The population of St. Thomas is just over 50,000 residents. The earliest recorded settlement was in 1657 when the Dutch West India Company built a post, and that was quickly followed in 1660 by the St. Thomas Reformed Church. The average high during the summer is 32C and a bone chilling 25C in winter. The most famous person born in St. Thomas is none other than Mr Fraiser himself, Kelsey Grammer.
By this time you may have noticed that we aren’t talking about the fine city of St. Thomas, Ontario. Rather, this is about St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, or more precisely, both cities. Both cities have a rich history, the warmer St. Thomas was home to Blackbeard, the colder, Jumbo’s last stand.
In countries all around the world, cities and towns will often align themselves with another city or town else where in the world. It is often used to promote cultural or commercial ties. For example, Toronto has two kinds of twin or sister cities. There are the partnership cities which are more commercial development based and friendship cities that are often proposed by the community. At time of writing there are four partnership cities: Chicago, Chongqing, China, Frankfurt, Germany, and Milan, Italy. The five friendship cities are Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Kiev, Ukraine, Quito, Ecuador, Sagamihara, Japan and Warsaw, Poland.
Our esteemed neighbour to the North, London, is only twinned with one city, with that being Nanjing, China.
Why not have a twin city? While the economic benefits may be minimum the cultural impact could be much larger. The current trend is to partner up with a Chinese city as China is an emerging powerhouse of manufacturing.
Why not St. Thomas, Ontario twinning with St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. If only in name, a bond between the two cities already exists. Any search in Google will likely bring up results for both locations, however different they may be. It is highly unlikely that someone would mistake the two and travel to the wrong one.
What of the benefits? Other than having a cool sign as visitors enter St. Thomas (Ontario), why not have a Caribbean theme carnival for a weekend? Invite calypso and steel drum bands, have Caribbean style foods, perhaps even a parade? Possibly invite dignitaries from St. Thomas (VI) to visit? While it is just another excuse to spend the weekend partying, it IS another excuse to spend the weekend partying!
Of course, given that St. Thomas‘s (ON) motto is 25% more, perhaps we could get 25% less on vacations to St. Thomas (VI)
Just a thought!