Friday 17 February 2012

Bridgwater Czech Slovak Friendship Society 20th AGM

The Bridgwater Czech/Slovak Friendship society Annual General Meeting heard this week about yet another busy and exciting year of Internationalist events and plans for an increased programme in 2012-13. The meeting also elected several new officers and paid tribute to outgoing ones.

Chairman Tim Mander    
Tim Mander, longterm organiser of the Sedgemoor Unison football tours around Europe, was elected as Chairman of the Society to replace Marek Delong who was leaving the county. Tim, two goal hero of the Bridgwater victory over the  Italians in Priverno last year but who failed to score in La Ciotat this year, works for Sedgemoor District Council where he is the Estates Valuer.

Vice Chair Nigel Carter
Nigel Carter, who was one of the pioneers involved in the very first group trip to the former Czechoslovakia back in 1992, has worked as a volunteer driver for the friendship society  in recent years and was elected as Vice Chairman.

Treasurer Simon Hann
Cambridge University student ,Simon Hann, who lives in Woolavington and went to the Czech Republic on a Bridgwater International organised history trip 3 years ago, was elected treasurer for the year, replacing Cllr Kathy Pearce  who stood down.


Secretary Brian Smedley
Founder Cllr Brian Smedley was re-elected as secretary, a post he has held now for 20 years. Speaking after the meeting he said "What started as a town to town twinning between Bridgwater and Uherske Hradiste has developed into a major Internationalist programme not only with the former Czechoslovakia but also other countries around Europe. One of our key strategies this year is the pursuit of 'Triangulation', which is a development from traditional twinning to a broader definition. This means we encourage contacts amongst contacts within our twin towns and THEIR twin towns, thus in the past year we have linked with Uherske Hradistes Italian and Hungarian twin towns -Priverno and Sarvar and have introduced our Czech friends to La Ciotat-Bridgwater's twin town in France. This is to us an obvious way to develop International links to the benefit of linked communities ."

"In recent years Bridgwater International, which operates the programme for the Friendship Society, has organised projects for Choirs, football teams, students , family centre workers and general tourists all of which boost international co-operation and understanding , encourage business and economic development and promote the image of the towns around the world."


Anyone wanting to join the activities of the Society during 2012-13 should contact Brian Smedley on Some of the projects open to the wider public include.

AUGUST;- 20th Anniversary trip to the Czech Republic including Prague and Uherske Hradiste

OCTOBER;- Football trip to Priverno in Italy.

The meeting further agreed to stage a series of Internationalist events in Bridgwater during 2012 to coincide with the visits  by partner groups. These would include a Slovenian event in March, Hungarian in April and Czech in June.

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