A living Canadian treasure
We learn daily of actions taken by people that disappoint us. Many of such actions are done for selfish reasons or with the aim of causing harm to others who are perceived as holding beliefs that are antithetical to our own beliefs. It is difficult not to be guilty ourselves of such actions. As a kind of antidote to all this, we can, for example, look to nature, the arts, philosophy or religion to find a measure of solace in life. As one specific example, it is possible to find inspiration in the teachings of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama believes that love of one’s neighbour, kindness and compassion are the essential and universal elements preached by all religions. The following are two of his famous quotes: “Be kind whenever possible: It is always possible.” and “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others: And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
I am fortunate to have belonged to a number of societies who by their deeds and actions embody the principles found in the Dalai Lama’s teachings. This includes my past or present membership in Lions International, Tonari Gumi and the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens Association. When we have a special event to both honour the past and celebrate the future of such organizations, we should be grateful for the opportunity to participate in such an event. We have such an opportunity on Saturday, June 8 from 6:00 pm at the Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant in Vancouver. The event jointly celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Tonari Gumi and the 60th Anniversary of the GVJCCA. All proceeds will go in support of the “Home Away from Home” initiative coordinated by Tonari Gumi and the GVJCCA. A visual history will be presented by Tamio Wakayama. The Bulletin’s own John Greenaway will be MC. Besides the keynote speech of Joy Kogawa, we will be treated to a number of speeches from individuals representing the past and present of both organizations. I would like to single out one individual who will be speaking at the event: Gordon Kadota.
Japan celebrates “living national treasures.” I think we have a “living Canadian treasure” in Gordon Kadota. He has been a tireless supporter of many clubs and societies serving the community in Greater Vancouver. He has also been a generous donor to many clubs and societies. I have been lucky to have gotten to know Gordon quite well the past few years. My admiration of Gordon and my appreciation of what he means to our community increases the more I learn about him. Further, I want to thank Gordon for being a great person to spend time with. He has a wonderful sense of humour. Please refer to my two Dalai Lama quotes. Gordon exemplifies the principles found in those quotes. Thank you Gordon.
Gary Matson, President, GVJCCA