One of the events of Katesgrove councillor Rose Williams’ mayoral year is the anniversary of 70 years of friendship between Reading and Düsseldorf. This was celebrated at Reading Town Hall on the evening of 20 July in a civic meeting followed by a reception.
Düsseldorf was represented by Oberbürgermeister Thomas Geisel who is in Reading for a few days. During this time he will be seeing the town, meeting local businesses, visiting the the John Madejski Academy, the Madejski Stadium, Green Park and attending some Reading Fringe Festival events.
The civic formalities opened with speeches from the leader of the council Jo Lovelock, who was followed by the Oberbürgermeister. The re-affirmation charter was read to the assembled audience and gifts were exchanged with Peter Sloman, chief executive of Reading Borough Council.
Rose Williams, dressed in her mayoral robes for this part of proceedings, gave a short speech in which she said how much she had enjoyed spending the day with Thomas Geisel. Robert Dimmick chair of the Reading Düsseldorf Association spoke about the events and activities of the association.
A theme of the ceremony was the strong will and compassion of Phoebe Cusden who, as mayor in 1947, began the link after requests from Major Collins of the Royal Berkshire Regiment for assistance to the German city. References were also made to the Brexit vote and how Reading had voted against leaving the EU and the importance of links at a personal level to foster good international relations.
The mayor and Oberbürgermeister posed for photographs cutting the 70th birthday cake.
- Reading and Düsseldorf celebrate 70 years of friendship
- Reading’s new mayor, Councillor Rose Williams
- Reading Fringe Festival
- Reading Düsseldorf Association
- Düsseldorf city website (international section)