Peter Stanleigh: Glad To See More Volunteers Joining Us
2018-09-03 11:06:00

There were two significant events in the year 2001: the successful bid for the Beijing Olympics and China’s accession to the WTO. It was in the same year that Peter Arthur Stanleigh visited China for the first time.

The First Year Is Still Going On And On
Peter, now more used to his Chinese name Tang Lei, is the first registered foreign volunteer in Wuxi of Jiangsu Province. Back in Canada, Peter had spent much time with the Chinese community. So, he wanted to see the culture these people represented first hand. He came to China in September of 2001 and went back to Canada in June of 2002. At that time, he made a decision to plant his feet more solidly in China. After studying the make-up of the population, their main industries, the pollution index, the annual climate and other factors of several Chinese cities, he chose Wuxi, where he met and fell in love with a local lady, Hu Linghan whom he married in 2003. He has lived in Wuxi ever since.

There Is An Obligation About The English Corner
Upon the recommendation of a colleague, he went to the English Corner at Wuxi’s Central Park. He became hooked.. He came every weekend, be it rainy or snowy, hot or cold.  “There is sense of obligation, because people who come depend upon a native English speaker being there. For many of them, it’s an important part of their social life. It’s their chance to get out. If I’m there, there’s English corner,” said Peter.

A few years later, Peter was invited to lead English Corner at the Wuxi Public Library.  Peter has noticed some changes in the English corner throughout these years. “At the beginning then, we had a lot more older people and middle-aged people; but it has now grown to include more young people, the new generation, young professionals.” He attributed that to the internationalization of the city. Some of these young professionals invited Peter to form another English corner on Thursday evenings, when they can have a beer and really sit back and relax. All told, Peter spends at least five hours a week at English corners. He has been committed to attending English corners for more than 17 years. Editor:Nicky