Montclair's Sister Cities

Montclair has Sister City relationships with municipalities in Europe and Russia: Graz, Austria; Barnet, England; Cherepovets, Russia and, most recently, Aquilonia, Italy

Mariatrost Basilica in Graz, AustriaGraz, the second largest city in Austria, is located in the southeast region of the country. The Montclair–Graz Sister City relationship was formed after WW II, under the world peace efforts pioneered by the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The outreach with Graz began directly after the war – Montclair was sending medical supplies and care packages to Austria, while Mountainside Hospital contributed an urgently needed x-ray machine and an incubator to the bombed-out hospital in Graz.

Today the relationship sees an active exchange of students, business executives, government officials, scientists, engineers and cultural representatives, including individual musicians and large orchestras.

Barnet Hendon Town HallBarnet is the largest London borough by population. The Montclair–Barnet relationship dates to World War II when Helen Barrett Speers, wife of then Montclair mayor, headed a committee that in 1943 helped evacuate 52 children from Barnet to Montclair as part of Operation Pied Piper when millions of people, most of them children, were relocated to rural areas in Britain and overseas.

The Friends of Barnet community organization was officially founded in 1949. It helped forge the official Sister City relationship with Montclair in 1981. Friends of Barnet participates in regular cultural exchanges with Barnet Borough; these include exchanges with Montclair High School students. Visit the Friends of Barnet website and Facebook page.

Cherepovets Manor HouseCherepovets is the largest city in Russia’s Vologda region which is located in the western part of the country. Montclair’s sister city arrangement with Cherepovets dates back to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the late 80s, early 90s. The collapse of centralized government left the city’s 300,000 plus inhabitants with little or few mechanisms for procuring food or medicine. The Montclair-Cherepovets Sister City program grew out of the need to help bring medicine and food to a region struggling to provide its people with these bare essentials. The first 12 delegates went to Cherepovets in 1990. Since then, Montclair professionals traveled to the city offering training, a number of student exchanges have also taken place, and, through the Montclair Rotary club, several Russian children received life-saving heart surgery in the US.

Montclair Mayor and Council members in Feast of San Vito processionAquilonia is a town and commune in the province of Avellino, part of the Campania region in southern Italy. Montclair’s Sister City relationship with the town was forged in January 2017. Township resident Raffaele Marzullo, who is originally from Aquilonia, spearheaded the Sister City effort with fellow parishioners from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. The 100-year-old Club Aquilonese San Vito Society of Montclair, one of the church’s religious service organizations, helped to welcome immigrants to Montclair, including many from Aquilonia.