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Keeping Up With Rishiri Students

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

Last year – 2018 – was quite a year for Friends of MacDonald.  Not only did FOM as a committee of the Clatsop County Historical Society reach its 30th year of existence, the “Ranald MacDonald Short-term Study Abroad Program” at Rishiri high school also reached its sixth year in 2018.  Although times and members change, I think I can speak for everyone in wishing that both organizations remain healthy and continue to grow for many more decades.

            Due to the large number of brain cells that were devoted to organizing and then accomplishing the Friends of MacDonald 30th Anniversary Luncheon, Annual Meeting and Group Excursion to the northern reaches of Washington State to memorialize our organization with a visit to Ranald’s last resting place we realized that we postponed reporting another successful visitation by students from Rishiri high school to Astoria, Oregon, and to Spokane and Toroda, Washington in 2017.  We will remedy that omission in this, the first issue of the Friends of MacDonald Newsletter as it enters its 31st year of ‘publication’ – and will continue our report on the 2018 students in the next (to be published shortly, we hope and intend).

            We went into some detail in Gates Ajar Vol. 30, No. 1 that was published in March of 2018 about our visit to Rishiri High School in December of 2017, and briefly introduced Jin Hiranuma and Mako Sato, the two Rishiri students who visited Astoria and points beyond in the autumn of 2017, but regretfully overlooked the in-depth report that we have given other students from Rishiri. Jin and Mako will both graduate from high school in April 2019 and are planning on attending university in Japan. We have no doubt whatsoever that they will be successful in anything they try.

「光陰矢のごとし!」とは良く言ったもの、「矢のごとし」とまでは言わないまでも、年々時の経過が早まっているような錯覚を覚え、この名言に同感、感心している自分の存在に気付く機会が最近増えて居ります。思うに2018年はマクドナルド友の会(FOM)創立30周年記念行事とラナルド・マクドナルドの没後125周忌の墓参の準備や実行、事後処理に明け暮れてしまいました。 その影響で利尻高校生の短期留学プログラムの様子や、成果伝達の機会を失っていた事に気付き、この度、Gates Ajar の臨時号を発行、皆さんにお届けする次第です。

2017年秋には、利尻高校2年生の平沼 迅君と佐藤真恋さんの二人が選抜され、同校英語教諭、相澤沙織先生の付き添いでポートランド国際空港へやって参りました。

例年の事ですが、一行はラナルド・マクドナルドの出生地であるオレゴン州アストリア市内で米人生徒の家庭にホームステイしながらアストリア高校で授業に参加したり、ラナルドのゆかりの地ワシントン州東部では、FOMスポケン支部長の月森愛鶴美夫人の案内でコルビル高校を訪問したり、トロダのラナルドの墓地へ参拝、利尻島からの小石を捧げたり、貴重な体験をした後、シアトル空港経由、無時利尻島へお帰りになりました。

このお三方のレポートを掲載しますのでお楽しみ下さい。