Exchange of gifts celebrates 20th anniversary
  • Tuesday 22 November 2016
Tatebayashi delegation at Australia Zoo

The exchanging of gifts in Caloundra has marked the 20th anniversary of the sister city agreement between the Sunshine Coast and Tatebayashi in Japan.

The agreement was signed on July 9, 1996 at an official ceremony at the Nambour Civic Centre and since that time, the bonds between Sunshine Coast and Tatebayashi, located in the Gunma Prefecture around 80km north of Tokyo, have continued to grow.

The artistic gift presented to the Japanese delegation today features 20 copper leaf forms to celebrate 20 years of friendship with the leaves riveted to steel rods using copper rivets from Tatebayashi.

It was created by local artist Barry Smith, who has visited Tatebayashi on a number of occasions with Sunshine Coast Sister Cities artist exchanges.

He also created a single leaf for each member of the delegation to keep as a momento of their visit.

Councillor Assisting the Mayor of International Relations Jenny McKay received a gift on behalf of Sunshine Coast Council from the Tatebayashi delegation in return.

“I’m particularly heartened by the intention of Tatebayashi to continue with the development of these links,” Cr McKay said.

“Those of us who have been fortunate to have travelled to Tatebayashi continue to hold very fond memories of our visits.

“I believe we have so much to gain through co-operation with each other.

“During my time at Sunshine Coast Council I’ve been fortunate to meet a number of visiting school groups and I know that the school exchange which is assisted through the Matthew Flinders College is of great and lasting benefit.

“It’s particularly appropriate that these exchanges should focus on the young because they represent our future and I hope that we have young people here in Sunshine Coast and in Tatebayashi who are developing lasting friendships.

“Like Tatebayashi, Sunshine Coast is extremely proud of our natural environment and we work hard as a council to promote environmentally friendly practices and to protect the amenity which is valued by the community.

“We look forward to many more years of friendship.”

Pic: Members of the Tatebayashi delegation visited Australia Zoo as part of their Sunshine Coast stay