NORWICH – Fourteen visitors traveling from “Norwiches” in England and Australia made their way to our City of Norwich over the weekend. The group had trekked its way south across Canada, resting in Niagara Falls and then proceeded to head towards New York City. The visitors were part of the 2006 Norfolk and Norwich World Family Gathering. This organization is devoted to finding and visiting every Norwich and Norfolk they can find.
In 1991, Derek Bigford-Smith began searching and visiting communities throughout the world with the names Norfolk or Norwich. “We came here because we are part of a family. We have the largest namesake community in the world,” said Bigford-Smith yesterday.
Participants in the group included guests from England, Tasmania and the Norfolk Islands in the South Seas.
Monday afternoon the group had the opportunity to visit Perry Browne Elementary School. Principal Michelle Donlon made special arrangements to have students who volunteered to come into school on their holiday host a luncheon with the traveling group. “We were really excited to see this group was coming. Our students are studying the world around them and this really helps them get a sense of what other communities are like,” said Donlon. The visitors were seated among 30 or more students ranging from 4th to 6th grade. The travelers carried on conversations and shared brief presentations about their own communities.