Menlo Park’s Sister City agreement with Galway marks 7th anniversary

by Linda Hubbard on October 22, 2020

Earlier this week marked the 7th anniversary of the signing of the Sister Cities Friendship Agreement between Menlo Park and Galway, Ireland.

Menlo Park Historical Association president Jim Lewis updated what’s happened this year: “At the last meeting of the Sister City Committee, we discussed shifting the oversite of the program from being a City Committee to a more traditional 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, much like Palo Alto and other cities have. This provides a vehicle for fund raising and more flexibility with an elected Board of Directors.

“Presently Menlo Park has four Sister City or Friendship Cities located in China, Japan, India and Ireland. Covid-19 has also affected this program, as Menlo Park used to send approximately 10 students to Japan every other year, and Japan would also send 10 students to Menlo Park every other year. The Galway, Ireland Mayor used to visit us around St. Patrick’s Day, but that too has been curtailed.”

Pictured here is Pádraig Conneely, Mayor of Galway Cit and Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki signing the agreement in a ceremony at the Stanford Park Hotel on October 17, 2013. A copy of the agreement is posted online.

There is a  Menlo Gates Plaque at 863 El Camino Real which is near the location of the original gates. The plaque reads:

“Irish immigrants Dennis J. Oliver and his brother-in-law D.C. McGlynn were Menlo Park’s first permanent settlers in 1853. They found the tree-studded pastureland of this area reminiscent of ‘Menlough,’ their hometown located on the outskirts of Galway, Ireland. This led them to purchase a 1,700-acre tract of land at the southern end of the Pulgas Grant, land on which you are now standing.

“In 1854 Oliver and McGlynn erected a magnificent, wooden gateway to their property. The name ‘Menlo Park’ was written on the center, main arch in foot-high letters. The gates, as pictured above, stood on the west side of El Camino Real adjacent to this marker. Unfortunately, a motorist demolished the gates in 1922.”

For more about the plaque and the Menlo Gates, see the Apr-June 2011 issue of The Gate Post (vol. XXXVII, no. 2), which can be accessed online on the MPHA website (click on “The Gate Post” page).

InMenlo file photo (c) 2013

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