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Performance by American quartet to boost Merrin School exchange

13 June 2003

Efforts to send a party of Merrin School children to our sister city of Songpa-Gu in September has become a truly international affair, thanks to an American barbershop quartet.

‘Delusions of Grandeur’, a visiting comedy quartet has agreed to give a fundraising performance for the trip at St Christopher’s Church, 244 Avonhead Rd on Wednesday 18 June at 8pm.

“This comedy quartet is brilliant. They’ve sung at Eurodisney in Paris, done shows in Europe and over 200 shows in the USA in the last ten years,” says Dave Adamson, a local barbershopper and Christchurch City Council international relations co-ordinator.

Delusions of Grandeur will be giving shows throughout New Zealand in the next two weeks but the St Christopher’s performance will be the group’s only public Christchurch show.

Tickets cost $10 and are available from Merrin School, Ph 358 8369. Door sales may be available on the night.

Twenty two Merrin School pupils will visit Songpa-Gu in September on what is believed to be the first primary school exchange to be arranged between New Zealand and Korea.

Twenty five Korean children from Se Ryun School, Songpa-Gu visited Merrin School for a four day visit in February 2003.

“The initiative (for the exchange) came from Merrin School teachers, after watching many Korean children excel in the classroom. We were very interested in the society that these children had come from,” says Mary Jonker, a Merrin School teacher and organiser of the exchange.

Merrin also has strong links with the local Korean community. “About 15 per cent of the school’s population is Korean and there are few children at our school who do not have at least one Korean friend,” Mary says.

Parents from Merrin and Se Ryun have raised their own funds for the exchange, with students being home-hosted with families in both locations. The school needs to raise another $5,000 for the children, six teachers and 6 accompanying parents to travel from Christchurch to Songpa-Gu.

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