When Dick Lautenbach is called up to the stage at the reception ceremony for the Bega, Australia, sister city delegation to accept his role as one of the grand marshals of Western Welcome Week on …
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When Dick Lautenbach is called up to the stage at the reception ceremony for the Bega, Australia, sister city delegation to accept his role as one of the grand marshals of Western Welcome Week on Aug. 9, the moment will recognize a friendship that dates back more than six decades that Lautenbach helped inaugurate.
Littleton’s sister city relationship with Bega had its origins in 1954, according to materials provided by Western Welcome Week administration. That year, Curly Annabel, the editor of the Bega District News, became enamored of Littleton after seeing “Small Town Editor,” a State Department-funded film about Houstoun Waring, the legendary editor of the Littleton Independent.
By 1961, Waring and Annabel were friends, and Waring tapped Lautenbach and other head honchos of the Littleton Chamber of Commerce to spearhead a “sister city” relationship, part of a program created by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.
The intervening decades have seen Bega and Littleton send delegations back and forth, fostering cultural exchange and friendship, Lautenbach said.
Lautenbach’s fellow grand marshal will be Bruce Annabel, Curly’s son, who could not be reached for comment.
“It’s been a marvelous relationship,” Lautenbach said. “I watched Bruce grow up, and it will be such an honor to stand beside him in the parade.”
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