Mayoral Relief Fund receives Sister City donation

Article image - Mayoral Relief Fund receives Sister City donation Blue Mountains Sister Cities Committee members.

A significant donation has been made to the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Bush Fire Mayoral Relief Fund by Sister City, Sanda, approximately 500km south of Tokyo, Japan.

The donation of just over $8300 – made by organisations, individuals, Sanda International Association (SIA) and the City of Sanda – will help local communities affected by recent bush fires to recover and rebuild.

The Sister City relationship between the Blue Mountains Sister Cities Committee (BMSSC) and SIA was formalised in August 1988 at Sanda City, and recently celebrated 30 years of international friendship. The friendship is one of the longest standing Japanese Sister City relationships in Australia.

The Sanda/Blue Mountains relationship provides a forum for cultural, educational and economic interchange between the communities and encourages friendship, co-operation and cultural understanding.

At Buttenshaw Park in Springwood, the Committee is now working to restore the Blue Mountains-Sanda Japanese Friendship Garden.

After a long period of drought, parts of the Garden will soon be replanted with locally sourced roses.

The garden was originally planted in 2010 and includes features normally found in a Japanese garden, such as a weeping cherry tree.

The Committee and volunteers also revitalised the renowned wisteria arbour, which is reminiscent of the world-famous flowerings
in Japan every May.

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Chris Van der Kley, joined the Committee at the Garden to acknowledge the donation.

“It’s really a remarkable relationship that we have. Our Committee members have watched Sanda grow as a city over these past 30 years, and many delegations have visited us.

“We’ve seen our local students visit Hyogo and come home with a unique world view.

“We’ve hosted local exhibitions of children’s artwork from Japan, and more.

“Both Sanda and the Blue Mountains have a unique character – it’s wonderful to share what makes us special.”