Earth is our home. Humanity is our family”
|The dinner on Feb. 12th, 2004 in the Hamilton Convention
Center. It was hosted by Mayor Di Ianni in honour of the
delegation from Maanshan, China.
Year Banquet on Feb. 7, 2004
Diversity in Hamilton City Hall November 20, 2003
meeting Sep 17, 2003
General Meeting May 21, 2003
Hamilton's Diversity Nov 20, 2003 (pdf 10Kb)
Annual Mahatma Gandhi Peace Festival
Oct 4, 2003 (pdf 52Kb)
CULTURE OF PEACE Network Oct 22, 2003
for peace on earth, Aug 7, 2003
work earns award, Nov 20, 2002
applaud participation in mundialization,
Nov 20, 2002
lunch, Jul 12, 2002
Ding Hal Zhong meeting guest from Canada, Aug 2, 2001
Reaching for peace on earth
By Carmela Fragomeni "The
Hamilton Spectator" August 7, 2003
come in twos, except in Hamilton. The city has nine twins.
Hamilton is twinned with nine cities from Japan to Italy
to India. It's 10, if you count Kaga, Japan, sister city
of Dundas before amalgamation.
Hamilton, like other twinned cities, wants to foster friendships,
sharing and understanding. Twinning is aimed at promoting
Hamilton and Burlington have embraced this movement that
followed the Second World War. Over the years, many twinning
relationships have waned. But, twinnings with Japanese
cities continue to thrive - mainly due to that country's
commitment to sister city relationships.
The movement was born in Hiroshima in 1945 after the city
was devastated by the world's first atomic bomb. Survivors
resolved to make sure it can't happen again anywhere.
Twinnings are tied up with the mouth-numbing concept "mundialization,"
derived from the Latin word mundus, meaning world. The
idea is that cities declare themselves world communities
and form twins as concrete expressions of a desire to
foster understanding among people of different cultures
In 1968, Hamilton declared itself a world city (mundialized),
and its people true citizens of the world. Burlington
took that step in 1984.
Hamilton's first official tie to another city came earlier,
in 1958 when it twinned with Shawinigan, Que., just as
native son Jean Chrétien, then 24, was being called
to the bar. Burlington signed a twin city relationship
with Itabashi, Japan, in 1989.
Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac said the Japanese see twinnings
as their responsibility for promoting international peace.
"They take a very serious and philosophical approach
Hamilton has since twinned with Mangalore, India; Fukuyama,
Japan; Racalmuto, Italy; Flint, Mich.; Ma'anshan, China;
Abruzzo Region, Italy; Sarasota, Fla.; Monterrey, Mexico.
For those who have visited twin cities, the pious words
about international understanding have become real.
Just ask Jennifer Evans, 15, of Dundas. She is one of
hundreds of Hamiltonians who have travelled to sister
cities and been welcomed with astounding hospitality.
Her trip to Kaga, Japan, last summer showed her a different
world, and more importantly, gave her another family.
She cherishes it so much, she calls them mom, dad, sister
and grandmother, just as she does her family here. "They
took me in and treated me like their own."
Her eyes light up at the mere mention of Japan. The trip
gave her a new understanding of respect, of a foreign
culture, of the elderly, the preciousness of family. And
of the devastation of war and how it threatens all of
The Second World War held little relevance for her but
now she takes it personally - after visiting the Hiroshima
Bob Charko, president of Kids for Kaga, which runs the
longstanding exchanges, calls them "life-changing
Former Hamilton mayor Bob Morrow says "you can't
put a price tag" on these experiences and friendships.
"The goal is world peace, of course, and breaking
Solomon Ngan, Hamilton Mundialization committee president,
says, "We learn to build bridges, to accept and appreciate
the different cultures."
The city spends little on twinning relationships, mostly
on gifts to sister cities during visits.
Committee member Margaret Firth said she rejoined the
committee after going to Shawinigan to help it celebrate
its centennial. "I was never there before and I was
very impressed." She said the hospitality was amazing
and she still keeps in touch with her host. But there
have been fewer trips each year, and no delegations here
this year because of SARS.
One problem is that Hamilton's twin city relationships
are disorganized. City staff and mundialization committee
members can offer little in the way of information on
the cities and how they were twinned. Tidbits have to
be sought out from members and former members here and
Only Morrow could shed much light.
City community relations manager Raffaela Candiato says
twinning records were handled by the mayor's office when
Morrow was at the helm, but virtually no files could be
found after Mayor Bob Wade took over.
The city's Web site even mistakenly lists a city in Brazil
as a twin. Officials have no idea where this came from.
And records on Shawinigan give three different years for
twinning with Hamilton - 1957, 1958, and 1967. The word
from city hall staff is '58.
Exchange visits still go on with some twin cities. Last
year's visits included people from Ma'anshan, Sarasota
and Mangalore. Gift exchanges are common. Fukuyama's Lion's
Club, for example, last year sent Hamilton $1,200 to buy
roses to be planted around the city.
In Burlington, twinships with Myrtle Beach and Longueuil,
Que., have also waned. A delegation is travelling to each
city this year to determine if the relationships should
Hanna Newcombe of the Peace Research Institute of Dundas
was instrumental in developing mundialization in Canada
and has been a member of Hamilton's committee since 1967.
She says mundialization in other cities has also become
less active. "I think the movement has kind of stalled."
Most of Hamilton's twinnings occurred when Morrow, a huge
supporter, was in office. Newcombe remembers him arranging
more than the committee could handle and they had to ask
him to stop for a while.
