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Lethbridge Twinning Society

Russian Connection
Please, click here for more information on Russia Alberta relationships (file in PDF format).

Lioudmila (Lucy) Fedorets: Director for Lethbridge – Timashevsk Russia relations.
Lucy was appointed to the Directorship on March 13, 2017.
She has been a long time member of the Lethbridge Twinning Society,
active and excited to take on the challenging role as a Director in the Society.
Welcome Lucy.

Kyle Alexander Pereverseff – Director Timashevsk – Lethbridge Relations (Director 2010 – 2017)
E-mail : bobkyle@hotmail.com

In Memorial of Tatiana Semyonovna Ponomareva
Passed May 08, 2016

Tatiana Semyonovna Ponomareva was an incredible lady. We first met in 1992 when our 8 person delegation from Lethbridge was in our "Sister City", Timashevsk, Russia. At that time, she was our interpreter at an official City Hall forum that we were participating in. She was a teacher of English at Timashevsk, School # 1.

Tatiana was an inspiration to our twinning relationship and she was instrumental in working with the Lethbridge Twinning Society over many years to facilitate students from Timashevsk to attend school in Lethbridge. She treated the students as her own children and worked with our Society to ensure that the students were given every opportunity for studies and engagement in Lethbridge. She not only chaperoned the students to and from Lethbridge, she acted as a liaison during the student stays.

Tatiana worked on building the Lethbridge/Timashevsk relations on a regular basis. When Lethbridge Mayor, Bob Tarleck, Councillor, Tom Wickersham and our Society Director for Timashevsk Relations, Kyle Pereverseff, travelled to Timashevsk in 2010 Tatiana again acted as interpreter and guide. Tatiana was very well connected in the Timashevsk community, she opened doors of opportunity to our delegations over the years.

Lethbridge Twinning Society: visitors from Russia and Japan
Septermber, 2015

These are the "grass roots" relationships which our Society encourages and demonstrates! Here we have "Rin" for our Sister City in Towada City, Japan and "Genna" from Russia. Together for their first times meeting each other and sharing tea!

Rin is a homestay student who is currently in Lethbridge studying English as a Second Language (ESL) at Flexibility Language Systems while Genna is a friend of the family currently visiting Lethbridge! This was a unique opportunity for Rin and Genna. Rin had never met a real Russian from Russia before and likewise Genna had never met a real Japanese person from Japan! Surprisingly they communicated well, shared some pictures on their phones, and enjoyed tea together (sorry, no Vodka or Sake!)

We are encouraged by the ambition for these young people who are challenging themselves to learn and explore thus enriching their life skills and opening windows and door internationally! Lethbridge Twinning Society makes these opportunities happen.

A Visitor from Timashevsk
June, 2012

Click to enlarge
Recently, Kyle (Director of Timashevsk, Russia relations) hosted Elona Pavlova from Timashevsk, while she was visiting her sister, Julie in Lethbridge.

Elona met Kyle and the Lethbridge delegation during their 2010 visit to Timashevsk. Elona said she really enjoyed Canada and loves Lethbridge!

Recognition of Lethbridge

April 28, 2011 - Timashevsk Newspaper

Click here to download PDF version

I've been thinking for a long time how to begin to write a story dedicated to sister twin cities of Lethbridge and Timashevsk. Emotion overwhelmed: So many events, history and destiny of the years and people associate there will be not enough room for the size of the newspaper page. But, it will be, probably, right to start with simple and going from the heart sentences which were written more than 20 years ago by famous Kuban journalist, Valentina Logacheva. She was the first among Timashevsk's journalists who told the story of making related both cities which are situated on different continents and speaking, of course different languages. "I will not be tired to tell how friendship of people of Timashevsk had been began with the faraway Canadian city of Lethbridge. If someone knows this story let's him listen to it one more time. But if someone hears about this for the first time – let him to be inspired with a gratitude to people which are separated from us by many hours of flight on comfortable Boeing plane and united with cordiality and desire to help". Listen to this amazing story.

