Exchange Student Repays City.
Printed in Newsmail (Bundaberg Local
Newspaper) on 16th May 1989
Checking plans for a new water feature courtyard are the President of Bundabeg Lions Club, Mr Bill Baxter, the City Engineer, Mr Geof Bullpitt, and Lions Host parents, Mr Buddy Anderson, Mr Duncan Muller, Mr Ron Glass, and Mr Ron Cathcart. A former Youth Exchange Student has repaid Bundaberg for its kindness with a donation of more than $8000 to Bundaberg Botanical Gardens. Mr Yoshi Funamura, now 42, returned to Bundaberg recently to express his gratitude at Bundaberg support during his Lions Exchange Student visit in 1970.
Mr Funamura now a successful businessman presented the cheque to Bundaberg Lions Club with the condition that the money be used to benefit all Bundaberg people. After consultation with Bundaberg City Council it was decided the money be used for a water feature courtyard at the Botanical Garden site. The location next to the new museum (Fairymead House) will be landscaped as a sunken area complete with a step waterfall. The President of Bundaberg Lions Club Mr Bill Baxter said they had been touched by the donation but said the action was typical of Mr Funamura. he had been a popular student and was much loved by his host family. During his student year, Mr Funamura attended Bundaberg State High School before returning to his home town Osaka. Plans for the site have already been drafted and construction will begin soon. The Bundaberg Lions Club constructed a Tori for the project and to honor Mr Funamura. Mr Funamura’s donation would equate to about $16000 in todays money.
The Bundaberg City Council have been working on the site and improving it over the years. It is now known as the Bundaberg Japanese Gardens which includes The Yoshie Garden Courtyard. A plaque is mounted on the Tori.
This is a very beautiful garden and it is always a pleasure to show our visitors. It is one of places we show all of our Exchange Students.
The people of Bundaberg have Mr Yosie Funamura to thank for the birth of this beautiful garden.