Chairman of Newark Twinning Association, Rita Crowe, receives special achievement award from twin German town of Emmendingen
The chairman of Newark Twinning Association has become only the third person outside of Germany to ever to receive a special award.
Rita Crowe was presented with the Badge of Honour of the town of Emmendingen, Newark's German twin town, as a surprise at the Newark and Sherwood Concert Band performance of Last Night of the Proms at the Palace Theatre. to Rita Crowe.
The presentation was made by Emmendingen's Oberbürgermeister, Stefan Schlatterer, and Hanspeter Hauke, of that town's twinning association, who were guests at the event.
Oberbürgermeister Schlatterer told the audience: "Created in the aftermath of the second world war, the aim of town twinning was to reconcile the peoples of Europe through the peaceful coexistence of its citizens.
"The first rapprochement between our two towns took place in 1983 and led to the foundation of twinning between Newark and Emmendingen in 1984.
"In the town of Emmendingen we have a tradition of honouring well-deserving citizens with the Badge of Honour of the Town of Emmendingen.
"Until today only two people have been awarded the Badge of Honour outside of Germany.
"Roland Cope [former Newark Mayor] was the first to receive the Badge of Honour in 2001 for having promoted the idea of a British-German town twinning between Newark and Emmendingen.
"The second recipient was Claude Bacchini from Emmendingen’s twin town of Six-Fours-les-Plages. Claude was honoured in 2009 on the occasion of the 30th year of town twinning between Emmendingen and Six-Fours.
"The Badge of Honour is awarded by the Emmendingen Town Council as a public expression of recognition and thanks to women and men who have rendered outstanding service to the town of Emmendingen and its citizens through their achievements and their work in local, political, economic, social or cultural areas."
He added Rita Crowe was receiving the award for her many years of service and lasting commitment to twinning with Emmendingen.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Rita has been taking part in meetings along with her husband Robert from the very beginning of the town twinning in 1983.
"In 1984 she travelled to Emmendingen for the first time as a singer with the Newark Operatic Society.
"Since then, she has been involved as a visitor, hostess and, above all, as an organiser and promoter of all encounters, meetings and get-togethers.
"In 1990 she took over the office of secretary of the Twinning Association Newark, founded in 1983 and since 2004 she has been the chairperson of the association.
"Through her political work as a member of the town council, and the district council and twice as town mayor and through the contacts that have emerged, Rita has succeeded in anchoring the idea of town twinning in a significant portion of the Newark population.
"Together with the relevant chairpersons of the Friends of the Emmendingen town twinning association, Rita organises numerous meetings between citizens and representatives of associations.
"Rita uses her membership in many clubs and organisations as well as her large network of friends and supporters to keep bringing new groups, clubs and associations from both towns into contact with each other. In addition to encounters with the town musicians, there were also encounters between sports clubs, the fire brigade, Breisgau winegrowers and Newark Brewers, as well as commercial contacts.
"In Newark, visitors from Emmendingen will always find an open house with Rita Crowe.
"She accommodates and looks after many of the young people who are doing a language stay or an internship in Newark; for several years she has also accommodated regular trainees of the borough administration of Emmendingen.
Rita is committed to supporting the development of the bi-nation exchange between the two towns into international encounters with all partner towns.
"In 2005 Newark entered into a twinning with Emmendingen's twin town of Sandomierz in Poland.
"Rita also arranged for Newark, along with Emmendingen and Sandomierz, to form an aid network in support of the Ukrainian city of Ostroh, Sandomierz's sister town. Many aid supplies have already been sent to the Ukraine, financed with donations from Newark, Sandomierz and Emmendingen."