Welcome to my 114th News Letter! Now that May is here, can summer be far behind?
Looking back at last month for a moment, we celebrated the "Skål International Day" in the form of well, a German Night. German or not, 61 of us met as always in an atmosphere steeped in Skål amicale. This was further enhanced with the help of our oversea's guests from Skål Clubs of Malaysia - Past International President Richard Hawkins, The Face of German Skål - Marianne Krohn and her Partner Thomas, Bent Halder of International Skal fame who flew into Heathrow with his wife from Copenhagen, and we also had a couple from Colorado, USA to give this event a truly International flavour. Our international guests stayed a few days on Hayling Island at the invitation of John and Flo Bright, and they were entertained by them with sightseeing trips in the area, including the D-Day Museum, the Spinnaker Tower and the Isle of Wight. Eileen and I joined them on a couple of evenings for dinner which was refreshingly similar to an International Congress experience. Shortly afterwards, we had Don and Jackie Keys Massey arriving who stayed the night with us. For those of you who are not so familiar with the ever shrinking UK membership, they are members of Skal International Guernsey, but living since their retirement in Portugal. In between all this, I chaired a Council meeting, at this meeting we discussed the strong possibility of a much changed Skal landscape in the South of England. More about this will no doubt be made public on these pages in the months to come.
At the last UK Skal AGM we were told that the core reason why we have a National Committee is to raise awareness of Skal in the Travel Industry. I am hoping that we will see some real examples of this statement during the coming months. More worrying was the long awaited details and booking form for the 2016 National Assembly in Belfast. Again at the AGM in February we were promised by the incoming National President Ken Sharp (Skal Northern Ireland) that full details will be circulated within one week, it finally was published on their website in Mid-April, and at a costly £295.00 for the 2-nights. While this is a lot more than last year, I am sure it represent's value for money as their itinerary look's very good. Eileen and I will be going to this, partly because Eileen was born in Belfast and this City and the countryside of Northern Ireland is very much reason enough on it's own to travel there. This Assembly will be a lively one, organized by a vibrant Club with a young membership. In case any of you would like to join us in Belfast please book at least your air tickets as they get dearer by the day. To find all the details and booking form go to www.skaluk.org
Brian Chambers is right now in Dubrovnik to meet members of their Skal Club. He is in discussions to arrange for the Southampton Albion Brass Band to go on Tour next summer in Croatia. The Band has been in the news a few times in connection with the 40th anniversary of the FA Cup win by Southampton’s Football Club.
Other News: Sneshka Richter of the London Skal Club attended our April event. Sneshka thought it was a great evening and everybody was so friendly, she said it made a nice change from formal functions, and that she enjoyed letting her hair down. She was not the only one.
Forthcoming events: There is still time to book and join Brighton’s Calais trip and Lunch at the Restaurant du Cap at Escalles, Ferry crossing from Dover will be at a special Skal rate of £10.00 per car and 4 passengers. The lunch will cost £25.00 and there is time for shopping and or overnight accommodation on offer, please contact President Eric on Eric@vptours.fr bon voyage!
Our next event is the Annual Skittles Competition to be held on Tuesday the 10th of May, 2016, 7.00PM for 7.30Pm. The venue is again the popular SOUTHWICK PARK GOLF CLUB, and the cost is as last year, £12.50.
There will be a Raffle and members are encouraged to please bring a raffle prize along. John Bright has already a good number to form a ladies and Gentlemen teams and the winner will receive a prize. Please contact John on 02392461969 if you decide to come along, he will tell you what is on the menu.
AND NOW FOR THE BIG SUMMER EVENT, THE PRESIDENT’S HIGH TEA, SUNDAY 12th. JUNE Instead of my usual Garden Party Eileen and I would like you to join us at the top of the Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth for a High Tea. We will meet at the entrance to the Tower at 15.00 hours for a visit to the observation platform before going to the Deck above for our sumptuous Tea. Because of the nature of the venue, space is limited, so please get your bookings in quickly. This function will be popular as members and friends will be able to redeem their £10.00 vouchers towards the costs of this event. In case you have not got a booking form please contact John Bright for full details, otherwise return your voucher, cheque and booking form to John in order to guarantee your places. This function will take place in space, out of this world, although I heard on the grapevine that Southampton Skal is the only Club that lives in the “Real World”!
A single gentleman joined a cruise ship in Southampton. Sailing down the Solent he took in the scenery walking on the Promenade deck. A Lady came towards him walking in the opposite direction. When they passed each other she smiled. Later that evening at dinner he was surprised to find this same lady sharing his table. During dinner she suddenly said, “You remind me of my third husband”. A little taken aback he asked “how many husbands did you have?” She looked demurely down and then replied in a quiet voice “two”!
One other date for your diaries: Sunday the 14th of August, Tripartite Meeting at McAlpines private Railway and gardens, near Henley-on Thames, Host Club Brighton will bring out more details on this later. Seen on a hairy biker’s T shirt: “Read the Bible – it will scare the Hell out of you!” I sign out with friendly greetings, your News Monger Dieter.