MSP’s support inspires Chinese tenants’ Scottish Parliament visit

Sandra White with old friends Joy and Ronald Liu
Sandra White with old friends Joy and Ronald Liu

The support from an MSP to a Chinese family struggling with anti-social behaviour in 1980s Paisley helped inspire a short trip up the M8 for 25 Chinese tenants and attendees of ng homes cultural programmes.

Sandra White, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, helped Joy and Ronald Liu in the 1980s after vandalism and anti-social behaviour threatened their fledgling business. Sandra, who was a councillor in Paisley at the time, supported the couple by referring them to the relevant council bureau, providing much needed hope and support and visiting regularly to give updates.

Of the support Sandra offered, Joy and Ronald said in an article for the winter edition of the Newsletter for the Chinese Community of Scotland: “We had all of our resources committed to this takeaway and we were annoyed by this anti-social behaviour, which directly threatened our livelihood, because our family relied on the income from this takeaway for survival.

“This kind lady (Sandra White) who had her social establishment in Paisley gave us generous help to deal with the anti-social behaviour. Without her involvement, our takeaway business would be on the brink of collapse.

“It has been three decades and what she done for us is still well remembered by all of our family members. All my children have grown up. We retired a few years ago. If we can have the chance, we would like to thank Sandra in person again.”

ng homes Chinese visitAfter the article appeared in the newsletter, Michael Kam, ng homes cultural officer, came up with the idea to visit the Scottish Parliament and Sandra and give Joy and Ronald the chance to say thanks.

Supported by ng homes and MSP for Possilpark and Maryhill Bob Doris, who has also proposed a parliamentary motion to recognise the activities and work of the North Glasgow Chinese Community, the date was set with Sandra’s office.

The visit included an exclusive tour of the Parliament’s chambers, with the group briefed on the history, architecture and politics of the Scottish Parliament. The group were also received by Sandra in the committee room with Bob Doris MSP and Gil Paterson MSP, who can speak basic Mandarin, happily agreeing to pose for photographs with the group.

The visit was attended and supported by ng homes Board member, John Thorburn, and ng homes active wellbeing officer, Joan Shepherd. The attendees and the Chinese community were quick to thank the Scottish Parliament and Sandra White MSP for hosting the visit. Attendees also thanked ng homes, who supported the visit and sponsored the transport to Edinburgh.

Following on from the visit, ng homes, cultural officer Michael Kam received a letter from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon thanking the group for a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a caricature drawn by Michael which now has pride of place in Bute House.

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