The month of January has come and gone by very quickly. As of February 3, 2011, the Year of the Rabbit begins. The Rabbit is said to be the happiest sign of the Zodiac—gifted, nice to be with, refined, reserved, ambitious but not too much and be virtuous. Nobody ignores the Rabbit, as the Rabbit is lucky. With intelligence and hard work, a Rabbit can go far in life. I hope we all know a person who is born in the Year of the Rabbit.
On January 8, the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association held its Keiro-kai for all its members who were 70 years of age or older. Everyone at this event, held at Nikkei Place in Burnaby, enjoyed an excellent bento from Fujiya and a great selection of entertainment. I personally would like to thank all who volunteered, especially everyone from Tonari Gumi. Without their efforts coordinating the registration of the 180-plus seniors who attended, we would not have been able to hold this great event. Thanks also go to the many donors who provided gifts for many of our senior attendees—they are listed on page 18.
On March 19, 2011, the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadians Citizens’ Association will be holding its Annual General Meeting from 2 – 4 PM in the GVJCCA office at the Nikkei Centre. We will be accepting nominations for our Board of Directors for the upcoming terms. The GVJCCA will be seeking individuals who will be able to work within the Japanese Canadian community and its budgetary confines in maintaining its mandate and its purposes. If you are not aware of some of the purposes, they are outlined below:
• developing and maintaining a communication network with multicultural societies in Canada and internationally
• promoting the appreciation and study of the arts and culture of Japanese Canadians through the organization of community and cultural events
• educating the Canadian public about the history and cultural heritage of Japanese Canadians and the preservation of these values
• the education of the citizens of Canada in the various responsibilities expected in Canadian citizenship
• protecting and promoting the rights and freedoms of all individuals without any discriminatory practices
• and publishing a forum in the means of a journal for issues significant to its members, persons with Japanese ancestry and others of interest.
At this AGM we will be outlining some of the anticipated plans to renovate the 511 Broadway location, where Tonari Gumi is presently located. This much-needed renovation would require meeting provincial and municipal standards for electrical, plumbing and parking, fixing a leaking roof, and much-needed added space for seniors programming. Tonari Gumi, as you probably already know, provides many programs for new immigrants and Japanese Canadian seniors which are invaluable to our aging community. These renovations require a lot of support from the GVJCCA membership and the Japanese Canadian community. Please join us in working to building a stronger tomorrow for our children and children’s children and our aging Nikkei Community.
Have a great month.
Thanks, Ron Nishimura