Spe­cial wel­come for Ayane!

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE -

Back in 1997, when the Corowa/Yokawa Sis­ter City Agree­ment was signed, Corowa iden­ti­ties Gary and Chris­tine Poidevin nursed two-month old Ayane Man­tari.

Last week, Ayane, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Miki City In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion, made her first trip to Aus­tralia and to Corowa, and re­newed ac­quain­tances with the Poidevins.

As Corowa Shire Mayor, Gary Poidevin, at­tended an In­ter­na­tional Sis­ter City Con­fer­ence in Tokyo in 1996 and was met by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Yokawa City.

“Yokawa City rep­re­sen­ta­tives took my­self and the Gen­eral Man­ager (then Bruce Cor­co­ran) to have a look around Yokawa to see if there were sim­i­lar­i­ties and po­ten­tial for a sis­ter city re­la­tion­ship,” Mr Poidevin OAM told The Free Press.

“Ayane’s mother was the in­ter­preter between Corowa and Yokawa. Twelve months later we re­turned to sign a Sis­ter City Agree­ment and nursed Ayane! We send her birth­day presents ev­ery year. It’s great see­ing her here in Corowa.”

Ayane shared the sen­ti­ments. “I love the Poidevins,” she said.

Of the 21-year part­ner­ship, Gary said: “It’s ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic the re­la­tion­ship that the Corowa com­mu­nity and our sis­ter city has re­mains as strong to­day as it was 21 years ago,” the for­mer record 13-year-mayor of the for­mer Corowa Shire Coun­cil said.

“It’s been won­der­ful and I hope it con­tin­ues for a long time to come.”

Twenty-one years on, 21-year-old Ayane Man­tari with Gary and Chris­tine Poidevin at Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s wel­come on Au­gust 21.

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