Maura Neligan, Gordon Lightfoot, Natalie Ermakoff and Anita Strong.

Bill Hersey’s Partyline February, 1977

CONGRATULATIONS TO Renato and Wanda Carrano on the birth of their new daughter, Erica. According to Dr. Corrias at the Italian Trade Office, Erica’s just about a month old now.

Welcome to Luis C. Perduces, the new Minister-Counsellor at the Philippine Embassy. Prior to his appointment here, he was Philippines Consul-General in Mexico. Mr. Perduces is married and has three children. The family will join him soon. Chris Walker, recently arrived in Tokyo from Australia; he’ll be working as assistant general manager for LEVIS here in Japan. I had coffee with Philippines Ambassador Roberto S. Benedicto and J. Lorenzo Vergara from the Philippine National Bank . . . the Ambassador told me he was going back to the Philippines for business and the warm weather. He’s a busy man and commutes from Tokyo to Manila quite regularly.

Tokyo just said “sayonara” to one of our most popular diplomatic families, Thai Ambassador Sompong Sucharitkul, his wife Thaithow and their two daughters “Kicky” and “Pinky.” I missed their going away parties, but did have a chance to talk with both the Ambassador and Thaithow before they left. They returned to Bangkok on the 16th, will stay there a few weeks and then on to Paris where Dr. Sucharitkul will assume his new post as Thailand’s Ambassador to France.

He received much of his education in France, speaks fluent French and is exceptionally well-qualified to serve there. “Pinky,” the youngest daughter, will be going to the same school that the French Ambassador’s wife Genevive Brunet attended. The good Ambassador is rated as one of Thailand’s best, and from all indications he has great possibilities of being one of his country’s leaders in the not-too-distant future. France’s gain is our loss. We’ll miss them but certainly wish them the very best wherever they are.

DUE IN TOWN Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos will arrive Apr. 25 for a four-day state visit. He will be accompanied by his wife Imelda, daughters Imee and Irene and Foreign Minister Carlos P. Romulo. The busy schedule includes an audience with the Emperor and Empress, talks with Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda and attending the Philippine National Day celebration at the 12th Tokyo International Trade Fair.

ON THE MOVE Turkish Ambassador Celal Eyiceoglu representing his Government and invited by the Philippine Government was the first Islamic official to arrive in the Philippines to observe the referendum plebiscite in the 13 provinces.


Let’s start out with a grand get-together at the residence of United Arab Emirates Ambassador and Mrs. Ahmed Salim Al-Mukarrab Jan. 28. It seems the Al-Mukarrabs had originally planned a small party for their friends, but once they completed the list, found out how many friends they have made in a little over a year. For the occasion, Mrs. Al-Mukarrab wore a long black dress and beautifully matched strands of small pearls. This petit lady, the epitomy of Arab hospitality, was constantly on the move the entire evening plying guests with inexhaustible supplies of Arab and western delicacies and making sure everyone knew everyone.

Guests from the Diplomatic Corps included Tanzanian Ambassador and Mrs. G.M. Nhigula, Yugoslavian Ambassador and Mrs. Miroslav Kreacic, Indian Ambassador and Mrs. Gonsalves, Spanish Ambassador and Mrs. Jose Aragones Vila, Austrian Ambassador and Mrs. Franz Weidinger and Algerian Ambassador and Mrs. Brahim. Pakistan Ambassador and Mrs. Barker were there and happy to see she’s almost completely recovered from her broken arm. Guests from the business world included Walter and Natalie Ermakoff, Mitsuo and Lilo Marnyama and Werner and Ditas Hefti. The Gaimusho was well-represented by Mr. and Mrs. Ka-gami (he’s Director-General of Mid-Eastern Affairs) and Kunio Katakura, also of the Middle East Division. This was my first chance to meet Fathi Abdel-Hamied, director of the recently opened PLO office in Japan He, his wife and two daughters are here after four years in India.

Across town to the Hilton where Vladimir (Walter) and Natalia Ermakoff were hosting a dinner-dance to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. It was a glittering affair as only the Hilton can do it, and everything was perfect for the occasion.

First there were cocktails, where each of us was given the name of a movie star, a member of royalty or a celebrity. I felt it quite appropriate when I drew the name of Paul Newman. Joanne Woodward and my dinner partner for the evening was Maura Neligan, wife of the Irish Ambassador. I couldn’t have done better!

After cocktails we all went up to the Starhill Room for a classy, glamorous evening with some of Tokyo’s most beautiful and nicest people. There was a generous sampling of well-known faces in the Starhill that evening including Algerian Ambassador and Mrs. Brahim Ghafa, Peru Ambassador and Mrs. Jorge Velando Ugarteche, Eugene and Mrs. Myburgh (he’s Counsel for South Africa), Mr. and Mrs. Hartmut Schulze-Boysen from the German Embassy, Werner and Ditas Hefti, Ralph and Myriam Hery, Mitsuo and Lilo Maruyama and Amy Sung.

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