Regular (and discerning) Bulletin readers will notice an unusual heft to this issue. While some of this can be attributed to some weighty content, it is due in large part to the inclusion of a 16-page survey by the Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society (it starts on page 25). The mainstream media has made much of the aging of the population and our community is no different—the need for senior housing and health care will only continue to increase. If you are a senior, please fill out this survey and return it to the NSHCHS. If you are not a senior yourself but have elderly relatives, please encourage them to take the time to complete it. While the information from a single form may appear insignificant on its own, cumulatively the data will provide an overall picture of the needs that seniors require and will go a long way towards helping the Society plan for the future.
In a similar vein, page 12 contains a notice of a Special General Meeting for members of the JCCA (if you receive The Bulletin in the mail, you are a member!). This is an important meeting in that it deals with a proposed collaboration between the JCCA and Tonari Gumi in support of seniors in our community. Both organizations have a long history of vital community work and your support and input is welcomed.
The JCCA and The Bulletin have had an office in the Nikkei Centre since it opened in 2000 and we are happy to be part of the Nikkei Place community. Congratulations to the society that runs the Centre and Museum for their new name and logo. While the name change—from the National Nikkei Museum & Heritage Centre to the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre—is not a seismic shift, it is important in that it further defines the identity of the society and the Centre. The new logo, which differentiates the Centre from the Nikkei Place complex (which retains it’s familiar crane logo), speaks to the issues of clarity and identity—an important currency in these days of media and information saturation.
This month’s issue spotlights the many initiatives ongoing within our Canadian Nikkei community, from the aforementioned Health Care survey and Tonari Gumi expansion to the Hastings Park redevelopment (page44) and honourary degrees for former UBC students (page 14). The common theme of these stories is people working hard behind the scenes for the betterment of our community, seniors in particular, but ultimately all of us. Together they make up an identity that we can all be proud of.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank everyone who sent cards or e-mails following the passing of my mother at the send of December. Although she spent the last years of her life in Nelson, she touched the lives of many within the Vancouver Nikkei community during the many years she and my father lived on Union Street in Strathcona. When I first came on board as English editor of The Bulletin in September of 1993 I joked that I would be forever known as “Fumiko’s son.” It is title I will gladly carry through the rest of my days.