Sidney Sister Cities always a learning opportunity

October trip saw mayor, delegates tour Niimi, Japan.

Sidney Mayor Steve Price presented Mayor of Niimi

Sidney Sister Cities Association took a recent trip to Niimi, Japan, building relationships and learning more about their sister city.

From Oct. 12 to 19, a group of eight went to the small town up in the mountains, with Mayor Steve Price joining, along with his wife.

“It was a positively wonderful amazing trip,” Price told the PNR. “It’s kind of hard to put it into words, just to be exposed to the culture over there and just the warmth and the friendliness of the people and just how organized they are too …”

Sidney has been a sister city with Niimi since 2008. On  July 1, the mayor and councillors from Niimi visited Sidney and they had an official signing of the charter outside of Sidney’s Pier Hotel. Sidney has also had students from there come and visit as well.

The group went on tours in the Niimi area, looking at different sites of interest including the limestone caves and a resort well known in Japan.

They also attended what the community called a Samurai Parade, which is celebrated like a public holiday.

“It’s an interesting parade because (during) the first half of the parade you have all the samurai warriors coming through in their formal dress, formal parade dress, and everybody watching has to sit down on the ground and you’re not allowed to talk. You’re in absolute silence until the samurai section of the parade goes through,” said Bob McLure, past-president of the Association and chair of the organization’s annual calendar project.

The latter half of the parade sees everybody celebrating and they have dragons come through, with it being good luck if one of the pseudo dragons taps a baby on the head, which is one of the big highlights.

The group was invited as the official guests and they had cushions to sit on when watching the parade.

“You’re not supposed to be higher than the shrines,” said current President of Sidney Sister Cities Association, Lesley Nicholls.

“Having Mayor Price there made a big difference. We had front row seats and a specially assigned area to sit … because the Japanese are still very hierarchical in their authority line,” added McLure.

Price said a neat part of the trip was that the group from Sidney appeared on the local Japanese television every night, with programming based around their visit.

“What was really interesting is they had a television camera crew follow us around for the full five days and then they interviewed us at all the various events that we went to,” he said.

He added they would walk around to different events and people would recognize them as the people from Sidney, Canada.

One of the things the group in Sidney asked to see when visiting Niimi was their sewage treatment facility, which Nicholls says is just amazing.

“It’s totally underground and state of the art,” she said.

“The whole thing is computer driven so it’s all programmed and as Lesley says its all underground so it’s not a blot on the horizon,” added McLure.

Just Posted

More buoys allowed for Brentwood Bay

Proposed number rises from 40 to 60

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Peninsula speed skating duo aiming for the national stage

Pair opted to train in long track skating this season for the first time

Tent city resident just wants a home

Roving tent city has made its way to Central Saanich

Island Health, service providers meeting to talk about used needles in Victoria

Recent public needle-prick incidents prompt call to reduce number of needles found

Sidney’s Salish Sea aquarium to close for maintenance

First extended closure for the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea since it opened in 2009

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

Injured parachutist wants stolen backpack back

Bag contained important video files of 2017 parachuting incident

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read