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In December of 1987 a delegation of dignitaries from the New Bedford /Fairhaven area journeyed to Tosashimizu, the home town of Manjiro, and signed a “Sister City” agreement.  This led to the incorporation of the “Fairhaven/New Bedford-Tosashimizu Sister City Committee, Inc.”.  Since that time there has been an on-going exchange of political leaders, Little Leaguers, students, quilters, artists…etc.

In 2008 the Committee was designated to operate the museum which was created when the amazing fund-raising efforts led by Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara resulted in the purchase and renovation of Captain William Whitfield’s home at 11 Cherry Street, Fairhaven, Mass. With a new, international mandate for services, the Committee voted to change its name to one more in keeping with its new mission.  Thus, did the organization acquire the name,

WHITFIELD-MANJIRO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY, INC.

BOARD MEMBERS
(as of September 2021)

HONORARY

  • Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, (Honorary President- in memorium)
  • Mr. Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan
  • Mr. Setsuo Omori, Consul General in Boston
  • Mr. Robert Whitfield, 5th generation descendant
  • Ms. Kyo Nakahama, 5th generation descendant
  • Mr. Jon Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford
  • Mr. Robert Espindola, Fairhaven Selectperson
  • Mrs. Stasia Powers, Fairhaven Selectperson
  • Mr. Keith Silvia, Fairhaven Selectperson
  • Mr. Mitsunobu Hijiya, Mayor of Tosashimizu

PARTICIPATING

  • President & CEO, Gerald P. Rooney, recipient of Order of the Rising Sun,  Gold & ​Silver Rays – ECM
  • Vice-President, Michael Silvia, community leader – ECM
  • Treasurer, Dr. Brian Bowcock, community leader – ECM
  • Secretary, Ms. Debra Almeida, Ed. D. – ECM
  • Cultural Advisor, Ayako Rooney, founding member – ECM
  • Ms. Kristine Audette, bookkeeper, volunteer – ECM
  • Ms. Teresa Berard, – ECM
  • Ms. Joan Doyon, WMFH tour guide
  • Ms. Aline Duval, retired nurse, tour guide
  • Ms. Joni Gaudiello, teacher, Bristol Community college
  • Mr. Enrique Goytizolo, antique dealer, WMFH Curator
  • Mr. Peter Grilli, President & CEO, Japan Society of Boston (RET)
  • Ms. Gail Isaksen, Fairhaven businesswoman, community volunteer
  • Mr. Andrew Langhauser, retired businessman, tour guide
  • Ms. Carolyn Longworth, Director, Millicent Library, ret. founding member
  • Prof. Shigeru Miyagawa, Head of Foreign Language Dept., MIT
  • Ms. Cheryl Moniz, businesswoman, community volunteer
  • Ms. Debbie Morris, Whitfield home owner
  • Mr. Arthur Motta II, Dir. of Marketing, New Bedford School System
  • Mr. Charles Murphy, administrator – ECM
  • Dr. Matthew C. Perry, 4th generation descendant
  • Ms. Jill Simmons, past member, Mattapoisett Harbor Master, NBPD-RET – ECM
  • Mr. Robert Whitfield, 5th generation descendant – ECM

ADVISORY

  • Mr. Junji Kitadai, Manjiro Historian, Tokyo, Japan
  • Mr. Tsutomu Karino, Procedural & Organizational advisor, New York
  • Ms. Louise Tapper, retired teacher
  • Mr. Kenzo Kiikuni, Chairman, Brd. of Sasakawa Mem. Medical Foundation
  • Mr. Mikio Kumagai, Sec. Gen., St. Luke’s Int. Hospital Foundation
  • Ms. Carolyn Wingate, retired teacher, musician
  • Ms. Barbara Owen, past Treasurer
  • Mr. Yoshio Okawara, former Ambassador
  • Mr. William Do Carmo, Community Advocate, Businessman
  • Ms. Ger Tysk, author, mariner, musician

NOTE: ECM = MEMBER OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE