December, 2013: As the year comes to a close, the Sister City Committee is pleased to report that our connection with friends in Suzdal, Russia continues to be strong. Although there was no travel during 2013 between citizens of our two towns, the internet, facebook and telephones keep us in touch.
Our relationship with Suzdal is now in its 21st year and an exciting facet of the relationship to me is that a newer generation of young people in Suzdal is actively engaged with staying in contact with friends in Windham. Over the years approximately 50 citizens from Suzdal have visited Windham many of those being students. A somewhat smaller number of Windham folks have visited Suzdal. My wish for the future is to be able to encourage more Windham people to visit Russia and that students will be included in that group of visitors.
Each year the Windham Town budget appropriates $500. toward Suzdal support. If there is no personal visit during the year, the donation is saved until a safe means of transfer is available. Carrying the donation in hand is the best and safest method. In recent years, the Windham donation has gone to support the orphanages and medical relief for the polyclinic.
I was saddened to hear of the death of Mikail Ivanov long time Mayor of the Suzdal Region. He was a man who oversaw the educational, historic and medical needs of the region not only in the Town of Suzdal, but in the area (villages) surrounding the Town.
On December 22, I had a call from Mila Yurastova. She and her husband were in the States for a brief holiday. She tells me that 2014 will be the 990th anniversary of the Town of Suzdal and she feels that the new administration will be inviting sister city representatives from the various countries to be there in Suzdal to celebrate. I will supply updates on this possibility as plans may develop. At this time it is hoped that it will be possible for a group representing Windham to be able to travel to Suzdal in 2014.
Residents are always welcomed to contact me at 898-9520 for more information about the Sister City Committee and its relationship with Suzdal.
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.