City of Great Falls
Hibikiya Japanese Drummers
Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden
Our greatest events in 2009
- Visit from Whitecourt
On November 5 & 6 we were very pleased to have Shelley and her mother, Holly
come to Lehtbridge from Whitecourt. We met Shelley in Whitecourt during the
summer at the A/JTMA Conference. She is an outstanding, charasmatic young
lady. She so elequontely shares her experience that she had in Japan, and as
well is promoting and encouraging our youth to "get out there" and explore
this wonderful world of ours. The Lethbridge Twinning Society hosted Shelley
and her mother and arranged for a all too busy schedule for her on November
It started off with a quick tour of City Hall and a very warm welcome
from the Mayor's Office (Thanks Karen) then it was off to the first venue,
Lethbridge Christian School. Shelley spoke to Mrs. "O's" class, and shared
some very funny stories of her expeience in Japan. The most impressive
being when she saw a vending machine that actually dispensed cars!
Immediately following she was off to Lethbridge Collegiate Institute where
she spoke to two of Masako Tani's classes, once again, Shelley impressed us
with how well she "up'd" her presentation to address these older students.
Then catching some snacks in the car we were off to Lethbridge College.
Once again, her Presentation was "tweaked" to more appropriately address these older
students (some 7 years older then herself!) So then it was off to the
University, no more presentation, but a tour organized by Laurel. All too
soon it was time for them to fly off. It was extremely windy on the days
Shelley was here, so she got the proper introduction to our city. We truly
appreciated Shelley coming, and she is a young lady who we know will make a
difference in this world! Whitecourt.......you are very blessed to have her
in your community!
** Special thanks to our LTS members who helped make this visit a huge
success, Carol, Jennifer, Terri, Cheryl, Rolanda, Pastor George, and to
those who attended the welcome party for her. Thanks also to Save on Foods
who donated a fruit tray. Henry, did his intricate work on a certificate
that was presented to Shelley for coming and her efforts.
*** Special thanks to Ute and Ruth who arranged for Shelley to be able to
speak at the Lethbridge College.
- 2009 Japan Film Festival
On November 4 & 5 Vice Consul of Japan, Mrs. Kobayashi and assistant to the
Consul, Mr. Davies came to Lethbridge to host the 2009 Japan Film Festival.
A two day event featuring Japan films that were shown at the Movie Mill free
of charge to all viewers. During their brief visit, members of the
Lethbridge Twinning Society provided a tour of the city, visiting some
points of interest including "Sakai Spice" where the general manager treated
them to some "take home" wasabi sauce! Other stops along the way,
Nakagama's Japanese store, the Miracle Channel, Nippon Travel, and the Water
Tower Restaurant (Ric's Grill). The film festival was very well received,
and well attended. We welcome back the film festival any time!
- Visit to Lethbridge
On October 13, Tatiana (English teacher from Timashevsk) was in Lethbridge
to pave the way for her students to arrive in Lethbridge for an opportunity
of studying English and learning our culture and livestyles. In the brief
visit, a lot of ground was covered, and commitments made, including her
carefully chosing a school where the students would study, interviewing home
stay parents who would be hosting the students, and setting paramaters and
guidelines for the students. This was Tatiana's second visit to Lethbridge!
On her first visit she was most impressed with Immanuel Christian High
School and when it was learned that Immanuel Christian High School was
offering to accept the students for their two month learning experience, she
was extatic! All that was needed now..........Visa's for the student's.
Even that, Tatiana tried to address, as a visit was made to MP Rick Casson's
office to obtain any additonal information that might assist in the success
of obtaining Visa's for the students.
- Society "Garage Sale"
On Saturday, October 3, 2009 Betty and Dick hosted a Society "Garage Sale"
at their home. Members were very generous with their donations of items for
the sale, their time and their efforts to ensure we had yet another
successful fund raising event. The weather was a little chilly, actually
down right cold! Threatening snow and wind made the hot chocolate and fresh
muffins that Betty and Marla made for the members who were working the sale
taste so good.
