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We are a group who seek to promote international friendship and understanding.

We meet together regularly for social events and fundraising and take part in exchange visits with similar groups from our twin cities and partner towns abroad.

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News

 

During Peace Month from 2-14 November there was an exhibition of Banners on the railings outsde St Michael's House Priory Row. They illustrated the close ties that we have enjoyed with Dresden since the 19th Century. A talk from Rainer Barczaitis on 2 November complimented the exhibition.

This was supported by the Dresden Anglo-German Society and John Yeadon of Arts Exchange

See photos in the Gallery

THE FOLLOWING IS THE MESSAGE WE HAVE SENT TO OUR TWIN AND PARTNERSHIP TOWNS AND CITIES:
 
CAIF statement following the EU Referendum result                             

 
Dear fellow associations and friends

 Following the outcome of the United Kingdom’s recently-held referendum on membership of the European Union, which has resulted in a majority decision to leave, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to the nurturing of strong links of friendship with our neighbours in Europe and seek to reassure our long-standing  fellow associations and friends that we will continue with our work for the development of a peaceful world, one in which there is no place for xenophobic and racist attitudes and behaviour.

 We look forward to many more fruitful exchanges in the future and look forward to welcoming all and everyone to our homes and to our city. 
 
 
Coventry Association for International Friendship

It is with sadness that we report the recent death of founder member Ben Freeman. Ben was a stalwart member who performed many crucial roles within our society. He will be missed.

 

Obituary:Ben Freeman

A Requiem Mass was held in St Thomas More Church on July 6, in memory of Ben, who died peacefully after a long illness. I think of him as a man of character and principle, a sincere friend whom I met nearly 30 years ago in CAIF, which he joined not long after its formation in 1962. Its prime aim was to provide a means for ordinary citizens to come together and raise a voice for peace, at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, when Europe seemed to tremble on the brink of nuclear war. In the continuing atmosphere of the Cold War, CAIF’s core activity became the organisation of exchange visits between Coventry and its twin cities and partner towns, the idea being to build international friendship and understanding with families and individuals through face-to-face meetings. This purpose had special meaning for Ben, who had come from Sri Lanka as a professional engineer, a few years earlier. Ben and Judy joined in many of the visits abroad, such as trips to Meschede and Kiel in Germany, the Vannes area of Brittany, Volgograd in Russia, and Coventry Rhode Island, USA. When Ben accepted the post of treasurer, he performed all his duties very conscientiously and proudly. He was an animated contributor to all discussions on the policies of CAIF. He introduced us to Global Care, which became a charity to which we subscribed in aid of world relief programmes. For some years he was also simultaneously chairman, secretary and treasurer of the bowls club that was an important leisure interest. I said to him that no-one else will volunteer for a post because they know you will always be there to do the work. He acknowledged that was so, but come the club elections, he was there to take up the offices. I think above all of the man, the unpretentious and cheerful companion, with whom some of us sometimes had a drink after a meeting in the council house. A visit to his home was rewarded with a cordial welcome from Judy, but the simple memory I most often recall is of Ben, invariably standing and waving on the doorstep as I drove away. As a token of regard for him, CAIF has subscribed to CAFOD, the Church Fund For Overseas Development.

John Moore

Nine members visited the beautiful twin city of Bologna , Italy from 17-24 May 2016.The main purpose of the visit was to re-ignite this link and to establish contact with the Mayor. The process was started here in Coventry by John Moore who made a link with Silvia Sassu in the Economic Development Dept of the city of Bologna. She proved to be not only charming in person but extremely helpful with organising our meeting with the Deputy Mayor and an introduction to a local choir, which might lead to a future exchange.Gifts and kind words were exchanged. 

The rest of the week was spent sighteeing, visiting galleries, museums, churches, cafés and restaurants. Some of the group visited Verona whilst others went to Modena.

The warmth of our reception was matched by the warmth of the weather.

A good time was had by all.

See Gallery for photos.

  A very enjoyable evening was had by all at The Parochial Hall in Kenilworth. The Nightingales never fail to delight with their mixture of songs old and new. Betsy Harmony added her own personal touch of glamour and Lucia, Laura, Hayley, Jill and Sophie sang their solos beautifully. The proceeds, £200+, were for our local Coventry based charity, Global Care, which does vital work in war torn areas, particularly in Syria at this time. Thanks go to Pat, the Nightingales and her helpers.

Go to The Gallery to see photos of this event.