From Bergen with love!

Newcastle’s friendship with the Norway’s second city Bergen was yet again illuminated when the annual Christmas three, given by Bergen to Newcastle, was lit during a ceremony on Thursday 27 November.

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor David Wood, invited the Mayor of Bergen, Gunnar Bakke to switch on the Civic Centre Christmas tree at a ceremony. Standing at over 20 feet tall the tree was personally felled by Bakke who has been the mayor of Newcastle’s twin city since September 2007.

Each year the tree, which is decorated in traditional Norwegian white lights, is a gift from the people of Bergen as a symbol of peace and goodwill. Before Thursday’s event there was a public carol service in the Grand Entrance of the Civic Centre.

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor David Wood, said:  "The Christmas tree lighting ceremony is always an important event as it illustrates our friendship with the people of Bergen and Norway.  This year’s ceremony is extra special for us as we have just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Civic Centre with His Majesty King Harald V.”
Earlier this month Newcastle City Council welcomed His Majesty King Harald V of Norway to the Civic Centre to receive the Honorary Freedom of Newcastle, an honour which symbolises the city’s continuing friendship with the people of Norway. This month also marks the ruby anniversary of the Civic Centre which was officially opened by His Majesty King Olav V of Norway on the 14 November 1968.

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle added: “I would like to wish Mr Bakke and our Norwegian community ‘God Jul’ and wish the whole city a very Merry Christmas.”

Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor David Wood, and the Mayor of Bergen, Gunnar Bakke, in front of the Christmas tree, which was given from Bergen to its twin city Newcastle. Photo: Steve Brock /

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