Having lived in the Maizidian Community of Chaoyang District in Beijing for six years, Scottish John wore a red armband printed with "community security patrol'' in both Chinese and English on May 26th.
As the representatives of the more than 30 volunteers to serve the community free of charge, he, together with Jerry and David, attended the launching ceremony for building an internationalized social security system held by the Maizidian Community. They have become the "foreign security guards'' of the community.
Speaking about the ceremony, Jerry told the writer that he was a lobby manager of a restaurant in Canada. He came to Beijing in 1998 and settled down in Maizidian, Chaoyang District. He later ran a duck and goose restaurant.
"I was a stranger to the local inhabitants. Those who came to my restaurant were foreigners'', said Jerry. He wants voluntarily to be a security patrolman in order to deal with Chinese in the community. "I want to make acquaintances with them and be their friends''.
"With the red armband I can exchange greetings with many people when patrolling and they can get to know me,'' said John with a smile. The community has established 15 security patrol teams this year, forming a social security system, according to Sun Shouying, chief of the community's publicity section. The teams are divided into those involving social security, landscaping and cleaning, policing the community and city administration. They will be in charge of social security patrol.
So far the "foreign security guards'' are voluntary, mainly engaging in the community's security patrol and publicity in their off hours. There is no definite service time for them. There are some foreign embassies in the community and more than 7,000 foreign inhabitants live there. "As 'foreign security guards' they can easily communicate with foreigners,'' explained Gao Hongtu, an interpreter with the community. The "foreign security guards'' are mainly in charge of communicating with the Chinese and foreign inhabitants living in the community. Sun Shouying also added that the "foreign security guards'' will still be in charge of organizing and publicizing the important activities held in the community. "They will help us plan some activities for the community and offer suggestions.
In Canada the inhabitants in communities will hold regular meetings", said Jerry. "We will cook some food ourselves for sharing with other inhabitants. We are getting ready for the International Children's Day get-together on June 1st''. When asking him what the gathering will be like, Jerry said smilingly, "it's a secret for the time being.''
By People's Daily Online