Robert McQuillan

Robert McQuillan

Fundraising finished for this year’s Ohtaki delegation

10 Lake Cowichan students will soon head to Ohtaki, Japan.

With fundraising now finished and July quickly approaching, a group of students from Lake Cowichan School are now getting ready to make the annual excursion to Lake Cowichan’s sister town of Ohtaki, Japan, where they will represent our town while sightseeing and experiencing Japanese culture on the way.

The group of ten students worked year-round to raise money for the trip, which costs $2400 for each student. While the families of the students typically pay $600 to 1000 for the trip, the remaining cost is raised by the students themselves. This year, the young delegates sold Purdy’s chocolates, hot dogs, baked goods and Christmas crafts, as well as holding two bottle drives, the annual Junk in the Trunk event, a meat sale, a raffle for Vancouver Canucks tickets and also teamed up with the Cowichan Lake and District Chamber of Commerce for a metal drive.

Along with the ten students, ages 15 to 17, four more delegates will be joining them on the trip: councillor Tim McGonigle, councillor Lorna Vomacka, and former LCS teachers Duncan Brown and Mark Davis.

The delegation will begin their trip in Ohtaki itself, where they will attend a banquet celebrating the relationship between the two towns, as well as visiting the town hall and schools of Ohtaki. While in Ohtaki, the delegates will be staying with homestay families for the week.

“The Ohtaki kids came here in October, and stayed with families here,” organizer Kristy Convery said. “So a lot of the kids on the trip will be staying with the families of the kids that stayed with them last year.”

“Your homestay family won’t let you spend any money, they are very generous people,” Mayor Ross Forrest, who went with the delegation last year, said. “I wasn’t looking forward to going to Japan too much [in 2013], but it was well worth the effort. We had a very special 10 days and I would go again in a heartbeat. It’s a great experience for the kids.”

After leaving Ohtaki, the group will head for Sapporo, and make stops at a volcano, waterfall and Buddhist shrine before heading to Tokyo.

“The trip is a bit different each time,” Convery said.

The delegation will also be presenting a gift to the Town of Ohtaki — a First Nations sculpture carved from yellow cedar that Robert McQuillan, one of the students going on the trip, received from his grandmother. Yellow cedar is a prized material in Japan.

“The kids were really excited once the airfare was purchased,” Convery said. “I think that once we had everything in place the reality hit them. It’s been a long year of planning and fundraising.”

Just Posted

Robert's column
Robert Barron column: Skyrocketing house prices a tragedy

North Cowichan councillor Rosalie Sawrie brought an interesting perspective to a discussion… Continue reading

Soaker hoses laid down over corn seedlings, soon to be covered with mulch, will see to the watering needs of the bed through any summer drought. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Investing in soaker hoses is money well-spent

No-till gardening has a distinct advantage during drought

Karl McPherson, left, and Mary Morrice are the new head coach and general manager, respectively, at the Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Manager charts a new course for Duncan Dynamics

More recreational programs to join competitive teams

Cute but fierce! Timber moonlights as an attack kitty. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Beware of Mr. Bite, the midnight attacker

Last week, in the middle of the night, I was awoken by… Continue reading

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read