Here's news of the social side of the 2012 Congress in Korea
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The Social Side of the Korea Congress
Hello Skålleagues 

Ian Hawkes has already passed on to you the main business  points of the General Assembly and so here is my take on the Congress from a social and amicale point of view !!

1st and 2nd of October saw the arrival and transfer of participants from Incheon Airport to the Congress hotels.  This was carried out very efficiently by the airport services of Korean Air.  No private transfers this year but with arrivals at all hours of the day and night it was an efficient service.  My own flight landed at 5.30 am and it was comforting to say the least to have the desk opened and manned by delightful and efficient Skål staff.  Registration Desk was manned from 9am on both days and the private bar behind the desk proved to be an excellent meeting and greeting venue!   

The Sheraton Hotel was an excellent and comfortable hotel but exceedingly expensive.  My room was bigger than the main living area of my house - and it took me 24 hours to master all the lights and gadgets.  A bathroom to die for but it all comes at a cost.  As Congress gets more expensive each year surely a 5 star Congress Hotel is unnecessary?

The Ecumenical Service took place at Hyatt Regency Hotel and from my personal viewpoint it was very weird.  We were spoken to for 10-15 minutes by a Buddhist Monk about his experiences in Korea and then entertained by some Korean Dancers.  Very strange.  The Hyatt Regency spared no expense for our Welcome Get Together and it was a great evening made very special by meeting up with world wide Skål friends.  Not too many speeches - the Skål Toast in our usual three languages and then in Korean!  Unfortunately not all of us had a brilliant evening - at breakfast next morning Yvonne Mansell was sporting a very large caste on her arm as she had a nasty fall during the party.  She is to be congratulated on the way she worked so hard when she was in pain to help make the Congress successful.
The UK group
It  was disappointing to have most of the tours cancelled due to lack of support and the numbers of actual Skål delegates was low but it was overall a far better Congress than Finland and Australia.  The Secretariat are looking at ways to improve and they have listened to the ideas and gripes from the membership.  I nearly cancelled the trip when my tour didn't reach the required numbers but I am glad I went - I do like to know what is going on!!

Looking forward to seeing many of you in the IOW on 2nd November for Southampton´s Presidential Weekend!  

Regards and Skål

Lyn is the email address for your interesting club news! 

Farewell Party
Hotel Grand Hilton was the venue for the Farewell Party.  The atmosphere and amicale was amazing but the food was not.  I did not get anything to eat and there was quite a bit of discontent. However a lot of time was spent just chatting and arranging to meet up again next year.  

The 2013 cabins for the cruise went on sale and the take up has already been good.  The deposit is only $125 dollars per person  if booked before 31st October when it rises to $250 dollars.  This is fully refundable up to end of April 2013.  The prices are good and cheaper than this year. 
The President´s Gala Dinner in the Grand Hyatt Ballroom was a truly splendid affair.  The meal was amazing and I was really lucky to have extremely chivalrous dinner companions!!  Not too much dancing but plenty of amicale!
Folk Village
Saturday was the full day tour with lunch for all us and we went to the Korean Folk Village.  This was a re-creation of village life in ancient times and there were some venues for entertainment:  some break dancing with a Korean flavour which was actually better than it sounds and displays of horsemanship which was spectacular!  Lunch was OK but the local food venues offered much more exciting stuff than we were given - but we did have a good day and the UK contingent spent it together which was fun.

The Ladies from Lagos

Lyn's new found friends!
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