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Party goers celebrating Chinese New Year wished each other congratulations and prosperity in Cantonese before a dinner Saturday night.

The Timmins FLK Tai Chi Club celebrated the new year at the Masonic Hall will all the traditions of that event, including red clothing, citrus fruits and lantern decorations.

The year of the dog, which officially started Friday, was kicked off in Timmins with an annual supper of traditional food like noodles longer noodle, longer life and homemade goodies, like cupcakes with frosting dog faces on top.

Marlies Sauv a member of the club, explained that the new year coincides with the beginning of the spring season.

China, they do all kinds of fireworks and decorations and so forth. The decorations you see here are symbolic and they kind of like what we would have had in China, said Sauv attended her first Chinese New Year about 20 years ago.

always a big deal for us as a club, Sauv said. a time to meet with people, it a time to have very interesting food. meal was followed by entertainment by Maureen Haas and a presentation by Sauv Bay MPP Gilles Bisson spoke during the event, saying it was a highlight of the year because a chance to celebrate with our Chinese friends. He described China as the powerhouse economy of the world.

Bisson spoke about groups living, collaborating and working together, as did city councillor Mike Doody.

tend to forget, people came to Timmins from all over the world to get a job, said Doody. you want to know how to live together, come to Timmins. Lew came to this city in 1950.

I came over I was 12 years old, but I went to kindergarten with the five year olds, just to learn my alphabet. The following semester, in August, I was put in Grade 5, said Lew.

He said the population of people with Chinese people in the area including Hearst, Cochrane, Kapuskasing and Iroquois Falls has diminished.

think at the height we were talking about 400, 500 people, but I don think we have that many. We probably down to about 200 300 now, he said.

Lew said people of all backgrounds are welcome at Chinese New Year celebrations.

should take the time and come in, you be amazed. Tai Chi club is also welcoming new participants young people especially.

getting better, actually, we getting more and more and more people involved. Lots of seniors who wanted to improve their health because they have a hard time moving or balancing. We teach them how to walk and balance out without falling.

we been trying to do is get the younger people in. Right now, we not able to get too many people of a young age. said the club has expanded to South Porcupine in recent years.
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