Stonehaven signs up for its latest ‘twin’

Phil Mills-Bishop, back, and Richard Holman-Baird with their Athens hosts
Phil Mills-Bishop, back, and Richard Holman-Baird with their Athens hosts

Stonehaven has cemented its links with an American city.

A delegation from the town has been in Athens in Alabama to firm up a partnership.

Phil Mills-Bishop and Richard Holman-Baird were invited to the Deep South to sign an agreement of intent with the Mayor Ronnie Marks.

The latest twinning for Stonehaven will lead to better understanding between the respective communities, tourism, sporting links and, in particular, educational exchanges for undergraduates.

The twinning move was revealed last year by Mr Mills-Bishop, co-ordinator of Stonehaven and North East Scotland Twinning Group.

It came after Stonehaven’s success in establishing a partnership with the French town of Acheres during the summer.

The partnership with Alabama comes as part of the city’s bicentenary celebrations.

Athens State University Religious Studies Professor Debra Baird has been overseeing the project.

The Clan Baird Society Worldwide has been involved in stimulating interest in the new partnership.

Professor Baird is president of the society.

Clan chief is Richard Holman-Baird, of Rickarton Estate, who is treasurer of the twinning group.

Mr Mills-Bishop said: “The group continues to make rapid progress.

“Last October the initial proceedings, due in no small regard to Professor Baird, were made for the group to twin with Athens as part of their bicentennial celebrations.

“During our trip the hospitality has been tremendous and Richard and I visited a number of sites of interest.

“We also did a walk-about Athens with Mayor Marks and others.”

The Mayor and delegates will visit Stonehaven from July 30 to August 6.

Meanwhile, Ellen Wong, principal officer at the US Consulate General in Edinburgh, will visit Stonehaven during their stay.

She has invited Mr Mills-Bishop and Mr Holman-Baird to the US Independence celebrations in Edinburgh on July 4 and agreed to hold a reception for the twinning group and Athens delegation at the US Embassy in Edinburgh on August 6.