We were pleased to welcome around 40 guests to the dinner this year. The list of attendees obviously included our committee and society members, but we were also graced by the presence of H.E. Ambassador Sumio Kusaka and Mrs. Kusaka, and Mr. Yokoyama, Director of the Information and Culture Section at the Embassy of Japan. Ms Liza Watts from DFAT and the Manager of the Australia-Japan Foundation was there, as well as the newly elected president of the National Federation of Australia Japan Societies, Mr. Philip Mitchell. Mr. Hideki Onagi represented the Canberra Japan Club. Unfortunately the recipient of our scholarship this year, Miss Caitlin Carrol, could not be there on the night, so her cheque was presented to her father, Mr. Giles Carrol. We are glad to be able to contribute to her Caitlin’s studies and hope she enjoys her time in Gifu Prefecture next year.
Several of our esteemed guests said a few thoughtful and informative words, and we had two amazing musical numbers – the first was Ms. Misako Piper who sung the beautiful song “Hana wa Saku” from the Tohoku Region where her family has lived for five generations. We were also treated to the talents of Miss Vivian Tran from Radford College, who performed on the piano. It is rare to see such amazing talent at such a young age and we wish her the best.
One of the highlights of our Annual Dinner is always the raffle, and this year we were able to offer some fantastic prizes thanks to the effort of our committee members. The first prize was a beautiful lacquer picture donated by Stuart Forsyth, but we also gave away a $100 voucher to spend at Finesse Beauty, bottles of sake donated by the Embassy of Japan, return trips from Canberra to Sydney donated by Murray’s Coaches… the list just goes on! All of the proceeds go to funding our Tohoku Youth Program.
Thank you again to all our members and guests for their continued support. We look forward to seeing you all next year.