European unity brings a new meaning to Somerset with the emergence of the Bridgwater/Marsa Twinning Association. The dedicated hardworking group members achieved many of its goals in a relatively short time.
Steve Gill (Chair) who has a wealth of personal and professional experience of Malta sent an open letter to the local paper in July 2004 in which he invited anyone to join him in forming a twinning group between a town in Malta and Bridgwater.
He had the provisional backing of our Town Council and a small number of people (4) attended the first meeting and the Bridgwater/Malta Twinning Association was born.
Approaches to the Malta Local Council Association identified an interest expressed by Marsa Local Council to be the Twinning partner and a delegation from Marsa visited our town in September 2004.
By this time the Association Membership had increased and its members hosted the Civic party to cultural visits. They were also received by our Town Mayor and his Councillors and the visit culminated in a Maltese Evening/Grand prize draw at the Cross Rifles Public House.
Since then some of the Association Members and Bridgwater Town Councillors have made private and semi-formal visits to Malta and both Town Councils were actively engaged in the formalisation of the Town Twinning process.
At the AGM in August 2005 the Committee and Members voted to adopt the title The Bridgwater/Marsa Twinning Association to accurately reflect the names of the Twinning Towns.
Bridgwater Town is permanently commemorated by the creation of a play ground in Marsa Town and a palm tree was planted by a visiting delegation from Bridgwater in September 2005.
A trophy was presented to the Marsa Town Council from the Bridgwater Association and this will be awarded at the town’s annual regatta in Valetta Harbour this year.
The final bond between the two towns was formerly established on Tuesday 25th April2006 at the Town Hall. The Mayor of Marsa, Francis Debono and Mr Adrian Attard, Executive Director Officer travelled to Bridgwater to sign the English papers with the Mayor Mr Bill Monteith. Gifts were exchanged between the two parties at an informal reception after the signing. The Marsa Twinning Association also presented three trophies to the Bridgwater Town Ladies Skittle League.
Mr. Pat Parker, Mayor of Bridgwater for this coming year, and council dignitaries will travel to Marsa to sign similar papers and copies will be distributed in the Maltese language.
The Twinning programme is not only uniting the two Towns in the spirit of European unity but also forging and strengthening friendships between individuals in Marsa and Bridgwater.
We have witnessed the satisfactory conclusion of the formal Twinning and the perpetuation of the lasting fraternity between the denizens of the two Towns.