The next time, we will stick to having our garage sales earlier in the year!
- Whoop up Days Parade
Once again the Lethbridge Twinning Society enters the "Whoop up Days Parade"
August 17, 2009. Weather was great, just a breeze to help better display
our flags. The parade is always fun!
- Sister Cities International Conference - Belfast, Northern Ireland
July 29th. - August 01, 2009. Harold and Cheryl attended the Sister Cities
International Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Lethbridge
Twinning Society was thus represented and as it turned out, Harold and
Cheryl were the sole representatives from Canada! The event was
spectacular, and the setting was incredible, seminars held in actual
castles.... Plenary sessions at Ulster Hall.......
Events at the "Europa
Hotel" the famous hotel boasting having been the most bombed hotel in the
world! It was all exciting, 500 world wide delegates and the opportunity of
sharing and exchanging information on best practices with participants made
it all worth while. There were four delegates from Culver City who also
attended, this made the conference even that more special. Next
year......Albuquerque, New Mexico. Plan to attend, you will not regret it!
Culver City Sister City President, Kathleen and Lethbridge Twinning Society
President, Harold have the opportunity of presenting Belfast, Northern
Ireland Mayor, Lord Mayor Naomi Long with some memorbilia.
For more information on the 2009 Sister Cities International Conference,
please see: http://www.sister-cities.org/conference/Belfast2009.
- Hi-Tech Executive Meeting
Not really an "event" but one of our Executive Meetings gone "Hi-Tech". On
July 17, 2009 an Executive Meeting was held at Harold and Cheryl's home,
Michael, who lives in Calgary was unable to join us in person, but we had
him as an active participant thanks to the internet and "MSN - Meetings"
Live and in colour Michael was there every beat of the meeting. NOT ONLY
at one point we linked up to Tei in Towada City City, Japan and had
him as well! Ah.....technology! Other meetings when Michael could not
attend in person, we have utilized the speaker phone of a cell phone and
Michael was able to at least hear and speak to us during our meeting!
- Fund raiser
July 11, 2009: Another fund raiser! Members came out in full force to support the
Twinning Society during the Bar B Que at Save on Foods this summer!
All non-profit Societies like ours struggle for funds, some organizations
raise membership fees to cover costs while others solicit cash donations
from the community........our Society however, we roll up our sleaves and
work for it! We always have, and we always will. We are greatful to Save
on Foods for their support. A typical Bar B Que will last from 11:00AM to
4:00PM and we normally raise $175.00.
Members have a chance to socialize with one another and often we have the
opportunity of talking with members of the community about our Society. When
the day is over, we have all eaten too many of the "charred" dogs that we
could not sell to the public, but go home with the satisfaction that we have
advanced the Society in terms of our much needed funds in the bank.
- "Martha Stewart" Bar B Que
June 28, 2009. Member, Ruth opened her beautiful "Martha Stewart" back yard to society
members for a Bar B Que. The weather cooperated totally, and members
enjoyed the Bar B Que into the late evening hours. The "Bar B Que" is a
highlight for members each year, a time to "let our hair down" and just
enjoy eachother's company. This year was no exception, great food, great
setting and we look forward to next year! Please join us! Place, Date and
- Annual General Conference of the A/JTMA
On June 19-20 a delegation from the Lethbridge Twinning Society attended the
Annual General Conference of the Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association
(A/JTMA)in WhiteCourt, Alberta. Terri, Carol, Cheryl, Michael and Harold
made the road trip. The conference was a huge success and the hosts were
The conference set the way to approving the A/JTMA constitution and to
providing workshop and brainstorming ideas to promote the Alberta/Japan twin
Whitecourt is a fantastic community, progressive and definetly a vacation
and recreation destination! We were treated to a helicopter ride and a hair
raising.......and ball cap losing (right Michael?) jet boat excursion on the
Athabaska River! The Lethbridge Twinning Society is a member of the A/JTMA
as a result of our avid twinning with Towada City City, Japan.
