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British merry for Jamestown
Spirits are high in London in anticipation of Jamestown's 400th anniversary, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said after visiting British landmarks Tuesday.
Kaine and other officials, including two James City County supervisors, were in London to commemorate Dec. 19, 1606, the day three ships left for Jamestown. The ceremony was a precursor for next year's Jamestown 2007 commemoration.
Virginia's governor toured a new exhibition on the historic voyage at London's Museum in Docklands before dining with lawmakers from both sides of the pond. Outside the museum sits a replica of the Discov-ery, the smallest of the settlers' ships, which was a gift from Jamestown Settlement.
To go along with the 20-year-old replica, Kaine presented the Museum in Docklands, an offshoot of the Museum of London, with copies of the original bonds issued by the Virginia Company.
JCC supervisors Bruce Goodson and Jim Icenhour accompanied the governor. Also in attendance were several Virginia lawmakers and the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom.
The governor also visited St. George's Church in Gravesend, where Pocahontas is buried. Kaine said he received a gift of a pair of cuff links from Gravesend with the emblem of crossed feathers -- one representing Pocahontas and the other for Charles Dickens, who lived in the small town in Kent County.
Calling Jamestown 2007 a "powerful celebration of friendship" between the two countries, Kaine noted that many Londoners have said they are looking forward to visiting America next year.
The governor noted with a laugh that the currency exchange rate is more favorable for the British right now, and later called the trade of dignitaries -- Kaine in exchange for Queen Elizabeth II, who has said she would visit Jamestown next May -- also a pretty good deal for Virginia.
"One queen is worth a lot more than one governor," he joked.
Kaine and his family weren't feeling jetlagged, he said, due to the whirlwind nature of the visit, but he didn't expect that to last much longer. Today's schedule for Virginia's first family includes a tour of Parlia-ment, and they are due to return to the United States this Sunday.