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Sturbridge by any name

Town tightens bond with UK sister city

Stourbridge, England, has been a sister city to Sturbridge since 1988. (click for larger version)
October 11, 2010
STURBRIDGE — Town leaders recently sent a message of friendship across the Atlantic to an English town with a familiar-sounding name.

The Board of Selectmen signed and read a proclamation prepared by the Rotary Club of Sturbridge reconfirming the connection between the town and its sister town of Stourbridge, England during a meeting Monday, Oct. 4. The proclamation confirmed the observance of Oct. 13, Stourbridge Rotary Friendship Day.

"Whereas the Rotary Clubs of Sturbridge, Massachusetts and Stourbridge, England have worked to promote a bond of friendship between the two clubs and whereas the people [of both towns] have taken part in cultural exchanges in an attempt to further that bond of friendship and understanding the Board of Selectmen wishes to extend special greeting to commemorate the anniversary of Stourbridge Rotary Friendship Day," Board Chairman Thomas Creamer read.

Klaus D. Hachfeld, former Rotary District 7910 Governor and District Rotary Foundation Alumni Chair, explained the sister-club relation began in 1988, when five Stourbridge Rotarians came to Sturbridge to celebrate the town's 250-anniversary celebration. The British representatives joined their Sturbridge counterparts, dressing in period costume, as they all marched in the Sturbridge 250th Celebration Parade. That visit cemented a long-term friendship between the groups which endures.

"They are wonderful people and we all had a great time," Hachfeld said. "The relationship we started in 1988 has been going on every since. It is an active friendship and it hasn't faded over time.'

Since the first meeting, groups of club members have traveled every three years or so to visit their friends across the pond.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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