Social secretary
Written by Rachel

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A host

In Asian culture, the social secretary is a host. Their job is to ensure that every aspect of the meal goes smoothly.
They need to be actively engaging with the guests and making sure that everyone is happy.

Good examples

When we last went to Malaysia two separate Uncles subtly demonstrated how to do this with class... Real Chinese gentlemen. Nothing flashy, showy or obvious.
Being a good host involves remaining in the background and being observant and attentive without any apparent effort.
If someone is alone, company is found. If someone has a problem, it is quietly addressed.
A good host makes everyone feel comfortable. The event is well organised and shows consideration, attention to detail, tact and inclusivity.


Maria is the social secretary. She is in charge of organising class meals.

3 social events

There are three social events that the social secretary arranges:

  1. Start of the Training Year

  2. Chinese New Year

  3. The last Monday of the calendar year

Start of the Training Year

This celebration takes place near the beginning of September each year and marks the beginning of the training year.

Chinese New Year

Essentially this is the Chinese equivalent of Christmas. Usually Chinese New Year occurs around Valentine's Day in February which isn't ideal for most people.
Our school tends to celebrate this festival a month late; ideally the Wednesday before Easter

The last Monday of the calendar year

This is an opportunity to bring some food and soft drinks to class and enjoy a pre-Christmas bit of fun before we break up for the calendar year.
Everyone brings something to share. If you don't bring anything, don't be opportunistic. Reciprocity and fairness are paramount.


Wagamama (in Newcastle) and Dabbawal (in Jesmond) are reliable venues for evening meals; providing good ambience and consistently good value food.
We are willing to eat at other places providing they are large enough to accommodate our numbers, the food is nice, serve a good selection of options and are affordable
If you have any suggestions, please approach the social secretary.

Conflicting events

The social secretary ensures that there isn't a football match (or other big event) taking place in Newcastle on the same night as a proposed meal.

Who is attending?

The social secretary prints out a list of every school member, brings it to class and finds out who can/cannot attend a given meal.
They supply Rachel with the results so that they can be published on the Notices page and included in the weekly e-mail.

Where are we going?

The social secretary ensures that as many people as possible are happy with the chosen venue and supplies directions and arrival time if required.

Booking the venue

The social secretary books a suitable table in advance and double checks nearer the time to confirm that the booking has been recorded.


In Chinese culture, the instructor(s) is a guest at the meal. They don't book it. They don't arrange it and they don't pay for it either.
Essentially the school is taking their teacher(s) out for a meal. If any problems occur, it is not the teacher(s) responsibility to sort them out.

Paying for the instructor(s) meals

Traditionally, school members are asked to chip in 1.50 to pay for Sifu Waller's meal and Rachel's.
This is separate from gift
ang pow and is collected by the social secretary. Meal ang pow can be collected in advance if the social secretary prefers to do it that way...

Settling the bill and tipping

The social secretary ensures that everyone pays for the food they have ordered and that a reasonable tip goes to the staff.

Splitting the bill

We do not split the bill. Some people order more, others less. Some people drink alcohol, whilst others don't. Students should expect to pay for the food and drink they have ordered

Leaving early

If you need to leave early, either settle up with the restaurant first or leave the necessary money with the social secretary.


There aren't many problems that can arise but if they do, the social secretary has our authority to address these appropriately and fairly.
Obviously, a student's bad behaviour won't be treated as misconduct, but if your conduct is at fault, you may receive a firm rebuke.


Approach Maria in class or send an e-mail FAO the social secretary.

school database

Page created 18 April 1995
Last updated 02 January 2021