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Skål UK Newsletter - (nearly) December 2013

Hello Skålleagues
Winter has now arrived in my area of Spain.  Cold winds and low temperatures but beautiful sunshine so not all bad!  Heating and winter duvets are the order of the day and the log burner!!! 
Southampton’s trip to Hamburg was a great success due to the hard work of Dieter and his committee and our German friends in Hamburg.  It proves how much Skål can do for us but the enthusiasm of Dieter does show that we have to put our efforts into the organisation to get so much out of it. 

THE HAMBURG REPORT by President Dieter Skål International Southampton
“No Time”, “I don’t want to tie myself to any Organisation”, “What can Skål possibly offer me”?  This is the usual response we get from people in our Industry when we invite them to join Skål.  It is true, finding new members are a very hard business.  It is a lot less complicated to look after our existing members; just organise a trip to Hamburg and bring them all back on board the Queen Mary 2
Of course it was not at all easy to put the Hamburg package together.  This trip was a team effort and the key players were Christina Hannon, Sandra Shoebill and I.   We in turn had support from Council members.  We did put a lot of time and positive thinking gin this and pooled our combined resources which in turn created an inexpensive, action packed and entertaining trip for 100 happy people.
We went to Hamburg for three reasons and every one of them important motivators for travelling in November to a northern destination!  Hamburg itself would be enough reason to visit.   Nearly sixty years ago Hamburg was my Home Port when I was working on Banana Boats.  In those days Hamburg consisted of two districts – St Pauli and Altona- St Pauli only had two streets, the Reeperbahn and The Herbert Strasse.  Today this proud City is unrecognisable.  It is now Germany’s second largest city after Berlin and the richest city.  This amazing achievement does not come by chance but through the hard working and outward looking trading of the Hanseatic Citizens of Hamburg.  The second reason to visit Hamburg is that of Hamburg’s Skål Club.  I envy Hubert Neubacher for holding such a prestigious position of being the President of the largest Skål Club in Germany with 140 members, all of them quite young and actively involved in Hamburg’s Touristic economy.  We are honoured to be associated with such a prestigious Club and we returned home with new ideas on how to enrich our memberships Skål experience.  The third reason to have made this trip is to experience the still grandest way of travelling, on board the grandest of all cruise liners, The Queen Mary 2.  Until a few months ago this ship flew the British Flag and its home port was Southampton.  Now the home port is Hamilton in Bermuda.  What has not changed one bit is the very British atmosphere on board and I am pleased that so many of the Hamburg members joined us to experience the good old fashioned Cunard hospitality in this super modern ocean liner.
“Nothing comes from nothing”.  Skål has demonstrated that what might have been a very ordinary uneventful visit by us to Hamburg; Skål contacts have created for us the “Event in our Skål Calendar”
By the time you read this, Hamburg has been transformed into a Christmas Wonderland.  There are at least six Christmas markets spread around the city’s squares.
From Flo Powell Skal International Brighton Sussex and the Channel

