39 years marked

Japanese sister city delegation in town

Delegation members perform the popular Japanese-language song “Sukiyaki” during the community reception welcoming the 2018 Sister City Higashiomi delegates. The community celebrated 39 years of international friendship with Marquette's sister city Higashiomi, Japan, by welcoming delegates during a reception Wednesday evening in the Huron Mountain Gallery at the Peter White Public Library. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE–The community celebrated 39 years of international friendship with Marquette’s sister city Higashiomi, Japan, by welcoming delegates during a reception Wednesday evening in the Huron Mountain Gallery at the Peter White Public Library.

The evening began with hors d’oeuvres, followed by a short program. Dinner catered by the Copper Crust Pizza Co. was served after closing the remarks.

“The structure of the visits is to get people involved on this side of the water and another side of the water. We want to develop a lifetime friendship and a better understanding of the international difference in our cultures; how we live, how we work and how we raise our children,” said associate director of Sister City planning Paulette Lindberg.

The Marquette Area Sister Cities’ Partnership will be hosting the seven delegates until the group’s departure back to Japan on Sunday.

During the program musical performances were exchanged. Delegation members performed the popular Japanese-language song “Sukiyaki.” Local musicians John Gillette and Sarah Mittlefehldt sang a rendition of the traditional American folk tune “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” and Northern Michigan University student Ethan Bott sang a number from the musical “Sweeney Todd.”

Translator and MASCP board member Tomoko Inoue, second from left, translates the conversation between Louise Duerfeldt and Higashiomi delegates Naomi Moriconi, front right, and Hitoki Taguchi. Duerfeldt’s late husband, Pryse Duerfeldt, founder of the MASCP, was honored at the event. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

The memory of Pryse Duerfeldt, founder and active member of the Sister City Partnership, was honored at the event. Delegates presented Duerfeldt’s widow, Louise Duerfeldt, with flowers and a plaque showing their respect and appreciation for his service work. The program ended with an exchange of gifts between Marquette Mayor David Campana and lead delegate Hitoki Taguchi.

For more information about the Japanese delegation, contact Paulette Lindberg at 906-869-4141 or email paulettelindberg@gmail.com. The City of Marquette Arts & Culture Center is temporarily located on the main level of the Peter White Public Library, 217 N. Front St. It can be reached at 906-228-0472, email: arts-culture@marquettemi.gov.