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Sri Lankan mayor comes to see town fountain

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Sri Lankan mayor comes to see town fountain

DUMFRIES Fountain had a VIP international guest this week.

The mayor of the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka travelled 5600 miles to view the new fountain on Wednesday.

Provost Maureen Johnstone officially greeted him and she said:

“Apparently our fountain is similar to one they have, and so he’s come to view it and have a tour around Dumfries.

“He’s staying with a local family.

The landmark town centre fountain was officially unveiled in its new full glory in June following an extensive, six-figure restoration project.

And there is special interest from across the globe because, thanks to the Dumfries Fountain Project, it has been twinned with a strikingly-similar fountain in Sri Lanka.

In May this year, retired local school teachers Nick and Jill Riley, who were holidaying in Sri Lanka, met with the Mayor of Kandy Kesera Senanayake. They hand-delivered a letter on behalf of The Dumfries Fountain Project in recognition of the twin fountains.

Mayor Senanayake then sent a video message, which was posted on the Dumfries Fountain Facebook page, saying: “It gives me great pleasure to send the greetings of the city of Kandy to the people of Dumfries in Scotland.”

The mayor’s visit strengthens the links between Kandy and Dumfries.

The 140-year-old Dumfries fountain was one of six similar ones made at the Sun Foundry in Glasgow.

They went around the world – including Australia, Ireland and the Channel Islands – but the water feature in Kandy is most strikingly similar to the Dumfries fountain.