A family trip to Romania in June last year has established an unexpected relationship between Ashburton and the ancient city of Constanta, thanks to local school girl, Alexandra Cojocaru.
Alexandra (10) who attends Hampstead School, and her father Leonard visited the family's home country in June and July last year, and whilst visiting relatives was introduced to the Deputy Mayor of Constanta. Upon hearing of the vast distance the family's new home was on the other side of the world, the Deputy Mayor asked if Alexandra would deliver a letter and book about the city to the mayor of her home in Ashburton District.
Last month, Alexandra presented the gifts to Mayor Neil Brown, who was delighted at the show of international friendship and diplomacy.
"It was Children's Day in the city, and her grandfather knew some local politicians," Leonard said. "When they heard she was a Kiwi, she was asked if she would meet the Deputy Mayor."
Constanta is the oldest continually inhabited city in Romania, and was founded in around 600 BCE. It was home to one of the greatest poets in Roman history, Ovid.
The Romanian book now resides proudly at the Ashburton District Council.