A delegation of visitors from Tamworth's Sister City of Sannohe, in Japan, came face to face with some of our native animals in Tamworth on Tuesday.
The group, led by Mayor of Sannohe, Matsuo Kazukiko and his wife Matsui Takiko, visited Marsupial Park.
"The visit by the Mayor of Sannohe, Matsuo Kazukiko, and his delegation is a continuing sign of the friendship between our two cities which started in 2001," TRC Mayor Col Murray said.
"We are very proud to have a strong relationship with Sannohe.
"It is very encouraging to see a new generation now embrace it through the successful high school student exchange between Sannohe high schools and Tamworth High School."
The delegation arrived on Monday, and as well as attending a Rotary Club of Tamworth meeting, they have visited the Golden Guitar, AELEC, the Sports Dome, planted a tree in the Botanic Garden and on Wednesday will tour the Tamworth hospital, Tamworth High School, Bicentennial Park and Oxley Lookout, before dining with councillors. They also attended the Tamworth Council meeting on Tuesday evening.
Very local links
Among the hosts at Marsupial Park were, Bill Forrest and his wife Ruth.
He and his family have played an integral role in developing the Sannohe relationship, stretching back 45 years, through Rotary and the then Tamworth City Council.
Bill's son Dr Allan Forrest, who was a Rotary exchange student to Sannohe, accompanied the delegation on Monday.
His son Peter Forrest was an exchange student to Muroran Japan. Both sons were sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tamworth West.
About the sister city relationship
Under the Sannohe Sister City Protocol a visit between Tamworth and Sannohe takes place once every four years, on an alternating basis.