Temora celebrates 35 years of friendship with Sister City Izumizaki

Published on 17 June 2024


On Tuesday 11 June, the Temora Shire community and Sister City Committee gathered at the Temora Shire Library to commemorate 35 years of friendship with Sister City, Imumizaki, Japan.

A Sister City relationship is an agreement between two cities or councils, where each city or council agrees to promote mutual understanding, friendship and professional conduct for the benefit of both communities and the promotion of local government and world peace. Sister City relationships help develop enduring networks of communication between the cities of the world to cut across boundaries and reduce the likelihood of polarisation and conflict among nations.

The agreement was formalised on 22 July 1989 when Peter (the Mayor at the time) and Helen Speirs as Council representatives travelled to Izumizaki and were warmly welcomed by the community and council of Izumizaki. Peter Speirs spoke of his fond visits and memories during many visits to Izumizaki.

“The strong parallels between our communities were evident from the very beginning. Both were providing for their children, their citizens, their elderly in the best ways possible, looking forward to the future, not dwelling on the past,” said Mr Peter Speirs OAM

Exchange between the two cities have included visits of community members, council representatives, school children, and even teacher exchanges between the two communities. Sister City Committee Chair Cr Jason Goode announced an invitation from Mayor Norikatsu Yannai to our residents to visit Izumizaki this year on 25-26 October.

“Council has already received great interest from past and present committee members to join the once in a lifetime experience. The trip brings our community opportunity to step outside the regular ‘tourist’ destinations and immerse yourself in the true culture of a Japanese city,” said Cr Goode.

“Due to several unfortunate circumstances, such as earthquakes and subsequent tsunami, and covid lockdowns, visits between the countries have declined. However, both cities are ready to reinvigorate visits,” explained Cr Goode.

Gifts celebrating the friendship have both been highly regarded by both councils over the years. Gifts from Temora have included a painting of a local landscape by Norma Gilchrist, a quilted wall hanging depicting both communities by Diane Harper, Temora woollen wedding gown, and a wooden memory box from local school children organised by Amanda Gai McCrone and made by Ken Smith. In return Temora community received a Japanese wedding kimono, Izumizaki pottery, and a stone obelisk for Lake Centenary, as well as Japanese flowering cherry trees.

After researching local artisans, the committee decided 35 years would be celebrated with a landscape quilt by Carol Glasgow, which depicts various elements of the Temora Shire, and a piece of gold leaf embroidery by Roz Langford depicting the milestone in Japanese.

The beautiful landscape quilt designed by Carol illustrates ‘Temora on The Canola Trail’. It depicts the Narraburra Hills, a yellow flowering canola crop, the man-made Lake Centenary and very popular Lake Loop Walking Track. The red flowering indigenous “Ironbark” eucalyptus sideroxylon rosea together with Pelicans

are also included. The quilt was designed and constructed by Carol using techniques of torn strips, fussy cutting, raw edge applique and free-motion domestic machine quilting.

The exquisite fine gold leaf embroidery prepared by Roz Langford expresses the cause for the celebration written in Japanese. It is surrounded by the natural red flowering indigenous “Ironbark” eucalyptus sideroxylon rosea emblem of Temora as well.

The gifts are now finished and able to be presented to the Izumizaki community. This may be through the Japanese consulate in Sydney or personally by resident/s of Temora should a visit be made to Izumizaki. Before they leave, make sure you visit Temora Shire Library to see them in person, or contact Council on 6980 1100 to express your interest in joining our community trip in October.