On Friday, May 11, 1979, the City of Houston, Texas and the Grampian Region, Scotland, formalized their "twinning" and became Sister Cities. Official documents were exchanged and both regions became linked by our common field of development.
The linking is founded on the mutual cultural, educational and social interests of the two cities, and also provides an opportunity for business networking between these two oil capitols of their respective countries. It has become a great friendship involving permanent links between our two areas across the fields of commerce, education, farming, fishing, tourism and our many other varied interests.
Following the twinning, organizations in both Houston and Grampian Region were formed to continue the work. There have been many interchanges on all levels with business delegations to both countries and student exchange visits allowing nursing students to study the differences in the techniques and protocols utilized in each country.
Because of our strong "twin" efforts, Houston was awarded the prestigious Reader's Digest Foundation Award in 1983 for the best overall twinning program with overseas countries.
The Grampian Region takes its name from the highest mountain range in the British Isles, and the North East Region of Scotland is bounded on the north and east by the North Sea and on the west by forests and mountains. Its capital city is Aberdeen, "The Granite City", so called for the granite rock mined in the Region and noted in its architecture. It is a land of contrasts - the rugged mountain ranges and lush farmlands, long rolling rivers and pine forests, long, sandy beaches and quiet, fishing villages.
The Grampian Region is remarkable for the magnificence and splendor of its many castles and is called "The Castle Country". Some of them date from Norman occupation in the 11th and 12th centuries to the 17th century. The most famous is Balmoral, The Queen's summer residence; another is Craigievar, reported to be the inspiration for the castle in Disneyworld's Fantasyland.
The Grampian Region is widely diversified in industry, business, building and construction, supported with a wide range of technical services. The Region has an active food processing industry for meat, fish and fruit and vegetables; is also noted for its Aberdeen Angus breed of cattle. In the late 1960's, the first commercial oilfield in the UK was discovered in the North Sea, 130 miles east of Aberdeen.
Since then, many new discoveries have been made. In addition to its forestry and mineral resources that are nurtured in the Region, in the Spey Valley is concentrated one of Grampian and Scotland's most famous industries. There are around 60 distilleries in the Region that produce pure malt whiskey. All of these together with mountain, cliff and moor are part of the Grampian Region - Sister City to Houston, Texas.
In 2004, during the exchange visit of HGA to Aberdeen, we celebrated our 25th anniversary as twins in Duthie Park in Aberdeen. A ceremony commemorating our twinning was held, presided over by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen and attended by members of the organizations from both Houston and Aberdeen. Please click on the photo below to see photos and information about our Silver Jubilee celebration.
Ross Davidson, Manager Global Business Development
Lucia Campbell, Owner & President
Tom Gossett, Owner & President
Tom E. Gossett, CPA
Travis Middleton, President
TradeMark Insurance Agency
Joe Ed Nelson
Robert C Howard