I had a phone call from Catherine Bourel to say that her mother, Marie Leloutre, passed away on Friday evening. She was 89. She had been ill since May having been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.
Those of you who knew her will remember her as a sprightly, lively lady, so warm and accommodating, full of good humour and fun, and without a word of English. Among the members of the Torigni Twinning Association she is the last of a generation who suffered under the German occupation during the war.
Although her passing was not unexpected it still represents a great loss to her two daughters and their families – and also to Eirian, Bethan, Siân and myself.
Shipston on Stour is twinned with Torigni sur Vire in Normandy, France and visits are arranged regularly with alternate years in England and France. The twinning has been taking place since 1985.
This year a party of 36 visited Torigni and stayed with French host families. All involved say how long lasting friendships have been established during visits and many of the members stay with the same families each time they visit. You can be assured of a very warm welcome both in Shipston on Stour and most certainly when visiting Torigni.
Next year, 2017, the french are visiting Shipston and around 50 people are expected to travel. If you think you can get involved and host a family then please get in touch. Speaking French is helpful but certainly not essential as many of the visitors speak enough English to get by.
The main purpose of twinning is to widen horizons and promote international friendships. It is a conscious attempt to understand another country through a place that represents a cross-section of the citizens of that country, and through relationship contribute to peace and goodwill between all countries of the world.
Twinning encourages different nationalities to meet and exchange ideas freely and seek common interests and experiences. It also provides insight into the interests and way of life of other nationalities.
We are always looking for more host families as the French always seem to have a greater number of people eager to participate. It is a thoroughly fulfilling experience even for those with little or no French. The organisers try to ‘partner’ people with some affinity and there are a number of French Families who enjoy practicing their English and it’s amazing how far you can get with even the most basic of knowledge of the French Language. If you think you might be interested then contact Keith McCarthy who will happily explain everything and put you in touch with others who will be equally happy to share their experiences. If you’d like to get to know us more informally then why not come to one of our fund raising events – we’d be very happy to see you!
New families Needed for Easter visit 2018.
Next visit will be to France from Friday 30th March 2018 to Tuesday 3rd April 2018.