I asked Jerry to help me write a short Bio on him for ZSRenn. He has been apart of my life since my day one in Zhongshan and is a great contributor to ZSRenn. What I got was a 500,000 word short story which was great to read but just a little to long for the Renn.
I had to meet up with him and try and get the short story. At a recent party I thanked him for the narrative and asked him what was the most important moment in his life and he replied; meeting his wife Ann here in China.
Jerry moved to China in Oct 2004 and his initial contract was in Bowen School for 8 months and then with TPR a new language centre that had recently opened, he taught all levels and all ages, including his and mine most disliked – Kindergarten!!! This is where he met Ann Liang but I sometimes call her Mrs. Grey, as they married 3 years ago and had the biggest wedding party Dong Sheng has ever seen.
Jerry then began to teach privately, soon with a workload of about 25 hours, earning more money than he had been earning in the last 15 or 16 months in China. Evolving English was born and came into being on the 8th day of the 8thmonth 2007.
After a few weeks of operation, it was apparent that he and Ann needed more staff. Ashley Liu was the first, in her initial job out of university. Followed closely by Judy, Travis, from Australia and Martin from Denmark. Business was good; all had a full workload for the next three years.
Amazingly, after a few weeks of tossing around ideas about T-Café and what to do, a student of his decided he was going to give it to him on an interest free loan built into an ongoing operation. T-Café was a place to sit and relax, read a good book, drink great coffee, some great western foods, including my favorite baked beans on toast, traditional English breakfast, Chili Con Carne and a whole other range of western ideas. Ann’s sister Helen, a great cook, joined the coffee shop to help manage it and the staff there.
The T-café era many Renner’s would be familiar with. It was my first venue, in China after arriving, introduced by the Bond Language Schoolgirls of the era. Roberto played there regularly. The TTC leaving and graduation party was held there. Many romances started there and didn’t stop, Travis met Candy and they’re now married with baby Dillon. Dave Dorigotti met Helen and they’re also married with baby Bradley and of course Ann and Jerry married in the wedding of the year
Times change and so do we, now Ann is studying at a university in Guangzhou, in her want to grow. Jerry is working Monday to Friday at C.H.E.S and has a small office in Zhong Shan Lu supporting her in her efforts. Jerry said to me “During the last 5 years, I have watched the Zhongshan foreign population change, grow and improve. I’ve also watched as students graduate from high school, become IELTS candidates and move overseas to some of the best universities in the world.” “I can only hope for the next 35 years to be as good!”
Jerry is a great example of ZSRenn and part of what makes us stand out from the crowd. His commitment to Zhongshan, the inspiration he has given too many, including his charitable works, and the love that surrounds him, make him a foundation stone of this community.
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