Date 2009/11/21 2:00:00 | Topic: President


Dear Fellow Members,
    In the aftermath of the 140th Anniversary issue this article will just have to make do with saying “THANK YOU” to so many of the volunteers who worked hard to make this event such a success. Frankly, when we started out formulating ideas and how to convert them into reality, I never believed that this 140th Anniversary of the Kobe Club would eventually surpass our highest expectations. In fact, we had to turn good members away due to space concerns.
    Personally, I strongly believe that the impetus behind this extraordinary achievement and the foundation to attract such a large number of Kobe Club members and friends came from the way the SPOTLIGHT was presented. The fall issue (Sept./Oct.) set the stage for a strong interest in the Anniversary Ball, and we all have to applaud our editor Kei M. Foran for the excellent work she did in making this issue such a rich and historic document with the Anniversary Supplement. Her untiring effort to have so many sponsors lined up is commendable. Thank you, Kei, for a difficult job well done. Furthermore, I would like to thank all the sponsors who supported the Anniversary Supplement.


    We have to give credit to Okabe-san, our manager, and her staff who came up with new ideas to make this event a truly unique affair, fusing the Kobe Club’s international ambiance with a Japanese mood. The violinist playing outside while guests arrived and the small bar set up to help members step into the Club for the festivities came entirely from our office’s brain trust. Frankly, I was a little apprehensive how the office staff could contribute to decorating the clubhouse, and it was absolutely astonishing how well and thoughtfully everything was organized.
    All was fantastic and the Ballroom was decked in white and gold. The doors to the Ballroom opened to a Taiko drum performance by two ladies, and culminated in a “kagami biraki (Sake Barrel Opening)” ceremony participated in also by the Governor of Hyogo Prefecture, Mr. Ido, and the Representative of Kobe City, Mr. Ueda, and our three past Presidents: Rick Brueggemann, Fritz Leonhardt and Martin Willweber. After Mr. Refardt’s toast the official part ended, and we all could sit back, relax and enjoy the excellent dinner.
    Kamiki-san, our chef, and his team produced a delectable dinner for 175 seated guests, a feat that needs to be understood to understand. For the regular member has probably no notion that even though the food is being served directly into the Ballroom, the area behind the stage has no cooking facilities and every dish has to be transferred from the kitchen to the holding area behind the Ballroom. It was a tremendous feat to serve that many people, and the kitchen staff did overtime to match the facilities with a dinner served in a timely manner. Thanks to all in helping to achieve this; thanks to Kamiki-san and his team, as well as our restaurant team under Jimmy, and the bar team under Freddy. They all produced their best and I can only say another big thank you for the way everything went so smooth and without incident.
    Frankly, I also intended to thank our General Committee members, Imad Ramadan and Mohan Gulrajani, but will refrain from this as they had tremendous fun in guiding the evening and especially the prize drawing. So they have been well compensated already during the evening. My special thanks go to all the prize donors who added excitement to the Ball.
    In closing I also want to give the Club’s appreciation to some of our ladies in helping the office, and my thanks go to Mrs. A. Kobayashi, Mrs. N. Kagawa, Mrs. F. Yo, Mrs. S. Miller and Mrs. Y. Arora as well as Mrs. T. Weiland.
    An evening to remember and cherish for a long time! It felt good to be a member of the Kobe Club.

-Rainer Weiland, President



This article comes from Kobe Club
http://www.kobeclub.org

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