Boring, USA forges links with Dull, Scotland

There’s nothing boring about Boring, Oregon, especially when it comes to building bridges with the good folks of little Dull, Scotland.

Boring, a rural suburb of Portland named after its early 20th century founding family, is poised to formally declare itself Dull’s sister community on June 5 when its community planning organization convenes.

“It’s for fun, really, and to attract some attention to both our communities,” the organization’s chairman, fire equipment dealer Stephen Bates, told AFP by telephone Wednesday.

In population terms, it’s a bit of a mismatch.

Bates said 7,800 people live “in the general Boring area,” where core industries include agriculture, lumbering and a nationally recognized training center for seeing-eye dogs.

By comparison, Dull, northwest of Perth, on the edge of Dull Wood, has just 22 houses and, according to one resident, no shops.

“Neither of us is a city, so officially we cannot be sister cities,” Bates said, explaining why the pairing is being defined instead as a friendly match of sister “communities.”

The idea got off the ground when a Dull resident happened upon Boring –which bills itself as “the most exciting place to live” — during a cycling holiday through the Pacific Northwest.

“It might seem like a joke, but this could have real benefits for Dull,” community councillor Marjorie Keddie told Scotland’s Perthshire Advertiser newspaper this week.

“It will be interesting to see where this goes,” Keddie said, adding: “Everyone has been smiling at the prospect of the very eye-catching road sign this will inevitably require.”

Boring, meanwhile, is mulling ways to build on the newfound relationship. “We can probably send them some strawberries,” Bates suggested, “and they can send us some good Scotch whisky.”