MONTCLAIR, NJ - As part of a cultural exchange agreement that began in 1981, eight Montclair High School students spent their spring break in Montclair’s sister city the London Borough of Barnet, UK.
The relationship between Montclair and Barnet was forged during "Operation Pied Piper" amidst World War II, when children were evacuated from London ahead of the Nazi blitz. A group of children were sent overseas to stay in Montclair until the war ended in 1945, and the formal Sister City relationship and official town twinning was established in 1981, when students from Montclair High School and Barnet began participating in a regular cultural exchange. Recent exchanges have taken place in the 2007-8 and 2010-11 school years.
To commemorate that event, the Friends of Barnet and the sister organization the Friends of Montclair exchange both high school students and adults as part of a cultural exchange program on a regular basis. The Friends of Barnet is a community organization dedicated to fostering the relationship between Montclair, NJ and Barnet, UK.
During the visit, Montclair students accompanied their British counterparts to school as they spent the day at Woodhouse College in North Finchley. “We are thrilled to welcome our visitors from the US,” said Woodhouse Principal John Rubinstein. Other stops on their itinerary included meeting Mayor of Barnet Hugh Rayner, a visit to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where they went up on the Anish Kapoor art installation Orbit, and a trip on the London Eye.