City of Kingston and Gibraltar to twin

Thursday, August 16, 2018

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THE Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation, at its council meeting on Tuesday, voted in support of a resolution for the twinning of the city of Kingston with the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar.

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Councillor Tosha Schwapp, who moved the resolution, argued that Gibraltar was seeking to formalise the link with Kingston as a result of the lasting impression Jamaican hospitality made on the approximately 2,000 Gibraltarians who were provided refuge and protection at Mona, during World War II (1939-1945).

During the war, the refugees from Gibraltar lived in a camp at Mona that is now a section of The University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

The motion said that both cities “share deep, cultural, creative and historic ties and have agreed to pursue and solidify this relationship through various initiatives such as, but not limited to, governance, youth participation and leadership, community empowerment, and tourism”.

Gibraltar, the resolution states, occupies “a narrow peninsula of Spain's southern Mediterranean coast, just north-east of the Strait of Gibraltar on the east side of the Bay of Gibraltar and directly south of the Spanish city of La Linea; five kilometres long and just over a kilometre wide, and is connected to Spain by a low, sandy isthmus that is just short of two kilometres long”.

The resolution describes Gibraltar as a “heavily fortified British air and naval base that guards the Strait of Gibraltar, which is the only entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean”.

Since the 18th century, Gibraltar has been a symbol of British naval strength, and, in that context, it is commonly known as “the Rock”, the motion stated.

Meanwhile, People's National Party Councillor Eugene Kelly (Whitfield Town division), who seconded the motion, urged the council to develop more tourism-type activities around Kingston and St Andrew twinning arrangements.

“I don't think we are maximising our twinning arrangements,” he said.

— Claudienne Edwards

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