Ennis And Phoenix To Celebrate 20th Anniversary Of Twinning Arrangement

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Wed Oct 15 2008

Since the formation of the twinning relationship in 1988, civic and community leaders from both sides of the Atlantic have visited each other on exchanges and have developed strong ties and personal friendships.

TJ Waters, Chairperson of Ennis Phoenix Twinning Board, said, "The twinning arrangement has presented tremendous opportunities for the residents of both Ennis and Phoenix. For example, political and business leaders, arts and cultural representatives, technical experts, teachers and students from each location have participated in regular exchanges."

Commenting on the ongoing success of the twinning arrangement, Mr. Waters said, "One of the goals of the partnership has more than been exceeded as over 100 students have participated in exchange programmes since the Youth Ambassador Programme was established in 1992. I am pleased to see that a teacher exchange programme has recently been formalised. I hope it will become as important as the Youth Ambassador Programme and help consolidate and grow the excellent relationship that exists between Ennis and Phoenix."

According to Councillor Tom Glynn, Deputy Mayor of Ennis, "The twinning partnership has helped bridge geographical and cultural divides and develop friendship and understanding between Ennis and Phoenix. I look forward to next week’s visit as both twinning committees seek to build further on the business, political, community and cultural links that have formed during the last two decades."

Councillor Glynn, an Ennis-based teacher, stated that the upcoming visit would focus on commercial and civic activities in Phoenix and surrounding areas.

He explained, "The commercial element of our visit will focus on enterprise, tourism and education. The Ennis delegation hopes to explore opportunities for trade that will be of mutual benefit to companies in Phoenix and Ennis, and to promote the town as an investment location and tourist destination. We also aim to examine the potential for the establishment of links with educational facilities in Phoenix."

"On the Civic side, the delegation will endeavor to build on the achievements and successes associated with the Ennis/Phoenix twinning to date", concluded Councillor Glynn.

The delegation will include representatives of the Ennis Phoenix Twinning Board, Clare County Enterprise Board, Clare VEC and Clare Local Authorities.

During the weeklong visit the delegation will attend presentations by the American Society of Travel Agents (Arizona Chapter), Arizona Bioscience Industry Association, City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department, and Bill Harris, President and CEO of the Arizona Science Foundation.

The travelling Ennis group will receive an overview and tour of the Translational Genomic Research Institute (T-GEN), which is on the cutting edge of bioscience research and development in the search for better ways to diagnose, treat and cure diseases, particularly cancer.

The group will also meet with Phoenix City Mayor Phil Gordon, as well as council officials. Meetings are also scheduled with adult, early learning and community education groups. The delegation will conclude its visit by attending a Phoenix–Ennis Sister Cities 20th Anniversary Reception and Dinner.

One of the most successful elements of the twinning relationship has been the Youth Ambassador Programme. Secondary students from Ennis colleges travel to Phoenix as Youth Ambassadors each year where they are home hosted by Phoenix families whose children have earlier been houseguests of the Ennis families. Ennis Ambassadors meet up with Ambassadors from other Sister Cities including Calgary, Canada; Catania, Italy; Chengdu, China; Grenoble, France; Hermosillo, Mexico; Himeji, Japan; Prague, Czech Republic; and Taipei, Taiwan.

The Programme has been complemented in recent months by the formal establishment of a Teacher Exchange Programme. Heather Kiser - a History teacher at Pointe Mountain High School, Phoenix - recently spent a fortnight teaching American History at Colaiste Mhuire in Ennis. Helen Sheil of Colaiste Mhuire will travel to Phoenix next spring when she will teach History in Heather's school. It is anticipated that the programme will be expanded in the coming years.

In recent years, Phoenix groups such as the internationally acclaimed Phoenix Boys Choir and The Phoenix Children Chorus have performed in Ennis Cathedral, Glór and St Joseph's Church.


Note to Editor:
- For further information or to arrange a photo opportunity please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on (00353) 868534900 or media@dunphypr.com

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Email: media@dunphypr.com
Contact Phone: 00353868534900

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