Mayor Miro Weinberger Met with French Ambassador and Consul General of France
Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger and members of last week’s Burlington Delegation Mission to the City of Honfleur, France met today with His Excellency François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United States, and Fabien Fieschi, Consul General of France in Boston in the Mayor’s Office. During the meeting, the group discussed next steps for establishing a “Sister City” relationship with Honfleur that would create and strengthen economic, educational, and cultural connections between the cities of Burlington and Honfleur. Additionally, gifts of a replica sailing vessel and the Honfleur flag were presented to the City of Burlington.
“We welcome His Excellency and the Consul General to Burlington and appreciate the opportunity their visit brings Burlington to strengthen our ties to Honfleur and with our French friends overseas and in Canada,” said Weinberger.
While in France, the Burlington delegation gifted to Honfleur Mayor Michel Lamarre and the City of Honfleur a replica of Samuel de Champlain’s sailing vessel, “Don de Dieu,” which Champlain sailed from Honfleur to Quebec, after which his expedition continued on to Lake Champlain (please see attached photo #1). This morning, delegation member Ernie Pomerleau, President and CEO of Pomerleau Real Estate, presented another replica of the “Don de Dieu” to the City of Burlington (please see attached photo #2). The replica ship serves as a symbol of the shared history and future connections between Burlington and Honfleur. The ship was made by Marc Parent of Saint-Saveur, Quebec.
“The connection between Honfleur and Burlington is a natural fit,” said Pomerleau. “We have much in common, from our locally crafted foods and celebration of the arts, to our historic architecture and beautiful waterfront settings.”
Also today, delegation member Lise Veronneau, Chair of the Honfleur Committee, Events Committee Chair for the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region, and City of Burlington employee, presented the Honfleur flag to the City of Burlington (please see attached photo #3).
The members of the Burlington Delegation visited Honfleur from October 8-10 and included representatives of local, state, and federal government and community leaders looking to make helpful connections between Burlington and Honfleur. Delegation members were: Senator Patrick Leahy and Marcelle Leahy, Honorary Chairperson of the Vermont Champlain Quadricentennial Celebrations; Pomerleau; Tom Torti, President of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce; Kiersten Bourgeois, Senior Project Manager for the Vermont Agency of Commerce; Veronneau; Anne Miller, Cultural Attaché at the French Consulate in Boston; Lisa Schamberg, Board Member of the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center; Dana Lim vanderHeyden, Board Member of Burlington City Arts and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum; and Doreen Kraft, Executive Director of Burlington City Arts.
While Honfleur, France, is not yet an official Sister-City, the friendship between the two cities has included efforts to develop connections among citizens and organizations of both cities since Burlington’s 2009 Quadricentennial Celebration.
Members of the delegation were responsible for the cost of their own transportation to Honfleur, and were hosted as Honfleur’s guests.