BILLERICAY TWINNING ASSOCIATION

Annual Report 2015 - 2016

 Prepared by Peter Copsey - Secretary

 

1. This report covers the year from 1st April 2015 and is presented to the Annual General Meeting on 14th March 2016.

 

2. Membership. The Association has 38 members as at 1st March 2016, no change from last year.

 

3. Management. The following people were elected to the ExecutiveCommittee at the 2015 AGM; Peter Copsey (Secretary), Sue Rapley, Rod Rapley (Vice Chairman), Trevor Stansfield, Howard Watson (Treasurer) and Marion Wilson (Chairman). The Executive met four times during the year; the meeting planned for August had to be cancelled and no suitable alternative date could be found.

 

The Chauvigny Sub-Committee (The Friends of Chauvigny) met regularly during the year under the chairmanship of Jeannine Watson. Similarly, the Fishers sub-committee met under the chairmanship of Marion Wilson.

 

4. Chauvigny Activities. No visits took place this year but The Friends of Chauvigny are looking forward to the visit to Chauvigny in July 2016.

 

The Walk of Friendship was in August this year in the Alpine resort of Bardonecchia in Italy and was organised by the twinning organisation of Trino (twinned with Chauvigny). Eight members from the Association joined in, more than any previous year. The visit included five days of walking and a visit to the city of Turin on the “rest” day.

 

Our Association were invited guests to the twinning gathering in Geisenheim in September where the twinning between the towns of Chauvigny, Trino, Geisenheim and Szerencs (Hungary) were celebrated; Maggie Kingston and Martin Hart attending.

 

5. Fishers Activities. The student exchange with Fishers continues to be a regular event thanks to the sponsorship of the Sisters Cities Organisation in Fishers and the help and support of the Billericay Schools.

 

Two teachers and four students from Fishers visited Billericay in July. The itinerary was similar to previous visits except that the day in London had to be cancelled because the party were booked to return to USA a day earlier than normal. However, most of the students were taken to London by their hosts during the weekend and they experienced the usual sights and scenes of the Capital. The Fishers flag was flown from the flagpole outside the police station during the visit; with thanks to the Town Council for arranging.

 

The return visit took place in October when two teachers and four students accompanied by Marion Wilson visited Fishers. The first full day included the usual tour of the town taking in the police station, the fire station and the Town Hall followed by a visit to Conner Prairie with its historical museum. Days were spent at the two High Schools in Fishers where the visitors experienced the teaching methods, the magnificent well-kept facilities and the support the American students give to their school sports teams. Both Fishers High Schools have expanded in size considerably since twinning visits began; a sign of the increasing size of Fishers itself. Fishers has now become a city with its own City Council and mayor.

 

A new arts project was set up between Buttsbury Junior School and Brooks Elementary School in Fishers to exchange art between the two schools. The project is to start small and to be evaluated consequently.

 

6. Fund-raising. John Baron’s Fun Walk took place at Barleylands as usual, but this year it was postponed until July to avoid the General Election. Only four Association members took part as the day clashed with other events in the town and the visit from Fishers. Nevertheless a reasonable sum of money was raised. Thanks go to Janet Cosgrove for the organisation.

 

The Chauvigny Quiz Night took place on Saturday 12th March 2016 at Canon Roche Hall, Laindon Road. Although not as well attended as previous years, it proved to be an enjoyable evening. Thanks go Martin Hart for the questions and for being quiz-master, and to Maggie Kingston and Jeannine Watson for the organisation.

 

A table sale for Fishers took place in the Mayflower Hall.

 

7. Publicity. The Association has been mentioned in the Gazette as a result of our activities.

 

The Association Newsletter Issue 25 was sent to all members in December.

 

The Association's brochure (including application form) is available to the public from time to time in the Library.

 

The web-site is regularly updated with thanks to Rod Rapley.

 

The Association supported the Mayflower High School by sponsoring prizes for the annual Prize Giving Evenings in July. Marion Wilson and Jeannine Watson represented the Association on the two evenings of prize-giving and handed out the sponsored prizes for French.

 

7.Other Matters. Relationships with Billericay Mayflower Twinning Association (BMTA) remain satisfactory.

  

Peter Copsey

13th March 2016.