Thursday, 25 May 2017


PENZANCE has celebrated the 50th anniversary of the signing of the partnership document with its twin town of Cuxhaven in northern Germany.

The document was signed on May 2 1967 in Penzance by the Penzance Mayor, Alderman Alfred Beckerleg and Herr Heinz Diestel, the Oberbürgermeister of Cuxhaven. This document committed the towns to “foster and maintain continuously the connection between them, in order to set an example for all who have peace and happiness of the world at heart”. Many people and organisations from Penzance and the wider Penwith district have participated in the partnership over the 50 years, including youth groups, choirs, sports clubs, musicians, artists, churches and maritime among many more. Life-long friendships have been established and all who have visited Cuxhaven and received their hospitality have returned home with some unforgettable memories.

To mark the 50-year anniversary, the Penzance-Cuxhaven Twinning Association organised a celebratory dinner at the Queen’s Hotel. Many people who had been connected with the twinning were present, including some that had preceded the signing of the official document. Cuxhaven was represented by Ortsbürgermeister Herbert Kihm, Mayor of Cuxhaven-Sahlenburg and a member of the council of Cuxhaven. He was accompanied by Jenny Sarrazin, Chair of the Cuxhaven-Penzance Partnerschaft and Thomas Heilbronner.
The evening was a great success with many reminiscing of times spent in Cuxhaven and the twinning association. 

A message was read from Dr Ulrich Getsch, Oberbürgermeister of Cuxhaven. He stated: “The history of our twinning is a story of success, because in the last 50 years people in both our towns developed mutual understanding and trust. The initiators of the first twinnings after the Second World War were still pioneers. They were campaigning for an understanding between nations on a personal level and approached man to man. They built connecting bridges which have proved both stable and reliable.
“In this year of our anniversary we very much hope that these bridges will remain intact, even when the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. Because if nations overcome what divides them, Europe has a future. In the present time of changes, the compass is a symbol that we still have the tools that will help us to find the way to each other. Even if the path is rough we can rely on our partners and trust them.
“We will continue to cultivate and to maintain the connection between Penzance and Cuxhaven and will promote encounters between people from our towns in the sectors of education and culture, in social life as well as in sports.”

In his address, Ortsbürgermeister Kihm passed on the warmest wishes and congratulations from the council and administration of the City of Cuxhaven. He said his gratitude as the representative of Cuxhaven therefore belongs to all those people that have shaped, maintained and put to life this twinning with their great personal commitments for the last 50 years. He said they had done an excellent job which demands gratitude and acknowledgement.
He continued by saying that the twinning between Penzance and Cuxhaven contributes a small but very significant part for a peaceful living together of people with different cultures and languages on this continent. He wishes a successful and long-lasting future for the twinning between Penzance and Cuxhaven.

Chairman of the Penzance-Cuxhaven Twinning Association John Richards in his address gave details of the signing of the first document back in 1967, the many people who have been involved over the years, stating that we owe them so much for why we are here celebrating. He also gave a history of the twinning and the reasons for it, which continue to this day. He thanked all those who attended and especially the guests from Cuxhaven.

Councillor Roy Mann, deputy mayor of Penzance also addressed those present, reminding them of the time, eight years ago when Penzance had renewed its partnership with Cuxhaven after Penwith Council ceased to exist. They had taken over the link in 1975 – and he had signed the document of partnership with Arno Stabbert, Oberbürgermeister of Cuxhaven. He also wished to pass on his congratulations to everyone from the town of Penzance.

Jenny Sarrazin gave an enlightening speech regarding her interpretation of Brexit from her point of view and the Cuxhaven Partnerschaft, it held the attention of all those present and she was given a hearty ovation at the end.
A special presentation followed when Ortsbürgermeister Kihn presented a ship’s compass from the town of Cuxhaven to Penzance Deputy Mayor Roy Mann. On behalf of the Penzance Twinning Association, Mr Richards presented gifts to Ortsbürgermeister Kihn and Mrs Sarrazin, and a special anniversary gift will be presented to Cuxhaven in October when the next partnership group are due to visit Penzance.

The Penzance-Cuxhaven Twinning Association followed this celebration the following week by holding a Cuxhaven Promotion Week in the ‘pop-up’ shop on The Terrace, Penzance. This proved a great success with many people visiting the shop during the course of the week. The shop sold a lot of garden plants, along with furniture, books and other items. There was also an opportunity to obtain promotional material about the Cuxhaven area which was well received.

October sees an adult group visiting for the 44th Week of Partnership, and the Penzance Twinning Association now turns its attentions to organising a programme for this and also for its next visit to Cuxhaven in 2018.
Anyone interested in joining the Association or joining the group for its visit to Germany are welcome to enquire to any members of the executive committee or from John Richards, chairman, 73 Manor Way, Heamoor, Penzance TR18 3HL. Tel: 07791455919 or 01736 361753 e-mail:

The signing of the first partnership document in 1967 between Penzance Mayor, Alderman Alfred Beckerleg and Herr Heinz Diestel, the Oberbürgermeister of Cuxhaven in St John’s Hall.

Presentation of the ship’s compass to Penzance, pictured from left: John Richards (chairman of the Penzance-Cuxhaven Twinning Association); Councillor Roy Mann (Deputy Mayor of Penzance); Ortsbürgermeister Herbert Kihn (Mayor of Cuxhaven-Sahlenburg); Jenny Sarrazin (Chairwoman of the Cuxhaven-Penzance Partnerschaft).

Picture of outside of the Pop-Up Shop where the Penzance-Cuxhaven Twinning Association held a Promotion Week.

The Penzance-Cuxhaven Twinning Association are organising the next trip to Cuxhaven in 2018, anyone who is interested in joining us are welcome, please contact John Richards, details above.

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