Hi Everyone and Happy Year of the Ox!
Wow what a month of December we’ve just had! It is amazing the amount of snow that three major storms brought us in Vancouver and other parts of the country. I haven’t seen or shovelled so much snow since I was in my elementary years growing up in Surrey, BC. Although all the shovelling and absurd driving conditions is hard to take, the beauty of the snow covered trees and mountains certainly makes up for some of the negative aspects of Mother Nature’s work. Even though I’ve really had my fill of the white flakes of wonder, I’m certainly not looking forward to the slush and floods which will be the after-effects of all this. Please be careful and drive with extra caution during this period, and to our seniors, please bundle up properly and be careful walking down the streets and sidewalks. Everyone—please be respectful of others.
Just to keep you abreast of the sakura trees at Oppenheimer Park—the City of Vancouver has committed to work with the Coalition to Save the Legacy Sakura, maintaining 11 of the remaining legacy sakura originally planted by our issei pioneers. Building a new field house as part of the redevelopment required removal of three sakura, two of which were kwanzan trees and one, an akebono. The two kwanzan were destroyed in November with inadequate warning, despite the Coalition’s request to the City to be given notice. The Coalition is now concerned about the scheduled transplant of the remaining Akebono tree. For the Coalition, the expected transparent and cooperative working relationship with the City of Vancouver has so far not been achieved. The Coalition is meeting with the City in early January to see whether this situation can be rectified. As commemorative work regarding the Legacy Sakura remains to be completed, it is really important that the City, Vancouver Parks Board and the Coalition establish a respectful and effective working relationship.
Upcoming in the month of January will be the GVJCCA Keiro-kai which will be held Saturday, January 10 from 12noon to about 3pm at Nikkei Place, 6688 Southoaks Crescent in Burnaby. All those who are over 70 years of age, please register through Tonari Gumi (604.687.2172). We will be providing another excellent program honouring all our Nikkei seniors who have served our community so graciously over the years. Those of you who wish to volunteer please contact Shag Ando at 604.922.9226.
Just a reminder, the annual Nikkei Community New Year’s party will be held at Nikkei Place on Saturday January 17. Tickets are available through Nikkei Place and the GVJCCA. Please phone 604.777.7000 for additional information.
The GVJCCA will be holding a Valentine’s Day Dance on Saturday February 14 at Nikkei Place. This will be our second dance and first fundraiser for 2009. There will be prizes, snacks and DJ music. Tickets ($25) and information are available through the GVJCCA at 604.777.5222 or Nikkei Place. The aim is to help raise funds for the GVJCCA so that we can provide information through workshops and sessions on various aspects of human rights, Japanese Canadian immigration laws and social justice issues pertinent to the Nikkei community.
The GVJCCA will be holding its annual AGM on Saturday March 14 in the GVJCCA office from 2-4pm. We are always looking for individuals who are interested in helping the community in all areas of community development, social justice, human rights, Japanese immigration and Nikkei community relations. Please come and attend. If you would like more information, please contact the GVJCCA office.
Have a great month.