Thursday, May 19, 2011


I’m on a Japanese theme this week and have, in the past, mentioned Lynfa Phillips, a friend who is a superb business woman from Pontyclun, South Wales. Lynfa has been awarded all kinds of prestigious awards, including Welsh Business Woman of the Year.

She is a board member of Groundwork Merthyr, Rhondda, Cynon, and Taff which is twinned with Groundwork Fukuoka Japan. Lynfa’s success in the private sector with her own Japanese firm and her special knowledge of her business and culture have given her a special insight into Japanese life.

The Executive Director, Mr Taeto-Otani requested help from their Welsh colleagues, to which Lynfa,as chair of the Groundwork Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taff Fund Raising Team mmediately responded, hoping to raise £10,000. Lynfa commented: “The date of the launch is Saturday, 21 May and Roy Noble, the well known BBC broadcaster, will perform the ceremony. The congregation of St Paul’s church in Pontyclun have been very supportive, a collection was made and I have a three figure sum to take to Groundwork next week. On behalf of, the committee of our community shop, the Chair person David Allen of our community shop brought a cheque to my home yesterday for £2,000.00 and a special “prize” is a hosted tea for two and a tour of The House of Lords. My heart is heavy with the devastation along the North East Pacific coast area of Japan following the earthquake, tsunami and damage to the nuclear plant at Fukushima. Groundwork trusts in the UK in harmony and total support for Groundwork Associations in Japan along with many other Non Governmental Agencies are helping the Japanese Government and peoples.

“With my friends in Japan whom I regard as my “Made in Japan” families, in the past, I visited the Sendai area. We visited Matsushima which along with Miyajima and Amanohashidate are considered three places of outstanding scenic beauty. Now, towns and villages washed away, no agriculture or fisheries, the major employment in that area and even more serious and long term, radio activity. My thoughts and prayers go out to the nation who are sharing each other’s grief and standing firm in their support.

“In 1996 when I inherited Import Agencies Ltd from Mr Taichi Nishio, I knew little about sake or beer and absolutely nothing about importing. As a somewhat mature, teetotal, Welsh widow, I had tremendous help from Japanese business people. I felt I was building bridges of friendship between east and west, respecting cross cultural issues in this great multi cultural world we live in. Those bridges have withstood the test of time. My message to people is, PLEASE HELP US TO HELP THEM" Your kind donations will change their lives and make the world a better place.”