Tomakomai 50th Anniversary Celebrations
the following report, the photos were supplied by Bill & Sheena Beaton
In 1980, the Napier City Council
established a sister city link with the city pf Tomakomai on the northern island
of Hokkaido in Japan. Wood pulp from the Pan Pac mill at Whirinaki is shipped
through the Tomakomai port to the Oji Paper Company, which creates a vital link
between the economies of the two cities. The Rotary Club of Taradale decided join
a Napier City delegation which was being led by Cr. Harry Lawson to
celebrate the city of Tomakomai's 50th Anniversary of City status.
In 1993 the then Vice-President Nevin Dawson,
visited Japan and contacted the Rotary Club of Tomakomai North.
From what Nevin told the Club of his
recent trip to Japan with a group led by the Napier City Council, the Japanese
were terrific hosts. Nevin stayed in both Tokyo and Tomakomai, visiting friends, a
client, and he Rotary Club of Tomakomai North. In between times he fitted museums,
cultural centres, the New Zealand Embassy, the Port of Hokkaido, and a spot of
street dancing into his hectic but well organised schedule.
As a result of this visit the
Tomakomai North Club agreed to host a party from the Taradale Club who would
travel to Tomakomai in 1998 as part of the Napier delegation.
In March 1996 the Tomakomai Rotary North
Club visited and were hosted to a BBQ lunch by Rob & Helen Pattullo.
A Friendship agreement was signed between the two Clubs. The International
committee sent an album of data about the Club and a photo of members.
In 1998 members of the Taradale
Rotary Club travelled to Japan and were billeted by Tomakomai club members,
enjoying a wonderful cultural experience.
The team travelled to Japan in 1998.
The Rotary team comprised Bob
Twaddle, Bill & Sheena Beaton, Ray & Jill McTeigue, Clive & June Adams, Ron &
Wenda Ebbett, Pam Tremain and representing the Greenmeadows Rotary Club, Curly &
On their return, the members who
went, addressed the Club on their experiences, with Bob Twaddle in the
chair. The following is a Bulletin report October 1998.
Bob chaired a session where
each member of the Taradale Rotary group to Tomakomai, Japan reported on their
experiences. The members took the opportunity to go to Japan to be part of the
City of Tomakomai’s 50th anniversary celebrations. They were hosted by members of
the Tomakomai North Rotary Club.
Ray McTeigue showed
slides which gave a cross-section of images of their trip. These included a couple
of shots of a sartorial Bob Twaddle speaking at their welcome to the Rotary
Club. So tough was speaking
through an interpreter that the last shot was a sleepy leader nodding off on the
The Bear in its cage, Club display case
Bob receiving a magnificent carved bear (now
displayed in the Club display cabinet)
Notes from Sheena Beaton:
At a very formal luncheon to which we ladies were
invited. Lovely three course meal beautifully served and presented. During the
meeting we were welcomed by President Mr Uno. Bob Twaddle replied in Japanese on
behalf of our group. We then presented Tomakomai Rotary with a "Kiwi" shrapnel box
made from Rewa Rewa, several bottles of HB wine, and NZ chocolates.
Adams started with “what an exciting experience!”. He and June were hosted
with a retired painter who lived in a traditional Japanese home, so they had the
opportunity of experiencing traditional Japanese culture. In the evening his host
seated himself and then issued orders to his wife as to what was expected. June
wasn’t too impressed with all of this and attempted to clear the dinner dishes
only to be told to leave her quaint ways back in NZ. Further Japanese experiences
awaited in the form of sleeping on the floor atop thin mattresses and pillows full
of rice husks. He then dwelt at some length on Japanese building features and
finished with his toilet experience where he pushed the wrong button and got
sprayed down the front from an internal fountain.
Immersed in the local culture. The team dressed in
their kimonos relax with tea, beer or saki after a spa
Pam Tremain gave a
delightful cameo of her experience with a more westernised family who spoke
reasonably good English and had normal beds. They took her out in the country to
meet relatives and experience a genuine tea party. They honoured her by dressing
her in a kimono minus wig.
Ron Ebbett enjoyed the trip so much that he
feels it a shame other members didn’t take up the option to go as well. Japan is a
nation of small people who think big because their are millions of them. He was
overwhelmed with the hospitality, getting invitations to visit industries and
services related to his agricultural interests.
Pam Tremain presents chocolates to Pres Uno.
Bob Twaddle concluded
with his own experiences. The Japanese are passionate about their Rotary and take
it very seriously dressing very formally for their meetings. His host always had
an interpreter at hand and as a result, Bob found talking well into the night,
with his host indulging in considerable quantities of saki, was the way most days
concluded. Bob re-inforced how gracious the Tomakomai hosts had been with the Club
paying most of their costs. This made their trip much cheaper than it normally
would be. He concluded by saying that it had been an honour to represent the Club
in Japan at Tomakomai’s 50th Anniversary.
L to R: Jenny & Curly Carpenter, June Adams, Pam
Tremain, Wenda & Ron Ebbett, Pres Uno & Mrs Uno, Jill & Ray McTeigue, Sheena
Beaton, Clive Adams, Bill Beaton
As part of the 50th Anniversary
celebrations, the Rotarians attended the official diner with the rest of the
Napier delegation. This was a sumptuous affair were the group had front tables
reserved for them.
And then there was the Japanese
Bob Twaddle waits for the food to cook. Sheena
keeps an eye on things.
"The BBQ was set up in a Pagoda styled building.
People sit on two long benches opposite with fires burning in a deep pit between
the rows of seating. We cooked our own meat, chicken, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms
etc. dipping the meats into different sauces before eating, Carved beef was
available, as was pumpkin, sweet corn, buns, rolls and every variety of drink. A
really memorable evening.
In 2001 nine Rotarians from the
Club, Japan, visited our Club. The Club organised for them to visit Taradale High School, Ron Ebbett's
farm, Watties, Pernel Orchard and a mayoral reception.
2005 Rotarians from Tomakomai
again attended the Club. Team leader was President Yuji Tanioka accompanied by his
wife Kiyoka. Also in the party was Past President Maruya with his wife Hanako. He
was President at the time of formulation of the sister club arrangement. Also in the party were Hideko, Kana and
Ai Yamamoto, Torao Furuto, Masao Numata and Japan Travel Bureau Interpreter Shinichi
Goto. The visiting party had been entertained
to morning tea at Janey Grant’s home along with some club members and then had
gone to Ron and Wenda Ebbett’s home for lunch and a trip to the top of the
Tomakomai President Yuji Tanioka exchanges gifts
with Club President Allen Stewart
The Tomakomai team with Taradale Club members
including those who had travelled to Japan in 1998
More on the return visit will be
published when material becomes available.