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Skål UK Newsletter - October/November 2013

The International Congress 2013 was held this year on Carnival Glory.  Our journey took us up the east coast visiting Boston, Portland, Saint John New Brunswick and Halifax Nova Scotia.  I was really looking forward to the spectacular change of colour of fall foliage.  But best laid plans and all that – this year the colours were late in changing.  However I did find one tree in a park in St John so took the picture from every angle imaginable. On my return to the UK found the colours in West Sussex to be stunning.  The Skål clubs of Boston, St John and Halifax all had hospitality for us to enjoy.  Northern Ireland had gifts for the Mayor of Halifax Nova Scotia who  was born in Belfast!  The link forged will benefit both Northern Ireland and Halifax and it was a very enjoyable time for all who attended. 
President David and a group of the UK Skålleagues doing what they do best - eating and drinking!!
The International Congress also offered the best opportunity for the Twinning of SI Northern Ireland and SI New York.
It was a very difference Congress this year being on board a ship.  The atmosphere and attendance was excellent.  The B2B was well attended as was the Open Forum where members could quiz the International Executive in an informal setting. 
Our International Councillor kept us all in order.  I hadn’t realised until this year just how many meetings and responsibilities he undertakes on our behalf – thank you Paul! That having been said, a copy of his report from the International Council Meeting on board can be downloaded here.

Around the Clubs

BRIGHTON SUSSEX AND THE CHANNEL held their Presidents Night on 19th January at Cooden Beach Hotel.  This has been the venue for a number of years and as usual a superb meal was served to us.  There were 48 people present and most people knew most people!  David Lord our National President was in attendance together with Paul Follows our International Councillor with his lovely wife Sue. Ann Lootens came over from Belgian Coast.  Ann was made a Membre d´Honneur at the recent International Congress.  We give her our congratulations and thanks for the hard work she has undertaken in her five years on the International Council. There was dancing to the hotel disco and an excellent raffle which was well supported.  Thank you President David for swapping my prize of a large Gammon for your vouchers!
CAMBRIDGE AND ESSEX held their recent lunch at Lindon House. Doreen Drewitt was there with her carer. Ron Avery was not there as he had been despatched by President Gill to attend the National Meeting.  (Thanks Gill!)  It is always good to see Ron and hopefully he found the National Meeting worth the journey.
SOUTHAMPTON is now on the final countdown for their forthcoming visit to Hamburg.  Dieter told me there are now 62 in the party departing from UK at various times on 7-9 November.  The Hamburg club have organised a tremendous programme for us.  It will be very interesting to see the differences for those of us who were on Carnival Glory for the Congress to QM2.  I am sure Dieter will give us a great report on our return for the next newsletter. 
Southampton’s Christmas Family Lunch is being held on Sunday 15th December at a new venue, The WELLOW GOLF CLUB near Romsey.  All the fun and games of previous years and of course the visit of Father Christmas and the Brass Band Cost is ₤17.50 per adult and ₤13 for children under 13 requiring a meal.  Duncan Fisher is organising this event and does need numbers by 15th November. 
Their World Travel Market Networking Event is on Monday 04 November at The Aloft at Excel. Details from Paul Hoskins, or see
Visit the Skål Stand too - UKI 118.
Christmas Lunch will be taken at The White Hart Hotel in Dorchester on Thames this year. The date – 08 December; the cost - £23.  Full details from Karen Hawkes,

Late News from Brighton - Dinner & Overnight - Calais

Just in, we have a great trip across La Manche on the weekend of 23/24 November. The price of the dinner including a half bottle of wine and overnight with breakfast and taxes and service is from just £55 pp. The ferry crossing will be around €25-30. See the attached forms to book - download a PDF to print and send here or a Word document to complete online and email here

