History & aim of the sister city relationship
The City of Casey has a formal sister city link with Berwick-upon-Tweed, England, which was established in 1982 by the former City of Berwick. Known as “twinning” in the United Kingdom, the sister city agreement between the cities bearing the same name aims to:
- promote friendship, strengthen mutual understanding and goodwill between the citizens of both cities,
- contribute to the friendly relations between Australia and England.
The Borough of Berwick-upon-Tweed is the most northerly town in England. Sometimes it is considered too north for England and too south for Scotland. It is a wealthy trade and fishing port on the north east coast facing the North Sea. The town is bisected by the mighty River Tweed, and the Borough is rich in castles and fortified houses where generations of farming has shaped the landscape. The area has much natural beauty and heritage including long sweeping beaches and spectacular coastlines.
In March 2009, local government reorganisation saw Berwick-upon-Tweed Borough Council be dissolved and a new unitary Council – the Council of the County of Northumberland - was formed. This restructure was not unlike the Council amalgamations in 1994 which saw the Cities of Berwick and part of the City of Cranbourne become the City of Casey.
Sister city activities
The Casey Pipe Band where the Hay Tartan, which is the tartan of the district of Berwick-upon-Tweed, England.
Casey’s Riding of the Bounds event is based on a traditional activity in Berwick-upon- Tweed which is more than 400 years old, and links the City of Casey with its sister city.
The limits of the bounds of Berwick-upon-Tweed, England date back to the 1400s when representatives from England and Scotland agreed where one country ended and the other began. These borders were ridden once a year to check that the area
was secure and from 1550 to the present day, this event has been re-enacted on the first of May each year by the Mayor of Berwick and other community members.
For the past 20 years, this tradition has been shared by the City of Casey. Since 1989, the local equestrian community has come together for the Riding of the Bounds.Riders are waved off by the Mayor of Casey to inspect the boundary with the neighbouring municipality. Participants ride through public land, private properties, across local streets and creeks to participate in a ceremony at Casey's border with the Shire of Cardinia. It is here the Mayor of Casey asks permission from the Mayor of Cardinia for riders to cross the boundary.
Historically the Riding of the Bounds was necessary to protect Berwick-upon-Tweed’s borders against lawless and sometimes brutal encroachment by the Scots. This threat has long since passed however for the sister cities of Casey, Australia and Berwick-upon-Tweed, England, this annual ride has been a popular community event and a celebration of history and tradition.