A second sister city

Queanbeyan City Council is hoping to establish a sister city relationship with Ohrid, Macedonia. Photo: Stojan Nikolovski.

Queanbeyan City Council is hoping to establish a sister city relationship with Ohrid, Macedonia. Photo: Stojan Nikolovski.

QUEANBEYAN could soon have a second sister city in the form of the lakeside Macedonian town of Ohrid.

Mayor Tim Overall and Cr Velice 'Vic' Trajanoski will formalise ties with Macedonia in July when they travel to Ohrid on behalf of Queanbyan City Council and sign a 'Friendship Agreement' with Ohrid's mayor, Nikola Bakraceski.

People with Macedonian heritage form a large part of Queanbeyan's population, and Macedonian was the second most spoken language in the Queanbeyan Local Government Area (2.5 per cent) recorded at the 2011 census, behind English (81.1 pc).

A Council spokesperson said Macedonians were the third largest ethnic group in Queanbeyan, with over 500 people living in Queanbeyan born in Macedonia.

Mayor Overall originally proposed a sister city agreement with the city of Ohrid during the Ilinden Day celebrations at the Macedonian Hall in Queanbeyan in 2009 and said he's pleased the new Mayor of Ohrid has welcomed the suggestion.

Meanwhile, Cr Trajanoski, who was born in a small village close to the city of Ohrid, said the formulation of the Friendship Agreement had been a project close to his heart for a number of years.

"It is a very relaxed and tourist oriented city with a rich history. I'm hopeful the Friendship Agreement will really benefit Queanbeyan and we will see it blossom into a significant cultural exchange, maybe even a festival which would allow all of Queanbeyan to experience the cultural values of this historic region," he said.

Cr Overall and Cr Trajanoski will be meeting the cost of their own airfares to and from Europe to attend the official signing, with Council set to pay their accommodation costs.

Queanbeyan has had a long standing association with Minami Alps, Japan for over 20 years and the association with Ohrid will be the second such friendship relationship with an overseas city.

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