The rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the delegation from Shiraoi, but it did stop them from golfing.
The mayor of Shiraoi, Ahiko Toda came with the 11-person delegation, the first time in over a decade the mayor of Shiraoi has come to Quesnel.
Mayors Mary Sjostrom and Toda took the chance to meet and discuss the future of the 32 year-old relationship between the cities.
“We had a good opportunity to discuss the future of the twinning as a city and with all our partners,” Sjostrom said.
Toda enjoyed his time here in Quesnel, taking interest in our history as he toured the museum.
“I’m impressed by Quesnel’s history and want to see more,” he said.
He noted the similarities between the two city’s histories and the interactions with native cultures; Shiraoi has an Ainu village/museum which commemorates the culture of the Ainu people, the native people of Hokkaido.
He was also surprised, he said, by our base of volunteers.
“The people of Quesnel are very involved in their volunteer societies,” he said.
The delegation arrived Oct. 3 and was greeted by their billets and Mounties in red serge, who were happy to take pictures with the delegation.
Friday was full of activity. The day started with a tour of West Fraser Mills, before the delegation split in two – one half went shopping while the other met with city officials at City Hall.
After lunch, the delegation visited the college, before going to play soccer at the QYSA’s facilities. The day ended with a visit to the Art Gallery and the Garden at the Arts and Rec Centre and a dinner together hosted by the city.
A couple of outdoor activities were cancelled due to rain on Saturday, including a walk on the River Front Trail and a round of golf at the Quesnel Golf Course. The delegation did , however, still get to go to the museum, the Farmer’s Market and visit Moose Meadows Farm.
Organizers were happy with the weekend and are looking forward to 2015, when the Twinning Society has agreed to send, and welcome, a delegation from Quesnel to Shiraoi.
Doug Jameson, a member of the Twinning Society, said the society is currently trying to bump up membership in the group as members are flagging. He hopes to have more support by 2015.