Next years conference: Stony Plain, Alberta. Date: TBA - Please join us!
|Picture 300: Representatives of the Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities
Association, Consul General Minemura and his wife and representatives of the
||Picture 112: Michael, the next best thing to being in Japan!
||Picture 317: Harold along with representatives of the Alberta Government,
David and Nancy.
|Picture 218: Terri meets Whitecourt host, Patti at the reception area.
||Picture 443: Harold exits helicopter tour......... Keep you head down!
||Picture 438: Michael, front row...helicopter tour.
|Picture 224: Michael and Carol enjoy the delictible desserts during the A/JTMA reception.
||Picture 262: Consul General of Japan, Minemura and his wife look on during ceremony activities.
||Picture 358: Terri, Carol, Cheryl and Harold hang on tight as the jeb boat soars, exploding the waters of the Athabaska River.
For further information on the Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association, please visit, www.ajtma.com
- Japanese dinner
On June 12th the Consul General for Japan, Calgary, Mr. Minemura
and his wife invited Harold and Jennifer to their official residence in
Calgary for a spectacular Japanese dinner. Their Worships, Mayor Tarleck
and Mayor Wittal and his wife from Didsbury also attended. The evening was
centered around the celebration of Didsbury recently officially twinning
with Miki Town, Japan and the goodwill friendships that have been
established throughout the Province. The hospitality of the Minemura's was
second to none. The meal served was a two hour event covering seven courses
of incredible Japanese cuisine elegantly prepared by the Minemura's personal
Japanese chef de Cuisine, Mr. Tetsuji Hiromatsu.
- Meeting with Josephine Choi
On June 5th, LTS members Terri, Carol, Cheryl, Michael and Harold attended
a meeting with Josephine Choi and other representatives from the Alberta
International and Intergovernmental Relations Department of the Alberta
Government. The meeting was held in Calgary. We had the opportunity of
understanding the new restructured Department and got to know Josephine and
the other representatives. We found out that it is "dangerous" to set our
members loose in Calgary..........we will know for next time..... Just stay
clear of Terri when she hits the malls! She is definitely a lady with a
mission! Michael joined us for the meeting and for dinner afterwards. Road
trips are always fun!
- Annual General Meeting
May 27th: The LTS Annual General Meeting was held at the Parkside Inn.
Special invited guest, Kubilay GOK who is a professor at the University of
Lethbridge provided us with an interesting talk regarding his home in
Turkey. Kubilay related experiences in Turkey and how transitions to living
in Canada had to be made.
The Annual General Meeting confirmed the
Executive as continuing on from last year with the addition of Michael
Bennett as an assistant to the directorship of Culver City. Welcomne on
board Michael! The year before us is somewhat more relaxed as we have no
delegation visit or any major delegation visits. We can finally sit back a
catch our wind! President Harold congratulated the members for their
efforts in advancing the Society and extended special thanks to his
Executive Members who always go the extra mile when it comes to getting the
Please, read Lethbridge Twinning Society Newsletter on the event: A.G.M. Special Report
Kubilay GOK, Special guest
along with Public Relations
Director, Carol and President,
- ICE BREAKER ROAD RACE
26 April, 2009: Some members of
the Lethbridge Twinning Society have participated in the City of Great Falls,
"Ice Breaker Road Race" over the past four years. This
year was no exception! Heading to Great Falls on Sunday, April 26th to
"Break the Ice" we were welcomed warmly by Bob Harris and Marlene of Great
Falls along with a host of residents from the City and surrounding
area.......about 3,000 or so! It was a great race and a wonderful day of
comradity keeping the links of friendship warm and alive!
Please consider joining us for next years Ice Breaker Road Race!
