Tomorrow, our club hosts the ‘JOIN’ Korean gateball team. The lawns are ready, the weather just has to behave itself! The Mayor of Strathfield, Councillor Antoine Doueihl will be coming at 10am to ‘meet and greet’ this talented and nice team from near Busan, South Korea. At least this experience is helping me to get to know more about Korea and Koreans. Another special guest and SCC Club member is Lucille McKenna who will be coming tomorrow, not only to volunteer but also to represent the InnerWestCouncil, as Lucille is one of their Councillors.
This increasing knowledge of Korea, which hopefully more of us will experience over time and not be confined to just Korea, can only strengthen ties between citizens of our respective countries, at least at the personal level as well as the gateball level. The connection with Korea was strongly felt by me today when I attended – coincidentally – a luncheon in honour of Korean War Veterans at Concord Hospital. My husband (Keith) who died in 2016 was a Korean War Veteran. This function in honour of Veterans and their guests was hosted by the Consul-General of Korea, Sangwoo Hong. Whilst I had invited the Consul-General to the SCC event he was unavailable that day and this was this next best thing. As the Consul-General pointed out, next year is particularly significant for Australian-Korean bonds as they commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Ceasefire.
Keith and I used to attend annually the Cheil Church at North Strathfield, again in honour of Korean Veterans. However, today was the first time I had a really long and pleasant discussion (over lunch) with a lady who attends that church. So at the next anniversary function I will go with the knowledge, I now know one of their parishioners, that kind Korean lady at my table, who gave our croquet club the Korean flag. She felt it had a more valuable role to play in that location, rather than being stored at her home. Its presence will add to the welcome the Korean team will feel with their flag on display tomorrow. Epping Club borrowed a Korean flag from their local Council and that gave me the idea. The flag is a significant addition to our club and a stepping stone to a closer connection. Today I also printed out a map of Korea and I wrote to Jay ( Jae-won), the son of the JOIN team’s manager who will act as interpreter tomorrow. I asked Jay which was the closest city from which their team came. Jay said Busan (a port city in the very south).
So again this gateball experience, along with my husband’s war experience of Korea, is motivating me to really extend the hand of friendship to the Korean gateballers in a more meaningful way
Strathfield Croquet Club