Midnight Communications, the award-winning PR agency for local and national businesses that I work for, recently held its AGM in Tallinn, Estonia – chosen as one of the few places that none of the team had ever visited, writes Flo Powell. As a brand new Skål member, I took the opportunity to search the online membership database for the first time and identified Leelo Ilbis, Manager of the Tallinn City Tourist Office, as a member. I e-mailed Leelo for advice, and her colleague Kersti Karu came straight back to me with a comprehensive list of sights and attractions, bars and clubs for us to consider.
Armed with Kersti’s expert advice, we felt confident in our planned itinerary. We stayed at the Kreutzwald Hotel, a 4-star property just 10 minutes walk from Tallinn old town. The hotel was great value and included an excellent breakfast. I would advise anyone staying there to note that if you wish to use the spa you need to book in advance! The two restaurants we booked were superb – Rataskaevu16 and Restaurant O. The free walking tour that departs from the TIC every day at midday is a must-do for all new visitors to Tallinn – it was educational and entertaining, even during a hailstorm! The Bastion Tunnels offer an interesting, if a little strange, history lesson of the tunnels and their use as a bomb shelter in WWII, and for punks in hiding in the 80s, finishing with a look at how modern day artefacts might be described in 2219.
Tallinn is a highly photogenic city with plenty to offer visitors. I was warned it could be full of stag parties at weekends but we didn’t experience much of this, although this was possibly as we went out of season. 
There will be a Thanksgiving and Celebration of Roy’s life at St Wilfred’s Church, Ellasdale Road, Bognor PO21 2SG Friday 6 Dec at 2pm. This will be followed followed by refreshments in the church hall. All are welcome.  A  Book of remembrance will be available on the day for personal comment or you can forward them to Sue for inclusion.  Please let family know if you’re attending Sue Simpson 7a Hartington Road, Brighton BN2 3LJ
200 CLUB draw took place on QM2 and was drawn by the Hamburg Skål President
1st 85 Brian McLean London
2nd 25 Anthony Herbert London
3rd 198 Ken Baker Guernsey.
A great trip was had by all
SKÅL INTERNATIONAL LONDON advised that Skål WTM was positive this year.  The stand was very well received and visited.  A huge thank you to Tony Milhofer and his team for all the work on the Skål Stand.  Tony put in 100´s of working hours so hopefully it will pay back with a lot of new members not only for London and UK but for all clubs around the world.
International President Ms Karine Coulange accepted on behalf of Skål International the prestigious award for World Tourism during a WTM Award ceremony.  Skål International is not only the largest, the oldest international travel organisation but now THE BEST in the world. 
Skål International Past President Mok Singh took part in two panel discussion at the WTM.  The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IPT) and Building a Culture of Peace through Tourism and a joint Seminar with the Tourism Society ´- Human Rights in Tourism!
London welcomes two new members:   Adam Sargent – Project Director of People 1st and Christian Tesuleanu – Young Skål, Front Office Management Britannia International Hotel London.

International Congress 2014
The website for 75th Skål World Congress to be held in Mexico City from 25-30 October 2014 is now open:
It is possible to pre-register at the headquarters hotel Sheraton María Isabel with a deposit of US$ 100 per room. Take advantage of this offer by completing the Pre-Registration Form here
Southampton’s Christmas Family lunch is being held on Sunday 15th December at the Wallow Golf Club near Rumsey
Oxford’s Christmas lunch at the White Hart Hotel in Dorchester on Thames on the 08 December
Past President’s Christmas Lunch on Tuesday 3rd December 1230 for 1330 at the Ambassadors Hotel near Euston Station.  Guests are always welcome.

Travelling to Gatwick over the Christmas and New Year Period?

Thanks to President Alison for passing this on.....
Gatwick Express services will not run from Wednesday 25 December to Wednesday 1 January inclusive while Network Rail undertakes vital improvement work on the network.Southern will run a revised train and bus replacement service to and from Gatwick Airport from Thursday 26 December to Wednesday 1 January:
  • Wednesday 25 Dec (Christmas Day) - no service
  • Thursday 26 Dec (Boxing Day) - London Victoria railway station is closed. However, services are available at London Bridge. Southern will run every 30 minutes between London Bridge and East Grinstead calling at East Croydon. A frequent connecting bus will run between East Grinstead and Gatwick Airport. This journey will take approximately 90 minutes
  • Friday 27 Dec to Wednesday 1 Jan inclusive - Southern will run every 30 minutes between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport. This journey will take approximately 95 minutes and call additionally at Clapham Junction, Sutton, Dorking, Horsham and Three Bridges
  • Thursday 2 Jan - Gatwick Express services will run as normal.
During this time Network Rail will undertake vital improvement works on the Brighton mainline replacing a major rail junction near Purley (north of Gatwick), upgrading signalling at Victoria and working on a new platform at Gatwick Airport station.
JUST A REMINDER – visit for benefits and discounts to Skal members.
And visit for details of Priority Pass and
Many thanks to Mats Wivesson for the reports and information – much appreciated.
Please make sure you all have 7th February in the diary for AGM Skål International United Kingdom
Look forward to hearing from you with your reports on club activities
Regards and Skål
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