Skal Christchurch’s 50th Featured

Skal Christchurch held a double celebration during its January lunch at Commodore Hotel on Friday.

The occasion marked the 50th Anniversary of the club, as well as the official ‘handing of the chains’ to newly elected Skal International World president Peter Morrison (a member of the Christchurch club). Almost 90 people attended, including most of the Skal International committee (with members from Europe and North America), a strong delegation of Australians, and club presidents and members from around New Zealand. Also in attendance were three past world presidents – Phil Sims (NZ), and Max Kingston and Tony Boyle from Australia. (New Zealand’s other past president, Nigel Pilkington, was unable to attend.)

A ‘fine’ session conducted by sheriff Vic Wales raised $2000 plus for Australian bushfire relief and the figure is sure to rise. During a quick address to attendees, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel noted that she was not officially fined but said she would impose a ‘self fine’ to go to the cause. ‘There are plenty of people in Christchurch who would find reasons for me to fine myself.’

She also recognised Morrison’s efforts in the city’s tourism industry, particularly after the earthquakes. ‘Peter really stepped up and made a difference in the comeback. Skal Christchurch is the biggest (Skal) club in New Zealand and it has been the glue that has held the city’s tourism industry together.’

Dalziel, says with Te Pae, the new Christchurch Convention Centre, opening in  October this year the city will be able to host the organisation’s world congress in 2022 or beyond – a suggestion that seemed to have some support with the audience. Morrison was presented his chains by Daniela Otero, chief executive officer of Skal International, and also given a Taonga by Lynda Keene, newly appointed CEO of Tourism Export Council New Zealand, and president of Skal Te Tauihu in Nelson. The Skal Toast was given in Spanish, French, English and Te Reo Maori.