Concord Sister City Association
Sister Cities International
Sister Cities International (SCI) was created in 1956 by the Eisenhower administration to improve global understanding and cooperation. Since that time, more than 1200 communities in the United States have been linked with more than 2,100 partners in 117 countries and involving hundreds of thousands of volunteers. It is one of the largest volunteer organizations in the world, growing out of the recognition that we all are members of a single global community. It is a unique non-profit organization, nationwide/worldwide in scope, involving governments, businesses, cultural and educational sectors and private volunteers.
The History of Concord Sister City Association
1990 - Kay Crist gathered a group of concord citizens interested in starting a Sister City Organization in Concord. Kay had been part of Charlotte’s organization. The group asked mayor Bernie Edwards to back a Sister City Organization in Concord. Phillip Wilson, a Concord Middle School history teacher had been leading groups of children and adults on international travel. He had wonderful experience with travel and was very knowledgeable about international cities. Mary Barnes of Kannapolis was a Good Will Ambassador to Ireland and encouraged the group to check out cities there. “Flirtation Packages” were sent to interested cities in Western Europe. The search was narrowed down to Bergen Op Zoom in the Netherlands and Killarney, Ireland.
Deciding Factors were:
Concord people have family ties to Ireland
Beautiful country side
October, 1992 - A delegation of 72 Concord citizens traveled to check out Killarney.
Killarney was chosen as the sister city to Concord.
In August small group of children and teachers visited from Kurotake, Japan and Rome, and stayed with families in Concord.
In October a delegation went to Killarney for a formal signing of the Sister City Agreement.
In March the Concord High School band traveled to Ireland and took part in the grandest celebration - the Dublin St. Patrick's Day Parade. It was a treat for all Killarney music lovers.
In April Killarney Town Council came to Concord for a reciprocal signing of the Sister City Agreement.
In July Kurotake hosted 2 concord teachers and 4 students who stayed in local Kurotake homes.
March 17, 1995 - Mayor George Liles and a Concord delegation marched in Killarney’s St Patrick’s Day Parade. Mayor Liles was Grand Marshall of the parade.
April, 1996 - Killarney Town Council members came to Concord for our centennial celebration.
October, 1998 - 30 Concord residents visited Killarney for a medical exchange at the local hospitals. Spouses travelled to Cobh (the last stop of the Titanic). A teen exchange was arranged during this visit by president Rosemary Loftus and Council Woman Shelia Dickson.
June, 1999 - Two teenagers, Aileen Hickey and Elaine Treacy travelled to Concord from Killarney and stayed with families.
June, 2000 - After a serious selection process, two local Concord teenage girls traveled to Killarney to stay with Irish families.
July, 2003 - President Rosemary Loftus went to Killarney to plan a future exchange. Killarney invited a delegation to visit for their 250th anniversary celebration called “Killarney 250”. Vice President Bruce Thompson and his wife Pat travelled to Killarney representing Concord Sister Cities as honored guest of the people of Killarney to celebrate Killarney 250.
September, 2004 - Delegation from Concord with some California friends visited Killarney for a global exchange.
2007 -The most recent exchanges took place in February 2007, when a group of 21 boys from a Killarney basketball team and their coaches paid Concord a visit. Families from Carolina International School in Harrisburg hosted the boys for the duration of their stay.
In June of 2007, students from Carolina International School traveled to Ireland. While there, the students visited Killarney and were met by the mayor. A reception was held at the Killarney Racecourse so that once again students and adults could extend their warmest welcomes.
Present -Concord continues it's relationship with Killarney and is currently looking for an additional city to establish Sister Cities relationships linking Concord and Cabarrus County with communities in other nations.