Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Presentation on Sunday, February 3rd

On Sunday, February 3, 2013 Tonari Gumi and the Nikkei Seniors Health Care & Housing Society hosted a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal presentation ceremony at Nikkei Place for some 48 individuals from within the Japanese Canadian community in the Greater Vancouver area.  They were supported by some 300 relatives, friends and supporters who gathered to honour the recipients.  Also in attendance were Consul General of Japan, Seiji Okada; Member of Parliament, Peter Julian;  B.C. Minister of State for Small Business, Naomi Yamamoto; MLA Raj Chouhan; and Vancouver City Councillor, Kerry Jang.

Adding a colourful touch and to represent the Queen, Sergeant-Major John Buis of the RCMP, led the processional of the medal recipients into the hall.  The actual medals and certificates from the Governor General of Canada were presented by Heidi Hamano, Vice-Chair of Tonari Gumi and Ruth Coles, President of the Nikkei Seniors Health Care & Housing Society.  Background music and the accompaniment for O’Canada were provided by Jane Iwaasa.  Assistance and refreshments at the presentation event were provided by Tonari Gumi volunteers, the NNM&CC Auxiliary, Cosmos.Seminar volunteers and the Nikkei Place volunteers.  Flowers were provided by Baxter-Kobe Florist.

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created by the Government of Canada to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.  As such, the medal is a visible and tangible way to recognize some 60,000 outstanding Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life, who have built and continue to build this caring society and country through their service, contributions and achievements.

In referring to those nominated for the medal from within the Japanese Community in the Lower Mainland, Tonari Gumi Chair, Joji Kumagai stated that, “they helped create a strong, compassionate and caring community and because of their service our community and our country is that much stronger.” Ruth Coles, president of Nikkei Seniors Health Care & Housing Society noted that, “These 48 individuals have individually served the Japanese Canadian community in health, education, seniors care, leadership, preservation of history, cultural interaction, or generally strengthening the Japanese Canadian community.

