Pinehurst Mayor Signs Sister City Agreement on China Trip
The mayor of Pinehurst has signed a sister city agreement with a town in China.
Mayor Ginsey Fallon is in Changsha, capital city of Hunan Province, with state Sen. Harris Blake and others.
The signing took place during a larger “sister cities” forum sponsored by the province. More than 250 delegates are attending. They come from 50 different cities and more than a score of other nations, including Ghana, Ukraine, Finland, Russia, several U.S. cities and other countries in Latin America and Africa.
Mike Jones, of Pinehurst, is with the North Carolina group and attended the signing.
“The principal ceremonies and events located in the massive, glamorous Bolton Hotel in Changsha, a ‘small’ city by Chinese terms — about 10 million people,” Jones reported Tuesday by e-mail to The Pilot. “The Moore County delegation has been warmly received, starting with a daylong visit to the World’s Fair in Shanghai and then a brief flight to Changsha City, the capital city of Hunan, for the actual forum.”
The day began with welcoming speeches and then a private luncheon followed that was hosted by Qing Feng Yuan, the magistrate of Guidong County. That county and Moore signed a similar agreement in 2007 when Blake led a delegation to Guidong for the dedication of a monument to Lt. Robert Hoyle Upchurch, of High Falls.
Upchurch, a fighter pilot with the famous Flying Tigers, was shot down during combat in World War II, buried with honor on Santai Mountain in Guidong — but known only as “American Pilot” for more than 60 years.
After DNA identification and the return of his remains to High Falls, Guidong proposed the county-to-county link. That led to a sister-state agreement between North Carolina and Hunan Province. Several of Hunan’s vice-governors have since visited the state, and a number of delegations came to High Falls to pay their respects at the Upchurch family plot.
The sister city forum is the most recent event in the growing connections between the two sister states.
In addition to Blake, Fallon and Jones, other local members of the delegation include Chip Fallon, Tom Stewart, Richard Mandell and his wife, Mary, retired Navy Capt. Mike Covington, of Green Equipment Solutions of Southern Pines, and Bill Edsel, retired CEO of Pinehurst Surgical.
For more on this story, check out Friday's print version of The Pilot.
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