Lat­vians’ visit lifts city links

The Cairns Post - - NEWS - AN­DREA FALVO an­drea.falvo@news.com.au

CAIRNS has strength­ened its ties with sis­ter city Riga, the Lat­vian cap­i­tal, wel­com­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Dr Valdis Zatlers this week.

To­gether with his wife Lilita, the pair vis­ited Cairns as part of a na­tion­wide tour.

During their visit they at­tended a spe­cial din­ner with Mayor Bob Man­ning, as well as day trips to sev­eral at­trac­tions, in­clud­ing Cape Tribu­la­tion.

Cairns and Riga forged their sis­ter city re­la­tion­ship at the In­ter­na­tional Sis­ter Cities Con­ven­tion hosted by Cairns in 1988.

“Cairns is very spe­cial to me. This is my third visit,” Dr Zatlers said.

“I have seen a lot of Cairns in my pre­vi­ous vis­its but never to Cape Tribu­la­tion or Port Dou­glas.

“It’s been a nice ex­pe­ri­ence to come to Cairns again,” he said.

Dr Zatlers also had the chance to meet lo­cal Lat­vians and their fam­i­lies at a Lat­vian In­de­pen­dence Day din­ner.

“This time I vis­ited the Lat­vian com­mu­nity here in Cairns, which is a (low) num­bered one,” he said.

“Meet­ing so many peo­ple from my coun­try that are liv­ing away, it was very emo­tional.

“We talked about how we are plan­ning for the 100th an­niver­sary of the Repub­lic of Latvia, as there will be a lot of events go­ing on in Latvia.

“The top of the events next year would be the na­tional fes­ti­val of song.

“It is held ev­ery four years, so it’s spe­cial that it falls on the 100th an­niver­sary.”

ed­i­to­rial@cairn­spost.com.au face­book.com/TheCairn­sPost www.cairn­spost.com.au twit­ter.com/TheCairn­sPost

Pic­ture: STE­WART McLEAN

SPE­CIAL TIES: Ex-pres­i­dent of Latvia, Dr Valdis Zatlers and his wife Lilita, in Cairns to cel­e­brate Lat­vian In­de­pen­dence Day. Lat­vian cap­i­tal Riga is a sis­ter city of Cairns.

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