The Town of Windham and the Town of Suzdal, Russia have enjoyed a Sister City relationship since 1992. Over the years we have engaged in visitations to each other’s towns and, as a result, warm and long lasting relationships have developed that continue to this day.
Thanks now to computers and the internet, it is far easier to continue the contact with one another when personal visits cannot happen. During this past year, our relationship with the members of the Suzdal Quilt Club “Suzdal Swatch” has continued to be very strong. We have mailed two boxes of cotton fabric to them; a gift that is greatly appreciated by the group. The members of the Club especially enjoy incorporating some American fabric into their wall hanging quilts and other works of art. We were thankful for a personal donation this year to help with the mailing costs.
On December 20th, I received a phone call from Suzdal from Mila Yurastova, who was among the first four visitors from Suzdal to Windham. Mila brought me up to date on some happenings there. For the most part our friends there are well, and an old friend, Larisa Maiorova, is now serving as Mayor of the Town. This would seem to be a good sign, as mayors seem to come and go fairly often. A stable leadership would seem to me to be a real benefit.
There was happy news of two new baby girls born to very close young people who we have known for 25 years now. Welcome to little Sofia and Anna and congratulations to the happy parents!
The Town of Windham includes $500.00 in the annual budget that the Committee transfers to Suzdal when people are traveling to Russia. This aid is used to assist the orphanage and the polyclinic, and is only transferred there when it is safe to do so. We continue to enjoy watching the growth of the three Normans adopted from Suzdal Orphanage #5. Three beautiful adults now citizens of Windham!
As always, we dream of our next visit to see our friends face to face. May it not be too far off.
Barbara Coish, Chairman
In the fall of 1992, an official Sister City Agreement was signed between the Selectmen of Windham and the Town Administration of Suzdal, Russia. This association was initiated by John Barry, Nancy Lamontagne and Steve Lamontagne upon returning from a trip to Russia. Located 140 miles northeast of Moscow, Suzdal was chosen as a Sister City because of several reasons. Suzdal is rural and agricultural - like Windham was in the past. Suzdal is about the same size and population as Windham and Suzdal is a tourist center of interest to people all over the world - as New Hampshire also depends greatly upon tourism.
Suzdal is one of the oldest towns in Russia, first appearing in the chronicles in 1024. Recent discoveries show that the town is probably older. There are many churches in Suzdal - between 30 and 40 of them. There is a working convent and monastery. The many historical monuments there are being continuously restored. The area around Suzdal is agricultural. The weather in Suzdal is very similar to northern New England in all seasons. There are however no mountains near this area in Russia.
The goal of the Committee is to encourage exchanges between Windham and Suzdal- business, cultural, educational, medical, political, environmental and sports related. To promote Suzdal as a tourist destination. To specifically support the needs of the children in the Suzdal orphanages. To foster friendships which will carry over into future generations.