Scott Macphail, Chief Instructor
690 Sumas Street
Victoria BC V8T 4S6
Dear Scott Macphail,
Congratulations to Victoria Aikikai on celebrating your 40th anniversary; and celebrating it in style, too, with a seminar, embukai, and dinner.
If Gary Mols had not founded Victoria Aikikai, it is doubtful Canadian Aikido would thrive as much as it does today. That was the first event without which nothing else would have followed.
If Larry Detweiler of Victoria Aikikai had not written a letter enticing Ishiyama Sensei to come to Victoria, leadership in the region would not have had the opportunity to develop.
If Ishiyama Sensei, Cecil Paris, Scott Macphail, Bob Moline and Larry Detweiler had not founded the BCAF, Aikido in BC, indeed in Canada, would have been held back. Four of the five founders are from Victoria Aikikai.
Few people realize that the BCAF was founded to legitimize Kawahara Sensei’s presence in Canada. From this springboard, and with a small, loyal following back east, the CAF was formed and he became its technical director. It took some years to achieve this. Today the CAF also flourishes because of the inspiration of leaders from Victoria Aikikai.
When Ishiyama Sensei moved to Vancouver 30 years ago you and your stalwarts, Bob Moline, Gail Macphail, Larry Detweiler, Hilary Dawson, and Ralph Kopperson, nurtured Victoria Aikikai into one of the strongest Aikido centres in the CAF. Today, on its own, Victoria Aikikai would be one of the top 5 dojos in the country and coupled with the local dojos lead by former students of Victoria Aikikai, they would be close to the top, as a group.
Under your leadership and the dedication of your senior members, one could say that everyone in Victoria knows someone who is aware of Victoria Aikikai. This would be a real achievement in any community.
So many senior people across the country remember the BCAF summer camps with Kawahara Sensei and his guest instructors. The best were held in Victoria on the university campus. I suspect the CAF and Osawa Sensei would love to return there.
Several former students who left to train south of the border returned to Canada to form Birankai Canada, now also recognized as a second national Aikido organization in Canada to the CAF. Friendship is evident as they participated in all the events of the anniversary celebration.
On behalf of the BCAF I would like to express our gratitude to you, and to Victoria Aikikai for your leadership and contributions to Aikido in BC and in Canada for the last 40 years.
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