This year’s AGM opened with a reminder from Councillor Peter Main, Bristol Lord Mayor (2012-13) that 2012 marks the 65th anniversary of the Twinning Agreement between Bristol and Hannover. The Lord Mayor expressed his admiration for Bristol’s joint-oldest Twinning and said it was tremendous foresight for two countries, which had been at war only two years previously to sign a Twinning agreement. He also asked to put on record his thanks to Councillor Colin Smith (Lord Mayor, 2010-2011 and Second Vice-Chair of the Bristol Hannover Council) for his work and concluded that it was wonderful to see such an active Twinning partnership.
Dr Ann Kennard was duly re-elected Chair of Bristol Hannover Council for another year and gave the Chair’s report on what has been a difficult year, but has finished very positively. A cause for great concern during this year has been the City Council’s proposal to cut funding to the Twinning Budget, but thanks to all Bristol’s Twinning associations demonstrating how much they do both at local and international level, funding is secure for the next three years. The Bristol Hannover Twinning has enjoyed many happy events this year and looks forward to next year with a larger and more active committee. Dr Kennard finished by thanking Alix Hughes (Bristol’s Twinning Coordinator) for all his work and emphasised how great an asset he is to the Bristol Twinning’s Association.
Following the election of a new committee a presentation was given by Ian Devine (outgoing Honorary Treasurer) and Gerard Owen (incoming Honorary Secretary) on this year’s trip to Hannover. It brought back many great memories from the excursions to Hildesheim and Cloppenburg to gathering together at the Rathaus for the reception with Oberbürgermeister Stephan Weil and the beautiful music sung by the two choirs (the Westbury Singers from Bristol and Canta Nova from Hannover) at the Marktkirche service. Dr John Veale, who’s been travelling to Hannover every year since 1949 offered a vote of thanks on behalf of the society to Ian and Gerard for their presentation. He also said it was very touching that younger people were taking such a committed interest in the Twinning with Hannover.
The AGM closed with a presentation from Steve Howie of Bristol Ariel Rowing Club, which travelled to Hannover this year to participate in an annual boat race against their Hanoverian counterparts. Little did they know that they would be taking on German Olympian rowers fresh from the games in London!
Thank you to all those who attended and we look forward to the coming year and the many happy events it will bring.