(508) 995-1219



Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society, Inc.

(as of June 2016)


  • Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, (Honorary President)
  • Mr. Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador of Japan
  • Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye
  • Mr. Rokuichiro Michii, Consul General in Boston
  • Mr. Robert Whitfield, 5th generation descendant
  • Ms. Kyo Nakahama, 5th generation descendant
  • Mr. Jon Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford
  • Mr. Robert Espindola, Fairhaven Selectman
  • Mr. Daniel Freitas, Fairhaven Selectman
  • Mr. Charles Murphy, Chairman, Fairhaven Selectman
  • Mr. Mitsunobu Hijiya, Mayor of Tosashimizu



  • Mr. Junji Kitadai, Manjiro Historian – ECM


  • President & CEO, Gerald P. Rooney, recipient of Order of the Rising Sun,  Gold & 
    ​Silver Rays - ECM    
  • Vice-President, Michael Silvia, community leader - ECM
  • Treasurer, Dr. Brian Bowcock, community leader - ECM
  • Secretary, Rev. Ann Fox, Unitarian Minister, tour guide - ECM
  • Cultural Advisor, Ayako Rooney, founding member – ECM 
  • Ms. Debra Almeida, Ph.D., long-time member – ECM
  • Ms. Kristine Audette, bookkeeper, volunteer - ECM
  • Ms. Ethel Cataldo, widow of Sister City Agreement signer, Selectman Joseph Cataldo
  • Mr. William Do Carmo, community advocate, businessman - ECM
  • Ms. Joan Doyon, WMFH tour guide
  • Ms. Aline Duval, retired nurse, tour guide – ECM
  • Ms. Joni Gaudiello, teacher, Bristol Community college
  • Mr. Enrique Goytizolo, antique dealer, WMFH Curator
  • Mr. Peter Grilli, President & CEO, Japan Society of Boston (RET)
  • Ms. Gail Isaksen, Fairhaven business woman, community volunteer
  • Mr. Albert Jones, community volunteer
  • Ms. Susan Joseph, former committee member
  • Ms. Carolyn Longworth, Director, Millicent Library, founding member
  • Ms. Donna Maxfield, retired teacher
  • Mr. Thomas Mello, WMFH tour guide 
  • Prof. Shigeru Miyagawa, Head of Foreign Language Dept., MIT
  • Mr. Arthur Moniz, artist, proprietor, Arthur Moniz Gallery
  • Ms. Cheryl Moniz, business woman, community volunteer
  • Ms. Debbie Morris, Whitfield home owner
  • Mr. Arthur Motta II, Dir. of Marketing, New Bedford Whaling Museum 
  • Ms. Barbara Owen, past Treasurer - ECM
  • Dr. Matthew C. Perry, 4th generation descendant
  • Mr. James Russell, President, New Bedford Whaling Museum
  • Ms. Jill Simmons, past member, Mattapoisett Harbor Master, NBPD-RET - ECM
  • Ms. Louise Tapper, retired teacher - ECM         
  • Mr. Daniel Waltz, Pres. & CEO, Southern Mass Credit Union
  • Ms. Cynthia Yoken, past member, retired teacher


  • Mr. Tsutomu Karino, Procedural & organizational advisor, New York
  • Ms. Susan J. Onuma, Partner, Kelley & Drye Law Firm, New York
  • Ms. Fujiko Hara, President, Diplomat, Inc.
  • Mr. Kenzo Kiikuni, Chairman, Brd. of Sasakawa Mem. Medical Foundation
  • Mr. Mikio Kumagai, Sec. Gen., St. Luke's Int. Hospital Foundation
  • Mr. Yoshio Okawara, former Ambassador


In December of 1987 a delegation of dignitaries from the New Bedford /Fairhaven area journeyed to Tosashimizu, the home town of Manjiro, and signed a "Sister City" agreement.  This led to the incorporation of the "Fairhaven/New Bedford-Tosashimizu Sister City Committee, Inc.".  Since that time there has been an on-going exchange of political leaders, Little Leaguers, students, quilters, artists...etc.

In 2008 the Committee was designated to operate the museum which was created when the amazing fund-raising efforts led by Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara resulted in the purchase and renovation of Captain William Whitfield's home at 11 Cherry Street, Fairhaven, Mass. With a new, international mandate for services, the Committee voted to change its name to one more in keeping with its new mission.  Thus, did the organization acquire the name,


The Society held its Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 19, at the Hampton Inn in Fairhaven.  The voting of the session included the following who were approved for a one-year term on the Society’s Executive Committee:

Debra Almeida, Kristine Audette, Dr. Brian Bowcock, William Do Carmo, Aline Duval, Rev. Ann Fox, Junji Kitadai, Barbara Owen, Ayako Rooney, Gerry Rooney, Michael Silvia, Jill Simmons and Louise Tapper.

Officers elected to a one-year term were:

President:  Gerry Rooney

Vice-president:  Michael Silvia

Treasurer: Dr. Brian Bowcock

Secretary: Rev. Ann Fox

A report of activities from Japan  was offered by long-time member, Junji Kitadai, via Skype.

The meeting was followed by refreshments and a Power Point presentation of the O-hanami (cherry blossom) festival which took place on May 1st .