Southampton December Newsletter

Southampton December Newsletter

Hello and welcome to your Skal Winter Issue.

This is the time of year when we can look back with a satisfied smile on our Club's achievements during the past 12 months. When it comes to arranging a Skal function we tick all the boxes...and one event and venue stands out with a tranquil countryside setting, a venue with very high standards, excellent food and service, a balanced amount of formality and fun.

After a few last-minute drop-outs, 80 of us sat down to the President's bi-annual banquet, having first had the Top Table piped in by Phil, a guest of the club. I am honoured to have had so many people attending, I was particularly pleased to see Margaret Jacobs and Alan Rowe supporting our special night. Equally, several of our members from Oxford, who made the long journey down South, others came from Brighton, Eastbourne, Guernsey and even from Skal International Usedom in Germany. I was also very pleased to welcome the National Skal UK President Paul Hoskins, 5 Past Skal UK National Presidents which included our Lyn Snelgrove. Once we got the Toasts and Speeches out of the way, all perfectly co-ordinated by our Toastmaster and Membre d' Honeur John Bright, we quickly threw ourselves into singing and dancing. There was no mark-up on the ticket price, so all expenses had to come from the raffle and out of club funds. Hazel Pressley once again excelled to provide us with a great many prizes which created much interest and plenty of lucky winners. We ended the evening after midnight with our Piper providing us with a perfect finish to a grand night by getting us all onto the floor forming a circle, holding hands and singing Auld lang Syne. A night like this does not happen without dedicated input by people like John, Paula, Carl our resident DJ, Hazel and the other Council members.

We now can enter the New Year with a light heart and with confidence. But before we do so we shall have the opportunity to get together for our very popular annual Family Christmas Lunch which will be held once again at the EAST HORTON GOLF CLUB on Sunday the 10th of December. Eileen and I look forward to join near to 80 other high-spirited fun-loving revellers. I presume you all have booked for this last event of 2017, but in case we shall not see you over at Fair Oaks we wish you a wonderful varied 2018 with new experiences, exciting projects, travel as well as good health!

Membership renewals for 2018, I have just written a cheque for £65.00 to renew my Skal membership for next year. I will bring it along to the Christmas Lunch and pass it on to John Bright (to save me postage).      In retirement many of us will have to economize and count the pennies. Once again, our club has frozen the Skal Dues, only asking for the National and International Fees to be paid. All Club expenses will be met out of Raffle donations and from reserves. I very much hope that all of you will continue to support Skal International Southampton by renewing your membership.

A belated Happy Birthday to RITA OXFORD, who celebrated her 90th Birthday in the New HOLMWOOD Hotel,  in Cowes, Isle of Wight. Many of the 56 people attending Rita's special day were Skal members. Eileen and I were amongst the guests, many known to us. We all had a memorable time with good food, good company, music and dancing, maybe some of us did too much jumping around on the dance floor. But why not? We have nothing to loose, so we drank a lot, laughed a lot, bantered with the younger generations on our table, enjoyed life a bit too much for our age group. I proposed a toast on behalf of Skal  wishing Rita good health for the next ten years, as we are all hoping to return to this place to celebrate her 100th birthday. Every body joined full-heartily into the Skal Toast of HAPPINESS, LONG LIFE, FRIENDSHIP, GOOD HEALTH, to you Rita and to all of us in the fellowship of Skal.


Our friends in the Oxford region are holding a Christmas get-together at The WYCHWOOD INN, High Street, Shipton under Whychwood, OX7 6BA. This will be in the form of a dinner. The Solent will be represented by John and Flo, we wish them a good time in perfect festive harmony.

Sunday 10th of December, Southampton Skal International Christmas Lunch, East Horton Golf Club, Fair Oaks, Hants. SO50 7EA, Arrival 11.30, Father Christmas will drop in with presents for the children (suitably labeled with their names) Approx 12.30 after the visit of Father Christmas Lunch will be served. Carol singing will be led by the Chandlers Ford Brass Band, a festive Raffle will round off the Party. Please bring a suitable festive raffle prize. Late bookings now only available by phone directly to John Bright on 02392461969.

On Friday 15th of December Skal PARIS is organizing a special EVENT to celebrate the 85th Anniversary of the creation of Club No. 1, Paris. They are inviting all Skal members willing to come to Paris to join into their celebrations. This must be the perfect opportunity to combine a lot of fun, good food and some Christmas shopping in Paris. If any of you are interested in attending, please contact me for full details of price, venue, accommodation and full programme.

ANGELA HOLIDAYS has once again invited Skal members to take part in their Three Night/Four Days long weekend to be held at the popular BEMBRIDGE COAST HOTEL, beginning on the 12th of January. Quite a few of us are joining a sold-out crowd for a memorable time at the Warner Bembridge Hotel complex. We are looking forward once again to fabulous entertainment, drinks inclusive real value for money break.         Paula Roe tells me that they have opened a waiting list, and are expecting some cancellations.

And here is a date to go into your brand new 2018 diaries...please keep Sunday the 4th of February free for the Southampton International Skal Club's AGM and LUNCH, to be held at the EAST HORTON GOLF CLUB. BRIAN CHAMBERS is organizing this one again and will post the details and booking form soon enough.

I am very sorry to report that our Club Life Member, Past International President and Membre d'Honeur Clive Davis has passed away peacefully in hospital in Norway, after a challenging few weeks of illness. I have written on behalf of all of us the following tribute to Turid his widow: "We will miss Clive and his letters of wisdom. His strong personality never left him, even at our last correspondence a couple of weeks ago, he was still the same Clive we always knew. Eileen and I can not even attempt to feel your loss and pain. If we can offer a scrap of comfort at all we would like to mention that none of us will ever be able to rise to the level Clive held in Skal, none of us will ever be able to replace Clive. Our thoughts are with you and your family."

I met Clive for the first time in 1997 in Rio at the Skal World Congress, Clive was elected our International President at that event. At the time he was a member of the Bergen Club in Norway. Clive was in the Airline Business and joined the Southampton Club later in his retirement as a Life Member. More recently our club made Clive a Southampton Club Life Member, a honourary membership only very few of our members have achieved in the past. I will close with this sad message and remain yours faithfully, Newsmonger Dieter.