Everything began from tablecloth

People always have been made related. But who devised to make related by cities. It was an Englishmen. In 1942 residents of British city of Coventry and Soviet, Stalingrad decided to establish friendly connections and use them for the sake of peace. These noble goals obtained recognitions. Today international associations of Twins Cities exist in many countries. This eliminates any political barriers, promotes friendly connections, widens mental outlook, acquaints with a life, history, culture and people of different countries. It's obvious – it's better to live in peace. For this Russians have a good proverb – bad peace is better than good quarrel. And Englishmen say - "It is better, small help than a big sympathy!". So they have been embroidered this words in year 1944 on the tablecloth along with 830 names of Coventry women and passed this tablecloth along with gathered money through USSR embassy in London for the courageous city – "Revive from the ruins, Stalingrad".

Many years have passed since that time. Stalingrad (Now called Vogograd) carefully keep this gift of English people. It can be seen in panorama museum Stalingradskaya Bitva (Battle of Stalingrad). It has become a relic of their English twin city which reminds them, simultaneously about war and peace…

Timashevsk City has the same war relic – it is the letter from residents of the Canadian City of Lethbridge. And here we have to name the manager of archive department of Timashevsk Region Administration. She is Tatiana Likhonina. She herself sorting out at the beginning of 80th preserved documents of war era stumbled at first on this letter and after began to file war correspondence and invited journalist to archive…

Timashevsk suffered a lot

Today, a copy of this very correspondence is kept not only in archive but rests in our family of Stepanoff museum. This historic document is often mentioned in school works, university students' abstracts, graduate works: history of brotherhood is learning by 4th generation of Timashevsk people. But, meanwhile, (and I found it in archive) Canadians named our locality with a short word – Timo. They did not know much about our farms and villages communities.

Decision to help Timo, that time the size of Lethbridge, was suggested by Edward Kaslz – who was the representative of city's organizational committee. "Lethbridge Herald" a newspaper that at war time (It has the same name today) was served as a funds keeper and daily used to publish donor names list.

Lethbridge mayor Shackleford launched a campaign and appealed to replenish the fund: "Timo has suffered very much…" So, town-dwellers were bringing clothes, footwear, bed-clothes…25 bales of goods with one ton of weight were collected and were ready to be sent to Timashevsk people, but on April 9th a fire broke out in the building and destroyed all. Slowly the humanitarian aid was rebuilt and an amount of funds for Timashevsk was also increasing. 5 thousand dollars were collected and sent to our suffering town along with the letter to our Timashevsk head. "Dear Sir - With astonishing people we are addressing you to an unusual address to Comrade Chairman of the Soviet District committee – Please accept our sincere admiration for your remarkable military efforts of the Red Army… We want indeed to show friendly feelings and to strengthen our friendship with the help of correspondence and other means…"

And the first there has arrived the journalist

Desire to be friends for long time was only on paper. There were Canadian journalists who helped. In 1986, when Lethbridge was preparing to celebrate its centenary, working with archives, they found war correspondence. After Soviet Press Agency (APN) was contacted and finally arrival to Timashevsk of reporter David Obi has followed. I remember that visit and David himself despite he was introduced to our city and media by Valentina Logacheva. David was pleased with Timashevsk and with the apples which he was treated in "Sadovod".

After Canadians visited us in year 1992. "Unfortunately, recalled media men in Timashevsk, information about that visit has passed by us as well as friends visit. At that time our city authorities did not find it necessary to invite journalists to this meeting. But till now they are interested how they again brought humanitarian help that has been distributed". There was other person who has traveled to Lethbridge and was met by Canadian reporters and has played a greater role in strengthening communications. Her name is Ludmila Ostanina. She is not with us anymore, but people of Timashevsk know her story. She had a very sick 10 years old daughter Elena. And Canadians were asked for help. Her grief was big but the kind human heart and desire to help brought the mother and daughter visit to Lethbridge. So ten years' old Elena and her mother appeared in Lethbridge. It would be impossible to get there without help of twin city. At the airport in Lethbridge they have been shaken by a big poster: "Welcome Elena and Ludmila". All expenses that time, in January of 1994 was taken by Canadian families of Robert Hironaka, Igor Stern, Paul Potapov, Felix Mihna, John Radsky, Sophia Bushko and others. There was unforgettable meeting with Mayor David Carpenter. He was given a present of Russian Samovar from the head of Timashevsk Region A.Bagmut.

