A well-timed visit to Palmerston North has led to some Missoula residents taking part in a 35th anniversary celebration of the Sister City relationship.

Toni Grace, Palmerston North City Council

The visitors were part of an 18-strong American Friendship Force group staying in Palmerston North with Manawatu Friendship Force Chapter hosts. On 8 November Mayor Grant Smith welcomed the group in the city’s Council Chambers before hosting them at a lunch.

They were able to visit Council’s main meeting room, the Missoula Room, and saw gifts from their home city, including a painting that is permanently on display. They also delivered a letter and gift from the Mayor of Missoula to Mayor Smith.

“It was great opportunity for us to be able host the visitors in our city during the 35th anniversary,” says Toni Grace, PNCC International Relations Manager. “It allowed us to reciprocate Missoula’s acknowledgement of our relationship in the New Zealand Day they held in May, which included a rugby match and a screening of Kiwi film Hunt for the Wilderpeople.”

The lunch was also attended by members of the US Embassy Public Affairs team, who spoke to the visitors about the special relationship between New Zealand and the United States.

During the lunch, the trip organisers and Council staff agreed to plant a tree in Missoula Reserve (named for our Sister City) as a way to mark the anniversary year. The following week Mayor Grant Smith and the group planted a Pohutukawa tree at Missoula Reserve to celebrate Palmerston North’s longest-standing Sister City relationship.

The Mayor and Friendship Force visitors from Missoula stand at the entrance to Missoula Reserve, named for our US Sister City.

Tree planting in Missoula Reserve, Palmerston North.