A special programme of events to mark the 40th anniversary of the Jimmy Carter visit to Newcastle was held in the first week of May.

The main event was held at the Civic Centre and recalled the occasion with film footage, photos and personal reminiscences. The Lord Mayor presided over the event, as her predecessor Hugh White did 40 years ago.

There were a number of short speeches including from Tony Coates who was a global trustee of Friendship Force International, was on the first trip and subsequently both stayed with, and hosted, the Carters. Mike Neville, the former TV presenter, talked about his visits to Atlanta working for the BBC, interviewing Jimmy Carter, and his reflections.


Zélie Guérin, Director of International Newcastle attended and said:

“What a special event, where people who participated in the Friendship Force joined together, and shared wonderful stories about their experiences of meeting Jimmy Carter in Newcastle and the tremendous welcome they receive in Atlanta.”

Friendship Force to be re-established

The event was also to test the water for the possibility of re-establishing the Newcastle Friendship Force, having been the one that was involved in the very first of the programme of international home-stay exchanges under Friendship Force International. This idea was positively received, so if you are interested in the possibility of becoming a member of a new Friendship Force Club for Newcastle, then please email your contact details to

jimmy carter