Breton Dancing and a C47 Returns to Rennes

**** From our sister-sister-cities program *****
PUBLICITY_CITY_HALL_CONCERT_For_Ray_And_Mike_2_(2) fest_noz_2014_(1)Dear Friends,
This Friday, April 25th, the Rennes-Rochester Sister City Committee (RRSCC) in partnership with the Alliance Française will be hosting a Concert at City Hall from 12:00 – 1:30 PM by the Rochester Franco-American Choir in honor of the soldiers that fought and died in Normandy almost 70 years ago. With the D-Day anniversary rapidly approaching, our committee has also linked up with the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo. Their C-47 troop transport that once dropped paratroopers on St. Mere-Eglise will be leaving again from Geneseo in mid-May to take part in D-Day celebrations, including again dropping paras over Normandy on June 6th. More info can be found at their website at
Our committee has asked the museum to extend their trip to Brittany. They have agreed to fly over and stop in Rennes on June 9th as guests of the Aeroclub de Rennes. Eric Beaty, my counterpart in Rennes, has cleared the decks to make this happen. He told me today that the mayors of Rennes and St. Jacques-de-la-Lande will be there to personally greet the pilot and her crew. He and his committee expect hundreds to be at the airport.
We are raising $3,000 to cover fuel and flight expenses. Thirty people at $100 each can get this done tomorrow. All donations, regardless of size, are tax-deductible, freely accepted and much appreciated. Please forward your check, made out to ISCOR and earmarked for the Return to Rennes to Mike Leach at City Hall, located at 30 Church Street in Rochester 14614.
That isn’t the end. At Nazareth College from 7:30-9:30 PM, the RRSCC will be co-hosting Fest Noz, an evening of Breton dancing. Information on that affair is attached and we urge everyone to celebrate with us. Please RSVP to Hannah Berry at (There is still time…)
Both Hannah and Dr. Mireille Le Breton, board members of the RRSCC, have done a superlative job in putting both programs together. Our thanks to them cannot be expressed enough. Dr. Le Breton also heads up the Maison Francaise and the Alliance Francaise of Rochester.
We look forward to seeing you this Friday and we thank you for your continued support.
Ray Griswold
Rennes-Rochester Sister City Committee


LeSavoy2013Linkages Board member, Dr. Barbara LeSavoy, has been awarded a faculty post to the 2014 summer session of the SUNY Stony Brook/ St. Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition and Culture (NYI).The St. Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition and Culture (NYI) is an advanced study program organized every July in St. Petersburg, Russia at St. Petersburg State University.  This year’s institute will be held July 14-August 1, 2014. Continue reading LINKAGES BOARD MEMBER AWARDED FACULTY POST AT ST. PETERSBURG INSTITUTE

President’s Letter, Spring 2014


It’s been a very rough time for US-Russian relations. It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago we were witnessing the spectacle and excitement of the Olympics in Sochi. The stunning figure skating performances, incredible skiing and snowboarding feats and exciting hockey games between global rivals were riveting. Russia put its national stamp on the winter Olympics, showcased Russian culture and history to the world and made its mark as a global player through hosting and competing in the Olympics. As the crisis in Ukraine unfolds, the tensions between countries threaten to spill over into sister-city relations.

It’s important to remember that one of the principles of Sister Cities International is that sister city organizations do not get involved in national politics. Continue reading President’s Letter, Spring 2014

Welcome, Marina Trofimova

Linkages_groupMarina Trofimova, teacher of English from Velikiy Novgorod, Russia arrived in Rochester for a three week stay on March 20. She will spend her time in the US visiting schools in the Rochester area to observe how instruction is delivered to students at different grade levels. Pictured above is Marina (on right front next to Russian flag), Linkages members and other American friends at a reception held in her honor organized by the Linkages Education Committee at the home of Michael Brundage and his husband, Colin Cofffey on March 22. Continue reading Welcome, Marina Trofimova

Velikiy Novgorod Celebrates the Sochi Winter Olympics


Velikiy Novgorod was a key stop on the 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay, which began on October 7, 2013 and continued until its arrival in Sochi on February 5, 2014. In Russia the torch traveled from Moscow to Sochi through 2,900 towns and villages and all 83 regions of Russia by foot, car, plane, boat and “troika.” On October 24, torchbearer, Elena Kirilova, European champion in acrobatics, arrived with the torch on a Novgorod “soyma,” a traditional fishing boat, on the Volkhov River. The welcome ceremony for the Olympic flame took place in the ancient settlement of Ryurik, the historical location of the original Novgorod settlement, on the right bank of the Volkhov River, 10 km from current day Velikiy Novgorod. The torch was then handed off to the next torchbearer, Yuri Yakimov, who brought it to the left bank of the Volkhov River, right at the center of the city.