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(E) Anacortes and Vela Luka - Sister Cities
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  10/20/2004 | Community | Unrated
(E) Anacortes and Vela Luka - Sister Cities


Tree planting in Vela Luka a highlight of sister city trip


From the October 20, 2004 Anacortes American of Anacortes in Washington State. John Peter Kraljic, Esq.

Tree planting in Vela Luka a highlight of sister city trip

Anacortes Mayor Dean Maxwell prepares to play the tourist on a rented scooter during an Anacortes Sister Cities Association visit to Vela Luka, Croatia. About 30 Anacortes residents participated in the trip to their new sister city.
About 30 residents of Anacortes celebrated the first anniversary of the sister city relationship between Anacortes and Vela Luka, Croatia, by traveling to the beautiful city at the western end of the island of Korcula on the Adriatic Sea.

During the Anacortes Sister Cities Association trip in September, the visitors toured a local olive oil plant called Manjavinka, a fish cannery, Vela Spilja caves, museums, churches and surrounding towns such as Blato and Korcula. Some enjoyed trips to Dubrovnik, Split and Trogir.

Mayor Tonko Gugic and city council President Ivan Marinovic invited the group to City Hall, where Anacortes Mayor Dean Maxwell and Anacortes Sister Cities President Duane Clark spoke and exchanged gifts with Vela Luka's officials.

Nikki Lovric, one of the travelers, said that a tree planting on Sept. 25 was a particularly emotional moment.

"A moving ceremony took place as both mayors planted an olive tree symbolizing the desire of both cities to continue to work together for cultural exchange and better international understanding," she said.

Other visitors included Don Wick, director of the Economic Development Association of Skagit County; Nick Petrish, Anacortes City Council member; and Nick Mavar, representative and first president of the American Croatian Club of Anacortes.

Before they became sister cities, Vela Luka and Anacortes shared several decades of history. About 300 Croatians, many from Vela Luka, live in Anacortes. Both cities are on islands that are part of beautiful archipelagos - there are 1,200 islands along the Croatian Coast. Both cities have many years of fishing history and now enjoy a robust tourist trade.

For more information about the sister cities relationship with Vela Luka, call Lovric at 293-8530 or visit

The group meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the Anacortes Public Library and all are welcome.


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