Kumagaya visitors experience south sea paradise By Tom Sawyer On a good day Stewart Island and the seas off it would be as wonderful a place as anywhere in New Zealand. And so it was on a day in February this year when four Kumagaya City Councillors (Crs Michio Tajima, Chiaki Kagasaki, Yuji Kaneko and Masao Arai) headed over to Stewart Island for an expedition of fishing and sightseeing.
A Newsletter from the Kumagaya Friendship Association • April 2005 • Issue 3
In contrast to last year when a Kumagaya citizen’s group struck weather that must be described as inclement at best, or terrifying at worst, this year the wind was absent and the seas calm. Leaving Bluff in thick fog, and thankful for the all seeing eye of radar, the charter vessel “Aurora” soon reached the fishing grounds off the Mutton Bird Islands. The seas stayed calm, and our four guests were soon excitedly pulling up blue cod. It is so easy to impress guests on a fine day in Stewart Island. In few places in the world would it be so easy to catch fish. The fishing, plus the ever-present Mollymawks and Albatrosses fighting over the fish heads, make for a memorable experience. After a while fishing, and being well under the catch quota (always leave plenty for next time), the boat headed under clearing skies into Paterson Inlet.
SAILING AWAY: Crs Michio Tajima, Yuji Kaneko and Chiaki Kagasaki enjoying the sun and sea during a day's fishing.
Citizens wanted for tour to Japan MEMBERS of the Kumagaya Friendship Association are being offered the chance to visit Japan as part of an Invercargill Citizens' Tour in April 2006. KFA Committee member Tom Sawyer said he was trying to organise a tour in response to the interest shown by members who attended the Annual General Meeting.
Paterson Inlet always impresses tourists and this day was no exception - blue seas and blue skies separated by the wonderful mixture of greens and textures that is the Stewart Island bush soon had the cameras clicking again.
“We are planning the tour to coincide with Cherry Blossom time,” he said.
Following a fresh seafood lunch in one of the Inlet's many little anchorages, the guests were taken for a visit to the salmon farms before heading into the main wharf at Oban.
“Provisionally, we would be looking at three days in Kumagaya (probably home hosted) and two or three days sightseeing and shopping in Tokyo. Side trips to other areas of interest could be arranged as required,” he said.
And what to do in Oban? An hour or two passed very quickly; a coffee or a beer overlooking the sea, a walk round the town or just relaxing in the sun. And for those who like shopping, the best tee shirts in New Zealand or a paua pearl for that special someone. All too soon it's time for the flight home, and the cameras click again for Stewart Island looks as magical from the air as it does from ground level. It was a happy group of Kumagaya Councillors who sat down to dinner that night, for besides having had a most memorable day, they were also, courtesy of the Ascot Park Hotel management and chefs, served with their catch. Stewart Island - gem of the South Pacific - the same size as Singapore and with a population of less that 400. Don't leave it to the tourists. If you haven't been, (and over half of Southlanders haven't), then go - and soon!
SUPER SALMON: Cr Michio Tajima holds his catch from Sanford's Salmon Farm in Big Glory Bay.
New members Welcome to the following people who are new members of the Kumagaya Friendship Association: Robin Adamson, Ken Bowie, Natasha Carlyle, Emma Cartwright, Sarah Gray and Penny Tipu.
Contact details IF you would like to contact the Kumagaya Friendship Association, please telephone (03) 211 1678, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporate and community members
The Kumagaya Friendship Association is supported by the following organisations:
One of the Kumagaya Friendship Association's strongest members and supporters, former James Hargest High School Head of Languages, Karen Thomson moved away from Invercargill at the end of 2004.
Platinum sponsor: Invercargill City Council. Corporate members: Bonsai Restaurant, Chamber of Commerce Southland, DT Carter LTD, Jayel Trading Ltd, Pacific Shipping, Preston Russell Law, Ralph Moir & Associates, Southern Institute of Technology, Woodlands Apiary.
We thank Karen for all her support and hard work and wish her well for the future. At the end of 2004 the KFA also lost one of its community members, Mt Anglem College. It was a bittersweet year for the college's Japanese programme, which under Japanese teacher Joanna Reekie's guidance led its first delegation of pupils to Kumagaya. Fortunately for the KFA Jo is a determined and very active committee member, who retains strong links with Japanese teachers at schools throughout Southland.
Community members: Altrusa International Inc, Invercargill Kendo Club, James Hargest High School.
Mr Sawyer said the cost for travel and accommodation was likely to be around $3,000 per person.
IMPORTANT NOTICE It is the time of year for members to renew their annual subscriptions to the Kumagaya Friendship Association. Your personal subscription renewal form for 2005 is included with this newsletter. Please send your completed form and subscription fee to: The Kumagaya Friendship Association Private Bag 90104 Invercargill. Or drop it in to the Help Desk at the Civic Administration Building, 101 Esk Street. Thank you for your support.
“At this stage we are not looking for people to make a firm commitment, but for expressions of interest from people who would like to go.” Expressions of interest can be made by telephoning Tom Sawyer on (0274) 325380, or by emailing email@example.com.
