Back row, from left: Ralph Komai, Jimmy Wunno, Thomas Kato, Howard Ono, Myron Tomikawa, Tom Iino. Front row, from left: Carol Tomikawa, Kathy Shibata, Carolyn Kato.

By CAROLYN TOKUNAGA

On Aug. 27, as part of Centenary United Methodist Church’s 125th Anniversary Celebration, a reunion of the Girls’ Clubs, Boys’ Y Clubs, and MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) was held.

Beginning in the 1950s at Centenary’s 35th and Normandie site, new Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs were formed every year for over two decades. The clubs provided fellowship and learning, opportunities for community outreach, and avenues to contribute to the life of the church. With active participation of boys and their dads and girls and their moms, family bonds were strengthened and parents had wonderful ways to build ties with not only their children but also with other parents. 

Left side, front to back: Carolyn Tokunaga, Shari Nishi, Nancy Bowers. Right side, front to back: Vicky Uyemura, Janice Yamanaka, Lori Naka.

By the early 1990s, the last of the kids were young adults. This wonderful program of faith-building, friendship development, fellowship and service would come to its conclusion.

125 people attended this event as participants reconnected with people from their childhood and teenage years. Judging from the hugs and cacophony of voices in the room, it was a joyful and happy time. Programming was kept to a minimum, but it didn’t matter; people were so excited to see each other that it was impossible to quell the conversations. 

Three in the middle, from left: Annette de la Torre, Lynn Kimotsuki, June Mitsunaga Fujimoto. Tracy Tanji is in the pink dress behind them.

All had wonderful memories to share, funny stories to tell, and exploits to remember. There were also decades of lives lived to catch up on.

Some club members brought memorabilia from their club days to share. It was fun to look at childhood pictures, read news articles, and review events of over 50 years ago.

From left: Grant Nakagawa, Ronald Shiraishi, Dennis Iba, Terry Hihara.

If you missed this wonderful opportunity to revisit the past, join us for our 125th anniversary luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The link for registration is https://www.centenarydtla.org/product-page/125th-anniversary-luncheon.

The 125th Anniversary Worship Service will be held on Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. with Bishop Rev. Dr. Grant Hagiya preaching.

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