Port Hardy set to welcome Numata visitors

A delegation from Port Hardy's sister town, Numata, is set to arrive next week

We all know what it’s like: a much anticipated visit from family, that for ages seemed to be several flips of the calendar pages in the future, is, quite suddenly, this week! Plans kick into high gear to iron out last minute details, the weather forecast is warily checked with fingers crossed.

So it was at a recent meeting of the Port Hardy Twinning Society whose members are excited to be once again hosting Port Hardy’s “Sister” town of Numata, Japan, from July 17-24.

Port Hardy has a strong relationship with Numata, a small town of about 4000 people from the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, that goes back nearly 20 years.

Exchange trips between the two “North Island” communities alternate each year. Port Hardy representatives last visited Numata in August 2009, a trip fondly remembered for the generous hospitality of the hosts and a week crammed with local sightseeing.

A highlight was the participation in Numata’s famous “Yotaka Andon Festival”, an event featuring  colorfully lit, seven-metre-tall “andons” (lanterns) that are paraded through the streets accompanied by community members dancing, playing flutes and pounding on Taiko drums. Excitement builds at intervals along the routes as two andons line up and crash into each other in a bamboo-splitting duel.

Our Numata “family” most recently visited Port Hardy in July 2010 and were treated to week of Canadian culture, including living with home-stay families, hikes on the west coast beaches, a tour a logging operation, canoeing, pot-lucks and barbecues. Trepidation was overcome as they gamely helped build and paddle in the annual Filomi Days boat building competition.

This year’s delegation will again experience five days of the best that the North Island has to offer, such as a whale-watching trip, a hike along the new Storey’s Beach-to-Hardy Bay “Commuter Trail”, a night of camping in tents at Quatse campground, taking in the Triport Speedway stock car races and, of course, once again marching in the Filomi Days parade and braving the waves of Hardy Bay in a make-shift boat.

The tsunami disaster in March of 2011 precluded Port Hardy’s visit to Japan that year. Thankfully, Numata is well inland from the coast and was not damaged in the earthquake or subsequent tsunami. However, it was felt that it would be inappropriate to expect hospitality mere months after the national emergency. Instead, the Port Hardy Twinning Society organized a “Japan March” and fundraising event with proceeds directed to the Red Cross crisis relief efforts.

Our Japanese guests will be in town until Tuesday, July 24. All are encouraged to greet our visitors with a warm North Island welcome when you see them around town, and to give them a cheer in the parade and boat building competition.

The Port Hardy Twinning Society is always open to new members. Our next turn for the exchange trip will come in the summer of 2013.  Contact Leslie at 949-2315 for info.

A travel blog article about the Yotaka Andon Festival can be found at http://charleshamel.com/2010/09/17/numata-yotaka-andon-festival/ and a You Tube video of the “dueling andons” is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6kJm1oju50.

English-language travel sites, such as http://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/hokkaido/index.html, provide lots of information about visiting Hokkaido, or better yet, talk to one of the Twinning Society members about their experience.

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy Fire Rescue responded to an early morning fire around 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 13. Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-949-6335. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Firefighters respond to early morning fire near visitor centre in Port Hardy

Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Dr. Prean Armogam hands over a cheque for $10,000 to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society president Rosaline Glynn. The money will be going towards a new roof for the Port Hardy seniors centre. This is the second donation Dr. Armogam has made to the society, giving them $5,000 a little over a year ago. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Doctor donates $10k to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society for new roof

This was the second donation Armogam has given to the society

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Blueprints for the seniors housing project in Port Hardy. (North Island Seniors Housing Foundation photo)
BC Housing declines North Island Seniors Housing Foundation’s proposal to build units

BC Housing will be explaining why exactly the project was declined at a June 18 meeting

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read