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Early Summer Party, British Ambassador's Residence

Early Summer Party, British Ambassador's Residence

Chilean Wine tasting in Tokyo 21c Club

A prior member of the C&O Society, Mr Miguel Poklepovic (Lincoln College, Oxford 1975) - the Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of Chile in Tokyo, very kindly offered to help organize a wine tasting event. The C&O Society has held successful wine and whiskey tasting events in the past, and the committee decided to take up Mr Poklepovic's offer. Unfortunately (for us), Mr Poklepovic was assigned to a new role as first Consul-General at the Chilean Embassy in Guangdong before the event was held, and so was unable to attend. The C&O Society appreciates the Embassy's subsequent effort to follow through with the planning and running of the event. In particular, Mr Herman Beck, Director of Commercial Office, Embassy of Chile, and Ms Catalina Sànchezs, Assistant; Commercial Office; Embassy of Chile.

Chilean Wine Tasting 1Chilean Wine Tasting 1

The wine tasting was held at the Tokyo 21c Club in the Shin Marunouchi building on 22nd November. As expected, the attendance was high, over 50 people. A fine selection of Chilean wines was provided, thanks to several importers who were generous enough to provide samples of their products. Red and White Wines from Vintisquero, Leyda/San Antonio Valley, Limary Valley and Emiliana Natura were on offer. In fact there were so many excellent wines, it would be hard to name them all. Both Whites and Reds were provided with a wide range of different favours, something for everyone. There was also a Chilean olive oil called Santiago provided, with a very interesting and pleasant fruity taste. A buffet was provided, and finished off in double quick time by the hungry crowd. Many vineyard maps and brochures as well as Chilean gourmet books were displayed against a slide backdrop of the beautiful Andes.
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Mon, 2010-11-22 09:00.
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2010 Autumn Golf Match at Fuji OGM Golf Club

Ichihara 2010 PanoramaIchihara 2010 Panorama The scene that welcomed our eleven participants as they blinked into the rising sun from the clubhouse early on the morning of Saturday November 6th at Fuji OGM Golf Club Ichihara summed up all that makes golf in Japan at this time of year so magical: a crisp bright morning, a broad vista of lakes, sculpted fairways lined with trees boasting every conceivable shade of Autumnal hues – copper, rust, gold-vermilion - with the sun just starting to burn off gossamer wafts of mist, take the edge off the 7am chill and dry out the dew that carpeted the practice putting green. “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and it would not have been surprising to have seen John Keats himself stroll around the corner in his plus fours whistling a merry tune, mashie niblick in hand….

Ichihara 2010 WoodsIchihara 2010 Woods The course was in good condition despite the hot blast of August which had put paid to many a more prestigious course’s greens this year. The early start had raised the eyebrows of at least one of our members but once the golf began in earnest all thoughts of sleep were soon forgotten.

We were glad to welcome back Stephen Gomersall whose keenness at golf is now clearly matched by his alacrity at digital photography. Thanks Stephen for your set of photographs which wonderfully capture the spirit of the day. At lunchtime there were few people boasting good scoring apart from Oxford’s Steven Thomas who had stroked it around in a nonchalant one over par gross. The lunch break clearly improved performance with some beer-fuelled comebacks, some imperious striking off the tee from our Hon Sec Terry Nakamura, and random adventures in the countryside from public affairs entrepreneur John Sunley.
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Sat, 2010-11-06 00:00.
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Visit to the USS George Washington, 3rd April 2010

Visit to the USS George Washington Yokosuka Naval Base 3rd April 2010

On Saturday April 3, Members of the C&O were invited by Former US naval officer, Lieutenant Commander Edmond Aruffo (Hughes Hall, Cantab.), for a tour of the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington, based at Yokosuka Naval Base.
Thirty-three members of the Society attended the tour. As with the previous tour of the USS Blue Ridge, we were lucky with the weather and enjoyed blue skies and sunshine. After passing through the entry gate, a strong 'listen up!!!!' from Edmond brought the party to attention, and we moved off to board a bus taking us to the ship.
George Washington 2010 - Image 1George Washington 2010 - Image 1
We were met by CO Captain Dave "Too Tall" Lausman and XO Dan Grieco, who explained some US military protocol, particularly don’t touch anything, twiddle any knobs or press any buttons. And definitely not the big red ones marked 'Launch'. The ship certainly got everyone’s attention. Enormous, 300 meters long apparently.

We went on board the ship and climbed up to the cavernous hanger deck, which was being renovated. Captain Lausman introduced some of his crew, and explained about the design and activities of the ship.
George Washington 2010 - Image 3George Washington 2010 - Image 3 We then climbed up to the flight deck for a detailed look at all the specialized equipment to launch and land aircraft. We had a run-through of how the steam catapult, jet blast deflector and aircraft brake cables (what are these called?) operated. And we were able to look over a retired Navy Hornet Jet on the deck, which had mysteriously been assigned to XO Dan Grieco.
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Sat, 2010-04-03 05:00.
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2010 Spring Golf Outing to Hodogaya Golf Club

On Saturday March 27th, eighteen golfers gathered at the venerable Hodogaya CC for the C+O Spring Golf Meeting. We were greeted by a steady breeze and cool temperatures, but Hodogaya was in splendid condition as always.

