City prepares for visit from twin community in Japan

Starting this weekend, Lacombe will play host to friends from the other side of the world when the students

  • Sep. 18, 2014 1:00 p.m.
PARTNERSHIP – Mayor Steve Christie accepts a gift from Keiichi Tsubata of Rikubetsu

PARTNERSHIP – Mayor Steve Christie accepts a gift from Keiichi Tsubata of Rikubetsu

Starting this weekend, Lacombe will play host to friends from the other side of the world when the students and chaperones from Rikubetsu, Japan arrive for their annual visit on Sept. 20th.

Marcia Neufeld, president of the Lacombe and District Rikubetsu Friendship Society, said that while these visits only last a few days, the impact they make on the community is substantial.

“It’s hard to put in words, but it’s like a family,” she said.

“They’re only here for a short period of time but when it comes to the morning that they leave, we’re all in tears because we have grown so close.”

Neufeld got involved with the Lacombe and District Rikubetsu Friendship Society about 12 years ago through her son who was studying Japanese in school and wanted to be a host for the Japanese delegation which was visiting that year.

There is a great exchange of culture that takes place during the visits from Rikubetsu, she added.

“You become long-time friends,” said Neufeld, adding that the cultural exchange is a positive thing for anyone to have. “I think it’s a good experience to have some other culture in your home.”

This year, about 20 students in Grade 8 will be visiting from Rikubetsu.

While the visitors are here, from Sept. 20th – 24th, they will participate in a number of activities.

After a welcome luncheon when the students and chaperones arrive, the students are given a day or so to get acquainted with their host families.

Afterwards, visitors will enjoy a tour around Lacombe and will even get a chance to meet the mayor and councillors of Lacombe during Monday’s council meeting.

There will be opportunity for the delegation to experience a bit more of Alberta as well on Tuesday with a visit to the Royal Tyrell Museum near Drumheller.

On the day before the delegation leaves, a potluck farewell supper will be held for the visitors and their host families.

During the evening, the Japanese students will perform a bit of a cultural display for those in attendance, demonstrating Japanese crafts like origami or martial arts.

Neufeld said the purpose of the tours and activities during the visit is to show what Lacombe has to offer and to give the delegation a bit of an idea what daily life is like here.

She also mentioned the Society is always looking for people in the community to come out to get involved with the friendship society.

“We encourage people to come so they can learn more about our twin city,” said Neufeld.

Residents of Lacombe also participate in occasional visits to Rikubetsu, said Neufeld, but not as often. She added the Society tries to send a delegation whenever there is a group interested in going but the last visit was about three years ago.

Lacombe’s twinning agreement with Rikubetsu was formalized in 1986, but visits between the two communities actually began a few years before. Lacombe and District Rikubetsu Friendship Society was formed a few years later in May of 1991.

Outside of the annual visit from Rikubetsu, the Rikubetsu Friendship Society has a number of events throughout the year that focus around sharing some Japanese culture with Lacombe.

Past events have included Ikebana flower workshops and Kito no Taiko Drummer performances, said Neufeld.

She added this year the Society will also be holding a Japanese tea ceremony as part of the Lacombe Culture and Harvest Festival.

To learn more about the Japanese exchange trip or the Rikubetsu Friendship Society, call Marcia Neufeld at 403-782-4051 or 403-505-9561 or Kelly Holyoak at 403-782-9932 or email marway5@shaw.ca.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

 

Just Posted

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the G7 Summit, at the airport in Newquay, United Kingdom, Thursday, June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Details on Canada’s vaccine sharing plan coming Sunday, up to 100 million doses

Canada’s high commissioner to the UK says details will come after the G7 summit

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Newborn daughter’s death inspires MP’s bill on bereavement leave for parents

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec says a day or two off not enough for some grieving parents

Most Read