Community tea for sister city Wakayama

If you’ve got a story to share about your sister city connection to Wakayama, then you’re invited to a community tea on Monday afternoon at Steveston-London Secondary.

Sylvia Gwozd, chair of Richmond sister-city committee, told The Richmond Review the mayor of Wakayama and members of that Japanese city’s council are flying into town on Sunday, and will be participating in the community tea from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

With the 40th anniversary of Richmond’s sister-city relationship with Wakayama taking place next year, organizers wanted to give the community an opportunity to share their stories, photos and memories with Wakayama’s city council.

A book is being written on the history of Richmond’s relationship with Wakayama, and Monday’s gathering, inside Steveston-London’s library, will collect information for the book’s author.

Wakayama council is in town until mid-week, and will be participating in cultural activities, visiting the Alexandra District Energy Utility, which uses geothermal energy to heat and cool some 500 new residential units, and plans to visit the city’s Sharing Farm.

Gwozd said the city has forged a strong bond with the people of Wakayama, especially through the exchange program.

“The richness of the homestay experience is something that can’t be duplicated in any number of tourist trips,” Gwozd said. Even after just three of four days, students from Richmond and Wakayama find a connection despite the differences in culture and language.

“I think this is something very special that our world needs to experience.”

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