Leahy, Burlington dignitaries welcome French delegation

News Release — Burlington Mayor’s Office
July 3, 2013

Burlington –- Mayor Miro Weinberger, Senator Patrick Leahy, Consul General of France in Boston Fabien Fieschi, Honorary French Consul for Vermont Ernie Pomerleau, Burlington members of the Burlington-Honfleur Sister City Committee, and members of Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region today welcomed Mayor Michel Lamarre and a delegation from Honfleur, France to the City of Burlington. During the welcome ceremony in City Hall’s Contois Auditorium, Mayors Weinberger and Lamarre signed a “Friendship Agreement” between Burlington and Honfleur that notes their Cities’ aims to strengthen the arts, economic, and tourism ties between their cities.

“We welcome Mayor Michel Lamarre and the Honfleur delegation to Burlington, Vermont,” said Weinberger. “It is a privilege to host this special group during the delegation’s first visit to the United States, and during our great City’s Independence Day celebrations this evening at the waterfront. We appreciate the opportunity this week brings to showcase all that Burlington has to offer – our strong schools and places of higher education, our hubs of arts and culture, and our dynamic business community. These relationships and connections surely strengthen our historic ties to Honfleur and with our French friends to the north and overseas.”

Mayor Lamarre was joined by the following delegation members:

Pierre Jan, Honfleur City historian and archivist, Chairman of the Honfleur Twinning Committee;
Christine Mas, Co-Chair of the Honfleur Twinning Committee; and
Corinne Lamarre, assistant to Pierre Jan in the Department of Municipal Archives, member of the Honfleur Twinning Committee, and sister of Mayor Lamarre.

The Honfleur delegation will be visiting Burlington from July 2 to 6. The cities of Honfleur and Burlington have been working together to form a Sister City relationship and to strengthen the economic development and cultural arts ties that bind them.

Also in attendance and participating during this morning’s ceremony were Marcelle Leahy and Lise Veronneau and Christine Mas, representatives of the Sister City Committees of Burlington and Honfleur, respectively.

“The connection between Honfleur and Burlington is a natural fit,” said Ernie Pomerleau. “We have much in common, from our locally crafted foods and celebration of the arts, to our historic architecture and beautiful waterfront settings.”

After the Quadricentennial celebrations in Burlington in 2009, a delegation from Burlington traveled to Honfleur in October 2012, including representatives of local, state, and federal government and community leaders looking to make helpful connections between Burlington and Honfleur. This was the inaugural contact between the two Cities. The Burlington delegation members included:

Senator Patrick Leahy and Marcelle Leahy, Honorary Chairperson of the Vermont Champlain Quadricentennial Celebrations;
Ernie Pomerleau, President and CEO of Pomerleau Real Estate and Honorary French Consul for Vermont;
Tom Torti, President of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce;
Kiersten Bourgeois, Senior Project Manager for the Vermont Agency of Commerce;
Lise Veronneau, Chair of the Burlington-Honfleur Sister City Committee;
Anne Miller, Cultural Attaché at the French Consulate in Boston;
Lisa Schamberg, Board Member of the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center;
Dana Lim vanderHeyden, Board Member of Burlington City Arts and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum; and
Doreen Kraft, Executive Director of Burlington City Arts.

Press Release

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  • Buzz Hoerr

    I read this article with interest, but noticed something very important was missing. Honfleur is the port Samuel de Champlain sailed from to found New France and establish a settlement on the site of what is now Quebec City in 1608. He traveled to the lake that now bears his name in 1609, thus the reason for the Quadricentennial celebrations in Quebec and our region a few years back. That was the reason for the delegation traveling to Honfleur and that trip began a friendship that has created this excellent formal relationship with Burlington. Congrats to the delegation for seeing it through!

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