Israeli ambassador visits Waipukurau
Central Hawke’s Bay received a rare visit from a top international diplomat last week.
Israel’s Ambassador to New Zealand, Dr Itzhak Gerberg, and his wife Shifra, along with the Israeli Embassy’s economic and trade manager Amos Palfreyman, spent the day in CHB last Wednesday.
During the visit, organised by Hawke’s Bay Friends of Israel to celebrate 70 years since the creation of Israel on May 14, Dr Gerberg and Mr Palfreyman visited a range of CHB businesses before the ambassador and his party were guests of honour at a diplomatic reception held at Waipukurau Golf Club on Wednesday night
Hawke’s Bay Friends of Israel chairman, Waipukurau’s John McCormick, said 90 people attended the diplomatic reception.
“The event went well, with everybody getting to talk to the ambassador, his wife and the former honorary consul of Israel, David Zwartz from Wellington,” McCormick said.
The highlight of the diplomatic reception was a performance by worldclass Israeli cellist Inbal Megiddo, a senior lecturer in cello at the NZ School of Music at Victoria University and the founder of the Cellophonia festival in NZ.
“She mingled with the people before and after her 45-minute recital, in which she played music by Israeli composers plus composers from around the world.”
Dr Gerberg said he hoped his visit would result in increased trade between CHB businesses and Israel, and was enjoying his first visit to CHB where he had got to meet some “real Kiwis”.
“I was very happy to come. I’ve been spending too much time in Wellington,” Dr Gerberg said. He described Mr McCormick as a good tour guide and very good friend of Israel.
On Thursday, the ambassador visited the Business Hub in Ahuriri, spoke to the Institute of International Affairs at the Havelock North club, and attended a function at Flaxmere Christian Fellowship Church, led by Pastor Nigel Woodley.
HAWKE’S Bay Friends of Israel chairman John McCormick, Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand Dr Itzhak Gerberg, and cellist Inbal Megiddo at last Wednesday night’s diplomatic reception at the Waipukurau Golf Club.