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A SHORT HISTORY OF CLARKSVILLE SISTER CITIES

November - December, 1997
Bob Popp, Trish White and Lynn Lewis met regarding their interest in securing a sister city relationship between Clarksville and a town in another country. Town Council support was secured and membership was established in Sister Cities International. Lynn and Trish traveled to Louisville to consult with the director of the Louisville Sister Cities program. A mailing was sent to local businesses, organizations and clubs inviting representatives to an organizational meeting.

January - May, 1997

Seven people attended the first meeting. Town Council President John Minta attended to show the support of the Town Council. The committee began the study of what connections might already exist that could be capitalized upon in our search for an appropriate sister city. These include:

  1. Companies within our community with international markets, offices, plants or affiliations
  2. Suburbs of Louisville's sister cities that might enjoy a relationship with Clarksville
  3. A regional alliance
  4. The Sister Cities International list of cities looking for partners

September 1997 - May, 1998

When the above initiatives fail, the group studied characteristics of our own community that might lead us in a particular direction as we sought a sister city relationship. These included:

  1. George Rogers Clark
  2. The Madoc Legend
  3. The level of foreign language support within our community
  4. Important commonalties to be sought for
  5. Recommendations of the Louisville Sister Cities Director

After consideration of these and other issues, the committee determined to seek an English-speaking community, similar in size to Clarksville, that sports some features in common with our community. Next the committee determined what we had to offer as a sister city and created a letter indicating these characteristics.


September 1998 - May, 1999

The committee used research resources to find towns of the above description that were not twinned with an American city or town. Communication was then attempted with those communities. The following communities indicated that they had no interest in twinning discussion with Clarksville.

  • Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England
  • Exeter, England
  • Cuckfield Parish, England
  • Oswestry, Shropshire, England
  • Leige, Belgium

The following communities began consultation, then later declined.

  • Swords, Ireland
  • Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England
  • St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, England

The following communities continued in conversation with us and have formed Friendship Links

  • Bewdley, Worcestershire, England
  • Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England

May 1999- August, 1999
  1. Received continuation of Town Council support
  2. Continued conversations via e mail and postal service with the involved communities
  3. Created a box of information materials about Clarksville and sent it to the cities that responded.
  4. Shared what had been created with our community and doubled our board meeting representation.

September 1999 - June 2000

  1. Continued in conversation with Melton Mowbray and Bewdley.
  2. Began planning a trip to visit each of these communities.
  3. Began membership sales
  4. Established Town Council budgetary support
  5. Enlisted corporate support through the founding member program
  6. Began sharing our program through presentations at local clubs and interest group meetings.
  7. Established the support of Clarksville Community Schools, Clarksville Branch Library, Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Clarksville Rotary Club, Clarksville Kiwanis Club, Southern Indiana Convention and Tourism Bureau, Indiana University Southeast.

July 2000 - June 2001
  1. Twenty citizens traveled to Melton and Bewdley to establish Friendship Links
  2. Two Melton Mowbray citizens visit Clarksville. A Christmas meeting of the Clarksville Sister Cities membership is held in conjunction with this visit.
  3. Clarksville High School participates in the Sister Cities International Art Competition
  4. Clarksville Branch Library becomes a Sister Millennium Library with the Melton Mowbray Library
  5. IUS History Professor Glen Carothers begins study of local residents stationed at Camp Bewdley during World War II.
  6. Clarksville and Melton Rotary Clubs exchange banners.
  7. Clarksville Sister Cities publishes its first semi-annual newsletter
  8. The CSCA constitution is created.
  9. CSCA participates in the IUS International Festival
  10. Work begins on a CSCA display for the Town Hall
  11. CSCA plans its first official annual meeting of the general membership

January - December 2002
  1. Created a Clarksville Sister Cities web site that is linked to the Town of Clarksville sit at http://town.clarksville.in.us/sistercities
  2. Participated in the "fringe" activities of the Clarksville Lewis & Clark Festival, selling hot cider and sharing our Sister Cities activities with those who visited
  3. Facilitated the building of show cases in the Town Hall to share the story of Sister Cities and to spotlight the Clarksville Historical Society
  4. Hosted Elizabeth Brent, our friend from Melton Mowbray
  5. Participated at the Indiana University Southeast International Fair, sharing our activities with those who attended and giving away a free membership to one of the entrees in our British/American translation quiz
  6. Sponsored the Sister Cities Art Competition "No Borders, No Fences…Just Friends" for students at Clarksville High School, sending Chrissie Lewis’ winning entry to the International Sister Cities competition
  7. Established membership for Clarksville Sister Cities in the Melton and Oakham Waterway Society in support of our friendship town, Melton Mowbray
  8. Created a quilt depicting Clarksville history and our Sister Cities friendship links. The hope is for the quilt to be part of our support of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial celebration, and for it to be shared with local schools before being displayed in the atrium of the Town Hall
  9. Working on completion of an official, and innovative, three-way Friendship Link with the communities of Bewdley and Melton Mowbray in England
  10. Beginning the process of looking for Sister Cities link in a country on the continent of Europe. We received research help from the French II class at Clarksville High School under the guidance of Clare Burkhart

January - December 2003

  1. Established formal Friendship Link with Bewdley.
  2. Hosted nine visitors from Bewdley for a week-long visit in May.
  3. Visited by Mayor of Bewdley, Frank Baillie, and his wife, Mavis, in June.
  4. Began work on student exchange program and other efforts to encourage student interest international affairs.
  5. Continued efforts to find another European partner. Received research help from IUS Political Science class for this search.
  6. Sponsored Sister Cities International Art Competition.
  7. Began plans for return trip to Bewdley in September 2004.

 

Clarksville Sister Cities Association
Clarksville Town Hall
2000 Broadway Street
Clarksville, IN 47129
Sister Cities International