To commemorate sixty years of friendship between Aachen and Halifax and thirty years since the Twinning Charter was signed between the two towns, a civic delegation from Calderdale Council and The Halifax Aachen Society was invited in September 2009 to Aachen by Dr Jürgen Linden, Oberburgermeister of Aachen.
The party from Halifax consisted of Councillor Arshad Mahmood, Mayor of Calderdale and his wife, Owen Williams, Chief Executive of Calderdale Council and his wife and
George Keith and Irene Mulhall, Chair and Secretary of the Society, respectively.
The highlight of the visit was the renewal of the charter on September 26th in a ceremony in the Coronation Hall of Aachen Town Hall where the annual Karlspreis Presentation (Charlemagne Prize) takes place. A large invited audience, including many who had been involved in the links between the two towns over the last fifty years, heard speeches about the importance and continuing relevance of the twinning between the two towns and then the two Mayors signed and exchanged copies of the Charter. Music was provided by a choir from Victoria School in Aachen which has regular exchange visits with Crossley Heath School in Halifax.
The visit also included tours of the city, its cathedral and the surrounding area. Councillor Mahmood was invited by Dr Linden to take part in the opening ceremony of the September Special, a ten day music festival featuring street concerts around the city centre. The visit was greatly enjoyed by all involved and reaffirmed the strength of the friendship and understanding between the citizens of both towns.