forms can be viewed and dowloaded as PDFs below

Application Form

Download Word Version of Application Form

Monitoring Form

Download Monitoring Form In Word

Privacy Notice

Download Word Version of Privacy Notice


Reference ID: I in NI

Contract length: 9 months

Application deadline: 25/06/2021

Expected start date: 01/07/2021

Job Types: Part-time, Temporary

Pay: £35,000.00-£39,960.00 per year

COVID-19 considerations:

Chinese Virtual Centre Pre-Release Phase

We are pleased to announce the pre-release phase of our exciting new Virtual Chinese Resource Centre. We would love to hear feedback from a range of stakeholders and potential users. Thanks to all those who are taking part in our BETA test of our new virtual Chinese Resource Centre of NI, and we hope you enjoy your first experience.

We welcome your feedback in English or Chinese from inside the app or by a direct email.

We would ask you to not share the link with anyone else at this stage or in any public arena or social media site as we will need to make some final tweaks before public launch.

This will be a space that CWA plans to develop in the future for art exhibitions, conferences, online museum and other uses.

Keeping The Centre at the centre is our motto and we are delighted that we can now extend this to the digital world

Whats Cooking in our New Virtual Centre

The new Virtual Chinese Resource Centre has been made possible by funding from the Department For Communities. The Community Heritage Fund opened in November 2020. It aimed i to support small-scale projects in Northern Ireland which help connect communities to the heritage in their local area. The objective was to help people connect with and benefit from the heritage located on their doorstep such as buildings, monuments, landscapes, parks and sports grounds. Through sharing stories about the everyday places and finding out about the past, it was seem as a way of helping strengthen our connections with the community around us.

The Chinese community have a rich and varied heritage, and much of what we value is specific to Northern Ireland having been here over 50 years. The aim of our project was to face some of the challenges of COVID and to help people reconnect with the Chinese Community and to help our members enjoy and promote their own cultural heritage.

Paul Mullan, the Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund here in Northern Ireland said:

 "The experience of the lockdown in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) was a powerful reminder of the value and importance of the local environment to communities. Connecting with nature and heritage can be critical for maintaining personal mental and physical wellbeing.  We would like to build on this by helping people to strengthen their connections with their local area, tell their stories and find out about their past and the places where they live. Whether they live in a city, a town or the countryside, everyone can benefit from the heritage of their immediate environment such as the buildings, monuments and landscapes that can be found within 15 minutes or so from their front door."

This struck a chord with our members and we worked hard with heritage and digital experts to turn the challenges of COVID into opportunities and to make practical solutions for the problems we faced. The result is an exciting now Virtual versions of our Chinese Resource Centre. Here we can hoist events and run activities online just as we usually do in the Centre. We see this as a great way of connecting with people and helping them access our heritage and culture.


Whats Cooking?

One great example is to bring the rich heritage of Chinese food to life, with young people taking the led. So why not visit our Virtual space and learn more about the different styles of Chinese cooking, and then take a tour of our Virtual Gallery where you can learn more.

Our online resources and how-to videos, will soon get you cooking, as you watch Bonny and her son explain the background to Chinese Food and how it is important in family life.

Then try to keep up with our exciting new talent of the future as he cooks up everyone's favourite.

Sister Cities Helping One Another

One of the real good news stories which came out of the pandemic was the mutual support between Chinese communities here in Northern Ireland and in China. An act of generosity by the local Chinese community as they felt it their duty to help Belfast's sister city resulted in much needed support for the NHS locally.

Members of Belfast's Chinese community raised over £15,000 to send vital protective clothing to China as new cases of coronavirus continue to soar.

China is struggling to deal with severe shortages of equipment such as protective suits, goggles and masks, which are now being sent to Belfast's sister city of Shenyang.

Around 1,200 protective suits have been despatched to the Red Cross for distribution to health workers fighting on the front line against the spread of coronavirus.

Min Shen (43) from the Chinese Welfare Association in Belfast, who has lived here for 20 years, said the city's Chinese community, which numbers some 7,000 people, wanted to help those back home.

"We had the request from authorities in Shenyang and felt it was our duty and responsibility to do what we can in a practical way... With the help of Belfast City Council to source the vital equipment from their suppliers, that is now happening. We set up a WeChat group to get the message out about fundraising and had donation boxes in various Chinese supermarkets and at our base at Stranmillis Embankment. We were delighted to have raised such a huge amount in such a short period of time,"

This act of kindness and forethought was responded to in April when Belfast received a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) from its sister city Shenyang in China.

The shipment included 10,000 disposable medical face masks and 500 sets of disposable protective clothing - arrived in Duncrue industrial estate at a time when it was urgently needed and went straight for distribution among health workers fighting on the frontline during the Covid-19 crisis.

