Articles From the April 1995 Unification News


Mayor Webster of Camden, New Jersey Hosts WFWP from Japan

by Hope Igarashi-Camden, New Jersey

On Friday, March 10th at 10:30 a.m., Camden's mayor, Arnold W. Webster, welcomed 6 bus loads of women from Japan who are members of WFWP. Mayor Webster hosted this gathering at the Camden Aquarium. Their visit, a first for Camden, was intended to promote, not only world peace, but international relations.

This goodwill stopover in Camden followed the International Women's Friendship Conference held in Washington, D.C. The conference brought women from Japan and the United States together to strengthen the bonds of peace between the two nations some 50 years after the end of World War II.

The program at the Aquarium included Mrs. Judith L. Wellington, President & Chief Executive Officer at the State Aquarium and an entourage of local elected officials including Councilpersons, Freeholders, Mayor's cabinet, businesspersons, a Board of Education representative, and others.

Two lovely plaques, one in English and the other in Japanese, were presented to Mrs. Sugiyama's representative, Mrs. Ikeda. The proclamation was very inspiring. Hope Igarashi, Region 2 WFWP Chairwoman, helped to emcee and led the singing of "Let There be Peace on Earth." The spirit was so moving that Lydia Compton initiated holding hands and swaying to the music. One could feel the Holy Spirit.

New Jersey Chairwoman Lydia Compton represented New Jersey's WFWP. Mrs. Tamie Wilenchik, representing New Jersey Japanese WFWP, personally translated the mayor's warm welcome and greeting to the Japanese women.

Flowers were presented to all three of our local New Jersey sisters and to Mrs. Ikeda. These flowers were beautiful combinations of roses and cherry blossoms. The mayor and his special assistant, Mr. Jim Ricks and staff prepared the whole event so lovingly from beginning to end. They had Japanese and American flags displayed, children from Camden waved small flags at the event. The Honorable Mayor Webster prepared a cherry tree to be planted in honor of WFWP.

As the women boarded the buses, all were pleasantly surprised to each receive a souvenir cap and coffee mug from the State Aquarium. Truly all felt very welcomed and a hope for world peace.

WFWP is sincerely grateful to Mayor Webster, his staff and community who prepared this lovely event. In addition to this, the Camden Police escorted our caravan buses by motorcycles to the city of Camden from the New Jersey Turnpike Exit 4. The women were so excited and took many pictures. It made us feel so special.

The New Jersey WFWP is inviting the staff to future International Peace Friendship Conferences and is preparing cards and gifts of appreciation for Mayor Webster.

Television and newspaper press covered the event. Several members in Pennsylvania viewed it on the TV evening news. Others sent us newspaper articles from Delaware and the Camden newspaper.

We want to recognize and thank Mr. Alan Inman and Mrs. Brown for helping to set up this historical event.

Special thanks to Mrs. Kobayashi for inviting New Jersey WFWP to attend. Mrs. D.H. Park, Rev. and Mrs. Baldwin and Mr. Richard Panzer also came out to participate in this great event.

Hope Igarashi is the Chairwoman of Region 2 WFWP.


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