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A Few Words From Our President – October 2017

October 2017

Last Wednesday, 4th October, I set off to attend my very first Skål World Congress, (our 78th) which was hosted in India by the Skål Club of Hyderabad and what a trip it turned out to be!

Over the 4 days to follow, I met and made friends with the most wonderful group of people made up of Skålleagues from all around the world!  My very first evening event saw me sitting with people from Ecuador, the UK, Guam, Vanuatu and some other Australian members… as a first experience, I was truly amazed at the sheer breadth of the reach of Skål with representatives travelling far and wide to attend.

For those who aren’t aware, Skål in India is growing at a rapid rate with waiting lists existing to join most clubs.  The passion they have for our movement as an association of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Professionals doing business among friends is absolutely inspiring and as India sits on the cusp of a travel and tourism revolution (the statistics on the number of Indians who will start to travel within the next 3 decades are mind-boggling and it is set to be the most important travel market in the world), these members are set to enjoy the benefits of the valuable international network that Skål provides.

An example of how amazing this association and the relationships it fosters is as follows;

On Sunday morning I had the pleasure of meeting Dushy Jayaweera, President of the Skål Club of Colombo in Sri Lanka.  Dushy told me of an email she’d received from a member of our Sunshine Coast Club earlier this year asking for her assistance in keeping an eye out for a young traveller heading her way.  This young traveller was Skål Member, Lynne Ryan’s grandson and his name is Lachlan Smart.  Lachie was aiming to set a new Guinness World Record for being the youngest pilot to circumnavigate the globe solo.  Lynne reached out to Skålleagues around the world for any assistance they could offer and Dushy in Colombo and her husband went out to the airport to greet Lachie on arrival and assisted with organising his accommodation and had a meal with him.  She was very excited to hear that at 18 years, seven months and 21 days old, Lachlan succeeded with his record attempt and is now the youngest person ever to complete the journey, which was two-and-a-half years in the planning!  How fabulous to have “friends” all around the world that you can call on for assistance such as this.

Of course Skål is all about “doing business amongst friends” and certainly there seems to be a renewed effort from members to assist fellow members in growing their businesses.  This happens frequently at the national level and internationally… today we welcome back visiting Skålleague and Past President of the Cape Town Club No 109 as well as Past National President of Skål South Africa, Carol Bayne.  This is Carol’s third visit to our club.  We met a few years ago on her first visit and have been in touch over the last few years with another visit last year.  In fact Carol made an effort to meet my Aunt and Uncle last year when they visited Cape Town on a cruise ship.  They were so pleased to be met and taken out by a friendly local!  This inter-club friendship has seen the concept of growing our relationship with the Cape Town Club in the form of a twinning with them gain momentum and I caught up with Club President, Rory Goldhill, Young Skal President, Malika Mahomed and Anne Lamb, Secretary for both the Cape Town Club and for Skal South Africa’s National Committee while in Hyderabad.  There is much enthusiasm for this project and with the number of South African expats settling into Perth, the synergies we have with our geography, weather and way of life, along with our beach culture, wine regions and unique flora and fauna, I believe this can grow into a very successful relationship benefiting the members of both clubs.

Warm regards and yours in Skål,

Ali