Twin town letter strengthens bonds

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THE bonds between Whitby and its twin town in the Falkland Islands have been strengthened following the receipt of a letter this week.

Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, is twinned with Whitby and this year the islands celebrated 30 years since the end of the war with Argentina.

In acknowledgement of the special Liberation day celebrations on 14 June, Whitby Town Council sent a letter to Nigel Haywood, governor of the Falklands stating their support of the residents in their ongoing struggle with Argentina, who claim the islands as their own.

The reply, written by the Hon Gavin Short on behalf of the islands’ Legislative Assembly, stated: “Thank you for your kind letter of support to us here in the Falklands, it is very much appreciated.

“Liberation day itself passed off extremely well, apart from he weather turning a little rough during the time of the actual ceremony at the memorial, but there was a very large crowd in attendance who did not let the driving, thick, wet snow deter them from showing their respect for those who liberated our Islands 30 years previous.”

Mr Short goes on to explain that the country will be holding a referendum early next year “to try and counter the scurrilous myths and untruths that are being spread around the international community by the Argentines.”

He added: “It has even been said by them that we are being held here against our wishes. A very strange statement as we have up to four flights off the Island each week, so if we were that unhappy the population numbers should be plummeting, rather than showing the steady growth that it is.

“Once again I thank you for your kind letter and would ask that you pass on the very best wishes from the people of the Falkland Islands to the people of Whitby.”

Whitby Town Council first contacted the people of Stanley in 1982 offering their support after the island was invaded and experienced a 30 day occupation by Argentina.

Another correspondence was then sent on the day of the Falklands’ liberation, and replies were received on both occasions, expressing the gratitude of the residents.

Whitby Mayor John Freeman said: “It’s great that we have a contact with this remote island thousands of miles away.

“It helps make a connection for them, that there’s people that care about the predicament they are in.”