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Sister City Connection
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Waterville, ME 04903-1747
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Kotlas Connection Holds Annual Meeting

Around 50 people attended the annual meeting of the Kotlas Connection. The meeting was held on November 10, 2010, at The Center on Main Street in Waterville.

2010 was an exceptionally busy year for the Kotlas Connection, as we were marking the twentieth anniversary of the formal establishment of sister city ties. Co-chairwoman Ellen Corey opened the meeting by summarizing our activities, which included the visit of a ten-person delegation of teachers and city officials from Kotlas, a Russian film adult education course, two Russian films and Russian food tasting at the Maine International Film Festival, exhibits of Russian arts and crafts at The Center and the Winslow Public Library, sessions on "Russian Children and Their Schools" offered to 280 local students, our annual Russian Sampler , and sales of Russian Christmas ornaments at local banks and craft fairs.

The main business of the meeting was to elect the 2011 executive committee. Ellen Corey was re-elected co-chairperson and Sheila McCarthy was elected secretary. Both will serve for two years. The other two officers, co-chair Martha Patterson and treasurer Carl Daiker are halfway through their biennial terms.

The following were re-elected to one-year terms at at-large members: Mary Coombs, Joseph Couture, John Engle, Mark Fisher, Herb Foster, Philip Gonyar, Kenneth Green, Paul LePage, Jack Mayhew, Pauline Mayhew, Mary Ellen Miner, and Michael Waters. The committee welcomed two new members, Marilyn Hall and John Wilder, and said goodbye to Gregor Smith, who after 13 years, is stepping down as webmaster. Joe Couture will be taking over for him.

Following the business meeting, those assembled heard and saw three presentations:

  • Slava Selin, a Russian exchange student at Messalonskee High School, showed pictures of his native Kamchatka and his family.
  • Mary Coombs, Pauline Mayhew, and Sheila McCarthy spoke briefly about their classes in local schools last spring and presented a photographic display of their class visits.
  • Finally, University of Southern Maine Professor of Arts and Humanities Barry Rodrigue discussed his work in Starye Atagi, Chechnya, Russia, with Chechnian human rights groups and peace activists in refugee camps in Chechnya; he also presented his ongoing project to finalize a sister city relationship between Augusta and Starye Atagi.

Afterwards, everyone enjoyed refreshments and conversation.

This article was adapted by Gregor Smith from minutes taken by Sheila McCarthy.