As well as many of our regular stalwart members, it was good to see some new talent joining the C+O golf group in the form of Tony Jackson and Charles Postles. We were also very pleased to welcome three guest players.

C&O Golf 2010C&O Golf 2010 At lunch time, reports from the first half's play confirmed that the course was playing tough, with no one having managed to play to their handicap.

The afternoon proved no easier and after battling round 18 holes, the traditional "ofuro" enjoyed at the end of play was all the more soothing to some tired muscles and weary golfers.

When all the results were in, it proved that experience and local knowledge had won the day, with Hodogaya member Peter Itoh taking home the C+O Trophy for the first time, with a score of 78 and after a countback with Steven Thomas. New man Charles Postles was in third spot and previous Champion Yasuzo Takeno placed fourth.

In the Varsity match, Oxford extended their historical lead to 21-15 with a significant 11 stroke victory.

C&O Golf 2010 -3C&O Golf 2010 -3 A short party and prize giving brought an end to a most enjoyable day, with participants already marking their diaries for the Autumn meeting - planned for Saturday October 23rd. More details to come in due course.
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Sat, 2010-03-27 03:00.
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Dinner at Les Cristallines 24th February, 2010

Dinner at Les Cristallines 24th February 2010, 18:30 to 21:00 Les Cristallines, 5-4-30 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
The C&O Society's main event of February was a dinner at Les Cristallines, attended by 28 members and 5 guests.
Les Cristallines 2010-02-24 Image 1Les Cristallines 2010-02-24 Image 1
Les Cristallines is a charming French restaurant located in Minami Aoyama, around 5 minutes' walk from Omote-Sando Station. Its secluded location in a small side street made it something of a challenge to find, but as we arrived and greetings were exchanged it was clear that the restaurant was worth searching for. Separated from the busy streets of Tokyo by just a few dozen metres was a quiet, cosy atmosphere that couldn't have been more conducive to friendly conversation.
Les Cristallines 2010-02-24 Image 2Les Cristallines 2010-02-24 Image 2 As we sat down to aperitifs, the Maitre d', Jean-Luc Bauer, introduced our chef. Accompanied by generous amounts of wine, our meal was presented on a succession of translucent crystal plates, which looked particularly stunning when lit from below by lights cleverly concealed within our tables. During the course of the meal we were introduced to four new members of the society: Yushi Inaba (St John's, Cambridge), Miguel Pokepovic (Lincoln, Oxford), Matilda Ruffle (Brasenose, Oxford) and Maki Terao (St Hilda's and Christ Church, Oxford). Also in attendance as overseas visitors were Laurent Bonnaud (St Antony's, Oxford) and Andreas Demetriades (Trinity, Cambridge).
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Wed, 2010-02-24 09:30.
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Buffet Dinner at New Sanno Hotel with O&C Society of India

On 26 October, Members of the C&O were the guests of Edmond Aruffo (Hughes Hall, Cantab.) for a thanksgiving dinner at the New Sanno Hotel in Hiroo.

NewSanno-2009-2Edmond Aruffo (at right) and Guests The event was held not only to celebrate the survival of the early American settlers with the help of their Indian neighbors, but also to welcome our very own Indian guests, members of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India (OCSI) who were on a visit to Japan. The evening started with drinks from the well stocked bar and continued with dinner from the sumptuous buffet. Traditional dishes were beautifully arranged on tables along the wall, and included such delicacies as pumpkin pie, wild rice and sweet potatoes ending, of course, with turkey and cranberry sauce.

Fifty-one members of the Society and guests attended the event to provide a warm welcome to the 11 Indian visitors. Following a few introductory words from the honorary secretary, Tim Minton, the President of OCSI, Sumant Dhamija spoke on behalf of the 11-strong delegation. Mr. Dhamija explained the Indian custom that called for a speech of a length proportional to the distance the speaker had travelled, but delivered the shorter version in consideration of C&O Japan members who may have had other matters to attend to within the following week.

Tim Minton introduced three new members, Rasmus Bertelsen (Churchill, Cantab), Miyako Okahara (Newnham, Cantab) & Masaji Takahashi (Jesus, Cantab) all of whom were warmly welcomed and, we hope, will be regularly seen at future events.

NewSanno-2009-4: Tim Minton's AddressTim Minton's Address alongside O&C India alumni guests
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Thu, 2009-11-05 04:16.
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2009 Autumn Golf Outing to Shishido Hills CC

A bright and sunny morning on Saturday 10th October found 12 Cambridge & Oxford golfers in Ibaragi-ken for the Autumn 2009 meeting. Shishido Hills CC West Course hosts one of the four "Major" tournaments for Japanese professionals each year, and true to that pedigree it proved to be one of the sterner tests the C&O golfers have faced over the years. We were fortunate to have the chance to play there by the kind arrangement of Mr. Yoshio Karita.

