Tribute to Tea

Selene Bertelsen in front of Wall of Tea

We first met the owners of Great Wall Tea, New Westminster, a few months ago and we were excited to see them since they are  from Salt Spring also. We greatly appreciated the wonderful teaching of Sue Newman, giving students help and belief in themselves.  

Ms. Virginia Newman was the director of classes for Camosun College on Salt Spring a number of years ago. She helped me to get permission and create the First Native Awareness classes on Salt Spring Island. We had the support of my faculty advisor Mr. Gabe Bartleman and Mr. David Elliot, First Nations elders and support from many others.

We believe that it is important for the literary arts to give support and honor to small businesses. We enjoyed participating in this World Poetry Special event for Great Wall Tea.

From all this the World Poetry New Westminster Tribute to Tea was born!

The Tribute to Tea afternoon was hosted by Ariadne Sawyer and Heidi Mueller. Click here to read a selection of the poems read at the event.

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9 thoughts on “Tribute to Tea

  1. Selene Bertelsen

    Dear Heidi,
    The little project you’ve created for “The World Poetry” celebration of “The Wall of Tea” (and dedication to tea in general), is simply wonderful! I love the “slide show” of pictures, and am glad I could take some great photos of everyone, despite being “Cowboy Hop-Along Cassidy”! The selection of poems is good too.

    For those of you who don’t know, In the main photo (Selene Bertelsen in Fron of Wall of Tea), I’m wearing a real “lounging” Kimono from Japan, where I lived and taught. I’m standing in front of my Asian Tea Table (Asians make tea way differently compared to any other cultural group in the world). I gave a demonstration and in the fall, The Wall of Tea is planning to do a little event with demonstrations, pictures, poems, stories etc. So keep in touch with The World Poetry website to find out when this “tea dig” will be!

    Thanks again Heidi!

  2. Selene Bertelsen

    Dear Ariadne,

    Thank you, Sharon, Heidi, and The Wall of Tea (which I always want to call The Great Wall of Tea!) for organizing the “tea party & poems” event we just had. It was kind of neat to have a World Poetry event in the day time!

    And thank you so much for sharing the story of the owners of Wall of Tea. In this world today, it is so vital for First Nations Elders and Youth to be brought together to preserve and perpetuate their cultures and languages. I’m so glad Ms. Newman was able to help you get permission for First Nations Awareness classes on Saltspring. Being part “Shuswap”, I have taken many FNA classes myself, at SFU. Congrats on that!

    I very much believe that World Poetry should be supporting small businesses that really in turn, support the arts! Two sides of the same coin!

    Thanks again, Ariadne! I really enjoyed myself and I know the rest of the group, and Wall of Tea did too!

  3. Selene Bertelsen

    Dear Sharon,

    I hope your flower business is booming! You are such a creative woman!

    Your gift of flowers made all the poets feel special and showed just how much of a dedicated volunteer to World Poetry you are!

    Thanks so much for being at the event with us!

    Love Selene

  4. Yilin Wang

    I’m Yilin, the Chinese poet/journalist who read at the event. Thank you so much for taking the pictures and putting this together on the website!

  5. Kimberly Tsan

    Ah–my first “debut” picture as a poet, and I’m laughing like an idiot. Oh well. I guess no publicity is bad publicity, right?

    Thank you so much again for having me there on a whim. <3



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