CHERRY TREE DEDICATION
On August 14, 2012 Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara journeyed from Japan with 30 other visitors to the Cooke Memorial Park in Fairhaven to dedicate the cherry trees he had donated to the town. Also in attendance were Fairhaven Selectmen Dr. Brian Bowcock (chairman), Mr. Charles Murphy, Jr. and Mr. Robert Espindola as well as, Consul General and Mrs. Hikihara, Ms. Tomoko Nakahama, her daughter, Kei Konishi (5th generation descendant of Manjiro) and Gerry Rooney, President & CEO of the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society. The group was joined by Mr. Junji Kitadai (Manjiro historian and current member of the Executive Committee of the Society) and six members of the Kochikenjinkai of New York.
During the earlier weeks 14 cherry trees had been planted in Fairhaven and New Bedford. One tree had been planted at each oif the following sites:
Fairhaven: Town Hall, Unitarian church, Academy building, Old Stone School, and Whitfield Gravesite at Riverside Cemetery. Three trees were planted in New Bedford (one in each of the major parks). The main cluster of six trees had been planted in the Cooke Memorial Park (corner of Pilgrim and Cherry streets, Fairhaven). Note: three additional trees are included to be planted next year at the site of the new Wood School in Fairhaven.
In his remarks Dr. Hinohara’s stated, “…Japanese cherry trees were planted on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. exactly 100 years ago as a token of friendship between two great nations. In the same spirit, we are happy today to be able to plant 17 cherry trees at meaningful places in Fairhaven and New Bedford. I sincerely hope these cherry trees will grow strong and bloom beautifully and become constant reminders of the spirit of Captain Whitfield and Manjiro.”
The dedication ended with the presentation of a granite bench with plaque in Dr. Hinohara’s honor from the Town of Fairhaven. The bench is located in the Cooke Memorial Park.
KEIO ACADEMY STUDENTS 2022
Photos of students visiting from Keio Academy in New York led by teacher, Yuki Fujita, who reminded us all that it was the 179th year anniversary of the first day that Manjiro lived at the Captain’s house. Soon we received letters from all four students indicating how much they had enjoyed, and learned from, the visit.