'Dream come true' as Kenilworth officially twins with his Italian town

By James Smith

24th Jan 2022 | Local News

A resident's "dream" of seeing Kenilworth twin with his hometown in Sicily has "finally happened" today after nearly 13 years of planning.

Gino Bonarrigo shared his delight as Kenilworth's mayor signed a twinning agreement with Sicilian town Roccalumera this evening.

The mayors of both towns were joined on Zoom by members of the respective twinning associations, councillors and residents to sign the "historic documents".

Since moving to Kenilworth Gino has been heavily involved in the Kenilworth Twinning Association and was key to the towns signing a friendship agreement in October 2009.

Now, 12 years later, the twinning has been made permanent to add to Kenilworth's other twin towns of Bourg-la-Reine in France and Eppstein in Germany.

"I am speechless," said Gino at tonight's meeting.

"For me today has been a great day - the dream I had of joining Kenilworth and Roccalumera has finally happened."

The meeting, which was held part in English and part in Italian, saw both mayors and twinning association chairs speak.

KTA chair Tony Jones said: "The circumstances here in the UK and in Italy are still far from perfect but this evening I am very happy indeed to invite you to witness the signing of historic documents by our respective mayors.

"This is the realisation of a long term dream of Kenilworth and Roccalumera resident Gino. There is an old English proverb that all good things come to those who wait, but after tonight Gino need wait no more."

After their speeches both mayors had to sign declarations to complete the twinning.

Mayor of Roccalumera Dr Argiroffi added: "I hope this is the start and is the beginning of friendship exchange."

The agreement will be celebrated in person, once travelling between England and Italy is easier.

KTA also has plans to send representatives to Bourg-la-Reine in May to celebrate the 40th twining anniversary there.

"Most of my colleagues on the town council were disappointed to see the UK leave the European Union, so hopefully this signing will help repair some of the damage," said Cllr Peter Jones.

"And I hope that twinning with three major European countries gives our young people encouragement to travel in Europe."

(Header images by Carab65 via wikimedia and Richard Smith)

More Kenilworth news stories:

- Time is running out for plans to paint three murals in Kenilworth town centre

- Town council demands better communication on university's new eco park for Kenilworth residents

- Kenilworth planning roundup

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