The Rotary Club of Tokyo Centennial Anniversary Commemorative Regular Meeting and Celebration Party
By Recalling Our Past, We Can See Our Future. PARTICIPATE°™


°°The Rotary Club of Tokyo celebrated its milestone Centennial Anniversary on the 21st of October, 2020. The Commemorative Regular Meeting and Celebration Party were held at the Imperial Hotel where 3 guests, 202 member Rotarians and 96 family members joined in on the festivities.

°°In 2014, a Preparatory Committee was set up with past Chairmen and Secretaires serving as Committee Members to create a slogan and draw up a plan for a number of commemorative activities and events. After four years of meticulous preparation, the plan was handed over to a Working Committee established in 2018 to carry out the plan. All the creative ideas and insights shared by our member Rotarians were put together to develop splendid activities and to organize the Celebration Party.

°°We called on to all our member Rotarians to write and submit the Centennial Song that reflects the spirit upheld in the slogan °»*PARTICIPATE!°…. We chose two songs °»Tribute to Tokyo RC – Towards the Future°… (Lyrics by our member Mr. Norihiko Tanikawa and music by our member Mr. Shigeaki Saegusa) and °»Let°«s Start Together°… (Lyrics by our member Mr. Masaharu Rokushika and music by Mr. Tomotake Shirayama). We also made the °»Commemorative Banner°… designed by our member Mr. Norihiko Tanikawa. Fukagawa Porcelaine Co., Ltd. (company of our member Mr. Kazuta Fukagawa) prepared the pair cups as Commemorative Souvenir, and Toraya (company of our member Mr. Mitsuhiro Kurokawa) prepared traditional dried sweets using fine-grained Japanese sugar wasanbon.

°°Tokyo RC has also donated 20 million yen to Yoneyama Umekichi Memorial Hall (Public Interest Incorporated Foundation) for its renovation, and is currently working on the Centennial History Publication °»100-Year Journey of Service.°… As part of our commemorative events, we worked jointly with Japan Rotary Centennial Working Committee and made 34 °»Japan Rotary Centennial Gongs°… in July 2018 that are used in all the 34 Districts across Japan.

°°Our Sister Club Ardmore RC (Pennsylvania State, U.S.A.) had initially planned to donate 100 white and red dogwood seedlings. We will plant the seedlings in different locations including the Yoneyama Umekichi Memorial Hall once we bring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic under control.

°°Our original plan was to hold the Celebration Party with the attendance of around 800 people including our member Rotarians and families together with guests such as Rotary International President, Officers from our sister and twin clubs, Governors from all 34 Districts and their spouses and Japanese RI Director. Faced with serious challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Working Committee engaged in extensive discussions and made a decision during the Club Board Meeting to celebrate the occasion with limited number of attendees and by taking thorough measures to prevent the spread of the infection.

°°The Commemorative Regular Meeting opened with a video footage summarizing the 100-year journey of Tokyo RC. After hitting the Gong, all the attendees joined in the chorus and sang the National Anthem and the Centennial Song led by the Song Leader (Conductor: our member Mr. Shigeaki Saegusa, Piano: our member Mr. Kikuo Watanabe).

°°President Mr. Michio Hamaguchi made a greeting, followed by District 2580 Governor Mr. Yoshimitsu Nousu. Congratulatory video messages were shared by a number of prominent speakers including RI President Mr. Holger Knaack. A Liberty Bowl donated by Washington D.C. RC was presented, together with floral decorations sent by Ardmore RC. We handed the certificate of commemorative donation to Mr. Koresada Seki, Chairman of Yoneyama Umekichi Memorial Hall. The Commemorative Regular Meeting concluded with words of gratitude given by Mr. Seki.

°°The Celebration Party opened with a greeting made by Chairman of the Centennial Working Committee Mr. Koichi Takenaka. An outstanding performance of °»Shugenshiki Sanbasou°… was the highlight of the evening, given by National Living Treasures Kabuki actor Mr. Kichiemon Nakamura jointly with our member Rotarian and Tokiwazu Mojitayu (Japanese traditional narrative music) accompanied by a troupe of musicians who played °»Oimatsu.°… The Party proceeded with a toast made by Past President Mr. Akira Gemma to open a celebratory banquet of splendid full course dinner together with a special wine prepared for the occasion jointly by the Imperial Hotel (company of our member Mr. Tetsuya Kobayashi) and a Japanese kaiseki (haute cuisine) restaurant Tokyo Kitcho (company of our member Mr. Toshiji Yuki).

°°To conclude the evening, all the attendees sang °»Let°«s Start Together°… with Mr. Yukio Kitahara as a conductor accompanied on the piano by our member Mr. Kikuo Watanabe. The Celebration Party was a great success.

°°The video footage shown to open the Commemorative Regular Meeting will be uploaded on the Tokyo RC website, together with a video taken during the Celebration Party. Scenes from the Commemorative Regular Meeting will be incorporated in our Centennial History Publication °»100-Year Journey of Service°… and is scheduled to be published in June 2021.

* °»PARTICIPATE! (Let°«s take an active part!)°… was the theme set by the 1968-1969 RI President Mr. Kiyoshi Togasaki who was the member of Tokyo RC. Ę® Published in Rotary-no-Tomo Vol. 69 (January, 2021)