Burlington's twin city, Itabashi, is so keen it has sometimes
overwhelmed Burlington with visitors and gifts. One of
the more famous is Itabashi's donation of a quarter-million
dollars' worth of fireworks marking the twinning anniversary
every five years during Burlington's Sound of Music Festival.
Burlington is preparing to twin with Apeldoorn, Netherlands.
Burlington has many citizens with Dutch heritage. The
push is also fuelled by the seemingly never-ending gratitude
of the Dutch to Canada for liberating them from occupation
in the war.
Both Hamilton and Burlington's city-mandated mundialization
committees are revitalizing. Hamilton's has restructured
and is planning better record-keeping and a dedicated
In Burlington, the committee is exploring business opportunities
from twinnings and is weeding out relationships that aren't
The twinnings haven't led to any lasting business connections
so far, but city officials on both sides are hoping this
or 905- 526-3392.
Shawinigan, Quebec: 1958
Initiated: By then-mayor Lloyd Jackson and Shawinigan's
mayor, after a Canadian municipalities conference, where
such French-English twinnings were encouraged.
Description: Pulp and paper mill town north of Trois Rivières,
on St. Maurice River, industrial, with a large hydro station.
Also produces aluminum, abrasives, chemicals, cellulose
and textiles. Mostly French-speaking. Prime Minister Jean
Chrétien's hometown. 1996 population: 18,678.
Mangalore, India: 1968
Initiated: Hamilton residents from Mangalore approached
then-mayor Vic Copps.
Description: Hilly port city on southwest coast of Arabian
Sea. Trades in spices, rice, fish, nuts. Manufactures
roofing tiles, pottery, brick kilns and ships. Commercial
centre. Tropical climate. 1991 population: 273,000.
Fukuyama, Japan: 1976
Initiated: Hamilton residents from Japan approached then-mayor
Description: Most of it burned in a 1945 air attack and
was rebuilt. Near Hiroshima. Commercial, industrial, and
communications centre on inland sea. Produces machinery,
Japanese harps (kotos), rubber products, electronics,
textiles and processed foods. Noted for its roses and
Rose Festival in May 1996. Population: 375,137.
Racalmuto, Italy: 1986
Initiated: By a large Hamilton population from Racalmuto.
Description: Ancient Sicilian town in hilly agricultural
area. An international crossroads over the centuries.
Has some of the best Greek ruins and artifacts outside
of Greece. Population: 10,419.
Flint, Michigan: 1987
Initiated: By Hamilton's annual, friendly, 45-year-old
CANUSA Games with Flint for young athletes from each city.
Description: Southeast Michigan. A chief automobile-manufacturing
centre, before the industry faltered. Massive layoffs
in 1980s devastated the local economy. Revitalization
has had limited success. 1990 population: 140,761.
Ma'anshan, China: 1987
Initiated: When many Canadian cities were twinning with
China. Some Hamilton business ties.
Description: Modern industrial city in northeast, west
of Shanghai, on Yangtze River's south bank. Important
steel and iron base. Rich in iron ore, ground phosphate.
Abundant fish and rice. Population: 1.16 million.
Abruzzo Region, Italy: 1990
Initiated: By Hamilton residents from Abruzzo. First with
town of Gagliano, now includes several nearby towns.
Description: In central Italy, mountainous and hilly,
on the Adriatic sea. Tourism growing. Population 1.3 million.
Sarasota, Florida: 1991
Initiated: By Sarasota.
Description: On southwest Gulf coast, about 80 kilometres
south of Tampa and a half-hour drive from St. Petersburg.
Sub-tropical temperatures, averaging 361 days of sunshine
a year. A cultural centre with many palatial homes, great
beaches. 2000 population: 52,715.
Monterrey, Mexico: 1993
Initiated: Steel connections and promising business opportunities.
Description: Northeast Mexico, 240 kilometres south of
Laredo, Texas. In a valley surrounded by mountains. Has
Mexico's largest iron and steel foundries, and a diversified
economy, including textiles and agricultural products
and foreign-owned plants using low-wage labour for goods
exported to U.S. It's a popular resort with a dry climate,
cool mountains and hot springs and active cultural scene.
Population: 3.5 million.
Kaga, Japan (twinned with Dundas): 1968
Description: On west side of Honshu, the main island of
Japan and across the water from Tokyo. Population: 68,000.
Hamilton also has informal ties with Uzzghorod,
Ukraine; Penza, Russia; Liepaji,
Latvia; and Kaunas, Lithuania.
Itabashi, Japan: 1989
Initiated: By Itabashi.
Description: Tokyo suburb with printing and publishing
industry. Name means wooden bridge, derived from a wooden
bridge built 800 years ago over the Shakujii River. Population:
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: 1992
Description: In the centre of the Grand Strand, a 95-kilometre
beach crescent on the South Carolina coast. In the last
25 years, Myrtle Beach has become the premier resort destination
on the U.S. East Coast. Population: 25,000.
Longueuil, Quebec: 1995
Initiated: To foster ties, after the close-call Quebec
Description: On the south shore of the Saint Lawrence
River across from Montreal, of which it is a suburb. It
was merged on January 1, 2002 with seven other communities
to become a community of more than 375,000 people.
Burlington has informal business or sports ties it calls
"resolutions of friendships" with Apledoorn,
Netherlands; Burlington, Iowa; and Burlington,