Sister City Information
A chance meeting in Washington, D.C. at a national educational conference in 1994 between education and business leaders from Scotland and Coweta County led to a pilot international enterprise education program involving schools in Newnan-Coweta County and Ayr-South Ayshire Scotland. During the 1995-96 school year, schools were linked via high-speed connections to the internet and participated in regular video conferences. In later years, more schools in Georgia and Scotland were partnered and study tours of students and teachers were organized.
In June of 1996, a delegation of 50 educators, business leaders, and elected officials from Georgia traveled to Scotland to meet with their counterparts in Ayr and South Ayshire. The Georgians were feted at a civic reception held by the Provost of South Ayshire Robert Campbell in June of 1996. The pilot program continued during the 1996-97 year and was expanded to other schools.
In the summer of 1997, citizens of Newnan-Coweta County hosted the Ayshire Fiddle Orchestra. The AFO is a dedicated group of young people who come together to keep alive the traditional music of Scotland. The orchestra is composed of approximately 70 violinists, cellists, bass players and percussionists between the ages of 12 and 21. The citizens of Newnan and Coweta County served as host families for the Scottish orchestra.
In 1998, the City of Newnan and Coweta County resolved to formalize a sister city/sister county pact to establish and sustain permanent bonds among its citizens and their Scottish partners in the fields of education, culture, tourism, business, and economic development.
The Sister Cities Proclamation Ceremony took place at the Coweta County Court House in June of 1998 with City and County officials and their Scottish counterparts in attendance. The hope was that tourism and economic development opportunities would be shared as well as culture. Newnan Mayor Keith Brady believes that the most important benefit of the partnership is that the relationships among the citizens are built and nurtured.
Since, the beginning of the Sister City/County Pact, Newnan and Coweta County had hosted the AFO on two other occasions in 2004 and 2011. In addition, there have been many educational field trips led by teachers and school administrators to visit their partner school across "The Pond."
In June 2014, a choral group, the Centre Masterworks Ensemble Choir, from Newnan-Coweta County traveled to Ayr-South Ayrshire Scotland to perform for the citizens of their Sister City County. The group was accompanied by Mayor Keith Brady and former Mayor Pro Tem Cynthia Jenkins and met with Provost Helen Mooney during their visit.
In 2018, Cynthia Bennett, vice-president of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber, traveled to Ayr and South Ayshire to attend the wedding of a young man she first met when she served as a host family for some young Scottish musicians with the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra. Cynthia met with Provost Mooney of South Ayrshire and presented proclamations from the City of Newnan and Coweta County commemorating the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Sister City/Sister County agreement between Ayr and Newnan and South Ayrshire and Coweta County in June of 1998.
JPT - January 2020