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New signage of Gib’s twin towns unveiled

Johnny Bugeja

Three signs informing the public that Gibraltar is twinned with four other towns were unveiled at the airport and frontier yesterday.

On Thursday morning, the Mayor of Gibraltar, John Gonçalves, together with the Minister for Tourism, Vijay Daryanani, visited all three sites. The signs were organised by the mayor’s office.

Gibraltar is twinned with Funchal in Madeira, Ballymena in Northern Ireland, Kingston in Jamaica and Goole in Yorkshire.

“I have travelled a lot and you see this kind of thing all over Europe, in the UK and in the USA,” said Mr Gonçalves who was born in one of the twinned places, Funchal.

“In different guises, there are some little villages in America which are very attractive because they have them in wood.”

“Then there are places which have huge signs because they are twinned with 15 or 20 towns and they have them in metal but, if it is in metal, they have a problem because it oxidises.”

“If it is stainless steel, they haven’t.”

Two of the signs in Gibraltar are made from plastic and one from stainless steel.

“The idea was to let the people in Gibraltar, and who come to Gibraltar, know who we are twinned with.”

“The last three places [Funchal, Ballymena and Kingston] are where people were evacuated during the Second World War.”

“Hardly anyone knows about Goole. Goole is because there was an MP for Goole called George Jaeger and there are two blocks of flats in Gibraltar, one called Goole House and the other George Jaeger House, and George Jaeger was, at the time 60 years ago, the only MP that was considered a friend of Gibraltar.”

The mayor at the time, Sir Joshua Hassan, twinned Gibraltar and Goole.

Mr Daryanani said he believed the signs are important as they show a cultural link and a historical link with other cities.

“We have been twinned with the likes of Goole for many, many years and Funchal and Ballymena more recently and Kingston even more recently,” he said.

“I think it is good to show our cultural and historical links with these cities.”

One sign is at the arrivals hall within the airport, another on the wall as you enter via the pedestrian frontier crossing and another in the middle of the road on Winston Churchill Avenue.

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