The shipment of PPE was in response to kit donated to Shenyang at the very beginning of the pandemic by the Chinese Welfare Association, based at Stranmillis Embankment, Belfast.

The association also recently donated £17,000 to the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Belfast Lord Mayor Daniel Baker said:

"I'd like to extend my sincere thanks to our good friend and colleague, Chinese Consul Madame Zhang, to Jiang Youwei, Mayor of Shenyang, and to all those in our sister city Shenyang, for their ongoing solidarity and support during this challenging time.

It's absolutely vital that our city's key workers are protected against this virus as they carry out their essential duties, and today's much needed supply of PPE will do a great deal to help ensure their safety.

One uplifting outcome of this incredibly challenging time is the ongoing readiness of people to reach out and help one another. It's hugely encouraging to know that this friendship, kindness and co-operation stretches right across the globe - as demonstrated by today's donation.

We look forward to further developing our sister city connections with Shenyang post-Covid-19 to develop new areas of co-operation in trade, tourism and education to help rebuild our economies."

This vital shipment arrived at a time when the entire United Kingdom was facing real challenges in terms of PPE supplies. Sourcing reliable supplies of PPE has been a constant battle during the outbreak. The NHS was getting through tens of millions of masks a week, and UK procurement officials were warning that stock were dangerously low.

Virtual Chinese New Year

Behind the Scenes the CWA Team has been hard at work to ensure the Chinese New Year festivities can go ahead. This year as we do things differently the aim will be to take all the best bits of the traditional celebrations and bring them online. From a state of the art audio visual presentation which will be hosted on zoom to the launch of a new look CWA website during the festival we will connect Chinese communities across not just Northern Ireland but across the globe.

Our motto for this year is Keep Strong with the strength of the Ox in mind we will be using new technology to build the strength and resilience of not just the organisation, but the entire community. So join us and help us as we take our community online, and bring our culture to everyone. If you have an interest in all things online we would love to hear from you to become a digital volunteer. From our teenage gamers to our silver surfers we have a role for you in the exciting new online platforms we are developing.

We aim to make it fun and free to get involved with all the support and training you need. So Join the CWA Digital Team today.


Chinese Community Thanks The NHS

In an amazing piece of fundraising Chinese Communities in Northern Ireland were able to present almost £17,000 as a Thank You to the NHS. The donation which went entirely and directly to the NHS will see them receive support and much needed PPE at this time.

The range of organisations and individuals who rallied to the call from CWA to support our front line health care workers was amazing and a special thanks goes to those members of staff and volunteers who organised and made it possible. The generosity and community spirit of all who gave must be recognised and will go a long way to helping those who are risking so much to look after us all.

In order to add our support to the wonderful NHS, the Chinese Communities of Northern Ireland (including Chinese Chamber of Commerce NI, Chinese Language School NI, Oi Kwan Woman’s Group and a lot of caring people from all walks of life) were able to raise over £16,940.

This kind donation will directly support BHSCT staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients and it is a BIG thank-you for their hard work during this difficult time.

We also would like to pay tribute to the doctors and nurses who work on the front line and hope they remain safe and healthy.


        这笔捐款的支票已经寄给BHSCT, 并将直接用于支持BHSCT的工作人员和志愿者照料COVID-19患者,在此困难时期,非常感谢他们的辛勤付出。



See the thank you video from the Lord Mayor of Belfast in the following link.   贝尔法斯特市长通过视频对此次筹款表示感谢,视频链接如下。   

                Thank you from the Lord Mayor of Belfast.mp4

CWA's Own Time Team

We are pleased to have a number of experts on board to help us with our Community heritage project. We have called the project 'As Strong as a Ox' which is of course reference to this the year of the Ox. It gives us hope that as we plough a straight furrow and stay focused and strong we will succeed. Many of you also know that Ox work best as part of a team and as we embark on this exiting new field we will be working alongside others with experience in this area.

The team at LEXXER Solutions will be supporting the strategic development as look at how we can better embed heritage work into all we do. We have set them the task of looking at how we need to do things differently during after COVID and as we look at how to turn problems into solutions and difficulties into opportunities we would like to see this aspect of our work digitalised and brought online too. Here The flex Studio who have been working hard to redevelop our website have some exciting new ideas for how we can make heritage as much a part of our future as it is a part of our past.

As always we would like to include you in this new work and while things will be challenging over COVID we want to hear your opinion as things develop. We will be emailing all those on our lists with developments and using Zoom to meet and focus group different aspects, so if you have the time we need you to become part of the team.