Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)
- It's a long, long way from here to Timbuktu!
- By Brendan Lawrence
CARLOW could soon be twinned with one of the world's most intriguing cities, Timbuktu. While many people may believe that Timbuktu is a mythical place, used to indicate somewhere far, far away, it is in fact a city in the country of Mali in Africa.
Local historian Michael Purcell has his sights firmly set on achieving this goal, having already secured the twinning of Carlow with the city of Tempe in Arizona 11 years ago. "I am working to get Carlow twinned with Timbuktu," said Michael.
"We are 11 years twinned with Tempe in Arizona and that has been a hugely successful programme. Every year we have student exchanges and last weekend we had a visit from 20 people from Tempe, including Sue Lofgren who was recently awarded with the Volunteer of the Year award for the entire United States for her work in Timbuktu. I am responsible for the twinning with Tempe and it is one of the most successful twinning’s in Ireland. Timbuktu is also a twin city of Tempe and I have met the mayor of Timbuktu in Tempe and I have been working on getting Carlow twinned with the Mali city for a year or two now, along with the support of several local councillors including Jennifer Murnane O'Connor. I am trying to promote this as we have a lot to learn from each other. Timbuktu was once a great academic centre," he added.
Over the weekend, 20 representatives visited and toured Carlow taking in the sights and sounds of the county on an August weekend. It was one of the many visits that have taken place over the past 11 years as the relationship between both places develops and deepens and the group are said to have enjoyed themselves immensely.
Sue Lofgren was one of the first to make contact with Michael Purcell regarding the twinning of Carlow and Tempe and her work in other areas of the twinning process including her huge developments in Timbuktu were celebrated recently with her volunteer award in America.
Over the years, this hardworking woman has helped to establish seven wells in the desert city along with myriad of other supplies and animals and ingredients to make life better for the local people and Michael Purcell believes that such a twinning with Carlow could only be of benefit to both places.
Source: Michael Purcell & Carlow Nationalist 14th Aug 2009
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