Saturday 1 October 1983

Chairman's Report 1982/83 - Noel Ferguson

The Frankston Susono Friendship Association was conceived following the second visit from a Frankston contingent to Susono in April/May 1982. This coincided with the attendance at a Sister City Symposium in Tokyo by the Mayor and Mayoress Cr. and Mrs. Rogan Ward, Cr. and Mrs. Noel Ferguson and the Town Clerk and was finalised prior to the visit of the Japanese led by Mayor Ichikawa in July 1982.

Accepting responsibility for arranging home hosting and a welcoming function at Frankston Football Club Clubrooms at Frankston Park were its first important activities. An Executive was elected and has continued to meet at regular intervals. Karen Harrison, the original Treasurer resigned, and we were very fortunate to obtain the willing services of Mike Orchin as a more than able replacement.

 Student Exchange

The realisation of the aims of the Sister City relationship as being epitomised in exchange visits resulted in this activity being hurriedly commenced in August 1982 with a view to sending and receiving students during 1983. A Student Exchange Sub-Committee was formed; school assistance sought and the calling of interested teenagers to apply to participate began in earnest. Correspondingly the same process began and was pursued in Susono.

We finally chose two students from Ballam Park Technical School, and Julie Lay and Andrew Grigor are at this time well advanced and entrenched in their responsible pioneering role. Similarly, we have Eiko Sugiyama, Chiho Watanabe and Junko Furukawa in our midst; the first two are attending John Paul College and Junko is at Ballam Park Technical School.

Social functions were organised to farewell Andrew and Julie and an enjoyable day was held at John and Audrey Graham’s in March to welcome the three Japanese girls. Financial assistance to students from the Australia Japan Foundation considerably lightened their cost burden.

Continual evaluation of the program has occurred and the onerous task of becoming Counsellors to the students staying here has been capably undertaken by Pauline Orchin, Des Dean and David Louden. Hosting parents have indicated the enjoyment derived in acting as parents, although problems do arise due to different customs and the ever-present communication difficulties, and our thanks are due to them in a large measure.

With better organisation the process for sending students in 1984 began earlier, and we have chosen Kerry Jellett (16 years) from Ballam Park Technical School, Andrew Bolwell (17 years) from Frankston High School, and Fiona Smith (16 years) from John Paul College as the fortunate ones to go to Susono on exchange.

Richard Linton Painting - "Ebb Tide"

Richard Linton's painting "Ebb Tide" commissioned by Frankston Jaycees was presented to Susono on the occasion of their visit in July 1982. Richard subsequently offered a limited release print produced from the painting to the Association to promote and sell in conjunction with him, a portion of the price of each print to be donated to the Association. Sales were initially brisk but have since slowed, with approximately 105 framed prints and 20 unframed prints being sold, and we have been advised that the donation will be forthcoming shortly.
Sister City Convention

A Sister City Convention was held in September 1982 and attended by Noel and Lorraine Ferguson. The attending groups resolved to form an Australian Sister Cities Association, which Frankston Council subsequently elected to sponsor the F.S.F.A. as a member. A 1983 convention was held early in August in Townsville but regrettably we were not represented.

Promotion and Publicity

Don Reeves ensured excellent coverage of all activities in both local papers, the Standard and the News, particularly the visit in July 1982, and the departure of our students and the arrival of the Japanese students. Don also organised a contest to select a logo for our use on letterheads etc. and possibly for a badge. 29 entries were received from students, the winner being Alison Jewell of Frankston High School.

Japanese Visit of January/February 1983

At fairly short notice, advice was received of a visit from a touring party of 15, and we hurriedly arranged a welcoming lunch at the Villa St. Clare and home hosting for one evening, attempting to involve a wider spectrum of the community in each of these activities.

Toorak College Visit to Susono

Sue McCall took a contingent of Toorak College students to Japan in May and spent some days in Susono enjoying the education of spending some time amongst the kind and hospitable Susono people.

Ballam Park Technical School orchestra visit

Unquestionably the undertaking of this school to send a party of 56 students and teachers for a 9 day stay was, when embarked upon, considered by many to be an impossible task. That it has now occurred and the party has returned is testimony to dedication and hard work by many people, not forgetting the people and community of Susono, the hosts. Parents, students and teachers from Ballam Park plus extensive support from the Frankston community and businesses raised the sum of $70,000 needed to cover all expenses for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

The accolade of winning the State Championships earlier in July lifted the spirits of the party members, and from all accounts their numerous performances at concerts, a festival and other celebrations were warmly appreciated by the thousands who witnessed them.

The impact of their visit is difficult to gauge but is believed to be immense in a community like Susono, and will not be forgotten by them or the Ballam Park participants for many years to come. Some of us wonder, knowing the Japanese inclination to reciprocate such events, as to what might be planned from their end for the future.

The Executive has been concerned regarding the best means of involvement for members and considers that due to the diversification of interest the opportunity for participation can only relate to the activity, eg. Student exchange visits to Susono and the various aspects of visits of Japanese to Frankston from time to time.

More social activities will be organised if members indicate interest. The Executive will be interested to hear members' views on this subject at the Annual Meeting.

In conclusion, recognition should be given to those who have actively assisted in the conduct of the affairs of the F.S.F.A. and in particular Yazaki Australia Pty. Ltd., and the immense contribution by the City's Town Clerk, Adrian Butler and his staff, who have ensured success in the many and varied activities undertaken.

In August 1983 a group of karate students from the Peninsula Division of Karate Do Goju-Kai visited Susono and were extended a reception by the Susono Overseas Friendship Association.