With the official visit

First official visit to Timashevsk by City Administration was made in summer of 2010. Local mass-media have paid to it due attention. It was the reception in City Administration, meeting with reporters and Kazaks, visit of Stepanoff Family Museum, ethnic village of Ataman and even fishing… It's interesting, but again a woman promoted this visit. She was a former English teacher of the Timashevsk City School # 1. She is well known in the city, especially by students who want to improve their English and speak as well as her son Dmitry who lives and works in America. Her name is Tatiana Ponomareva. She visited America (it's not known from text Canada or USA) and once she met with the president of Lethbridge Twinning Society Harold Pereveseff. She has suggested to exchange groups of schoolboys, for strengthening friendly communications and perfection of knowledge. Harold has promised to promote.

The first have gone to Lethbridge our high school students Anastasia Rudomaha , Alina Novokovskaya, Julia Pavlova, Rostislav Shpygar and Julia Burak. Study abroad is not cheap, but Canadians have helped to settle this question and students' parents have paid much less for this opportunity. Today Timashevsk students again sit at school desks in Immanuel Christian School in Lethbridge. Recently Tatiana Ponomareva accompanied in the flight to Canada students Rostislav Shpygar and Daria Rogulina. They live in one Canadian family, communicate with schoolmates and often call their families in Timashevsk. Touchingly, concern and attempts of their Canadian "parents" make them feel like at home when they, for example, put Russian flag on the front of their house.

A visit to Timashevsk by Lethbridge Mayor Bob Tarleck, Alderman, Tom Wikersham and Director of The Lethbridge Twinning Society Kyle Pereverseff is recollected often in Timashevsk administration. Present Timashevsk Mayor Grigory Berkut and deputy Eduard Kushnarenko intend to support friendly communication in every possible way with our twin city. They have lots of memories for long years of correspondence, visits, meetings, study…. "We are again very grateful to you Lethbridge!" – it was the name of the article in local newspaper more then 20 years ago after the Ostanina famity has been returned back home. "We are again very grateful to you Lethbridge!" – we are telling today to our twin city. Nothing will prevent our friendship, not years, nor great distance. Let communications between our cities get stronger. Let us make embroidered table clothes, let us allow our children to study in each other's land, let us fly to the sky messengers of the peace – doves which will be soon released from their hands recent new weds, Elena Ostinina and Kiril. (Elena that girl who was in Lethbridge in 1994). Let there be a peace between us !

Nadezhda Basmanova – Reporter, Timashevsk Newspaper.

Visitors from twin city do plenty of "Russian" around

June 17, 2011 - Lethbridge Herald

Click to enlarge

Returning From Russia with Love

July 28, 2010 - Lethbridge Herald

Click to enlarge

On the Bridge of the Friendship

On The Bridge of Friendship (translation by Mikail Fedorets):

Delegation from Canada arrived in Timashevsk!

Very polite Robert, energetic Tom and Serious Kyle, this was the first impression of the three delegates from North America.

They came to Timashevsk with purpose because of Timashvesk and Lethbridge are twin cities. The history of the twinning friendship will be 66 years this December. It is exactly at that time (1944) when half of Timashevsk was destroyed during the war. Lethbridge residents sent to us $5,000.00 to assist in our city reconstruction from the devastion of the war battles.

