Vernon considers adopting sister city

Sister city request made to Vernon from Anandpur, India

Vernon’s family could get a little bigger,

The city has received a request from some residents to adopt a sister city relationship with Anandpur in India’s Punjab region.

“There may be space for another one,” said Coun. Jack Gilroy, who sits on the sister city committee.

There are presently formal relations with cities in Japan, Italy, Austria, California and Quebec.

Anandpur has a population of about 13,886 people and it is considered a holy place in the Sikh religion.

“We envision a growing awareness and appreciation of each other’s cultures and people,” said Hardev Aujla, a Vernon resident who is lobbying for a sister city relationship.

“From small beginnings, we hope this partnership will continue for many generations, fostering educational, economic and professional exchanges. We look forward to the limitless possibilities of this relationship.”

The request will now be considered by Vernon’s sister city committee and then a recommendation will be made to council for consideration.

“We are always getting requests for sister cities,” said Gilroy.

There is some travel between Vernon and its existing sister cities, but Gilroy insists none of it is done at taxpayers’ expense.

“The only taxpayers’ cost is e-mails and correspondence, staff time,” said Gilroy.

Vernonites rallied behind Tome, their sister city in Japan, which was struck by an earthquake earlier this year.