The City of Saline celebrates the 50-year anniversary of its sister-city relationship with Brecon, Wales, Saturday.
At 2 p.m. people will gather at Brecon Park to dedicate the "Brecon Bench."
The public is invited.
Excerpted from the Saline Reporter and written by Paul Tull (Publisher Emeritus)”.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and Africa during World War II witnessed the death and devastation that hatred between peoples and nations can produce. After the war was won, President Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie were determined to do everything humanly possible to end the continuing tragedy of international conflict. One of the ways they devised to achieve this goal was the People to People program. Launched in 1956 People to People had an ambitious goal to establish friendship and understanding between the people of the United Sates and other nations through direct personal contact. With Mamie Eisenhower promoting the concept communities cautiously examined the possibilities of trans-Atlantic visits between “sister cities”. The ultimate goal … peace around the world. Colonel Ivor and Mrs. Jesse Jarman who lived in Brecon had a daughter, Mary, attending The University of Michigan. She was advised by Karl Zwink, People to People organizer in the area, that a town with similarities to Brecon would be Saline. The National League of Cities asked the Mayor of Saline to affiliate with a city abroad with similar characteristics and mutual interest. Agriculture, business and size were some of the common denominators. The daughter of a German Colonel (Colonel Jarman) stationed in Brecon came to Saline as an exchange student and returned to Brecon Council to report the many similarities of the two towns. On April 18, 1966, Saline’s Mayor George Johnson extended an invitation to the Town of Brecon, Wales, to become sister cities. A representative from Twinning International made a visit to Saline to verify the potential twinning and announced the official twinning in the summer. Copies of the resolution were sent to Mayor and Council of the Town of Brecon, the National League of Cities, the U. S. Department of State and the British Embassy. Later in the summer of 1966 Brecon’s Town Council responded with its acceptance. The twinning was officially established in 1966. City of Saline Council passed the resolution on April 18,1966. Brecon Town council passed the resolution on May 10, 1966. Saline and Brecon were officially twinned in July, 1966. Shortly after the Saline Elementary Schools and the Saline’s Woman’s Club were shown a color sound film on Wales titled “The Land of the Red Dragon”. The Saline-Brecon twinning was the first sister city relationship between the United States and Wales towns