Friday, May 15, 2009

Raleigh's Sister City - Compiegne, France

It's the year of Compiegne in Raleigh!

The City of Raleigh celebrates a 20-year-long relationship with its sister city Compiegne, France!

A delegation of nine citizens led by Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane leaves May 13 for a three-day visit. Todd Culpepper, executive director of the Raleigh-based nonprofit International Affairs Council, will be blogging along the trip.

PLEASE NOTE - Councillor McFarlane did not use any public or City money to fund this trip. She personally covered of all her expenses.

View blog updates from Compeigne here.

View video of Councillor McFarlane's speech... in French! 

This past Veterans Day 2008, Raleigh welcomed 17 students from Compiegne as part of an annual exchange with students and faculty from Ravenscroft School in North Raleigh. Among the speakers were the vice-mayor of Compiegne, Michele LeChatelier, and Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, who spoke of attending Armistice ceremonies in Compiegne two years ago. He proclaimed the next 12 months (Nov 2008 - Nov 2009) the "Year of Compiegne" in Raleigh.

Have you ever noticed Parc Compiegne? It is a small green oasis of open space between Chamberlain Street and Logan Court, directly across from the North Carolina State University Bell Tower. The park was dedicated on Oct. 29, 1999 in honor of the tenth anniversary of Compiegne and Raleigh becoming Sister Cities.

Sister Cities is an international nonprofit citizen diplomacy network working to increase global cooperation at the municipal level, to promote cultural understanding and to stimulate economic development. Sister Cities International leads the movement for local community development and volunteer action by motivating and empowering private citizens, municipal officials and business leaders to conduct long-term programs of mutual benefit. In addition to Compiegne, Raleigh is a Sister City to Rostock, Germany and Kingston-upon-Hull, England. When the round-abouts are completed on Hillsborough Street I would like to see each of them named after one of our Sister Cities!

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