Sasebo delegates celebrate 20 years
IF it's Coffs Harbour culture they seek, then a Japanese delegation we're hosting is in for a real treat.
Sasebo Mayor, Norio Tomonaga, and his wife, Takako, are leading a 52-strong touring party, which is here to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the sister-city agreement between Coffs Harbour and Sasebo.
A highlight of their flying visit will be today's Gold Cup Race Day and a trip to the Japanese Garden at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden.
The group will also take in Southern Cross University, Bishop Druitt College, Coffs Harbour Community Village and the city council headquarters.
Mr Tomonaga said there had been youth and cultural exchanges between the cities over the years, and he hoped this program would continue.
He also hoped the relationship was 'further deepened', and he was keen to see our Japanese garden where specialists from Sasebo had spent time in May.
Coffs Harbour Mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, was thrilled to greet the delegation yesterday.
“I am very much looking forward to treating you all to the wonderful hospitality you treated us to when we visited your city last year,” Cr Rhoades said.
“I have many, many happy and vivid memories of that trip.”
He told the group the welcome they would receive from the local community would be a warm one.
Cr Rhoades said the partnership had flourished into an important aspect of Coffs Harbour's identity.
“Over that time, people from both cities have developed cultural, educational, sporting and personal links that have built on our relationship,” the mayor said.