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Lahaina Restoration Foundation to hold Chinese New Year events

By Staff | Feb 18, 2010

Dennis Ryan holds up a Ming Dynasty note. He will share his knowledge of the note and other ancient money forms at the Wo Hing Museum on Friday at 6 p.m.

LAHAINA — Studying the early currency system of China for over 30 years, Dennis Ryan is literally a wealth of knowledge.

Ryan, a retired teacher and part-time director of research for the Albany Legislature, is currently on Maui. He has visited the island every year since 1997.

Over time, he has generously donated a collection of Chinese coins to Lahaina Restoration Foundation (LRF).

In conjunction with Chinese New Year, Ryan will present the lecture “China’s First Coins” at the Wo Hing Museum, 858 Front St., on Friday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m.

The community is invited to attend, and this fascinating lecture is free.

Ryan’s personal coin collection was built by purchasing items from auctions and collectors in places like Hong Kong and Singapore.

“My earliest piece hails from the Shang Dynasty 2200 B.C. The piece is a simple cowry shell,” said Ryan.

Ryan will share his knowledge and collection at the presentation.

And on Saturday, Feb. 20, LRF will usher in the Year of the Tiger with a lion dance by the martial arts team from Au’s Shaolin Arts Society from Oahu.

LRF will host a small celebration, including information on acupuncture from Maui Acupuncture, Qigong demonstrations by Corey Williams, calligraphy and more, at the Wo Hing Museum. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. and continue to 4 p.m.

Freshly made spring rolls and noodles will be on sale while supplies last.

Be sure to catch the lion dance at noon and get your “good fortune bite” for the new year. For more information, call 661-3262 or visit www.lahainarestoration.org.