ANDO, Mark T. / 安藤マークT.
For his leadership and vision in starting up the cultural centre and for his pacesetting donation to the National Nikkei Museum and Cultural Centre project in its earliest days.
ANDO, Shigeko (Shag) / 安藤シゲコ(シャグ)
For her long standing work in organizing the Keirokai, a recognition event for seniors and her contribution to the community.
ARINOBU, Chikako / 有延千賀子
For her dedication to seniors and creating a homelike environment at Nikkei Home and New Sakura-so, and maintaining dignity, respect and independence for seniors.
BANNO, Robert T. / 番野ロバートT.
For his many contributions and work over 20 years to build and for the strategic planning of Nikkei Place. He has provided outstanding leadership to the Nikkei community.
CARR, Marcia A. / カー・マルシアA.
For her leadership in nursing gerontology, service as a member of the board of Nikkei Seniors Health Care & Housing Society and providing health care workshops for over 10 years.
FUKAWA, Masako / 府川雅子
For her significant contribution and work in promoting Japanese Canadian history and education in the community and beyond.
FUKAWA, Stanley T. / 府川スタンレーT.
For his volunteer work to help preserve Japanese Canadian history and heritage, his contribution to the education of Canadians about Japanese Canadian in Canada, and his research work into the community’s history.
GREENAWAY, John Endo /グリーンナウェイ・ジョン遠藤
For his contribution and work in the education of Japanese Canadians through his work as editor of the monthly Bulletin Magazine and as taiko player, composer and teacher. 月刊誌“月報”の編集者、また太鼓奏者、作曲家、教師としての日系カナダ人教育への働きと貢献に対して。
HANAZAWA, Judy / 花沢ジュディ
For outstanding dedication to fighting discrimination and recognizing past injustice, especially for Japanese Canadians and First Nations people. Her leadership and advocacy have been key to many initiatives in her community.
HAYASHI, Mitsuo / 林光夫
For his contribution and work in community building at Nikkei Place and beyond, and his dedication to promoting closer relations between Canada and Japan.
HOFFMAN, Linda Uyehara /ホフマン・リンダ・ウエハラ
For her enthusiastic support and work in Japanese Canadian cultural projects and the development of Taiko in Canada.
HOMMA, Shinobu / 本間しのぶ
For his volunteer leadership in supporting Japanese immigrant and seniors support services and – through his leadership of Canada’s first Japanese drumming group for youth – musical diversity in the community.
INOUYE, Tokuko / 井上徳子
For her role as a founding member of Tonari Gumi, her advocacy for assisting seniors, and many years of volunteer service to the Japanese Canadian community.
隣組創立メンバーとしての活躍、シニアサポートの支援 、そして長年にわたる日系カナダ人コミュニティでのボランティア活動における功績。
KAMIMURA, Jean / 上村ジーン
For her leadership in supporting the Japanese Canadian Redress movement and for co-founding in 1984 the BC Redress Coalition. Her efforts and advocacy led to justice and acknowledgement of Japanese Canadian seniors in BC.
KAMIYA, Frank H. / 神谷フランクH.
For his volunteer work to help preserve Japanese Canadian history, development of the museum and to promote Japanese Canadian arts and culture.
KAWAMOTO, Hideaki Roy / カワモト・ヒデアキ・ロイ
For demonstrated outstanding dedication to his community through many years of military service and volunteerism. His efforts were instrumental in the Japanese Canadian Redress and in ensuring proper memorials for veterans.
KISHI, Harry Shoichi / 岸ハリー・昭一
For three decades of volunteer leadership in supporting Japanese seniors’ dietary health. Thanks to Harry’s efforts, many Japanese seniors were able to access home-cooking that otherwise would not have been available.
KITAGAWA, Mary / 北川メアリー
For her promotion of human rights in her community over the past 20 years. Most notably, her efforts led to the participation in the 2012 UBC commencement by Japanese Canadian students interned in 1942 during World War II.
KITAGAWA, Tosh / 北川トッシュ
For his service as a great volunteer leader, organizing human rights projects and youth sports for over 20 years. Due to his drive, the initiative to have Japanese Canadian student internees recognized in the 2012 UBC commencement was successful.
LI, Tomoko / 李知子
For her volunteer leadership and dedication in organizing visitation programs and assisting homebound seniors over the past three decades.
MIKURUBE, Shizuko / 三廻部静子
For leading the regular Friday seniors’ lunch program at Tonari Gumi. Her commitment, leadership, and vitality have been invaluable to the community since she started volunteering 22 years ago.
MORISHITA, Nancy Kuniko / 森下ナンシー・クニコ
For more than two decades of community service as a dedicated volunteer coordinating, preparing, and delivering regular hot meals for homebound Japanese seniors and others in need.
MURAO, Toshio / 村尾敏夫
For over four decades of leadership in the Steveston Buddhist Church, local martial arts, sports, and senior clubs and also the Japanese language school. Toshio’s dedication to his community has been exemplary.
NAGASAKA, Pamela / 長坂パメラ
For her work as a pioneering Japanese-English counselor and volunteer over two decades, and for her contributions towards building a stronger mental health support network for Japanese Canadians.
NAKAHORI, Chuichi Chris / 中堀忠一・クリス
For his many years of volunteering and support of Tonari Gumi in the delivery of programs and services to Japanese Canadian seniors and those in need.
NIMI, Jane F. / 新見ジェーンF.
A volunteer for over 20 years, she has served seniors through workshops and programs, providing caring support and friendship to seniors in the Nikkei community.
NIMI, Robert K. / 新見ロバートK.
Founding president, served on the board of directors for over 20 years. He led the Nikkei Health Care & Housing Society in building Nikkei Home Assisted Living, as a philanthropist, volunteer and leader in the Nikkei community.
NISHIMURA, Ronald M. / 西村ロナルドM.
For his long time voluntary service in the Nikkei community, bringing community together and working on social justice.
OHARA, Yuji / 大原ユウジ
For his long service on the Board of Directors of Nikkei Seniors Health Care & Housing Society, liaison to the Steveston community, and membership chair for over 10 years.
OHKOHCHI, Naoko / 大河内南穂子
For her help to build the cultural centre as co-chair in fundraising, and her work building community through Cosmos Seminars.
REED, Motoko / リード紀子
For her numerous contributions to Tonari Gumi seniors over the last four decades. She has continually demonstrated passion and energy in all her endeavors on behalf of her community.
SHIKAZE, Ken / 志風ケン
For his volunteer spirit in contributing to the Japanese Canadian community, including the creation of the Tonari Gumi seniors visitation and lunch delivery programs.
SHIKAZE, Naomi / 志風ナオミ
For demonstrating three decades of leadership and dedication to serving the needs of seniors and those in need in the Japanese Canadian community.
SHIMIZU, Yoshiko / 清水由子
For her dedication and community spirit, exemplified by her long commitment to volunteering, especially in playing a key role in lunch programs at Tonari Gumi and other seniors facilities.
SOKUGAWA, Eric A. / 束川エリックA.
For his volunteer work in various community organizations in the Nikkei community, and for his contribution on Canadians and Japanese working together.
SUEYOSHI, Nick S. / スエヨシ・ニックS.
For his outstanding contribution of work to bring together Japanese and Canadians and his leadership work in building the Nikkei Garden.
TAGAMI, Tom K. / 田上トムK.
For his long time volunteer work in helping to build the Nikkei Place Auxiliary and for his volunteerism and contributions to events and programs at Nikkei Place.
TAKASAKI, Mayumi / 高崎マユミ
For outstanding service to Tonari Gumi for over thirty years, and her leadership and efforts which have been invaluable to supporting programs and services for seniors in the Japanese Canadian community.
TAKEUCHI, Kenneth M. / タケウチ・ケネスM.
For his contributions as an architect and advisor at Nikkei Place. Since his design and building work, he has provided his ongoing support and help to Nikkei Place.
TANAKA, Miyoshi (Mickey) / 田中ミヨシ(ミッキー)
Her outstanding contribution as a founding director and visionary for Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society; and as a lead volunteer in fundraising for Nikkei Place capital campaign.
TASAKA, Lurana Kikuko / 田坂ロレーナ・喜久子
For two decades of leadership and dedication to supporting and improving the quality of life for seniors. Her outstanding contributions to the community have made a real difference in the lives of many individuals.
TERANISHI, Tom / 寺西トム
For his outstanding service on the Board of Directors and writings newsletters and articles for the Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society for over 10 years.
THOMSON, Grace Eiko / トムソン・グレース・エイコ
For her dedication to promoting Japanese Canadian history, art and culture through high quality museum exhibits.
WAKAYAMA, Tamio / 若山タミオ
For three decades of community volunteer service, including his artistic contributions. His exquisite photography has provided visual documentation of the grassroots spirit and evolution of Japanese Canadians in BC.
YADA, Fred / 矢田フレッド
For his contributions to community building at Nikkei Place and beyond, including as a long-time board member and volunteers for the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation.
YAGI, Keiko / 八木恵子
For her dedicated volunteer leadership at the Vancouver Japanese Language School. A key fundraiser for many years, her most notable work was managing the Y2K Project, which added a new wing for the School in 2000.
YAMAMOTO, Isamu S. / 山本イサムS.
For his exceptional service to Nikkei Place in helping to build and maintain it over the past 15 years.
YAMASHIRO, Takeo / 山城猛夫
For four decades of outstanding contributions as a devoted community worker and artist, and for his leadership within the Japanese Canadian, Vancouver, and international musical communities.