The audience, primarily travel agents and their families, were further entertained by a larger-than-life giant panda, the main target of the younger guests for a hug and two.
And Helen was quick to get her own hug in as well.
“It was a fun way for us to say ‘thank you’ to the travel agents who have supported us over the years,” said delighted managing director and founder of Helen Wong’s Tours.
The China specialist of 27 years booked one of the cinemas at Events Cinemas, George Street, for the 10.30am screening, including free popcorn for all.
Eight years ago Helen Wong “adopted” a newly-born giant panda in China to help inject much-needed funds into the preservation and breeding research program in Chengdu.
Immediately after signing a sponsorship agreement, a campaign was launched to find a suitable name for the baby girl.
Ultimately the name Ankali was accepted and given to the bundle of joy.
“A school teacher and mother of two from Blayney in country NSW came up with the name, which seemed appropriate having just seen the baby panda only weeks before on a recent visit to the Chengdu Breeding and Research Centre,” said Helen.
“Ankali seemed perfect as it was an aboriginal word meaning ‘friend’ – an Australian name that stood for something very special,” she said. “We had a healthy number of good entries that came close, names such as Banjo, Bindi and Bonza Lass. But I felt Ankali was the one, and it has remained that way ever since.”
A visit to the breeding sanctuary to see a fit and healthy Ankali first hand is featured in a number of Helen Wong’s Tours group tours, including the 15-day Mystical China tour and the 17-day Enchanting China tour.