Why does this Australian town care about Kamloops? | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Why does this Australian town care about Kamloops?

Kamloops is among dozens of cities listed on Mount Isa's destination sign, but it is the only official sister city.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Lyndsay Jameson
October 15, 2019 - 6:00 AM

Mount Isa is an Australian city known for its mining of silver, lead and copper, and it has got a long-standing relationship with Kamloops.

A signpost at the city lookout shows the distance to many major cities like Hong Kong, New York, Paris, and Tokyo. A B.C. man visiting Australia noticed Kamloops amongst other major cities and shared a picture on Instagram.

This photo was shared by a Kamloops man while on vacation in Australia.
This photo was shared by a Kamloops man while on vacation in Australia.
Image Credit: INSTAGRAM / Badboyshishi

Tony McGrady was the mayor of Mount Isa when the two cities became sister cities in 1984. He says that other locations around the world were being considered for the role before Kamloops was discovered. McGrady says the previous mayor of German descent had suggested Datteln in Germany be the sister city, to which Mount Isa residents and council members opposed.

“There were quite a number of people who were not happy with that choice and went ahead looking for an alternative. One of our Councillors did a lot of work trying to identify a city which had more in common with Mount Isa and he discovered Kamloops,” McGrady says.

According to Lyndsay Jameson, media officer for Mount Isa City Council, Kamloops is the only sister city for the Australian mining town, although many other places are represented on their signpost.

“Our city is certainly a melting pot of nationalities," Jameson says. "This is definitely reflected in the choice of cities whose names and directions are included on the signpost."

An article in the 1985 edition of Mount Isa’s Mimag magazine, which is now called Mine to Market, shows Kamloops men with the Mount Isa signpost in 1985 when the sign was updated. Now, it contains dozens of cities, but Kamloops remains the only sister city.

This image from the 1985 edition of Mount Isa Mimag magazine (now called Mine to Market) shows Kamloops men with the recently updated signpost.
This image from the 1985 edition of Mount Isa Mimag magazine (now called Mine to Market) shows Kamloops men with the recently updated signpost.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Lyndsay Jameson

According to Sister Cities Australia, there is only one other B.C. town with sister city ties to the outback, which is Sidney, B.C. with Cairns, Australia.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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