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Galway, Ireland, to become Menlo Park's first 'Sister City'

 

Bo Crane, a former Menlo Park resident, held up his phone to the microphone at the podium of the Menlo Park City Council Chambers. From its tiny speakers, a traditional Irish drinking song, called "Galway Bay," echoed plaintively.

"Thanks for your indulgence and go Galway!" he said as he returned to his seat.

His comments and musical presentation were in support of a resolution the Menlo Park City Council approved during its Nov. 17 meeting to enter a Sister Cities agreement with Galway, Ireland. The resolution also created a seven-member "Friendship and Sister City Committee" and authorized the city to join Sister Cities International, which helps member cities connect with diplomats and volunteers across the country and world.

Mayor Catherine Carlton proposed changing the title from "Sister City Committee" to "Friendship and Sister City Committee" to reflect the committee's goals to promote friendship agreements and partnerships with other locales around the world. She also recommended the committee be expanded to seven members instead of five. The council approved the amendments unanimously.

During public comments, Jim Lewis expressed enthusiastic support for the proposal. He is a co-chair of "Two Menlos," a committee of the Menlo Park Historical Association that supports the friendship agreement between Menlo Park and Galway City, Ireland. He offered the council a "trip down memory lane" by describing Menlo Park's historical ties to Menlough, a town near Galway, Ireland, and Menlo Park's namesake.

Eagerness to show solidarity with the city's new Galwegian friends across the pond did not end there. Ms. Carlton said she has been speaking with owners of the Refuge restaurant in Menlo Park restaurant about having a St. Patrick's Day party there, to which she would invite Galway's mayor.

Comments

4 people like this
Posted by Irish American
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 23, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Thrilled to see Menlo Park making friends with International countries, however disappointed by Ms Carlton suggesting that the mayor of Galway be invited to serve court at a St Patrick's Day pub event. It is true that the Irish people have a tradition of making pubs gathering places in their communities, and that St Patrick brought Catholicism to Ireland. But, I'd hope that the council would be a little more sensitive to our new friends. If I was visiting a foreign friend, and they brought me to their hamburger place, hoping to show me off as an American doing a stereotypical thing, I'd feel uncomfortable (but would smile politely, if I had to). Let's let the mayor chose a time of the year he'd like to come. Show him something uniquely Menlo Park. That's a true friend in a foreign land. St Patrick's Day is more of an American holiday, anyway.


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