Thursday 1 October 1992

Chairman's Report 1991/92 - Noel Ferguson

Since our last Annual Meeting we have participated in and enjoyed the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the actual formation of our Sister-City relationship with Susono. For some of us, particularly Adrian Butler and I, the association goes back still further to November, 1980 when an approach was made by an international Vice President of Yazaki from Japan as to our interest in joining with Susono as sister cities.

The highlights of these anniversary celebrations for our friends in Susono also revolved around Susono City celebrating its 20 years as a City, local government as we know it has a surprisingly short history in Japan.

For the record I have listed the last years activities in chronological order, which should bring to mind pleasant memories for each of you in terms of your participation and enjoyment of these events: 

Japanese Cultural Fair

This was an initiative of ours following the conduct of a similar event earlier in 1991 in Melbourne. Held on the 4th August, 1991, the rewards for the small band of our members who organised the day was in the great turnout of people to see the wide range of craft, traditional customs, martial arts, etc. put on at Frankston TAFE.

Frankston High trip to Japan

In September a party of 18 students and 3 teachers from Frankston High School visited their sister school, Kawaguchi Kita High School. The party spent two days in Susono and was given a civic reception by the Susono Overseas Friendship Association.

Susono Students Visit to Australia

A Susono Students Tour, consisting of 37 students and 6 adults, visited Frankston from August 18 to 21, 1991. The students, in five groups, were hosted by Frankston High School, John Paul College, Mount Eliza Secondary College, Toorak College and Ballam Park Secondary College. The main purpose of the tour was for the students to experience home and school life in Australia. The FSFA hosted a social evening at John Paul College for the students, their host families and representatives of the 5 schools - approximately 240 people attended. Susono children experienced home hosting for the first time.

Enokido Art Exhibition (15th September to 3rd October)

Mr. Fumihiko Enokido, a distinguished Japanese artist from Susono provided some of his works, in addition to some pieces from his wife Maki Enikido which were the subject of an Exhibition at the McClelland Gallery. The Enokidos together with SOFA Chairman Dr. Ohashi, Mrs. Ohashi and a contingent of 20 people took this opportunity to come to Frankston and enjoy five (5) days with us. The visit included a function hosted by the Council at the Gallery, a social evening with our members at Frankston Football Club as well as home hosting and a sightseeing tour of the Mornington Peninsula.

Two substantial paintings by Fumihiko Enokido and another by Maki Enikido were presented to the Mayor Mr Michael Fuller. These valuable works are on permanent display in the Frankston Council chamber.

Frankston trip to Susono

A group of 15 lead by our Mayor Cr. Michael Fuller and the Mayoress Di Fuller enjoyed a never-to-be-forgotten trip to Japan in November,  to specifically attend the Official Opening by Mayor lchikawa of the new Cultural Centre built in Susono at a cost of $60 million as well as to celebrate our 10th Anniversary with members of Susono Overseas Friendship Association. The strength of the sister city relationship was reinforced with the Mayor being invited to officially assist with the opening of Susono’s Cultural Centre. The party travelled from Tokyo via Susono for three (3) days and then on to Kyoto visiting Therese Hannan who is working in Nagoya during the latter part of the trip.

Suitable gifts were made to Susono both by the Council on behalf of the City of Frankston and another on behalf of our Association and were very much appreciated by the recipients.

An Afternoon of Japanese Culture

Exhibitions of Doll Making, Origami etc. were put on in the Tourist Information Centre on the 5th July and were well attended by the general public.

Other social activities include the welcome and farewelling of students to and from Japan at Ajana Lane in February this year.

Student Exchange

Kerryn Milham and Tasha Grigor completed a year in Japan finishing in January with Kerryn having since chosen to return to further her education.

Koji and Manami who were here during 1991 have also returned to Japan. Debbie Ho and Tara Moorhouse applied last year to spend a year in Susono leaving in March and from reports we have received back have settled in well, while we have Daisuke Aoshima and Yoka Hara visiting us. With the involvement of the afore-mentioned a total of 44 students have been involved in exchanges which is a wonderful achievement by all concerned.

This aspect of the sister-city project has been taken a further step with Miss Marianne lnchley successfully applying to spend some time in Susono teaching English to members of SOFA as well as the general public.

In fact, SOFA are very fortunate in that by the benevolence of Dr. & Mrs. Ohashi a new three (3) storey building with suitable club rooms as well as residential accommodation is at their disposal for almost unrestricted sister-city group use.

Japanese Garden

Not a lot of progress has been made with the garden but the chosen area at Frankston High School is currently being prepared to facilitate the work being completed in the near future.

The Executive of the Association has been busy with the afore-mentioned activities as well as preparing the group to consider Incorporation and for steps to be taken to run FSFA more independently from the Council than has been the case in the past. I have indicated that I do not feel I am able to devote as much time to the Association as I have previously and therefore will not seek re-election as Chairman. There are too many people for me to single out any amongst present and past members for my thanks for their efforts but I can merely express the wish that they have received as much satisfaction and enjoyment from their involvement in proportion to the time, thought and effort they have put into this most worthy of community activities.