To the Editor
A Tribute to George Oikawa
As I opened to page 12 of the December issue of The Bulletin and saw the smiling face of George Oikawa I felt such a deep sense of loss. What a wonderful friend and staunch supporter he had been to the Asahis. Whatever he undertook, it was with total dedication.
In the summer of 1994, I first met George at the Powell Street Festival. We had been invited to set up an Asahi forum at the Festival. Three Asahi players, Kay Kaminishi, Ken Kutsukake, Mickey Terakita and former RCMP Jack Duggan, made up the panel. That is when George Oikawa came up to us and said he wished to speak to Ken Kutsukake, his baseball idol.
We asked George to join us. He has always been a loyal Asahi fan and he went to great lengths to promote the Vancouver Asahi Baseball Team. In 2001 I met George again when I was invited to work on the Asahi Exhibit for the National Nikkei Museum with Grace Thomson.
I realized what a valuable volunteer worker he was. Through the years until the final completion of the Asahi Exhibit: Levelling the Playing Field in 2005, and even beyond, George always came up with great ideas and brought them to a successful fruition. If there were obstacles, and I know there were many, he would quietly find a solution, never losing his “cool”. During the later years, both George and his wife had not been well but that did not deter him from carrying out his many projects.
I join the Nikkei community in gratitude to George Oikawa and will miss his smiling countenance.
Pat Adachi, Toronto