A delegation from the Canadian county of Barrhead is in Drouin to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the two towns “twinning.” The Warragul Citizen caught up with Barrhead Reeve, a position similar to mayor, Bill Lee to ask what the anniversary is all about.
Reporter: What most people will be wondering is what you guys are doing over here and why you’ve come over here, so if you could just quickly explain…
Bill Lee: Sure, we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of twinnning with Drouin, and it goes back to a teacher exchange.
Twenty five years ago we had a teacher that came down to Australia and traded houses with a teacher from Australia and he went to Canada to teach, and they did that for a year and we’ve done that a few times and then he promotes the town and says ‘you know, we should twin with Drouin, they’re very similar to Barrhead, and so that was the beginning of the twinning project.
Myself, Carol (his wife) and myself, we were here 10 years ago to celebrate the 15th anniversary, and when the 25th anniversary come up of course we wanted to be back here again.
Reporter: What are you guys doing when you’re over here? I mean, I heard you’re going around to Rokeby on Monday and into the city on Wednesday, or?
Lee: Yeah we’ve been touring around, we went out and seen the seals yesterday, we went to the wine and cheese last night (sic) and we went to the art exhibit yesterday and do a lot of sight seeing, like we went out to see some farms and some dairies and some operations and compare them to what we’re doing in Alberta, and it’s quite interesting because there is differences, but there is a lot of similarities and I think it’s because we all came from, we’re all part of the Commonwealth and there’s a similarity that is there and…
Reporter: Same faces on the back of the coins.
Lee: Yes, yes yes! The same thing, you’ve got it, you’ve got it! And the other thing is Alberta’s very much of an export province, look, Canada is. And Australia, that’s what you guys do, you export a lot of primary production and there are similarities when you talk to people about dealing with other countries and stuff and ‘yep, we’ve got the same thing happen in Canada!’
Reporter: So how long are you over here for? Is it just a couple of weeks?
Lee: We arrived actually on the 3rd (of February) and joined the group here on the 5th and we leave on Tuesday for Tasmania for a week and Carol and I will be going back on the 20th. Some are going back earlier, some are staying longer, some are going to New Zealand to visit while they’re down here.
Reporter: Well enjoy your visit.
Lee: Oh, thank you so much.
Pictured at top: members of the Barrhead delegation and the Committee for Drouin. Photos by William PJ Kulich.