Horsham’s French twin town, St. Maixent l’Ecole recently sent its Comite de Jumelage (twinning committee) for formal and informal business talks with Horsham’s twinning executive.
The visitors from St. Maixent were received by the chairman of the Horsham District Council, Leonard Crosbie, the deputy chairman, Philip Circus and Peter Mullarky, chair of twinning.
The formal meeting in the Capitol Theatre on Saturday, October 13 confirmed the arrangements made for Horsham’s visit to St. Maixent in October 2013, which includes performances by Dianne Walters’ “Pleasure Singers”.
Practical decisions were also taken about possible future visits to and by Horsham Rugby Club and Horsham Joggers. Horsham rugby was represented by Richard Ordidge, the Joggers by Chairman Tony Johnson and Caroline Murie. Both Committees decided also to explore links in cycling.
More informal events in a packed weekend were a tour of Horsham, lunch at the home of Lorna Manwaring(Twinning Deputy Chairman), the Scholars’ Musical Concert at Christ’s Hospital, a visit to Nymans Gardens, and an away match at Eastbourne with Horhsam’s 2nd XV - all capped by a Farewell Dinner at the Hornbrook Inn, to which one or two old rugby friends turned up for a friendly reunion.
Mme Eliane Bouzinac de la Bastide, presidente du Comite de Jumelage de St Maixent, said: “What a long way we have come, 30 years having already passed since the signing of the Twinning Agreement sealed the pact of friendship and exchange between our two districts. It all started with a game of rugby, that noble and manly sport in which friendship played an essential part behind that oval ball.
“In the second half, the members of the Twinning Committees took up the challenge. The spirit of twinning was embodied in concrete actions. There have been Commemoration Ceremonies and sporting, school and cultural exchanges, all conducted with human warmth and good spirit.
“This autumn, the delegates from our Committee and the members of the Rugby Club are happy to spend these few enjoyable days amongst you. We are also keen to reinforce our relationship and ensure this understanding continues in the future with the younger generation.
“In order to keep the spirit of twinning alive, we and Mr Peter Mullarky are hoping to arrange a rugby match between our two towns as well as a joint concert of choirs from Horsham and St Maixent l’Ecole which is planned for October 2013.
“In spite of the language barriers which exist of course, the new technologies of the modern age reduce distances and the world has become smaller, which enables us to enjoy pleasurable joint adventures when we meet up. We speak from the heart.
“I hope, we all hope, that our respective Committees will continue to play an organisational role so that those links which have been created over the years between Horsham and Saint Maixent will continue.
“Long live our Twinning and our friendship.’’
Peter Mullarky, chair of twinning in Horsham, said: “We are proud of the work our Twinning Association does for the council and community in keeping the promises Horsham made when it twinned with Lage and St. Maixent. It is in constant and regular contact with both our twin towns, and is active in promoting social, cultural and sporting links.’’
Pictured here, from left, Dr. Francois Courtois, Maire-Adjoint de St. Maixent; Leonard Crosbie, chairman of Horsham District Council; Philip Circus, deputy chairman of HDC; Mme. Eliane Bouzinac de la Bastide, Presidente du Comite de Jumelage de St. Maixent
More information about Twinning can be found here: http://www.horsham.gov.uk/leisure/3281.aspx