Tablers clarify position on twinning

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Kirriemuir Round Table has defended its position on and involvement with the town’s twinning arrangement with Volvic in France.

The organisation had been mentioned during a discussion at Kirriemuir Community Council’s recent meeting about the apparent decline of the twinning. Member Alan Bell, who is trying to revive and encourage the connection with Volvic, said he had approached several organisations within the town including the Round Table but there was “really no interest at all.”

In a letter to the Kirriemuir Herald this week, the Tablers have said they were “extremely surprised” to have been singled out as an organisation that wanted nothing to do with the Kirriemuir-Volvic twinning which they said is “categorically not the case.”

The letter states: “We received no direct communication on this subject but our secretary did join the Town Twinning page on Facebook in February this year and was proactive in contacting Mr Alan Bell through that medium to provide all necessary contact details to facilitate further discussion.

“The response received stated it was ‘early days yet but hope to hear of others from Kirrie who would be interested perhaps a meeting must just wait and see.’

“It was agreed we would discuss with our members in the meantime, but at no point was it suggested that Round Table was not interested.”

The Tablers also said that while membership numbers and other commitments may prevent them taking a leading role in the town twinning, as an organisation they remain supportive of the community council and any initiative such as Town Twinning that promotes Kirriemuir as a whole or provides opportunities for organisations or individuals in the local community.

They added: “Round Table is an international organisation and has always looked favourably on supporting any local people undertaking international travel to the benefit of the community both practically and financially.

“Table Ronde Francaise even has a local club in Clermont-Ferrand which is very close to Volvic and could be a useful contact in facilitating any exchange between the areas.

“We have been in contact again with Mr Bell of the Community Council since last week’s report to re-iterate our position, and wish to maintain the positive relationship with community council which has seen us support each other in bringing Santa’s Sleigh to the Christmas lights switch on and in building and funding the annual bonfire.”

The two towns have been twinned officially for almost 40 years but recently the interest locally appears to be on the wane although Mr Bell said there is still some enthusiasm in Volvic.

One particularly strong aspect of the twinning was exchange visits with Webster’s High School and Mr Bell said the hope for it continuing lies with the younger generation.

He added, however, that the present situation is ironic given that with modern communications, such arrangements have never been easier to pursue.

Pupils in S1 and S2 at Webster’s are currently corresponding with their counterparts in Volvic and there are hopes that, with the support of their parents, the youngsters and the school might be able to rekindle some interest in the partnership.