Banbridge celebrates 30 years of twinning with Ruelle-sur-Touvre

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The Lord Mayor, Alderman Margaret Tinsley welcomes a delegation of distinguished guests from Ruelle-sur-Touvre in France to Banbridge Civic Centre as part of the celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the twinning of both towns.
The Lord Mayor, Alderman Margaret Tinsley welcomes a delegation of distinguished guests from Ruelle-sur-Touvre in France to Banbridge Civic Centre as part of the celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the twinning of both towns.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Margaret Tinsley was delighted to welcome a delegation of distinguished guests from Ruelle-sur-Touvre in France to Banbridge Civic Building for a Civic Reception on Thursday 9 May as part of the celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the twinning of both towns.

The French delegation led by Mayor of Ruelle-sur-Touvre, Jean-Luc Valantin, consisted of dignitaries from the town and members of the Ruelle Twinning Committee who have worked closely with their Co. Down counterparts in establishing and growing one of the borough’s longest and strongest international linkages.

To commemorate this historic event a special 30th Anniversary Park Bench was unveiled in Solitude Park to mark the lasting bond between the two towns. The delegation also enjoyed a walking tour of the town centre and partook in presentations as well as round table discussions with representatives from Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

Celebrations continued in the evening with a special 30th Anniversary event at the Southern Regional College Banbridge Campus where the twinning groups, local councillors, MLA’s and members of the public were entertained with a superb selection of music, dance, song and stories and presentations with received a rapturous reception from all in attendance.

Lord Mayor, Alderman Margaret Tinsley said; “Enjoying today’s celebrations with our friends from Ruelle-sur-Touvre has once again highlighted the importance and benefits that town twinning can bring. As we forge our friendships, by coming together we are also able to share our civic responsibilities, learn from each of our experiences and embrace our combined cultures. Both towns share a long history and I am sure our bonds will strengthen and grow for many years to come.

I would like to thank the Twinning Associations from both Banbridge and Ruelle-sur-Touvre for their continued dedication and also to the Community Planning team at ABC Council who made today’s events such a success.”

Chairperson of the Banbridge Twinning Association, Gilbert Lee commented; The concept of town twinning began after the Second World War to build relationships between countries across Europe, enabling people to gain an understanding of each others culture and create friendships, a practice that continues to this day.

This year we were honoured to welcome 27 delegates from Ruelle who were all are warmly hosted in our members’ homes. The link between Banbridge and Ruelle has remained strong throughout the past 30 years and will remain so for many years into the future.”

Chairperson of the Ruelle Twinning Group, Lydie Lavenot added; Our objectives as a twinning group have always been for a stronger future together and to strengthen the link between Banbridge and Ruelle-sur-Touvre. Today, as we officially celebrate the 30th Anniversary of our twinning I would like to pay tribute to the pioneers from both towns who originally signed the Town Twinning Charter in May 1994, as well as the different chairpersons before me who worked hard towards a better knowledge, understanding, solidarity and a true friendship between our two communities.”