By Steven Yee, Web Manager
On Friday, May 4th, Governor Jerry Brown, Mayor Gina Papan, Principal Duszynski, and students of Mills’ International Relations class Michael Dong, Robert Huang, Iris Kim, Vera Koltun, Albert Lu, Annie Lu, and Maddy Wong welcomed President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and her entourage to Millbrae City Hall.
For what many Mills students do not know, the city of Millbrae is part of the Sisters City Commission. President Coleiro Preca toured Millbrae City Hall to commemorate the continued strong relationship between Millbrae and its sister city in Mosta, Malta. Coleiro Preca also visited Mosta Grove, a park well known amongst the Millbrae community named after Millbrae’s sister city. Following were a lion team performance, welcome addresses, pictures with the audience, and questions.
A unique experience exclusive to the Millbrae community, Coleiro Preca’s visitation reaffirmed cross-cultural dialogue. She shared her insight on some of society’s biggest issues, expressing concern for the growing issue of refugees in Malta and wishing that more communities practice greater tolerance. Coleiro Preca’s visit emphasized open-mindedness in communities be it in Millbrae or in Mosta.
The entire event was organized by Millbrae City council who managed the logistics of the event and planned subsequent tours. Overseeing the event were the Sister Cities Commission members, one of which many students may recognize is Japanese teacher Akiko Soda who heads our friendship city agreement with Hanyu, Japan. Other sister cities of Millbrae include La Serena, Chile and Kaiping, China. The duties of the commission are: to promote a greater global understanding of other cultures and an international perspective for Millbrae in light of the significant changes happening throughout the world; to grow relationships with sister cities and friendship cities; to foster cultural and educational exchange programs, and identify and promote trade relationships; and to perform such other duties as may be assigned by the City Council.
President Coleiro Preca’s visitation was truly a noteworthy experience for Mills. As Robert Huang reflects after his interview with President Coleiro Preca, “She respected us as students but answered our questions as if she were responding to professional interviewers. It really demonstrates the values of kindness, humility, and respect shared by our able leaders today.” For more information regarding the Commission, visit one of its regularly meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Millbrae Library, Room A, 1 Library Avenue, Millbrae.