Judy Terry, Chair
Tom Curtin, Vice-Chair
Concord and its Japanese sister city Nanae have had a busy year together. In April the Concord-Carlisle High School Band toured Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, as it had done in 1998 and 2004. The trip began in Sapporo where, as official representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Concert Band presented gifts from Governor Patrick to Hokkaido’s Vice-Governor and played a joint concert with the Sapporo Shiroishi Symphonic Wind Ensemble in the famous Kitara Hall. The students had home stays with the Shiroishi students and took part in a number of cross-cultural experiences.
From Sapporo, the Concert Band drove in a snow storm to the Prince Hotel in Nanae where they were welcomed by Nanae Mayor Nakamiya and hundreds of Nanae citizens for the official Tenth Anniversary Celebration. After statements by Mayor Nakamiya and Tom Curtin, the signing agreements and gifts were exchanged. The elegant buffet and entertainment that followed were a wonderful introduction to Nanae for the students. The following days were filled with home stays, two concerts, cultural activities, and an environmental conference with students from Nanae.
In October, Nanae sent its annual delegation to Concord. In addition to seven students who did home stays with CCHS students, the delegation included a Nanae CityTown administrator, Nanae High School’s band director, three farmers, and Concord’s Whitney Warren who is currently working for the Nanae Town International Relations Section.
Young farmers from Sister City Nanae visited at Gaining Ground the organic farm on Virginia Road.
The delegation was welcomed at the Town House by Selectman Greg Howes and Town Manager Chris Whelan, as well as former Selectmen Carrie Flood, Art Fulman, Jim Terry and Judy Terry who were in Nanae in 1997 for the original signing ceremony. The remainder of the day consisted of visits to CityConcord’s historical sites, a luncheon at cchs hosted by Principal Peter Badalament, and an evening social at the home of Jim and Judy Terry. Visits to Colonial Gardens, Verrill Farm, Hutchins Farm, Gaining Ground and the Thoreau Birth House gave the Nanae farmers an opportunity to learn about Concord’s agricultural past and present. Additional events were a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Richard Warren and Nancy Kerr, a day at Sturbridge Village, and a final dinner at Legal Seafoods. Concordians Junko Kargula and Kimiko Furutani served as interpreters during the five-day visit.
Each fall during its Cultural Day National Holiday, Nanae CityTown recognizes citizens who have made significant contributions to the town. Delegation leader Mr. Masayuki Yoshida presented Tom and Susan Curtin one of this year’s awards in appreciation of their contributions to the sister city relationship through school and cultural exchanges.
The local costs of hosting the October Nanae delegation to Concord were raised at the Japan Initiative Art Sale at CCHS in December 2006. No town or school funds were used for any of the above activities.