- Spectacular Opportunity
On April 01 to 03, 2009 - President Harold attended a multinational conference.
The reporting below notates in brief the synopsis of the conference. More details on the conference may be viewed on line at:
On April 01, 02 and 03, 2009
a United Nations global seminar was held in Seville, Spain.
The seminar was hosted by UN-Habitat, “United Nations Programme for Human Settlements - Barcelona Office”. This international seminar -
City to City Co-operation Strategies For Economic Revitalization had approximately 80 participants, represented
by top level officials from around the globe. Governors, Heads of State, economic analysts, from the nations of the Philippines, Cuba, Columbia, Italy, France, Nigeria,
Portugal, Senegal, Peru, Nepal, South Africa, United Kingdom the Palestinian Territories and of course, Spain were in attendance. A representative of the World Bank from Dubai was also there.
There was only one representative from North America, Harold Pereverseff, President of the Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association and as well President of the Lethbridge Twinning Society - Lethbridge, Alberta.
|Left - Aladeen Shawa (United Nations - New York); Right - Zoughbi Zoughbi (WI'AM - Bethlehem)|
The seminar had eight presenters who touched on crucial issues in their respective
areas of responsibility, each presentation was followed by a question and answer period and then summarized by moderator for their particular session. The seminar had simultaneous translation services in both English and Spanish. Pereverseff was one of the eight presenters at the seminar.
Pereverseff’s presentation included a summation of what the Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association was doing, and the projects of the Lethbridge Twinning Society both past and present. A DVD was played that was provided to Pereverseff by the Lethbridge Economic Development Office as well as a DVD from the University of Lethbridge. Both were well received. Pereverseff identified to the attendees that the University of Lethbridge had signed a student exchange agreement with the University of Jaen, Spain in 2004 this agreement fosters exchanges of 3rd year International Management Students. To Pereverseff’s surprised a representative of Jaen University was in attendance at the seminar and later spoke at length with him.
Pereverseff explained that both the Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association and the Lethbridge Twinning Societies are not only, non-government organizations, but non-profit volunteer organizations as well. The moderator captioned the presentation as a stellar example of what “champions” in the community can do and have done to better good will and understanding globally. Others were amazed that our organization function so well and are in fact volunteer organizations, not funded by government bodies. Perhaps the most impacting comment came from Mr. Thapelo Matlala from Limpopo, South Africa. He stated that he felt the Lethbridge Twinning Society project of constructing the stone monument was “brilliant”. He reflected that he and his administration were planning to construct a monument in 2010 to commemorate a sporting event in his region. He said that he believed a similar monument to ours would be one to involve their community residents and would be something they would cherish rather than a typical manufactured structure. He asked permission to copy our idea, which I thought was very noble of him, of course permission was granted...and best wishes extended towards his project.
|Group shot of delegates to the conference
Overall the conclusion of the seminar identified that much is being done in various forms by various nations to get us through this economic crisis. These works should sustain us and that we can learn from the best practices that we have shared with one another.
Pereverseff came home encouraged and enlightened in a number of areas. “It is not
just reading the headlines in a newspaper, it was being there and better understanding how things really work out there.” Pereverseff was most impacted by meeting a Palestinian Christian who lives in Bethlehem. Zoughbi Zoughbi is the founder and director of the Palestinian Conflict Resolution Centre, “WI’AM”. Zoughbi explained what it was like living in Palestine an area he identifies as a “besieged city” where unemployment is around 30 %. He stated that 2000 years ago, he said Bethlehem said that there was “no room at the inn” now……….there is lots of room but no people!
He himself has not been able to cross over in Jerusalem for a number of years, being sited as a “security risk”. His attendance to this seminar began with several check point stations that he had to be persuasive enough in order to pass through.
