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North Country News
Wed July 3, 2013
Burlington Formalizes Agreement with French Sister City
Officials in Burlington, Vermont have signed a formal “Friendship Agreement” with the city in France that is home to the explorer that discovered Lake Champlain.
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger and Honfleur, France Mayor Michel Lamarre formally signed a Friendship Agreement between the two cities during a welcome ceremony for the French delegation at City Hall. Burlington’s mayor read the agreement in English. After Mayor Lamarre read the French version, it was officially signed.
Ernie Pomerleau, President and CEO of Pomerleau Real Estate and Honorary French Consul for Vermont, traveled to Honfleur last year. Pomerleau is impassioned about the sister city relationship and its potential.
Secretary in charge of U.S. relations and Co-Chair of the Honfleur Twinning Committee Christine Mas explained that this is the third sister city partnership Honfleur has developed.
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy says many people from Vermont, including his own family, have generational ties to France and this agreement will benefit the state culturally and economically.
A goal of the sister city agreement is to engage in educational, cultural and historical exchanges. Pomerleau says the French city knows “10 times” more about Samuel de Champlain’s history than residents of this region.
The delegation arrived in Burlington via the Port Kent ferry - a 10-mile, hour long ride across Lake Champlain. Linda Pervier, President of the Alliance Francais of the Lake Champlain Region aided Honfleur’s Christine Mas with translations.
The delegation from Honfleur will be in Burlington until July 6th. A group from Burlington traveled to the French city last year.