Sister City Trip to Newtownabbey Northern Ireland May 20-May24, 2008

2008 marked the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the Borough of Newtownabbey in Northern Ireland, and Gilbert was invited to be a part of the celebration.    Since the beginning of our sister city relationship there has been many exchanges between our two communities, but Mayor Nigel Hamilton and I agreed that this exchange needed to be very special.  The decision was made to bring a bit of Gilbert Days to the Ballyclare Mayfair.  Originally the Mayfair was held to provide a place for  Irish farmers to show and sell their horses to the British Army.  The decision was made to bring a bunch of “real cowboys” to Newtownabbey.  The key to selecting the delegation was balance, and I am proud at the way that worked out for us. Joan Musgrave, Warner Weber, Ed Musgrave and Kevin Whitlock represented the Gilbert Promotional Corporation.  Taryn Brady, Kelsee Bradshaw and Julee Brady represented the Cowgirls Historical Foundation.   Kellen Brady, Coulter Bradshaw and Pat Brady represented the International Day of the Cowboy.  The delegation was rounded out with Blessing McAnlis representing the Salt River Pima reservation, Gilbert Town Councilman Dave Crozier and Charlie Brooks, 2007’s professional photographer of the year. 
Words can’t describe our trip.  Each member of our delegation represented not only Gilbert, and “The Cowboy Way”, but the United States of America and paid their own way.  No town of Gilbert funds were used on this trip.   You each made me proud and I hope when you look at this book it give you a “wee warm feeling” and reminds you of the great time we had.

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