Mr Chairman, Headmaster, Ladies and Gentlemen and Students – Good morning.
I am truly delighted to be with you for your Graduation Ceremony which marks the end of your Academic Year. A special day which I’m sure you will remember a long time from now.
Although it is 20 years ago, I have very happy memories of visiting Japan. My daughter, who was ten at the time, was great friends with a young girl called “Ai “and we spent a week with her family in Yokohama in April. It was an amazing trip; we were warmly welcomed by Ai’s family and experienced Japanese culture at close hand. I remember tea-tasting ceremonies, flower ceremonies, Mount Fuji and of course, the breathtaking cherry blossom! Wonderful memories.
I am here today to present the Ambassador Prize which has always been presented by the Chairman of Horsham District Council. You will be aware that the Chairman of the Council is elected annually in May. This is the second time I have been privileged to serve as Chairman. The first time was 10 years ago and I warmly recall coming to Rikkyo to present the Ambassador Prize back in March 2002.
The Ambassador Prize is given to the student or students who have best represented the Rikkyo School during the course of the year. The award this year will go to Haruka who, with six other students, spent a week last July at Wolverhampton Girls’ High School, and boarded with students’ families. Although all the girls were eager to interact with the Wolverhampton students, Haruka went to great lengths to do so and played an active part in entertaining the Wolverhampton students when they stayed at Rikkyo in January. I understand that whenever the School has sports fixtures at home and away, Haruka makes an effort to speak to the English students and has a very approachable attitude. She has been an excellent ambassador for the School, and has shown a keen interest in establishing cultural exchanges with English students. She is clearly a very fitting candidate and I am delighted to present her with the Ambassador Award.