Sneak Peek TWO good suggestions from the Annual General Meeting that are being followed up are:
1 A fun social event for members to tickle your tastebuds - more on that to come.
1 A Kumagaya Friendship Association public exhibition of gifts from the City of Kumagaya to the City of Invercargill. CHANGING PLACES: Cr Michio Tajima tries on the Invercargill Mayoral robes as (from left) Councillors Chiaki Kagasaki, Yuji Kaneko, Neil Boniface and Masao Arai look on. See page 4 for more about their travels while in Invercargill.
ARTICLES INSIDE... Sister City visit - Calendar 2005 Names wanted for Homestay Register Visitors experience south sea paradise New members
pg 2 pg 3 pg 4 pg 4
Chairman’s Corner My Chairman's Report covered the wide range of activities that our Committee and members have been involved with over the past year. These have ranged from building up our membership, the adoption of our logo, meeting with several visiting groups from Kumagaya and the publishing of two newsletters. Thanks must go to the Invercargill City Council for giving us every encouragement in the establishment of the KFA, to our hard working Committee and, in particular, special thanks to our very focused Secretary, Eirwen Tulett.
We are now helping the Invercargill Kendo Club establish contact with a Kendo Club in Kumagaya. They hope to bring out high quality Kendo Masters for the NZ Kendo Championships being held in Invercargill in August 2006. I always appreciate any feed back from members on how best we can strengthen our ties with the citizens of Kumagaya. Send you thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Under “General Business” at the AGM, members put forward several ideas that could add value to the KFA and help strengthen the ties between the citizens of our two cities. At a recent Committee meeting we started to work towards putting these ideas into action.
Calendar 2005 April 13-27 July 25-5 August 27-7 August August 8-19 18-27 16 21-28
Sister City Visits
By Joanna Reekie
The Kumagaya Friendship Association is establishing a Homestay Register, following the idea being suggested at the Annual General Meeting in March. A Homestay Register would allow visitors from Japan who wish to stay with Invercargill families instead of at hotels and would mean the KFA has a list of people able to offer accommodation. As members of our Kumagaya Friendship Association you are invited to open your homes to host our visitors. Most official delegations only stay for two or three days and while some may prefer to stay in a hotel, the Register will at least give them an option.
Murray Ballantyne Chairman
Currently we are working on: · Putting together a calendar of relevant events such as school and Council visits, language competitions, sports exchanges etc; · Establishing a list of members who would be willing to home host guests from Kumagaya; · Encouraging a citizens' tour to Kumagaya from Invercargill and vice versa. · Helping sporting, service and cultural groups establish contacts with their opposite numbers in Kumagaya. This can be done through the KFA to either the Kumagaya City Council or the Kumagaya International Friendship Association. Once the lines of communication are open it will be a lot easier for the various organizations to form working relationships with their Kumagaya counterparts.
OUR Association held it's second Annual General Meeting on March 7. It was attended by 26 members, w h i c h a l o n g w i t h 15 apologies was a good turnout from our membership of 67.
Names wanted for Homestay Register
It may be necessary to have committee members check out the homes of those willing to host since we could not afford to have an unsatisfactory homestay situation.
It is important that we draw up a list of available names for homestay accommodation before we approach our friends in Kumagaya, to ensure we have sufficient numbers of homes available prior to making any sort of offer. Although it is unlikely that we could offer any sort of financial remuneration the reward would be in the friendship created.
If you are interested in offering to host our visitors please fill in the accompanying form and return it to the Kumagaya Friendship Association, Private Bag 90104, Invercargill.
Please send to: Kumagaya Friendship Assn Private Bag 90104 Invercargill
Southland Girls' High School visit to Kumagaya
Name: ____________________________________ Kumagaya Nishi High School visit to Invercargill Kumagaya Boys' High School visit to Invercargill
Kumagaya City Hall visit to Invercargill Invercargill City Hall visit to Kumagaya Southland Interschool Japanese Speech Contest International language Week
Address: ________________________________________________________________________________________ Number of family members living in the home: ______
Are there children under 18 living in the home? Y/N
If yes, what age(s)? ___________________________
Number of bedrooms: _________________________
How many visitors could you accommodate? _______
Does your guest bedroom have an ensuite? Y/N
Do you have pets? Y/N September 21-10
FRIENDSHIP DINNER: KFA Member Joanna Reekie with Cr Masao Arai and Interpreter Hozumi Diya.
Rissho University visit to Invercargill
If yes, what kind? ________________________________________________
Does anyone resident in the home have a criminal conviction? Y/N Please elaborate __________________________________________________________________________ I, the undersigned, offer my home to be placed on the Kumagaya Friendship Association Homestay Register. I understand that my guest must be provided with their own bedroom, and access to suitable toilet/bathroom facilities. I also agree that a Committee Member of the Kumagaya Friendship Association may visit my home, prior to the placement of a homestay guest. ___________________________________________ Name
KUMAGAYA GIFT: KFA Member Pam Ballantyne looks admiringly as Shirley Palmer tries on a gift from Kumagaya.
FRIENDLY CONVERSATION: Invercargill's honourary Ambassador to Kumagaya Andrew Ballantyne with Cr Chiaki Kagasaki at The Cabbage Tree restaurant.
UP CLOSE: Visiting Kumagaya Councillors Chiaki Kagasaki, Michio Tajima, Masao Arai and Yuji Kaneko with the Tuatara statue outside the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.
Please note: This accommodation is provided on a voluntary basis, without the expectation of remuneration. It is also expected that you will provide meals for your guest.