The people of Timashevsk recall the last time that Canadians came to visit Timashevsk, it was in 1993. Last year in December, five students from Timashevsk schools # 1 and #11 crossed the ocean and visited Lethbridge. They stayed in homes of the Lethbridge residents and improved their knowledge of English. They attended school and cultural events. The delegation from Lethbridge is quite impressive, Mayor Robert Tarleck, Alderman Tom Wickersham and Director of the Lethbridge Twinning Society, Kyle Pereverseff. Robert Tarleck said that the delegation did not fly to Timashevsk, they just walked across the “Bridge of Freindship” from Lethbridge to Timashevsk! He said, very important, this bridge unites people from different countries and continents. Lethbridge has twin cities like Timashevsk in Russia, also in Culver City, California, USA; Anyang, China; Towada City City, Japan, and in Saint Laurent, Quebec, Canada. So the "Bridge of Friendship" is very long!

Timashevsk City authorities prepared a full slate of programs for the Lethbridge delgates during their eight day visit to our city. Excursion to museums and to the Estate of the Stepenoff Family, visits of various sites of our history and industries and a trip to the Black Sea. The delegation learned of our business ventures and our city structure. They were impressed with the life style of the Cossacks in the area and enjoyed their visit to the area in which the Cossacks live. They were able to fish and relax at the Black Sea Resort. “There were many surprises for us!” they said during their official ceremonies held in the City Hall and the Regional Administration Offices.

The guests from abroad seriously thought Russia was just Siberia and winter! They were pleasantly surprised that it is not so! They mentioned the Kuban heat and asked if we had any irrigation systems to supply farmers with water? They do have such systems in Lethbridge as there is sometimes shortages of water for the fields. Anatoly Potapenko answered to them that our Timashevsk Region has over 10,000 hectres of water surface and therefore never any shortage of water. Mayor Tarleck asked if we used any alternative energy in Timashevsk like solar or wind? Lethbridge Regions utilize such alternate energy sources. The Cossacks were of particular interest. Mayor Tarleck informed that at home he pays particular attention to historical societies and the culture of the Native Indians of the area. He said that a few years ago, the Native Indians invested him as one of their Honorary Chief of Indians. He was appointed a specific name, “Man with Many Horses”. Mayor Tarleck impressed us by stating that he reads in translation, our author, Chekhov.

Residents of Timashevsk of course gave special attention to the last name of delegate Kyle, “Pereverseff” and he confessed that he is indeed of Russian roots. This is why he has a special interest in Russia. His father was in Timashevsk along with the previous delegation in 1993, but unfortunately this time he could not come.

Tom Wickersham thanked the residents of Timashevsk for their friendship and for being such gracious hosts. He said he met many wonderful people here and that he felt very much at home with his host family. He welcomed residents of Timashevsk to visit Lethbridge. He said that he would ensure any guests from Timashevsk would be provided the best in their hosting as well.

Larisa Lavrenteva

Mayor Tarleck and Alderman Wickersham will take Ambassador Trip to Russia

June 24, 2010 - Lethbridge City site, News Release
Lethbridge, Alberta – On July 8th 2010, Mayor Tarleck and Alderman Wickersham will be heading to Timashevsk, Russia as ambassadors for the City of Lethbridge. This exploratory trip is due to the effort and ongoing relationship through the Lethbridge Twinning Society. An invitation to visit was thanks to families and students who participated in a Lethbridge exchange in December 2009 and also an invite from Timashevsk’s Mayor.

“I am excited for this exploratory trip,” says Mayor Tarleck. “We have a strong relationship with Timashevsk and we will continue to grow and learn from each other. Timashevsk has been a Twin City since 1943.”

In December 2009, Alderman Wickersham had one of five students stay with his family from Timashevsk. He is now looking to expand on what he learned from his student, while in Russia. “I am interested in learning about senior housing in Russia,” says Alderman Wickersham. “And I would also like to learn more about their school system. Three students from Immanuel Christian High School have expressed interest in participating in a return exchange to Timashevsk.”

Joining Mayor Tarleck and Alderman Wickersham will be Lethbridge Twinning Society Director for Timashevsk Relations, Kyle Pereverseff. All three men will be billeted with families during their stay in Russia. This visit follows a trip of Lethbridge Twinning Society representatives in 1992. Principal of Immanuel Christian High School, Rob Van Spronsen was also invited, but is unable to attend.

