Did You Know
By Lyn Miller
Midland is a Sister City to four cities in as many countries.
The most recognizable is the city of Dongying, China. Delegations from Midland and Dongying have visited each country since becoming Sister Cities in 1986. Carroll Thomas was Mayor at that time. The first visit was in June 1986, when Barry Beck, President of the Midland-Dongying Sister City Association, led a large delegation of Midlanders on a visit to Dongying. The purpose of the program--encourage economic ventures between the two cities. A delegation from Dongying visited Midland in April 1989, and was given a tour of Midland. At that time, discussions were underway concerning specific economic projects. More than 1.5 million people live in Dongying, located on the delta region of the Yellow River. In China, cities spread over several counties, taking in rural areas, unlike the United States, where the city boundaries end where rural boundaries begin.
In 1996, New Amsterdam, Guyana, became Midland’s second Sister City. In June 1998, a delegation visited Midland to discuss economic and cultural matters of mutual interest. Guyana was founded as a Dutch colony, sharing a British colonial past with the United States, and during World War II, New Amsterdam was home to the Atkinson Airfield, used by the U.S. Army Air Corps. The Mayor of New Amsterdam described the country as small, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural, and the only English speaking country in South America.
Thirdly, The Wirral, United Kingdom, is also Midland’s Sister City and presented an exhibit of new art at the Museum of the Southwest. The Borough of Wirral covers approximately 60.35 sq. mi. in the Northwest England region peninsula and boasts beautiful beaches and a variety of industries. Picturesque villages and seaside towns dot the countryside, and its location to the sea provides opportunities for water-based activities.
The newest Sister City to Midland is in Chihuahua, Mexico, the largest state in Mexico. Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, the state capital, was founded October 12, 1709, and is noted for its charming colonial architecture. The city is woven between its history and modern industrial influences. Visits by groups of Midlanders to Chihuahua and vice versa have occurred over the last couple of years with the purpose in mind of finding mutual interests and assisting each other in economic development endeavors.