County leaders visit Sister City in France

Some of our county leaders have traveled around the world to meet with leaders from our sister city. Executive Director of Community Affairs Dr. Henry Ficklin and Director of the Office of Small Business Affairs (OSBA) Charise Stephens visited Macon, France on July 11.

The purpose of the trip was to renew Sister City’s longstanding relationship with Macon, France, which marked a 50-year relationship. There was a ceremony called the renewal of the Town Twinning. The original Sister Cities International agreement was made in 1972 when Ronnie Thompson was Mayor of Macon.

“Citizen diplomacy is important for maintaining peace in the world,” said Dr. Ficklin. “Learning about different people and their cultures is important because it ensures that less hatred will spread in the world and we will get closer to the ideal situation of peace on earth.”

Dr Ficklin and Stephens met with the Mayor of Macon, France, Jean-Patrick Courtois, the vice-mayor Emilie Clerc, the members of the administrative staff and the representative of the twinned cities for the American cities, Agnès Pont.

There were also members of the delegation from Portugal, who expressed interest in becoming a sister city to Macon, Georgia, says Dr. Ficklin. Their city is Santo Tirso, Portugal, and they were there to celebrate 30 years as a sister city to Macon, France.

“I think the most important thing taken away from the journey is the knowledge that all people want to live in peace and relate to the world in a way that promotes humanity and goodwill,” Dr. Ficklin said.

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