For more information contact:
Office of the Mayor: 403-320-3823
Alderman Tom Wickersham: 403-315-1074
Kyle Pereverseff, Twinning Society Director for Timashevsk Relations: 403-715-9970

Read the release on the Lethbridge City site: Mayor Tarleck and Alderman Wickersham will take Ambassador Trip to Russia

Picture: (L-R) Mayor Bob Tarleck, Andrey Soshalskiy, Kyle Pereverseff and Alderman Tom Wickersham. As they prepare for their first time visit to Russia and Timashevsk! Andrey (Russian National and former resident of Moscow, provided "tips" on traveling in Russia... "Don't drink the water... do drink the Vodka!" Thank you very much Andrey for your assistance and helpful information as the delegation was quite unsure what to expect during their journey!

Below, The Official "Hands of Friendship" memorial that Kyle presented to Mayor Berkut, Grigory Vasilevich – Mayor of Timashevsk

December 2009 - January 2010: Russian Students Visit to Lethbridge

The Russians…they came…they saw…they learned…they became part of our families and then unfortunately they had to leave back for home. The eight weeks that the five students from Timashevsk , Russia were here in Lethbridge went incredibly fast. They arrived at the beginning of December and were here during our Christmas and New Years celebrations. Each of the students were hosted by most gracious and loving families. If only one characteristic of the visit was to be identified, that would be “adaptation”. The students had continual adaptation to contend with, the language, foods, schedules, even the weather. We heard time and time again that although they were from Russia ….”What is it with all this “winter” …snow and cold!” In fact, we learned, Timashevsk is really quite temperate in weather being in the Southern Region of Russia, near the massive Black Sea area. The arrangement for the students to attend classes at Immanuel Christian High School were excellent. The students were able to travel to school on the school bus system, this in itself was a educational experience for them. For those of us who road the school bus we know just how intense these bus rides can be sometimes!

Principal, Rob vanSpronsen at Immanuel Christian High School provided the students with excellent opportunities whereby the students were included in all activities at the school including the physical education, library studies and the academic studies.

Host families made this all possible, and a heartfelt thank you to: Alderman Tom and Arline Wickersham; Dana and Marilee Terry and their children Camilla, Colum, Anneli and Adrienne; Keith and Elisa Wickersham and their children, Tamara and Brooklyn ; Harold and Cheryl Pereverseff and their children, Warren, Alexander and Quinn.

The students made many friends both at school, in their host families and at the Victory Church where they attended services along with their host families. Many hours were shared with the families and students playing board games, and a game called “Mafia”!

Visits to Waterton National Park , Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, The Galt Museum, Indoor water slides, Fort Whoop Up and other local attractions kept the students busy and entertained during their visit. Some of the students even went to Edmonton with their host families where they visited the West Edmonton Mall, the Alberta Legislature and some really neat restaurants.

Members of the Society, went out of their way to support the students visit, City Council and in particular Mayor Bob provided very warm greetings and welcomed the students to Lethbridge . MLA, Greg Weadick along with MLA Bridgett Pastoor made the effort to make the student visit special. MP Rick Casson invited the students to his office and spent some time with them.

Marisa Boles and Marilee Terry assisted the students in learning a song “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream” and once learned the students sang this at various venues around Lethbridge , including before City Council.

Tatiana Ponomareva the student’s teacher from Timashevesk, kept in contact with us during the visit of the students. She had ensured that they arrived here safely as she had escorted them, and she as well came to meet them in Calgary on January 31, to ensure their safe return home.

The very definite possibility of some students from Lethbridge visiting Timashevsk is being considered. For now, a delegation visit of Mayor Bob Tarleck, Alderman Tom Wickersham and Lethbridge Twinning Society Director for Timashevsk Relations, Kyle Pereverseff, are scheduled to visit Timashevsk (July 08, to July 18, 2010)

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! Update - 31 January 2010: An article on the Timashevsk local newspaper "Nasha Gazeta". Click to enlarge

