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
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.