A group of nine students from Abashiri, Japan arrived in Port Alberni on Wednesday night.
The students and their chaperones arrived for a short ceremony at Echo Centre, where they introduced to their host families. Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions was also there to greet students.
“When I was about ten years old, I remember having a group of students come from Abashiri,” she explained. “I have really fond memories of actually getting a good amount of time to get to know those students and learn about them and about Abashiri. I’m really thrilled to have you guys here today.”
Minions was scheduled to give the students a tour of city hall on Friday.
One student, Koki Shibata, made a brief speech on behalf of the student delegation. “I would like to thank all of the homestay families for having us for five days. We are looking forward to making many good memories with you,” he said. “We hope to make many friends during our stay in Port Alberni.”
The students will spend five days in Port Alberni, visiting landmarks like Coombs Country Candy, the Alberni Valley Museum and the Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Centre.
On Thursday, the group visited Alberni Elementary School to perform a dance while wearing Japanese happi coats. The Alberni Elementary School choir performed a song, and several students also performed a Nuu-chah-nulth welcoming song under the direction of Aaron Watts.
At the end of the event, the Japanese and Canadian students all danced and sang to the Nuu-chah-nulth “Lightning Song.”
The Twinning Society is planning a student trip to Abashiri in July, 2019. If you are interested in joining the next student group, contact Laurie Morphet at email@example.com or 250-735-0917.