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Twinning document is signed at Hauteville House ceremony

News | Published:

ST PETER PORT has signed a twinning document with the French town of Masnieres – ‘the site of Guernsey’s finest hour.’

Constables Dennis Le Moignan and Jenny Tasker put pen to paper along with the mayor of Masnieres, Francis Noblecourt, in a ceremony at Hauteville House, the home of Victor Hugo, on Saturday.

The ceremony was preceded by the unveiling of a sign stating the twinning on a post near The Liberation Monument.

Mrs Tasker told the crowd that it was an opportunity to meet friends and make a commitment to making friendships and ‘see how we can move forward’.

Speaking via an interpreter, Monsieur Noblecourt said that as a citizen with an interest in history, he had reacted very positively when Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Charitable Trust trustee Chris Oliver had first contacted him.

‘My grandfather was killed during the First World War in 1915 and my mother never knew him as she was only a baby at the time,’ he said.

‘I am very moved at every commemoration, especially when it involves the First World War.

‘I would like to pass on the thankfulness of my people for what the RGLI did for us during the First World War.

‘We are anxious that such a thing should never happen again and we can take this as an opportunity to educate young people on that.’

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The Dean of Guernsey The Very Rev. Tim Barker told the service in the Town Church that Saturday’s events had marked the end of a sequence of commemorations on the First World War in both Guernsey and Masnieres.

‘Today is an opportunity for us to move from commemoration to cultural,’ he said.

‘This at a time when we fear the fracturing of relationships between the nations of Europe.’

Mr Oliver said the RGLICT was working on a number of initiatives to ensure that the links between the two places continued well into the future. These would include annual memorial services at the monuments in both Guernsey and Masnieres and summer student exchange programmes to encourage cultural and language connections between the two places.

The original twinning document will go on display at the St Peter Port Constables Office together with a cultural overview of the link between the two places and the Battle of Les Rue Vertes.

Nigel Baudains

By Nigel Baudains
News reporter

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