Welcome to the June Skål Southampton News!
I shall begin with the important News first and will tell you who won the Skittles a little later. Southampton Skal will Twin with "The Pearl of the Adriatic" Dubrovnik, this Autumn. Dubrovnik was an independent city state for most of its history and traded throughout the Mediterranean and beyond, in particular with Southampton. One of the many oriental and Middle-Eastern goods shipped to England came via Dubrovnik and it was Coffee that first arrived from there to England and to our city. Nowadays the trade links are the many cruise ships docking in the near-by Port of Gruz, many beginning their voyage in the Port of Southampton. On certain days, up to four mega-sized cruise ships flooding the old town with their passengers.
The idea of forging a link with Croatia's sparkling medieval tourist center (second only after Venice) came about when our Secretary Brian visited Dubrovnik to meet their Skal President and Secretary to discuss the possible program and tour of the Southampton Albion Brass Band, to visit the town and the area next year. Brian received a warm welcome in the form of a cocktail party with other members of the Dubrovnik Skal club. They wanted to hear more about our club and Brian told them about our links with the Algarve and also with Bielefeld. As Dubrovnik has so far no twinning with any club they thought of a number of reasons that links our two maritime cities. Brian came away with a firm request for a twinning of our two clubs later this year.
Your council discussed this at our May Council meeting and agreed to take this forward. We have now informed the Dubrovnik President of our decision and have also informed Skal HQ in Torremolinos, who will provide the documentation. John Bright has written to members about this event which will take part at the end of October 2016. About 16 members and partners have so far booked flights with various airlines, of which Monarch Air is the most popular. We will fly out there from the 19th of October to the 24th. Hotel accommodation is also sorted and the twinning arrangements are in full swing and well advanced already. In case any of you would like to be in on the act there is still time to book your flight and tell John or Brian about this (see John's e-letter).
How is it that the game of SKITTLES IS ALWAYS POPULAR AND WELL ATTENDED? 32 keen contestants lined up to knock-down 9 skittles with 3 tries. As almost all of us there had no practice for at least a year, it was trial and error, more luck than skill. I believe only 2 people (both ladies) managed to knock over all 9 skittles with 3 balls. One of them was Hazel Pressley. Pat Chambers had the highest overall Ladies score while her husband Brian ended up on the opposite scale of the scoreboard. Andy won for the men and the Knock-out winner was a Lady called Shirley. A lot more winners scored in the Raffle which raised £60.00 for the club's good causes.
Google teams up with the Hilton Hotel Group to allow guests to choose the location of their room. Google will use its mapping technology to enable holiday makers to pick their exact position in the hotel, allowing an insight into the view they will get. This will prevent a lot of hassle for everyone, staff and customers alike.
SKAL brews up in Portsmouth...
John Bright, the "Face of Skal UK" is also behind our June event which will elevate our members and friends high above Portsmouth. The President's Garden party is re-locating to the Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth on Sunday the 12th of June. We will meet at the Reception area at the foot of the tower at 15.00 hours. We first visit the viewing platform and by 15.30 hours go one level higher for our Tea Party. The setting could not be more spectacular and is certain to be a memorable Skal function. Most of you will have received a £10.00 voucher from John for the Tea party which represents a discount of almost 50%. If you don't use it, you will lose it. The next subsidized event will not be until the winter. In case that you have not booked so far, get on the phone to John and secure your window seat to the world below up there in the sky.
It has been a long time since our club held a Golf Tournament. I still have the Silver Golf Cup which will be polished up and passed on to the next winner of our hopefully very successful Golf morning, to be held on SATURDAY THE 9TH OF JULY 2016, at the PITCH AND PUTT GOLF COURSE, HAYLING ISLAND'S SEAFRONT. We will meet there from 10.00AM to receive golf clubs and balls and tee-off in groups of no more than four. The course is a nine hole affair which should not be too demanding, even so it is a seafront links course. Those who finished can hang around and wait for others or play in the practice area or make their way to our luncheon venue, to the near-by Ferry Boat Inn where we have reservations for 25 people. There will be no fixed menu for us, so you are free to order what you like to eat and pay directly to the Bar Person taking your orders. No need to wait for the last Golfers to arrive, we shall keep this event informal and fluid. There is not going to be a booking form, just give me a ring or e-mail me and let me know how many are in your party. You can pay me on the day. The cost is a mere £4.00 per Golfer, and parking is free. As I have limited space for this event, it would be prudent for everyone to let me know as soon as possible if you will play and dine or just come along for the ride and a bite to eat and the more important social side of our friendly Society.
Did you see the world's largest Cruise Ship The "Harmony of the Seas"arriving in Southampton a few days ago? Royal Caribbean International's latest addition, a 362 meters long and 66 meters wide, with 18 decks and is seven times larger than the Ocean Liner I worked on in my Youth the then largest German ship the "BREMEN". This giant of a floating skyscraper is divided into seven "Neighbourhoods", including a Central Park with 10.000 plant species, 23 swimming pools, 20 dining venues and 11252 works of art.
Tourism boost for the UK! Visits to the UK by overseas tourists increased by 5.1 % last year. Foreigners made 36.1 million trips to the UK, the highest since statistics began in 1961. Earnings from foreign visitors were £22.1 billion, likewise the data shows that UK residents took 65.7 million trips abroad last year, 9.4% more than in the previous 12 months. Spain continued to be the most popular destination.