Headford, Ireland is officially Morgan Hill
’s third sister city
The city of Morgan Hill has another sister city, this time in Ireland.

The City Council formally established the relationship during their Sept. 7 meeting, making it the Mushroom City’s third sister city.

With a population of only 2,400, the city – located near the western coast of Ireland – has an agricultural-based economy, but like Morgan Hill, it also has a growing high-tech sector.

Headford joins Italy’s San Casciano in Val di Pesa and San Martin de Hidalgo in Mexico in a special relationship with Morgan Hill.

The City of Morgan Hill’s sister city affiliations are patterned after Sister City International, according to Mayor Dennis Kennedy. He said sister city, county and state affiliations between the U.S. and other nations were started shortly after World War II by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“Morgan Hill established the sister city relationship to breakdown barriers of ignorance, fear and misunderstanding,” Kennedy said.

The cities in Italy and Ireland were selected because many Morgan Hill residents have roots in Italy and Ireland, Kennedy said, and San Martin de Hidalgo was selected because of the large Mexican population in Morgan Hill.

Morgan Hill’s sister city relationships have blossomed over the years, said Kennedy.

“It’s like a marriage, where you have a courtship, and then an engagement, you check each other out,” said Kennedy.

John Foggiato, chairperson of the Morgan Hill Sister City Committee, said each year the committee plans activities that foster relationships with its sister cities through cultural exchange programs as well as business relationships. In many cases, it’s more than just an exchange of city officials and people.

The Italian influence was experienced not too long ago with a street art fair which featured an Italian theme. The Britton Middle School jazz band visited San Casiano and performed there last summer.

Last year, Foggiato said a group people from San Martin de Hidalgo participated in the Fourth of July parade. “They were also interested in seeing how our city runs, how we get rid of garbage, and how our sewage plant works. They also toured local businesses and had an interest in businesses like Specialized Bikes and Alien Technology.”

At the end of October, a delegation from Morgan Hill will take a cruise to Puerto Vallarta, where they will be met by a group from San Martin de Hidalgo, Faggiato said.

In addition, Foggiato said the Rotary Club donated $5,000 in school supplies and a van to San Martin de Hidalgo. The van will be used to transport the community’s senior citizens to and from their senior center.

He noted, San Martin de Hidalgo has named a park after Morgan Hill, and soon Morgan Hill will be receiving benches from them, which it plans to place around the Cultural and Community Center.

Morgan Hill officials are looking forward to Morgan Hill’s new Irish sister city. Kennedy and Bernie Mulligan, another Morgan Hill resident, recently visited the city and met with officials there.

“Because of the commonality of the language, we are already having very good rapport. It’s agricultural-based, they’re also trying to get into high technology,” Foggiato said. “We can develop a liaison. They have an excellent labor force there.”

Foggiato also indicated Morgan Hill’s Sister City Committee has already taken steps to become incorporated as a nonprofit organization.

“We encourage people to get involved, especially those who have an ancestral background in these countries,” sad Foggiato.

The Morgan Hill Sister Committee meets once a month at various places. There are approximately 25 members of the group. Other officers of the Committee are Fred Domino, vice president, George Nale, secretary and Gail Wess, treasurer. For more information about the Morgan Hill Sister City Committee, call Foggiato at 779-5621.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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