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Exhibition to mark pioneering Swansea missionary

A MAJOR new exhibition that traces the remarkable life of famous missionary Griffith John opens at Swansea Museum this week.

image depicting Griffith John

He was the first missionary in Wales to step foot in China, arriving there in 1855 and staying for over half a century.

John made his base in Hankou where he was a hugely popular figure.

He established a number of schools, hospitals and colleges, many of which are still in use today.

This exhibition commemorates the centenary of his death by exploring his pioneering work in the Hubei and Hunan provinces.

Swansea Council is behind the exhibition. It opens on Tuesday October 16 and runs until February 18. Reverend Meirion Thomas will officially open the exhibition with a talk on Griffith John and China.

Cllr Nick Bradley, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: "Swansea Museum is renowned for putting on top-quality exhibitions. The Griffith John exhibition will offer Swansea people and visitors to the city the chance to lean all about a local man who made an enormous contribution to the Far East in the late 19th Century.

"It's a name that will ring a bell with many local people but this is an opportunity to find out a great deal more.

"Swansea Museum is an important facility for the community and events of this nature will continue to keep it in the forefront of people's minds."

The exhibition features a number of objects which John donated to the museum, including a set of satin Chinese banners and ceremonial Chinese weapons. The display also includes letters Griffith John sent from China as well as an original manuscript of his biography, which are on loan from the National Library of Wales. This is the first time these objects will be on public display.

Drop-in Chinese craft workshops for children to tie-in with the exhibition are being held on October 31 from 1pm to 3pm and November 3 from 1pm to 4pm. These workshops have been organised in collaboration with the Swansea Chinese Community Co-operative Centre.

A day of Chinese craft, food and activities is also being planned to celebrate Chinese New Year. This family friendly day will take place Saturday February 8.

The exhibition has come about thanks to a partnership between Swansea Museum and Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Have a look ar http://www.swansea.gov.uk/swanseamuseum for more information about Swansea Museum or call 01792 653763.


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