April 19, 2001: New leader meeting in Fukuoka
A new leader meeting of fiscal 2001 year was held today at Group of Friends Fukuoka Branch. From Oita Branch, the new leader Iwahashi (center), life group leader Matoba (left), and family budget member Nagano joined the meeting.
Early in the morning, I caught the first train, at 6:30 a.m., to Oita from nearby Bungo Kokubu station. Beautiful fresh green wheat fields surround the station.
We arrived the site around 9:30. Ms. Iwahashi stands in front of the entrance. Many members flock in twos and threes from Okinawa, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, and other branches 20 in total.
On the front wall is a large tapestry made by the craft group of Fukuoka Branch. The theme of the art is "The color drifts subtly in the mixture of light and wind."

A banner besides the tapestry reads, "What is Group of Friends - its spirits and activity", the main theme of the year.
The meeting started at 10:00 a.m. after check-in, we sang hymn #491 to a organ accompaniment by Ms. Mukai of Fukuoka Branch.
Today, 50 members from each Branch in Kyushu block and 6 members from Central Committee joined the meeting. Ms. Hayama, a member of Central Committee, conducted the pray with the theme "What is Group of Friends." After that, new leaders from the branches expressed their hopes respectively. Eager talks followed then.
Saseho Branch demonstrates how they make efforts to "identify cash to daybook and post them to the ledger." They said that in the early stage of the new fiscal year, they agreed to encourage each other in keeping family budgets in order to accomplish the "complete record."
We discussed organization and meeting of Group of Friends in the morning. After lunch, we looked around the Fukuoka Branch house.

This is the joint purchase room next to the entrance hall. Many items purchased and to be sold are beautifully arranged in order.
Lookdown view from the gallery on the second floor. Warm sunlight comes in through the large window to the clean meeting hall.
Tasty Hayashi rice with hashed meat prepared by the members of Fukuoka Branch was served for lunch. All the members from Kyushu block exchanged pleasantly over the tasty lunch in the dinning hall on the second floor.

There is a Japanese-style room as well. On the shelves were the writings of the Founder Motoko Hani together with Female's Friends magazines.
During the lunch break, they sell some craft products like batik paper, stencil post cards and envelops.
Branch-made cookies are on sale as well. We Oita Branch also sold fried dough cookies containing soybeans.
In the afternoon, we again discussed over many items such as how to sum up of the 70th anniversary events, how to summarize the family budget reports from each branch. Some topics were reported as well like farming village issues and life study. After singing "The song of wild flower" by all attendants today closed the meeting in success at 3:20 p.m.

In the train back to Oita, we three discussed how to make use of today's informative talks to our activities. Today's fruits will be reported on tomorrow's committee. We also discussed block-based life study and preparation for the site.

We have fully encouraged today by hearing the reports of the Kyushu block members.
reported by Nagano