Newsletter - Buckingham Twinning Association
Chairman's Report 2018
Bonsoir à tous et à toutes,
I am pleased to report on the activities and achievements of the Buckingham Twinning Association in 2017-2018
in furtherance of our objects which are:
- To bring about friendships and to create a shared sense of community between the people of Buckingham and
those of towns in different countries.
- To encourage the understanding of other peoples' way of life,
- To open up the horizons of the young to prepare them for the increasingly global future.
- To share knowledge and enthusiasms for the arts, sports and business,
- To experience each other’s history, culture and crafts.
We are delighted to continue to grow our links with our two towns: Mouvaux in France and Neukirchen-Vluyn in Germany. We are formally twinned with Mouvaux and have a friendship agreement with their German twin town Neukirchen-Vluyn. May I thank our colleagues in both towns who have been a great pleasure to work with: Annie Millecamps, Michelle Delsalle, Gunther Fisher and Christian Berges. I will now review the year in outline:
Marche de Noel. This was once again a popular event in the French calendar. The French are already queuing for this year’s market to put their hands on our mince pies and Christmas puddings. With careful planning and having stock delivered in October, we managed to take only one car, lowering the cost and making profit. Thank you to Pat, John, Jane and Howard
Community Fair I am grateful to Jane, Howard and all the helpers on an occasion where we offered fun old fashioned games to please young and not so young. It proved to be a nice way to talk to local people about the Association.
Fete des Rois. On 6 January we had a well-attended party for the twinning Committee and guests, which included Jon and Julie Cheese, wine and galette des rois were served..
Coffee and croissants Our popular Coffee and croissant was this year held at the Community Centre, It was a good way to attract new members to have a little chat on a cold and windy day. This is an event we will keep firmly on the calendar. It was really nice to have a bigger space with more people passing by. We have decided to do it there again.
Salon des artistes Two artists were invited by Mouvaux for their annual “salon des artistes”.
Square Dance visit. We received in Buckingham a large group of our German friends from Neukirchen-Vluyn with a big delegation of 14 square dancers+ plus visitors and guests. They arrived on Friday under the worst of English weather. We entertained them by a visit and lunch at Stowe, an aperitif at my home followed by a meal at the Indian restaurant. A full day the next day included a dance rehearsal, visit of the town and the University followed by a lunch at the Woolpack. Visitors went to visit Claydon House then a late afternoon dance all together followed by a nice meal at Gawcott village hall.
Bastille Boules. Thank you to all the helpers: Geoff and Valerie Shaw Ron Gleeson and Muriel Gleeson, Jane and Howard Mordue and the Lepelletier family. This is a well-oiled little event very popular in the town and generously supported by the Town Council. We encountered a mix of weather but it didn’t stop everybody enjoying it. We really must find an easier source of hay!
Garden Barbecue. We were hosted by John Murray to a really nice little BBQ in his charming and pretty garden. A bonus was that we had perfect English weather.
International Youth Forum. Two Buckingham students, Harvey and Thomas, were chosen to represent Buckingham in an International Youth Forum in Neukirchen-Vluyn. They spoke to a theme of “Your Future, living a life you love.” They were supported by friends and family and the Association gave financial assistance with their travel costs. It was a most successful event as an example of twinning exchange.
Cheese and Wine. This proved to be an amazing event as usual. Ron Gleeson delighted us with the most wonderful wines accompanied by carefully selected cheeses. His charm together with his knowledge of the topic is the essential for a very enjoyable evening. He was helped by his team in the organisation of the event.
This event was a first of its kind – a big party between all the towns twinned with Mouvaux, with the aim of promoting each town, helping people to discover what we all have to offer. It is funny to realise that there are still a lot of people who don’t know where Buckingham is!!!! Rory…an amazing guitarist came with us to represent Buckingham ,even playing within a trio with French accordionists. We had the pleasure to have Jon Harvey, Mayor of Buckingham and his wife, Julie, with us for the first time in Mouvaux. It was a very enjoyable weekend
Forthcoming Events: The BAFA have invited two French artists to bring four paintings for their annual exhibition in November. I believe this is a fantastic partnership between the two towns and soon after that we have turned full circle, back to France for our next Marche de Noel.
We continue to support the youngsters of Buckingham. We presented a prize at the Royal Latin School for the student who showed most improvement in a modern foreign language.
Thank you to all our members for your support. We are always keen to hear of any new ideas or suggestions you might have, don’t be shy and send me a little line (French not compulsory!)
Thank you very much to Buckingham Town Council. We greatly value the support we have received from our new Mayor as well Cllrs Paul Hirons, Terry Bloomfield and Ruth Newell as the town representatives on our committee together with Cllr Howard Mordue our treasurer. It is good to have the expertise of Cllr Christine Strain Clark as our Hon president. Thank you also to the Town Clerk and events coordinator. Last but not least thank you to Jane Mordue our secretary, I couldn’t do this job with her invaluable help.
We keep in touch via emails and now with our new Newsletter kindly written by Geoff Shaw. Thank you also to Ruth Newell and her daughter Lara who have kept the town informed with regular articles in the Advertiser.
The website is masterfully managed by Geoff Shaw, not an easy job: thank you Geoff for your hard work.
We were also grateful to Geoff for taking on the role of membership secretary at our last AGM and I feel he is doing a wonderful job keeping people informed of events. Subs are due soon; please pick up a leaflet if you would like to join/re-join. Any member is welcome at our regular committee meetings held every other month on the first Wednesday at 7.30 pm in my home. The exact date will be on our website.
It has been a pleasure to work on so many projects and to forge so many links between our towns. I do believe that Twinning is helping our future generations to help and understand one another in this ever growing world. Merci for listening.
Stéphanie Scrase (edited from her speech)