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The Japanese Mutual Aid Society of Chicago, Annual Meeting

• The Japanese Mutual Aid Society of Chicago held its annual meeting on March 30 at the Japanese American Service Committee (JASC). Annual reports on finances and activities, as well as their plan for 2015, were presented.

• Some discussions at the meeting were:
• Japanese Mausoleum at the Montrose Cemetery has become almost full. Outreach and reuniting lost urns with families are needed. The families may have forgotten their family member’s remains are there.

• The Montrose Cemetery was hard hit by emerald ash borers, and more than 50 trees were removed, especially in Oakhill Annex section, which lost many of them. A long-term beautification project needs to be considered.

• The Japanese Mutual Aid Society of Chicago received a large, unrestricted bequest from the estate of the late Mrs. Ayako Hamamoto. This will be reflected in next year’s financial statement.

• The Mutual Aid paid $387 for burial which was based on the agreement dated November 10, 1993. Executive Secretary Karen Kanemoto reminded the attendees that neither Mutual Aid nor the Montrose Cemetery took prepayments for burial or funeral expenses.

• 2015 Elected Officers are: Executive Secretary, Karen Kanemoto; Board member, Ron Yoshino and Neil Kanemoto; Treasurer, Ken Yoshitani; Vice President, Stanley Kurokawa, Sats Tanakatsubo, and Robert Kumaki; President, Gary Shimomura.

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• Here is general information about plots at Montrose Cemetery. The costs are the same as last year.
• The Mutual Aid currently has plots in the “Oakhill Annex” section of the Montrose Cemetery for sale.
• Each plot measures 3’ x 8’ and can hold a standard casket. For urn burials, three opening of a plot can be made. Each opening holds two regular size urns when a vault is purchased to enclose the urns. Plots purchased from the Mutual Aid are $350 each. Temporary storage of urns in the Mausoleum is free. All grave markers are the same color and size, 24” x 12” and 8” high in the back. The markers are called “Hickey Markers” and can be purchased from Montrose Cemetery.
• Flowers may be planted in front of the marker 12” out and the width of the marker but not in back of the marker. The Mutual Aid does not permit evergreens in its section and does not accept memorial trees. During the winter months wreaths are allowed, but no winter blankets. Artificial flowers can be used. It is recommended that real flowers not be placed on the marker because the acid from the flowers will run down the marker and discolor the granite. All flowers and vases are taken up on March 1st and October 1st of each year for general clean up.
• To consult the Mutual Aid Society to purchase a grave or join, call Ms. Karen Kanemoto at 773-907-30

Executive Secretary, Karen Kanemoto

President, Gary Shimomura