VIDEO: Lake Cowichan celebrates 30 years of friendship with Ohtaki

Fun, festivity, and friendship were in the air Oct. 12 at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena’s multi-purpose room as the Ohtaki visit wound up with a big, boisterous banquet.

The group from Lake Cowichan’s sister community in Japan arrived in town in the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 10 for a welcome barbecue before going home with their host families.

On Oct. 11, after some time with their families, they visited Lake Cowichan First Nation, and then spent the afternoon at Lake Cowichan School for events organized especially for them.

Sightseeing at the Kaatza Station Museum, Saywell Park, the Forest Workers Memorial Park, Ohtaki Park, and the Duck Pond and local shopping in Lake Cowichan then led to a supper of pizza and sushi and then some fun carving pumpkins at the municipal hall.

Friday, Oct. 12 saw the Japanese visitors and their hosts spending some time in Youbou, bowling, playing pickleball, and having lunch before enjoying some free time with their host families.

Then it was time for the community banquet, a joyful occasion filled with laughter and entertainment as old friends reconnected and new friends forged ties that may last a lifetime.

After a free day on Saturday, the group was off. Until next time.

Two-month old Asher Fleming shows off his Ohtaki-Lake Cowichan pin at the banquet winding up the biennial visit of the delegation from Ohtaki. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Piper Joel Bailey entertains the crowd at the Ohatki banquet in Lake Cowichan on Friday, Oct. 12. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
It’s been 30 years since the first Lake Cowichan-Ohtaki exchange visits. Here are some souvenirs of those years.
A class from the junior high school in Ohtaki prepares to speak to the crowd at the banquet. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
The students of the Ohtaki delegation pose with Lake Cowichan dignitaries following a gift exchange at the end of the banquet. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
The Lake Cowichan Tenors perform at the Ohtaki banquet at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena Oct. 12. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest thanks the Ohtaki delegation for their visit. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
The Ohtaki kids enjoy checking out the arena before heading in to the wind-up banquet. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
“Country road, take me home”, sing the students from Ohtaki. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Part of the entertainment at the banquet were some traditional Scottish tunes by piper Joel Bailey. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
The multi-purpose room at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena is decorated in an autumn scene for the Ohtaki banquet. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Several members of the audience join the Lake Cowichan Tenors in singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Good-sport Yoshinori Kageyame, superintendent for the Date City school district, centre, joins Elvin Hedden, left, and Dave Darling, right, of the Lake Cowichan Tenors in a rousing conclusion to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Yoshinori Kageyame and Ross Forrest exchange gifts on behalf of their two communities. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Yoshinori Kageyame urges Lake Cowichan to increase its efforts to send people to Japan to visit because in these days cultural exchange is more important than ever. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
The students thank the Town of Lake Cowichan and their host families for a great visit. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Just Posted

Forest co-op will be soon be giving money away

Cowichan Lake residents and groups will be able to apply in a couple of months

City of Duncan conducts third Citizen Survey

Survey will be held from March 20 to April 3

Drivesmart column: Intersection Watch sees many drives who don’t know the rules

321 drivers executed either a rolling stop or no stop at all.

Shawnigan Lake residents rally to rebuild memorial bus shelter

Nick’s Stop is a reminder for all to slow down

Cowichan Valley U18 Silver boys’ team’s historic run ends in semis

The successful season that saw the Cowichan Valley U18 Silver boys win… Continue reading

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Coming up in Cowichan: World Water Day

Shawnigan Lake marks World Water Day Got clean local water? “The ability… Continue reading

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Most Read