From around the world! Ottery is multi-cultural hub

PUBLISHED: 12:11 23 May 2010 | UPDATED: 14:01 18 June 2010

OTTERY St Mary became a multi-cultural hub at the weekend as Rotary Club, church, and Twinning Association members welcomed guests from five countries and three continents.

OTTERY St Mary became a multi-cultural hub at the weekend as Rotary Club, church, and Twinning Association members welcomed guests from five countries and three continents.

Brazilian, Irish, Swedish, French and Melanesian visitors enjoyed an unprecedented stay in the town.

"Ottery truly had an international weekend, we've never had that amount of different countries being represented in the town at the same time- it was incredible," said mayor Glyn Dobson, who fronted two civic receptions on Saturday, adding: "it was brilliant."

A Swedish flag flying from the parish Church sparked jovial rumours Ikea had come to Ottery, however, the eye-catching move was made to celebrate a special sung parish eucharist service on Sunday. The Very Reverend Michael Persson (pictured), of the Swedish Church in London, led proceedings.

Church members then welcomed the archbishop of Melanesia, David Vanagi, on Monday and Tuesday as they continue a strong link with the Pacific Ocean islands.

The Ottery Twinning Association greeted 32 visitors from French town Pont L':vêque last Thursday.

Guests, including four families and six children, enjoyed a three-night stay.

"It was very pleasing to welcome a group that covered such a wide age range," said twinner Chris Saunders.

For the first time in years, the party was given a tour of Cadhay House on Friday.

Mayor Glyn Dobson, deputy Ian Holmes and town clerk Judith Reynolds then joined in a civic reception and dinner at Otter Nurseries on Saturday.

"Towards the end of the dinner, guest Benoît Horvais produced his violin and gave the party a surprising but delightful recital of English music, with six variations on the British national anthem," said Chris, "This nicely rounded off a thoroughly enjoyable evening and two days of congenial company."

There was double delight for the Otter Valley Rotary Club as it welcomed Brazilian and Irish guests.

Members of the organisation's twin Rotary Club from Dun Laoghaire, near Dublin, and five young professionals from Brazil enjoyed skittles fun and a barbecue at West Hill British Legion on Friday. More than 30 people attended a civic reception, and were treated to a town tour from Heritage Society member Chris Wakefield, on Saturday.

Ottery's Flaming Morris group entertained the party at a President's Night dinner.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald