Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Mayor Paul Antonio has presented a thank you gift to the Rotary Club of Toowoomba East on behalf of Takatsuki Mayor Takeshi Hamada.

The certificate of commendation and painting were in appreciation of funds raised for the Takatsuki community in the wake of the North Osaka earthquake on June 18, 2018.

In a letter to the Rotary Club of Toowoomba East, Mayor Hamada said: “When I learned that you had appealed for the relief fund not only to the Toowoomba Region but also Australia, I was moved by your dedication and fervent wish to help the city recover, and I can’t thank you enough.

“The city has made the best use of the donated funds for the recovery and reconstruction of the city and lives of affected people.

“Your strong support encouraged many of our citizens and thanks to your support we’ve almost got our life back as it used to be.

“Though I should have thanked all members of the Rotary Club of East Toowoomba in person, I hope you would kindly allow me to express my deep gratitude to you in this letter and certificate of commendation with appreciation,” Mayor Hamada’s letter said.

In presenting the thank you gift to club members, Mayor Antonio said the gift highlighted the bond of friendship that we share with our Sister City, Takatsuki.

“Our Sister City relationship with Takatsuki stretches back 28 years, and during that time we have developed strong ties with the people of the region,” Mayor Antonio said.

“Our ties are through Council, community, education, sports and cultural exchanges.

“Our community has already shared a strong bond during times of disaster. The City of Takatsuki donated $30,000 to our disaster appeal following the 2011 floods that hit our Toowoomba Region.

“The community of Takatsuki also generously purchased Taiko drums for our Toowoomba Taiko Drum Group.

“The Sister City program showcases our rich traditions on an international stage and excites our bold ambitions of expanding industry and building important cultural relationships that will benefit our community.

“We look forward to many more years of fruitful exchanges with our Sister City.”

Background
In July 2018, TRC formed a partnership with the Rotary Club of Toowoomba East to launch the ‘Darling Downs and Toowoomba East Rotary Takatsuki Relief Appeal’.

As part of a delegation in November 2018, Mayor Antonio presented the Takatsuki Mayor Hamada with 1,312,220 yen ($16,500) raised by the appeal to support the Region’s Sister City in its recovery.

Mayor Hamada’s visit to Toowoomba this month to present the gift of thanks was cancelled due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

For more information about Toowoomba Region’s Sister Cities and international partnerships, visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/sistercities

Caption: Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio (second from left) presents a commendation and painting on behalf of Takatsuki Mayor Takeshi Hamada to Rotary Club of Toowoomba East president Andy Burke (left), past president Roger Klaassen, vice president Graham Christensen and Phillip Charles, a District Governor from 2014-15 (right). Mr Charles managed most of the fund raising for the Takatsuki appeal.