On Friday 20 October, one day before the Anniversary Go Tournament, the EGCC organised a Teachers' Day for European go teachers. A total of 18 go enthusiasts from 7 different countries took part in the seminars, discussions and brainstorming sessions. Special guests Yamashiro Hiroshi 9p and Cătălin Țăranu 5p were present as representatives of the Nihon Ki-in (Japanese Go Association).
In the evening, a special reception took place to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the European Go Cultural Centre. Employees, former staff, loyal users of the building and people that have been important for the EGCC throughout the years were all invited.
Several distinguished guests were present during the event:
- Mr. Hiroshi Yamashiro, vice-president of the Nihon Ki-in (Japanese Go Association).
- Mrs. Setsuko Kawahara, minister of the Embassy of Japan in the Netherlands.
- Mrs. Maaike van Veeningen, alderman of the city of Amstelveen.
- Mr. Julien Rikkoert, senior manager Foreign Investments, Head of Japan Desk of Amsterdam and immediate surroundings.
- Mr. Kenji Saito, chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) in the Netherlands.
- Mr. Yuji Yamasaki, vice-chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) in the Netherlands.
- Mr. Martin Stiassny, president of the European Go Federation.
- Mr. Han Ellenbroek, president of the Dutch Go Association.
Many of them held congratulative speeches for the European Go Cultural Centre and stressed its importance for the Japanese community in and around Amstelveen. Mr. Peter Zandveld, chairman of the European Go Cultural Centre, finished the ceremony with a toast.
Mr. Yamashiro, vice-president of the Nihon Ki-in, was the first to welcome everyone and expressed his congratulations and hope for a prosperous future of the EGCC.
Mrs. Kawahara, minister of the Embassy of Japan in the Netherlands, stressed the importance of the European Go Cultural Centre for the Japanese community in Amstelveen and in the Netherlands as a whole, functioning as a bridge between cultures.
Mrs. van Veeningen, Alderman of the city of Amstelveen, congratulated the European Go Cultural Centre and expressed her gratitude for the existence of such a Japanese community centre.
Mr. Saito, chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) in the Netherlands, spoke warmly about his personal connection to the EGCC, where his children spend a considerable amount of time.
Mr. Stiassny, president of the European Go Federation, talked about the role of the EGCC in the European go world and its importance for the mindsport of go.
Mr. Ellenbroek, president of the Dutch Go Association, highlighted the many years of cooperation between the EGCC and the Dutch Go Association, hosting both domestic and international go tournaments such as the Dutch Go Championships and the Amsterdam International Go Tournament.
Mr. Zandveld, chairman of the European Go Cultural Centre, talked about the original plans for the EGCC when it was established in 1992. He explained how the function of the building changed over the years and stressed the importance of adaptation to a new era, looking forward, towards the future.
Afterwards, everybody enjoyed each other's company and the delcious Japanese food served by Sushi Time Amstelveen.
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