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Barghese Here Again ... and we Celebrate at the Arts Festival

Mayors who Can't Stay Away!

It's an interesting fact that neither the Lord Mayor of Gothenburg in Sweden or the Mayor of Barga in Tuscany can stay away from the Arts Festival and the Prestoungrange Gothenburg. Both have now visited once and returned again. We can understand why Jorgen Linder comes since the Goth is named after his famous home city, and one of the Goth's two bars in named after his office! But why the Mayor of Barga, Umberto Sereni?

He gave us his spontaneous answer in mellifluous Italian on January 28th, translated as usual by Dr Rino Simonetti, Barga's GP. 'He loves the frienship and the hospitality he finds in The Pans'. He enjoys the twinning we have with his mountain top home and was delighted we flew his flag next to our own as he joined for a buffet lunch. [And they both happily recalled our Laureate's poem whose translation they assisted Questo e'il Prestoungrange]

click to enlarge all images

Reunion Time for our own Barghese

Once word was out that Mayor Umberto Sereni was in town the invitations went out to all those who had joined the Arts Festival sponsored expedition in Spring 2008 to come along too. And the man with the pipes whom those expeditionaries met and persuaded to come back with them to The Pans, Hamish Moore, was of course there too - and playing beautifully as ever.

The Internationale was also sung!

If one is capable any longer of being surprised at the exuberance manifest in our town's twinning with Barga, then the rendition of The Internationale that Mayor Sereni led during the camera call for a 'team' photo would have surprised you. But our local Barghese here in The Pans, which included of course Peter Antonelli, Willie Galbraith and Pat O'Brien, are beyond surprise. They/ we all just enjoyed the reunion.... and talked of plans to go again.

Indeed, a meeting is to be convened at the end of February to plan the next assault by Panners on the mountain town we have grown to love - and never stop talking about. All interested please contact Gillian Hart, who led the first expedition, on 01280 819922 or call to see her at The Goth.

P.S. Barga at The Three Harbours Festival

For those who cannot get to Barga or cannot wait that long, this June's Three Harbours Festival will open with a Barga Musical Festival at PL School. Watch for details.

P.P.S. As the press cutting from East Lothian News below reports, Mayor Sereni is standing down later this year, so it will be the last time he visits officially, but he has no doubts that the twinning links he established with East Lothian's former Provost Pat O'Brien will grow stronger in the years ahead - especially now the whole idea is grounded in 'our' community itself. The second cutting shows the modest attempt we have now made two years late to acknowledge the twinning on our town sign. The message about our driving is given more significance. One wonders why or by whom?

Published Date: January 31st 2009

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