Grand Master SEN Soshitsu XV Receives Award for Meritorious Service from Rotary Foundation

SEN Soshitsu XV is involved in many public activities, and among them he has poured enormous energy into his work within the service organization Rotary International. He is a central moving force in the R.I. of Japan, and, as a Trustee of the Rotary Foundation for the past four years, exercised strong leadership in the worldwide organization.
   June 22-29, 2002, he attended the 93rd Annual Convention of R.I. and a meeting of the Foundation trustees, which were held in Barcelona, Spain. His term as trustee would expire at the end of the month, but for the new Rotary year he accepted the responsibility of serving as chairman of the fund-raising committee in Japan for the R.I. global polio eradication effort. Furthermore, he was appointed as chairman of the convention committee for the 95th annual convention, which will take place in Osaka, Japan, in May of 2004.
   At the meeting of the trustees, which took place on June 27, Rotary Foundation trustees chairman Luis Giay awarded him with the Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service, for his outstanding contributions to the Rotary organization and his impressive work as a trustee.

Reunion with Mikhail GORBACHEV and Nane ANNAN

At the R.I. Convention in Barcelona, Grand Master SEN Soshitsu XV also enjoyed a warm reunion with former Soviet Union President Mikhail GORBACHEV and Mrs. Nane ANNAN, both of whom had previously visited him at his home in Kyoto, Konnichian. Mr. Gorbachev, together with his late wife, had visited Konnichian on April 19, 1994. At that time, he drank matcha tea that the Grand Master personally prepared for him and that the Grand Master's wife, the late SEN Tomiko, helped to serve. It was in November, 1999, that Mrs. Annan visited Konnichian together with her husband, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi ANNAN. Also, in September, 2000, she and Mr. Annan participated in the "Tea Ceremony for World Peace" held at the United Nations Headquarters in conjunction with the Millennium meeting of world leaders, where they again drank matcha tea which Grand Master Sen prepared for them.
   Mr. Gorbachev was at the Barcelona Convention to give the keynote address at the plenary session held on June 25. At that time, he was presented with the R.I. Humanitarian Service Award for his humanitarian and peace efforts by way of the Gorbachev Foundation. Mrs. Annan was one of the special speakers at the Convention, and received the Rotary Award for Humanitarian Service.

Reunion with Mikhail GORBACHEV Reunion with Nane ANNAN