Japanese Visitors in Medway Celebrate 75th Anniversary

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The memorial as it is today

The memorial as it is today

His Worship, the Mayor of Medway, Cllr David Royle and representatives from the Japanese Embassy, the Japanese Local Government Centre in London, and a Japanese business based in Gillingham were the guests of Cllr Sue Haydock, Honorary Mayor of Yokosuka and Chairman of the Japan Group of Medway Council’s International Relations Committee at a special dinner to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the unveiling of the William Adams Clock Tower Memorial in The Boulevard, Gillingham on Monday, the 19th of October, 2009.

Mr. Daisuke Otsuka, First Secretary (Political), Embassy of Japan, Mr. Eiji Yamaguchi, Deputy Director of the Japan Local Government Centre, London, and Mr. Hiroshi Kamei, Finance Director of Hochiki Europe (UK) Ltd. joined with past Mayors and Mayoresses of Gillingham, members of the International Relations Committee, and members of the Japan Group, at the Honourable Pilot, Will Adams Way, to mark the occasion, and view of display of historical press cuttings taken at the time.

The memorial was unveiled on Friday 11th May 1934 by the Ambassador of Japan in the company of the Mayor, Alderman Summers, the Commander-in-Chief of the Nore, and Naval Escort.

Cllr. Sue Haydock said “The anniversary was an ideal occasion to bring together a group of people with a special and personal interest in the history of Gillingham and its links with Japan.  Former civic dignitaries swapped stories of their experiences during visits to Japan, and opportunity was taken to further business and professional co-operation”.

The William Adams Memorial is in the form of a clock tower 25 feet high.  The clock is electronically controlled and has four 26-inch faces supplied by Gillett and Johnson of Croydon.   It was designed by the Borough Engineer and Surveyor, Mr J.L. Redfern, A.R.I.B.A.

(Left to right) Mr. Eiji Yamaguchi (JLGC); Mr. Hiroshi Kamei, Hochiki Europe (UK) Ltd.;  The Mayor, Cllr David Royle; Cllr Sue Haydock; Mr. Daisuke Otsuka, First Secretary (Political), Japanese Embassy,  standing in front of the display.  The Mayor is holding a photograph of the memorial.

(Left to right) Mr. Eiji Yamaguchi (JLGC); Mr. Hiroshi Kamei, Hochiki Europe (UK) Ltd.; The Mayor, Cllr David Royle; Cllr Sue Haydock; Mr. Daisuke Otsuka, First Secretary (Political), Japanese Embassy, standing in front of the display. The Mayor is holding a photograph of the memorial.

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