Selectmen at their March 5 meeting unanimously voted to send a letter to the mayor of Limassol, a city in Cyprus, to start a discussion regarding the creation of a sister city relationship between the communities.
To be delivered in person by 26.2 Foundation executive director Tim Kilduff at the end of the month, the letter of introduction will show the board’s support for the sister city relationship.
If finalized, the relationship with Limassol will be Hopkinton’s second sister city relationship, joining Marathon, Greece, established in 2006. And it is the relationship with Marathon, and Hopkinton’s connection to Stylianos Kyriakides, that is now leading to a relationship with Limassol.
In 2006, through efforts by the 26.2 Foundation, a statue of Kyriakides, the winner of the 1946 Boston Marathon, was unveiled at the mile mark of the Boston Marathon route. The statue is the work of sculptor Mico Kaufman, and the 26.2 Foundation is its official recipient and caretaker.
“Because of the connection with Kyriakides, we’ve been invited to Limassol to participate in activities around the Limassol Marathon and also to participate in a conference that’s really going to focus on his life,” Kilduff said. “The mayor of Limassol is interested in a sister city relationship with Hopkinton.”
Kilduff went on to explain that typically when the topic of a sister city relationship comes up, everyone immediately thinks about Boston. “But we’re pretty aggressive in advancing the idea that it really does all start here,” he said.
During his time in Limassol, Kilduff assured the board that in addition to discussing Kyriakides, time will be spent talking about Hopkinton and how it fits into the global marathon community.
“Our footprint is continuing to expand. This will be one more leg in terms of that expansion,” Kilduff said.
Comments from the board were supportive of the initiative, with John Coutinho thanking Kilduff for his work on expanding Hopkinton’s marathon footprint.
“When people think of the Boston Marathon, I want them to think of Hopkinton,” Coutinho said. He also said the effort tied in nicely with the town’s vision statement, which describes Hopkinton as a healthy, vibrant, well-educated community.
Irfan Nasrullah agreed and said that supporting someone with a strong purpose and idea was easy.
“That’s the tenacity that you have and I am proud to support you in this endeavor,” he said.