Among our modest number we were delighted to welcome two first-time C&O golf participants - Masaji Takahashi and Charles Postles. One of Ambassador Takahashi's postings had been to Australia and indeed he arrived on the first tee wearing a jacket from the President's Cup staged in Royal Melbourne GC in 1998 - in fact the only time the International Team has ever won the event. It was also very good to see Yoshi Kawamura again, back from his 3-year posting in Chicago, joining other regular players Yoshi Shimizu, John Sunley and Jim Weeks.

C&O Golf 2009C&O Golf 2009 Starting off the 10th tee, after a tough first nine holes lunchtime conversation seemed to be focused more on the natural beauty of the Shishido environs than the quality of golf! At half time, Alex Miller and Steven Thomas had fared best with gross 38s, closely followed by Simon Dalby on 40. Fortified by a good lunch, for the afternoon nine it was notable that, with a single exception, every player improved on their morning score. Defending Champion Yasuzo Takeno showed his true form with a solid 42 and Yoshi Kawamura also played very well for the same score, despite an OB on the very last hole. Indeed Kawamura-san's 72 net was good enough for 3rd place, two shots behind Alex Miller's net 70. AT the end of the day, however, it was Cambridge man Simon Dalby's fine second nine 34 gross which secured him the title, with a net 69, and his gross 74 also edged out Thomas by one shot for best gross honours.
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Thu, 2009-11-05 01:01.
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2009 Spring Golf Outing to Hodogaya Golf Club

At one of the golfing establishments with the longest and most distinguished histories in Japan, it was with a real sense of anticipation that the serried ranks of the C&O Golfing Society gathered at the kind invitation of member Peter Sato (Oxford, St Catherine's) in the early morning mist at Hodogaya CC (established 1921), on Saturday 28th of March, 2009. There was history in the event, too, as 2009 also marked the 20th year since we have extant records for the C&O Varsity golf match, which itself was first held at Hodogaya CC.

The Spring outing each year, for many, marks the first time in the season that the Guttie Percha ball is given its first chance of flight, and equal opportunity to raise (and then sometimes dash) the members' perennial hopes and aspirations for the golf of the summer to come. This year was no exception, with the course's Official Starter seeing off the assembled three flights of four off at 8.06am. A full and varied repertoire of tee shots was on display, aptly illustrating the group's immunity to the cold, as each addressed a tricky par four fairway that steeply fell away then disappeared around on a dog-leg left to an elevated green.

We were fortunate to be treated kindly by the weather, with an overcast day never threatening anything more ominous. With the course set up as a tough challenge, it was with the usual animated discussion regarding the lucky bounces, or just-short approaches, the regretful "it-almost-carried-the-water" and "if-only-I'd-not-duffed-that second-approach" -commentary that characterise any meeting of the Society, that a heartening lunch was taken in the wood-panelled Dining Room in the late morning, which set up the eight members from Oxford, and three from Cambridge, and one guest (Mari Ohsaki, James Lawden's (Oxford, New) guest) for the afternoon's action. With the greens running surprisingly fast for the time of year, and the fairways in superb condition, each four-ball returned with tales of fickle fortune, and a unifying satisfaction of being out for another Good Walk Spoiled.

Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Fri, 2009-03-27 15:00.
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2008 Autumn Golf Outing to Fuji OGM/Ichihara Golf Club

Despite mixed weather forecasts earlier in the week, Saturday 27th September dawned clear and bright as 11 C&O golfers and guests made their way on the Aqualine under (and over) Tokyo Bay heading for the Society's 2008 Autumn Meeting at Fuji OGM Ichihara GC in Chiba.

2008 Fuji OGM Golf Photo 12008 Fuji OGM Golf Photo 1 While not the largest of turn-outs for a Society golf event, with some of our stalwarts otherwise engaged on the day, our small group was full of enthusiasm for the return to this pleasant Robert Trent Jones design, which had previously hosted us back in 2005. Among our number, we were pleased to welcome a first time player, and guest of James Lawden, Mari Ohsaki.

2008 Fuji OGM Golf Photo 22008 Fuji OGM Golf Photo 2 Starting just before 9am, our three groups completed the first half smoothly with the usual golfers' stories being exchanged over lunch of good shots and bad breaks, missed putts and bumpy greens - along with news of two remarkable chip-ins by Takahisa Hashimoto. While inevitably a little different to the roast beef and yorkshire pudding fare of the great traditional clubs of the UK, Fuji Ichihara's lunch offerings were certainly fulsome and a number of our members were noted to be enjoying a late-morning beer or sake to fortify themselves for the second nine.
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Sat, 2008-09-27 00:00.
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