Start your new year by twinning up with a great idea to meet new friends in Australia and Germany

PUBLISHED: 14:21 07 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:21 07 January 2019

Fenland Twinning Association’s holds its annual meeting and tea party. Seen here outside Fenland Hall in March. Picture: FDC

Fenland Twinning Association’s holds its annual meeting and tea party. Seen here outside Fenland Hall in March. Picture: FDC

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Fenland Twinning Association is looking for new people to join to strengthen its ties with Germany and Australia.

The association is inviting anyone interested in finding out more to its annual general meeting and chairman’s tea party on Wednesday January 23.

The event is at Fenland Hall in County Road, March, with the meeting starting at 5.30pm and the tea party from 6pm onwards.

Bob Gosling, association chairman, said: “The association is a voluntary organisation set up to provide twinning services for Fenland District Council which is twinned with Stadt Nettetal in Germany and the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

“We were established in the early 1980s with an aim to foster friendship and understanding and stimulate and encourage twinning activities with our twinned partners.

“This year we’d like to develop our links even further, and would especially like more young members, including families.

“It’s not necessary to be able to speak German, as many of the Stadt Nettetal members have excellent English.”

As well as having individual and family members, the association supports local schools and organisations, such as scouts, guides and sports clubs, to make links with the twinned communities and undertake exchange visits.

Fenland celebrates 32 years of twinning with Nettetal in 2019, with exchange visits between the two taking place every two years.

Last July, Fenland members hosted a successful visit from their German friends, with the next return visit to Nettetal planned for 2020.

The link with the Sunshine Coast was established in 1997 in remembrance of the heroics of Jim Hocking, a young Australian pilot who died on July 28, 1944, after the Stirling bomber he was piloting caught fire on a training flight.

Aged just 21, Hocking ordered his crew to bail out as he flew the plane away from March town centre, crashing into a field to avert disaster.

The Charter of Mutual Friendship between the Sunshine Coast and Fenland was renewed in 2017 when the Mark Jamieson, Mayor of Sunshine Coast Regional Council, and other visitors came to Fenland.

“Most visits between Fenland and the Sunshine Coast take place on an individual basis due to the distance involved, but many close and lasting friendships have developed over the years, with regular correspondence between members,” said Mr Gosling.

Membership to Fenland Twinning Association is open to anyone living in Fenland, as well as local groups and schools.

“If possible we hope that members are able to host families or individuals from Nettetal when they visit Fenland and take part in our visits to them.”

• For more information contact Mike Cornwell, secretary of Fenland Twinning Association, on 01354 653757 or email fenlandtwinning@gmail.com, or Chairman Bob Gosling on 01945 588342 or email boblenie@talktalk.net

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