Stonehaven twinning move confirmed
Stonehaven's twinning with an American city was confirmed in the stately surroundings of an Aberdeenshire castle at the weekend.
The town is forging a link with Athens in Alabama, in the Deep South.
Mayor of Athens, Ronnie Marks, formally acknowledged the partnership on Saturday at the opening of the city’s bicentenary celebrations and the 200th anniversary of Alabama’s formation as a state.
Castle Fraser, a member of Stonehaven and North East Scotland Twinning Group, hosted a party to join in the Athens celebrations.
Special guest was Ellen Wong, principal officer at the US Consulate General in Edinburgh
The twinning move was revealed in September by Phil Mills-Bishop, co-ordinator of the twinning group.
It came after Stonehaven’s success in establishing a partnership with the French town of Acheres during the summer.
The Castle Fraser ceremony featured a special birthday cake and the Stars and Stripes, along with the Alabama state flag, was hung with the Saltire at the castle entrance.
A video link with Athens allowed Mr Mills-Bishop, Richard Holman-Baird, deputy co-ordinator of the twinning group, and others to pass on good wishes to the Mayor and Athens residents.
Mr Mills-Bishop said: “Modern twinning is much more than just a civic connection with a plaque, as in the past, but now includes educational exchanges, tourist flows, reciprocal sporting events, business opportunities and greater understanding between respective communities.
“That is no bad thing in an unstable world.”
A delegation from Athens is due to visit Stonehaven next summer.