In the early 1980's an approach was made by the Municipality of Créteil to Falkirk District Council with a view to twinning. This was followed by an official visit led by Cllr Jim Lafferty to Créteil.
After a well-attended public meeting, a Steering Committee was set up, chaired by Dick Love, Principal Teacher of Modern Languages at Denny High School. He was involved in the earlier Denny-Souillac twinning. Other teachers of Modern Languages served on the steering committee because of their interest in France.
In 1982 a visit by Councilors, teachers and other interested parties was made to Créteil for the Fêtes de Juin. Also included in the party were members of Camelon Pipe Band and a group of Scottish Country Dancers who performed at the Fêtes de Juin. The Depute Provost, Frank McKeever flew out to join the group as the official representative of the Council. It was on this visit that the group first met the Anciens Combatants at their headquarters in Créteil and a friendship was struck up with Colonel René Dessailly. Many visits followed this meeting and long standing friendships were formed, some existing to the present day.
It was after that initial trip in 1982 that a meeting was held to inaugurate the Falkirk-Créteil Twinning Association at which Councilor Jim Lafferty was elected President of the Association and Jill McMillan as Vice-President.
1983 saw the visit by a large group from Créteil, led by Mayor Laurent Cathala, consisting of the members of the "Commission Ecosse", various dignitaries and a group of entertainers who performed at the twinning ceremony in Callendar Park.
In 1984 there was a return visit to Créteil for the Fêtes de Juin and so a pattern of exchanges was set up of very successful school exchanges, with home to home exchange. Schools involved were Graeme High, St. Mungo's and Woodlands. Sporting exchanges were also arranged. Hundreds of children from the Falkirk area visited Créteil or hosted young people in their homes in the Falkirk area.
From these beginnings, some long-lasting friendships were formed, still existing today, with people continuing to enjoy the benefits of learning about another country through getting to know the people, the culture, the cuisine, the festivities, but most importantly, creating lasting bonds in real friendships and having fun!
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