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  • Writer's pictureShanghai Expat Association

Looking back to 1991

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Front page of Shanghai Courier from June 1991.

by Holly Royce Cole

Now that all SEA communications have been moved online, we have bid goodbye to the monthly magazine Shanghai Courier. Thanks to the efforts of past president Evan Stubbs, and in the interest of preserving SEA history, old copies of Courier are being digitized and archived. Below you can find two volumes from the summer of 1991. Take a trip back 30 years to see what the SEA was up to in the days before smart phones and high speed trains.

Courier 1991 VOL 05 NO 10
Download PDF • 4.19MB

Courier 1991 VOL 05 NO 11
Download PDF • 3.43MB

The differences between SEA in 1991 and SEA in 2020 are striking (when is the last time you played bridge?). But the similarities are notable as well. Then, as now, SEA was committed to providing a vibrant community for expats through shared activities, small groups, travel, and charitable work. When you look at these old volumes, imagine the sheer amount of work it would have taken in 1991 to plan a trip to Wuxi, with no instant communications, no internet research, and no translation apps. Think about the planning it would have taken to print a monthly magazine in the days when few people used home computers.

While technology has made SEA’s work a bit easier and faster, SEA still depends on volunteers to keep this community vibrant. Look at a calendar and you will find that on more days than not, SEA has some sort of event planned, whether a luncheon, a class, a trip, a small group meeting, or a coffee. Each event is planned and scheduled by a volunteer. Each event is written up, promoted, and advertised by a volunteer. Each event is attended and overseen by a volunteer, to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Now, as then, SEA is always looking for members to volunteer their time and talents to making these events happen. Please reach out to any member of the Board to volunteer with us!

Holly Royce Cole is a former lawyer and mother to three, hailing most recently from Wichita, Kansas, USA. She is on her second expat assignment to Shanghai. She spends her time in Shanghai learning Mandarin, attempting Chinese cooking, and exploring the city. She is a member of the SEA and Communications Committee.

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