Thursday 23 February 2017

35th and 20th Anniversary Celebrations - Chairperson Peter Patterson


Welcome everyone to the celebrations of the 35th anniversary of our sister city relationship with Susono and 20 years to the day that the Japanese garden here at Frankston High School was officially opened.

Today we are 40 people in number who represent the journey that has been undertaken in those 35 years.

With us to today are:

Mayor Brian Cunial
Frankston City Mayor
Not only Mayor but member of delegation in 2104. Former FHS student. Thank you for your support.
Deputy Mayor Steve Toms
Frankston City
Deputy Mayor
We hope a new found friend and former FHS student. Welcome Steve and we look forward to working with you.
Cr Colin Hampton
Frankston City
Member of 3 delegations and great supporter of our work. Thank You Colin for your vocal support of our work.
Simon and Tonia Hast
Deputy Chairperson FSFA
Current custodian and champion of our garden and teacher at FHS. Tonia is a Japanese Teacher at FHS. Daughter Jess has created and is managing our website. Thank you Simon and the Hast family.
Margaret Patterson
Committee Member FSFA
Patient, better half to me and long running member of our Executive. Our catering expert for the many function we have organised. Also Australian cooking expert in Susono during our visits. Thank You.
Fran Menting and Tom Hood
Committee Member FSFA
Fran an Executive member, and mother of two short term Exchange students to Susono. Fran also looked after our website and expert in Chocolate bananas. Thank You Fran and Tom for your help.
Therese Sakamoto, Mick and Emily
Committee Member FSFA
Former Exchange students and English Language teacher in Susono. Japanese teacher at Derinya. Now Executive member. Thank you for your involvement.
Suzie Zagami
Committee Member FSFA
Newly found member of the Executive and member of our last delegation to Susono. Thank You Suzie.
Helen Wilson
Committee Member FSFA
VP at FHS and head of the Senior school. Member of our Executive. FHS have had a representative on our Executive for many years. Thank You Helen.
Julie Darcy
Committee Member FSFA
First Exchange Student to Susono and is marking 34 years this week when she went to Susono. Japan was a very different place then. Julie is a member of our Executive. Thank You Julie for your support. 
John and Debbie
Principal Frankston High School
Our host and landlord for our Garden. Thank You for your support as a past Executive member. Thank You to FHS for their support over the whole 35 years.
Chris Hodgins
Frankston Council
Fantastic administrative support to the Executive at our meetings. Thank You Chris!
David and Barbara Lee
Former Mayor and Former Chairperson FSFA
One of the 5 names inscribed on the stones in the Garden. Was Chairperson of FSFA at the time. Thank you David and Barbara for your support.
Ken and Sue Rowe
Former Principal of Frankston High School
Former Principal and another whose name is inscribed on the stone in the garden. Great supporter in the earlier years. Thank You Ken and Sue.
Noel and Lorraine Ferguson
Former Mayor and Former Chairperson FSFA
First Chairperson of FSFA and the keeper of the history of the garden. One of our founding fathers and built the foundation on which we have prospered. Thank You Noel and Lorraine.
Steve Walker
Life Member FSFA
Life member of FSFA and one time Community English teacher is Susono. Long-serving Executive member and Member of a number of delegations and wise counsel on our ASCA award submissions. Thank You Steve for your continued support.
Vic Walker
Life Member FSFA
Life Member of FSFA. Executive member and Treasurer. Member of delegations and bus driver. Thank You Vic.
Rod Johnston
Life Member FSFA
Life member of FSFA. Passionate and active member of the Executive in the earlier years. Thank You Rod.
Des and Marj Dean
Life Member FSFA
Life member of FSFA and long serving member of the Executive. Des was the longest serving member of the Executive and Champion of our Speech Contest. Great to see you Des and Marj. Thank You.
Bev Womersley
Former Committee Member FSFA
Bev and Fred Womersley we involved at the beginning and members of our Executive. Thanks You Bev and pass on our thanks to Fred who could not make it tonight.
Phil and Ellie Barber
Former Committee Member FSFA
Phil and Ellie were parents of Exchange Student Skye and Phil a member of the Executive. Thank you for your support.
Bill and Sandra Speirs
Former Deputy Principal Frankston High School
Vice Principal of FHS senior campus and great supporter of the sister city relationship. Thank you Bill and Sandra for being with us to today.
Yuka Mukaiyama
Teacher Frankston High School
Yuka is a long-serving Japanese teacher at FHS and involved with our work over many years. Thank you for your support Yuka.

There are many others who have made valuable contributions and I thank them also.

Several who are not with us today are:

The late John Richards, Former Chairperson of FSFA, his wife Lillian.
Judy Thomas, Life member and Secretary of FSFA
Fred Womersley member of First delegation to Susono
Marian Heale, a former Principal at FHS and custodian of the Garden.
Bev Hannan Treasurer of FSFA and long serving Executive member. Husband Vic Webster Executive of FSFA.

From the beginnings in 1982 through to today. Many highlights and many memories. We have displays around the room that capture many of these special moments. The people who have created those memories and the friends here and in Japan that we have made.
In total 100 people from Frankston have served in some formal capacity to manage and celebrate the sister city relationship with Susono. Japanese fairs, speech contests and delegation visits are some of the many activities we have organised and  shared with the community of Frankston. A great big thank you to every one of those 100 people.

The Japanese Garden has an interesting story that Noel Ferguson will share with us shortly. I thank those who created it, those who have looked after it and those who have taken pride in it. We have photos of the Garden through the years and the people who were part of getting it to where it is today. Considered by some to one of the finest of its type. Thank you to all of you.

To those of you here today, I wish to acknowledge you for contributing to the rich and robust fabric of the Frankston Susono relationship. There are very few sister city relationships that have lasted and been so actively promoted as ours. For example, our Japanese Fair last April attracted some 2000 people. In turn the recent  Australian Festivals in Susono have attracted record attendance. The interest in our respective cultures has not diminished.

We have won national awards for our efforts, given the youth of our city life changing opportunities and for many of us an avenue to display our passion for Japan.

Thank you to the Frankston Council who have delegated the responsibility for the administration of the sister city relationship to a group of enthusiastic volunteers. Some have come and gone and few have stuck around for a few years to keep the wheels turning.

In closing I report on the work behind the scenes on a public tribute to the Frankston Susono Sister City relationship. For a short while we had Susono Way that became the laneway behind the South East Water building. At our request the Council has been evaluating a number of other more suitable sites. One looks very promising and hope that the formalities can be settled quickly and we can get on with the work. I hope to announce more details soon.