What better timing?! Go early on Saturday and hit the Hypermarkets as there are still some great wine bargains to be had (they are closed on Sundays!), back to the hotel for a siesta then freshen up for a little aperitif and dinner. Sunday, a leisurely breakfast, possibly a drive into Wimereaux or Boulogne for lunch before heading back to the UK for Sunday tea! Good idea? Don't forget to turn off your Speed Camera warnings on your Sat Nav, and pack 2x Breathalysers and Reflective Jackets all now required for motoring in France. A pain but its worth it! Check this link for what you'll need.
The AGM was held whilst the ship was docked in Portland.  This was to enable delegates that chose not to cruise to have access to the business sessions.  Those members who were not delegates enjoyed this port, especially the lobster which is a local delicacy.

The picture above is not the AGM, it is the Welcome Party around one of the two pools on the ship!!
Our new International President is Karine Coulanges. Senior Vice President is Marianne Krohn and the Junior Vice President is Salih Cene.  During International President Moq´s address he advised the meeting that during our cruise The Mayor of New York had named 27th September World Tourism Day for New York and the Mayor of Boston had named 30 September as International Day for Tourism in Boston.  These dates were our arrival dates into those ports. 
Congratulations to Skål Northern Ireland as they picked up a Sustainable Tourism Award on behalf of their nomination, The Giant's Causeway.

We were also informed that during the WTM next week, Skål is to be honoured with a major Global Tourism Award. If you are in London at the WTM on Monday, pop along to the Platinum Suite on Monday prior to the Aloft function (see below).
Improvements have been made to the new website.  It has a new look and is now in three languages.  It is now possible to donate to Florimund Volkaert Fund and purchase from the boutique online.  It was agreed by the meeting to allow the Florimond Volkaet funds to guarantee our ability for overdraft facilities.  With the prudent financial initiatives in place it is thought that by 2016 Skål would be able to remove the line of credit.
Statute amendments: 
Article 6.  At the moment Congress decides on future venues for Assemblies.  This amendment was put the choice of short list to the Executive Committee and the General Assembly to confirm the final choice.  This motion failed.  Article 4.  Voting by Proxy. This amendment called for the ability of clubs who were not attending the Congress to transfer their votes to another club who was.  This was not recommended by executive committee.  It was felt that Clubs should send delegates and that the subscriptions of clubs should reflect this responsibility.  Motion failed.

Next Congresses
The venue for 2014 International Congress is Mexico City - 25-30 October
The venue for 2015 International Congress is Kenya Coast - 01-06 November.

UK National AGM

Our UK National AGM is scheduled for 7 February 2014 at Reigate Manor Hotel commencing 1.30 pm Please make a note in your diaries.  There are vacancies on the National Executive and further details will be sent shortly.  All nominees must have the backing of their clubs so now is the time to start thinking how you can help Skål.
 I have to apologise to London and Northern Ireland for not producing this newsletter in time to promote their October activities. However I hope that for the next newsletter I will get a report from them which apart from making interesting reading which will hopefully give us all a few ideas to help us with our membership recruitment drives

On that subject, there is a development fund available in the National coffers to which you all as members contribute to. At the moment there is a healthy amount and any club can apply for ₤4.00 per member towards expenses.

Past Presidents Association

Our next event will be our Christmas Lunch on Tuesday 3rd December 1230 for 1330 once again at the Ambassadors Hotel near Euston Station. Guests are always welcome. 
3 courses including tea or coffee and mince pies. Cost £31.50 per person. Details from Diana Hall, 07831 40 11 12 or email
Doreen sends her best wishes to all.


200 Club

200 CLUB was drawn at Cooden Beach on 19th October
1st Peter Osborne          Southampton      No. 189
2nd Caroline Thomson   N.I                      No.   48
3rd Jean Hulbert           Manchester          No. 184
The next draw will take place on board QM2 courtesy of Southampton club.

Please let me have details of your Christmas events if you would like them publicised in the newsletter. All contributions welcome!  Just including me in your club’s newsletter distribution list will help.
Regards and Skål

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