Hawaii Kai Lions District 50 - Club Number 14324

3/26-28/2024 – Nagoya Joto Lions Club 55

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Submitted by David Iwana

It happens only once every five years, and this year was the year!  Our sister club, the Nagoya Joto Lions, had their 55th Charter Anniversary Celebration on March 27, 2024, in Nagoya, Japan.  It was a fabulous banquet night, with a program that included singing, speeches, a gourmet meal, and an unusual Chinese Lion Dance (it’s good luck if the Lion eats your head)!  Of a special note, during their media presentation, the club honored their members that have recently passed, with the inclusion of a photo of our own Lion Stan Ito.  Outgoing President Isao Matsumoto graciously handed over the gavel to the incoming President, Lion Takayuki Tsuboi, who was also the Master of Ceremony for the event that numbered 130 attendees.  Our President Yolisa Ishibashi gave an opening address and a “We Serve” toast to start off the evening festivities!

We were the only sister club present, as the Korea Lions were unable to attend.  However, the neighboring Ishikawa Lions Club was invited to attend, whose community recently suffered severe earthquake damage.  A substantial donation by many individual Lions was presented to the Ishikawa Lions to help the affected victims.  At the end of the evening, an abundance of omiyage (gifts) were exchanged by members of both the Nagoya Joto Lions and Hawaii Kai Lions.

There was a Welcome Dinner the evening before the banquet night, held at one of the Lion member’s restaurant.  It was an unbelievable meal to remember, followed by an after party at a bar, the local hangout of Lion Shigeo Okada. Great times had by all!  The day after the banquet night, the Nagoya Joto Lions took us on an excursion to the preserved Municipal Museum and the beautiful Tokugawaen garden.  In this ancient garden, the Nagoya Joto Lions had a bridge constructed to highlight the koi filled lake.  At the end of the day, a Farewell Party was at a member’s country club.  All in all, the entire 3-day visit to Nagoya was the experience of a lifetime!

Enjoying the festivities from our club were Lions Yolisa Ishibashi, Frances Lum, Cynthia Chun, David Iwana, John Kratochvil, and CIS Iris Iwana.  In 5 years, the Nagoya Joto Lions will be celebrating their 60th anniversary, allowing our club another opportunity to visit Nagoya!

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