As President of the Houston-Perth Sister Cities Association I have been given the honor of representing our two great Cities in the upcoming H-E-B sponsored Thanksgiving Day Parade to be televised on Channel 11 beginning at 9:00.
You are all welcome to join us as walk alongs !!!
As a gesture to the importance of the Sister Cities of Houston’s role in establishing Houston as a leading global city the City of Houston generously provided Sister Cities of Houston a $40,000 float as well as provided funding for decorating. I will be the tall good looking guy wearing the Akubra, Australia’s version of a cowboy hat and will also be wearing genuine Australian socks and underwear. On the float itself will be Kenny the Koala who will be flying in from just outside Perth; joining him will be representatives from other Sister Cities.
Sister Cities International is a citizen based organization founded by President Eisenhower to promote world trade and friendships. Today the organization operates in over 2,400 cities operating in 140 countries; Houston has eighteen Sister Cities with Perth being the third longest relationship.
The ties between Houston and Perth can initially be traced to the World War II Battle of Sunda Strait, where both the USS Houston and HMAS Perth attacked a superior force of Japanese ships in an attempt to stall their advance towards Australia. Both ships were lost along with over a thousand sailors but their sacrifice allowed the American and Australian navies to halt the Japanese advance long enough for the American fleet to get in position to defend and prevent the invasion of Australia.This helped forge the relationship that Houston and Perth have today.
A monument honoring these brave sailors is viewed as you drive into or exit the City on Allen Parkway passing on both sides of the peninsula of the Heritage Society.
The bond between the two cities was further strengthened during John Glenn’s 1962 spaceflight, when the city of Perth turned on all their house and street lights allowing the astronaut to view the city from orbit. Perth repeated this friendship gesture in 1998 on John Glenn’s Space shuttle flight.
In the 1980s, when Houston sought to expand its global ties, Perth was an attractive partner for a Sister City partnership based in large part on these historical ties and the strong synergies between the two cities’ energy sectors. The association was formally created under Mayor Kathy Whitmire in 1983 and for its first fourteen years the HPSCA was a standalone organization. Since 1997 the Houston-Perth Sister Cities Association has served as a Committee of the Australian-American Chamber of Commerce-Houston.
To learn more and to view a video detailing the relationship visit www.AACC-Houston.org and click on the Sister Cities tab.
Let me know if you want to walk alongside the float, join our Houston-Perth/Sister City group in the crowd or join us at our monthly Sundowner, held on the second Thursday of the Month at Local Pour in the River Oaks Shopping Center. Next one is coming up this Thursday the 12th. First drink free ! Please forward to your friends!!!
Feel free to text or call me en route , particularly if my pants are unzipped.
Jerald L. Broussard
Houston-Perth Sister Cities Association