The Sister City Charter
On November 5, 2019, the two cities held simultaneous ceremonies to sign the official Sister City Charter. The two ceremonies connected by a Skype link. In Burlington, Mayor Miro Weinberger signed, while Mayor Michel Lamarre signed in Honfleur. The communities in both cities watched each other, connected by Skype. Congratulatory remarks and toasts followed.
In Honfleur, the ceremony at the Hôtel de Ville was attended by Burlingtonians Lise Veronneau, Meg Pond, Jim Rader, Fran Stoddard, Harry Grabenstein, and Dana and Marc vanderHeyden.
Lunch afterward in Honfleur …
A Tour of the Lieutenance
In Honfleur, after the signing, the Burlington group took a tour of the Lieutenance (which was then under renovation), led by Benjamin Findinier, director of Cultural Affairs and Museums in Honfleur.
Melons de Honfleur (part 1)
Sometime in the next days Mayor Lamarre, Pierre Jan, Dana, and Marc vanderHeyden sat down to lunch. The mayor gave Dana an envelope containing about twenty seeds of the melon de Honfleur. This melon variety had been quite popular from the seventeenth century but in the late nineteenth it was eclipsed in popularity by the cantaloupe. It seems to have been lost or forgotten.
But several years earlier, Dana was told, an envelope containing several seeds had been found in a book in the Honfleur archives. Someone planted them, and they turned out to be seeds of the Honfleur melon. The melons were harvested, and the seeds the mayor gave Dana came from them.
The melon seed story continues on page 2020-21.