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Letter to the Editor, The Penticton Herald

Submitted by Bob Harvey, Past President & Treasurer of the Penticton-Ikeda Sister City Society, on November 9, 2011 to the Editor of The Penticton Herald

Dear Editor,

I wish to publicly express my appreciation to the many individuals who organized, contributed to and participated in the recent Japanese exchange visit to our community. While the number of people who fit into the above category are far too numerous to mention, there are some who deserve special recognition.

Our new President Lester Patrick and his wife Atsuko did an amazing job of organizing the various events and greeting and hosting the delegates which consisted of both a group of adults and a group of students from Ikeda Japan. Lester also designed the society’s website (www.pentictonikeda.org) and has posted an excellent summary of the exchange visit for everyone’s information.

Members of the organizing committee included Lester & Atsuko Patrick, Bob & Carol Hayhurst, Kerry & Don Younie, Lorna & Al Dawkins, Brian Remus, Ben Amos, Ross Axworthy, and myself. The committee worked extremely hard to assure a successful visit.

We are particularly grateful to several of the members of our society for hosting major meals for our delegates, allowing us to not only demonstrate true Canadian hospitality, but also keep our costs reasonable. Kerry and Don organized and hosted a fantastic welcoming barbecue and Bob and Carol put on a real Canadian turkey dinner. Also, Barb and John Vassilaki not only hosted a farewell dinner for the delegates, but also gave our society free use of their business’ bus and driver. We appreciate the generosity of these six people and their friends and neighbors who assisted with the events.

I would also like to recognize David Prystay of the Penticton Lakeside Resort who gave our delegates reduced room rates and donated to the various events in many ways.

We are also grateful to the two schools, Skaha Lake Middle School and KVR Middle School. The teachers and administration were very helpful in hosting the student delegates. Six families provided home-stays for the student delegation, and we deeply appreciate the warm generosity and hospitality they extended toward the students.

Finally, the Civic Dinner was hosted by the City of Penticton was a gala event which provided the formal part of the exchange visit – something that is very important to our friends from Ikeda, Japan.

Our affiliation with Ikeda Japan, which is located on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido is recognized as a very successful and active sister city relationship. Next up will be an exchange visit to Ikeda for Penticton and area residents, likely in the fall of 2012.

 Bob Harvey, Past President and Treasurer, Penticton-Ikeda Sister City Society

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