Pereverseff is now preparing for his attendance at the Sister Cities International Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland this August. This will be another opportunity
of sharing experience and gathering best practice principles from those attending that
Pereverseff encourages residents to become involved with in the Lethbridge Twinning Society. “You may be surprised at the opportunities that might be opened to you.” He certainly was when the invitation was extended to attend the Seville Seminar. Thanks for the invitation gratefully extended to Diana Lopez Caramazana of UN-Habitat, Barcelona, Spain.
Download this report: City to City Co-operation Strategies For Economic Revitalization
- PLAN YOUR CITY
On April 16, 2009 the City of Lethbridge invited a number of civic organizations to attend a workshop/information session on
"Plan Your City". The Lethbridge Twinning Society was invited. A couple of our members attended this informative and
interactive session. The City is indeed working with the community to structure their plans and initiatives in tune with the wants
and needs of the general populace. Pictured (in red) is LTS Charter Member, Maisie who participated in the sessions.
The ongoing workshops will avail other members of the community to participate in "Planning their city".
- VERY SPECIAL EVENT!
Makoto Sakurada is a resident of our Twin City, Towada City City, Japan. He is
an extremely Talented musician, piano/guitar player
and a fabulous singer.
Singing both in English and Japanese, he will entertain you to the fullest during his performance. Makoto was our guest,
arriving in Lethbridge on February 12th and was here until February 22nd.
Makoto performed at various venues around Lethbridge, in Banff and Airdrie. The Grand Finale was a concert at the Yates Memorial
Theatre. He was joined on a couple of segments by Adam Mason and the University of Lethbridge , Global Drum Ensemble.
We love you Makoto and we can not wait for you to return!
- Taiko Drumming Presentation
In 2004 the Lethbridge Twinning Society undertook a project to introduce Japanese Taiko Drumming to the Lethbridge Community.
The project was complex and not only involved purchasing Taiko drums but the need to store the drums as well as places to
practice etc. etc. None the less, the Taiko group, “Kaze No Rhythm” was formed, consisting of members of the Lethbridge
Twinning Society, Kaze No Rhythm practiced and held performances for a number of years in and around
Lethbridge. Kaze No Rhythm is the English translation meaning “rhythm of the wind” in Japanese.
In 2008 the project of introducing Taiko drumming to Lethbridge had been reviewed. We discovered that there were now actually
three Japanese Taiko groups in existence in Lethbridge. The Executive made the decision to divest of the taiko assets having
realized the success of the initial project goal. The Taiko drums were donated to the Lethbridge Community Taiko Association
and some to the University of Lethbridge Percussion.
The ceremonial Taiko drum (that was donated to us by the Towada City Association
of International Relations) was restored to new and was donated to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden Society. The ceremonial drum
will be on a static display in the visitor centre at the Japanese Garden.
On January 12, 2009 the official passing of the Taiko assets was made from our Society to the University of Lethbridge.
Jennifer Brodoway, our Director for Towada City City, Japan relations made the official transfer donation to Adam Mason of the
University of Lethbridge .
Congratulations Lethbridge Twinning Society on yet another successful project!
- New Year's Banquet
On January 11, 2009 the society members got together to celebrate the New Year.
This was our very best turn out of members to a dinner event ever! We very much appreciated the food, service and ambiance of the New Dynasty Restaurant. The evening was featured around events that took place throughout the year of 2008………wow there were many!
Member participants briefly shared their involvement in the events and their perspective of how the event went.
A very positive and inspiring evening. The Chinese cuisine was served, piping hot to our tables and we enjoyed an excellent
variety of delicious food.
His Worship, Mayor Bob Tarleck joined us for dinner, provided an encouraging message and thanked our society members for their
excellent diplomacy and hard work through not only last year but our previous years.
We had a special guest join us... Sharon the Hutterite lady! She kept us in stitches for quite some time as she went
through her well rehearsed routine. All in good fun and a wonderful way to end a very pleasant evening.
President Harold captioned our society as "always finding the way to succeed in our various projects... if we can not find a way... we make one!"
Please take a look at the photo album of our New Year's Banquet!