The Lethbridge Twinning Society is very pleased to host seven students from Timashevsk, Russia . The Students are from various Schools in Timashevsk , Russia one of our twin cities. Our relationship with the teacher responsible for coordinating the student delegation, Tatiana Ponomareva goes back to 1992 when a eight member delegation from Lethbridge visited Timashevsk. At that time, we were piloting a 5 tonne shipment of humanitarian relief aid that had been donated by residents of our community to the City of Timashevsk to assist in their sudden influx of immigrant refugees fleeing from Georgia . Tatiana, a teacher at Timashevsk School No. 1 acted as our hostess and translator during our visit. Subsequent to our visit, her son, Vadim immigrated to the United States where he now resides in Seattle , Washington and works for a little computer company, I believe the name is something like Micro Soft or something like that. Last year, Tatiana visited Lethbridge and she shared a dream of having some of her students coming to Lethbridge for a brief Educational tour. This year, the realization of her dream is coming to pass.

The visit has been somewhat delayed due to the instance of H1N1 (Swine Flu) and precautions in that regard and of course the usual Visa waiting and processing times. Although plans to have the students here at the start of the school year was our goal, now it seems that we are looking at the third week of September. We are anxious to meet our students, but we realize we have to be patient. Already, host families are e-mailing and "Skype - chatting" with their students, getting to know one another and sharing pictures. A very neat and unique opportunity thanks to modern day technology.

Preparation is well underway to ensure that the students have a meaningful and memorable experience here in Lethbridge . The students will first attend Flexible Learning Systems for two weeks where the director of the school is preparing a special "inaugural" program for them. Then they will move on to Immanuel Christian High School for the remainder of their six weeks in Lethbridge . Immanuel Christian High School is no stranger to Timashevsk. In 1992 students from the school took on a project to gather clothing that was included in the five tonne of relief products sent to Timashevsk. Then the School hosted a student from Timashevsk, Natasha for one whole year. The school has again been very gracious in accepting the seven students this year. The Lethbridge Twinning Society is very grateful to Flexibile Learning Systems and Immanuel Christian High School for their willingness to welcome the students to their facilities.

This could possibly be the biggest and most rewarding project/effort in twinning relations that our Society has every undertaken in our twenty year existence. When you reach out and welcome a guest into your home, you have the incredible opportunity of extending hospitality that you may never realize the impact that it has had on your guest. In this case, very impressionable young Russian students. Home stay families often learn more from their guests then they expect and when the time comes that your guest is to leave it is like losing a member of your family. Ties made, are sometimes maintained indefinitely and enriched by future visits in years to follow.

We are very excited about this opportunity and it tears at the very being of what we are in the realm of a twinning society. Our host families are ready to receive the students.

Host families meet to plan and coordinate the home stay for the seven Russian Students.

On November 02 to 04 Tataiana Ponomareva a resident of our sister City in Timashevesk, Russia visited Lethbridge. Tatiana has a long lasting relationship with our twinning society. It was Tatiana who provided interpretation services for us as a delegation when we visited Timashevsk in 1992.

The Photo album of the visit

Tatiana is a retired teacher from Timashevsk School No. 1. She currently still teaches privately and in particular teaches English to her students.

Although Tatiana had a short visit, members of our Society certainly made her welcome and extended the most gracious hand of friendship. We are certain that her visit was both rewarding and will be memorable to her. We only hope that Tatiana will be able to visit again, and that her next visit will not be as brief.

"Frendly Visitor" article, The Lethbridge Herald, November 04, 2007 about the event

Felix our Director for Timashevsk Russia and a committee of the Lethbridge Twinning Society have been in contact with the School No. 11 in Timashevsk, Russia. Our member, Lucy has been so kind as to send and receive e-mails and has provided us with translations.

As a result, Lethbridge Twinning Society Members have prepared 15 gift boxes that are being sent to students at Timashevsk School No. 11 as a reward for their excellent studies. Director of the School Evgeni Guyduk has identified worthy students and they will be rewarded with a gift box from Lethbridge Twinning Society members! (The boxes should arrive in Timashevsk before Christmas).

Here you can find the link to the site of Krasnodarsky Krai, there Timashevsk is situated. And here is Russian site about Timashevsk.