FOR decades Hastings and St Leonards has forged strong ties through its many language schools.
And the strength of those ties has no finer example than that of Maria Grazia Trecarichi and councillor Nigel Sinden (see page one and three).
Cllr Sinden took in the Italian student as she attended one of the many schools here. He built up a strong bond with Maria and her family.
The Sinden family went over to visit the Trecarichis and vice versa.
It was a wonderful example of two families growing strong bonds on the back of one person’s visit to another country.
And the lasting impression of this lady can not be understimated. Instead of saving herself, it appears that she jumped out of the lifeboat to go and find her friend who she feared was trapped below the decks as the ship submerged.
Cllr Sinden was stunned to hear that Maria had lost her life in the tragedy.
And people who knew her in our town will equally be upset at her loss.
Let’s hope the wonderful friendships formed through our language schools and Europe continue for many years to come.
Our deepest sympathies go out to Maria’s family and friends.