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Friday, 19 January 2018

US Marine Corps Is GUNG HO - & Rewi Alley:

Rewi Alley 1897-1987 "world famous in New Zealand" is the kiwi man responsible for the phrase 'GUNG HO' coming into Western use.

A local Canterbury lad Rewi served in France with the New Zealand army from 1916 - was wounded and awarded the Military Medal.

After the end of WWI he returned to NZ and farmed until he moved in 1927 to Shanghai, China becoming a fireman and then Chief factory inspector. - In 1937 he founded The Chinese Industrial Cooperatives and worked widely in education. Rewi joined the communist party- traveled extensively and adopted two local boys - eventually becoming the most famous European known throughout China after the 1949 Communist victory.
Rewi Alley With Chairman Mao Zedong, Beijing, 1966

Rewi Alley's friend Major Evans Carlson of the US Marines Corp picked-up the term "Gung Ho" from Rewi and spread it's use throughout the marines.

 Carlson explained in a 1943 interview: "I was trying to build up the same sort of working spirit I had seen in China, where all the soldiers dedicated themselves to one idea and worked together to put that idea over. I told the boys about it again and again. I told them of the motto of the Chinese Cooperatives, Gung Ho. It means Work Together - Work in Harmony"

The phrase is an 'americanism' for gong he - meaning WORK TOGETHER - but currently it is used to mean very enthusiastic or even 'over zealous'

- In China the words are not a slogan or a battle cry - only the name of a Cooperative Organisation..
 A more accurate interpretation for GUNG HO would be the Maori He waka eke noa - We are all in this together.


Statue Of Rewi Alley - LANZHOU China.

Marty K.