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Lethbridge Twinning Society

President's Corner

Harold Pereverseff – President LTS
Awarded Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal
(October 12, 2012) by the late, Lethbridge
MP Jim Hillyer
(I am keeping this picture posted in honor
of Mr. Hillyer, a tremendous supporter
of the LTS)
Thank you Lethbridge Twinning Society Members! You have succeeded in making the Society not only successful but significant in our community.

The year 2016 is upon us, and we are preparing for an exciting year indeed. This year, we will be approaching our twinning activities with the same vision but a greater passion! Are you ready for the ride? What a ride we have been on so far! Never before has our Society reached out and entered into "collaborative efforts" with other groups, organizations and government bodies like we have over the past couple years. We are now closer than ever with Sister Cities International (Washington, DC), the Canadian Consulate in Denver, Colorado, the Consulates of Japan and the United States of America (Calgary) as well as the Russian Federation through their "Honorary Consul General" from Edmonton, Alberta, the Lethbridge College, the University of Lethbridge, Volunteer Lethbridge and Nikka Yuko Garden! These new "extensions" will certainly open doors of opportunity to us and will continue to grow our Society even more so.

The formal establishment of our English as a Second Language (ESL) arrangements with the University of Lethbridge, the Lethbridge College and Flexibility Learning Systems, has certainly been a proven success as we continue to welcome participants to Lethbridge from our Sister City, Towada City, Japan. These participants have been hosted in LTS member homes as they take their ESL training and cultural experience. Our requests for feedback from the participants at the end of their programs has been very positive. We are certainly moving in the right direction in this area!

In December of last year (2015) Sister Cities International contacts created a unique opportunity for us as we welcomed Mayor Lutfi Haziri, from Gjilan, Kosovo and his assistant, Mr. Veton Sagiri to Lethbridge. Mayor Haziri and his Alberta host, Dr. Tony Bislimi, from the University of Alberta (Edmonton) conducted a plenary session that was held at our City Hall Atrium. The session was very well attended and provided an insight into the developments in the Country of Kosovo and in particular, the stellar work that Mayor Haziri has done in and for his city and his country.

In January of 2016 we hosted a reception for a delegation from our newest sister city, Great Falls, Montana. The Kadoshnikov family was recognized. It was a great reception and we had fun, enjoyed great food (pot luck) and shared experiences in the "Sister City Movement". The relationship between the Lethbridge Twinning Society and the City of Great Falls, Advisory Commission on International Relations is well established and is proving to be a conduit for our citizen to citizen diplomacy and interactions between our two great communities.

There was one set back however, that being the passing of Ms. Tatianna Ponomarev from our sister city, Timashevsk, Russia. Tatianna had been instrumental in arranging for students to come Timashevsk and study English and Canadian Culture in Lethbridge. We have had several delegations of students which Tatianna personally escorted to Lethbridge and ensured they were correctly placed in LTS member's homes for their programs. Tatianna is missed, we certainly recognize the significant efforts she extended to do her part in maintaining the sister city relations with our community.

We will be welcoming a delegation from our Sister City, Culver City, California in May of this year. We are pleased that Mayor Jim Clarke will be a part of the delegation. Our Director for Culver City Relations, Michael Bennett has been busy working on an exciting agenda for the Culver City Delegation. In September, we are honoured to having been invited to take part in the centennial celebrations for the City of Culver City! We will have a delegation of our members who will be attending the opening ceremonies for this important event.

What is next for our Society? How can we improve on what we do? What do the members want and expect from the Society? These are the questions that I along with your dedicated Executive members constantly discuss. One factor stands out, membership in the Society will challenge you, and there are opportunities galore to become involved in projects and events. We have purposely kept annual membership dues low ($15.00 individual and $25.00 family) to allow for all to be members without huge financial responsibility. We have never insisted on memberships dues from those who have aligned themselves with the Society, and as such we allow for "Associate" memberships. The only restriction on the Associate members is that they cannot hold an executive position in the Society. Do we encourage "Active" – dues paying members? Absolutely, we rely on membership dues to maintain our modest budget for administration of the Society... but we realize that without our network of Associate Members we would not exist!

Thank you all for your membership in the Society, because of you we have achieved so much in the past and because of you we will continue to be a positive and respected organization in our wonderful community.

Best,
Harold Pereverseff
President

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." [Margaret Mead (1901-1978)]