At the Skal gala dinner in Parliament.. Leighton Cameron, Skal NZ international councillor; Chris Bishop, list MP based in Lower Hutt; Trish May, president Skal Queenstown At the Skal gala dinner in Parliament.. Leighton Cameron, Skal NZ international councillor; Chris Bishop, list MP based in Lower Hutt; Trish May, president Skal Queenstown

Travel club in good shape

New Zealand’s five Skal Clubs have come through the last two years holding membership and are now starting to see numbers increase, says Skal International New Zealand president Sally Attfield.

The fellowship orientated club for travel and tourism professionals held its national AGM and congress in Wellington over the weekend, which also marked the 65th  anniversary since the club started in the city.

The highlight of the event was a dinner at the Grand Hall in Parliament.

‘Members have had both emotional and financial challenges over the pandemic so it has been important to share war stories – what worked and what didn’t.’

She says New Zealand’s clubs (Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Queenstown) are now being encouraged to look at succession planning and bring new people both into the Skal fold and into positions of responsibility.

Skal looks back over 65 years

While topics like succession and rebuilding post-Covid were top of mind for Skal New Zealand over its AGM and congress this weekend, it also took time to celebrate the club’s past.

The dinner at The Grand Hall in Parliament reflected on 65 years of the club’s existence here, with MC of the event Fergus Brown noting that the inaugural dinner of the club was held at The Hermitage on 16 June, 1957.

Wellington Cub member Michael Johnson (an long standing member with other clubs around the country) reflected on his time working with Ivan Mitchell, Mitchell Tours, who was a driving force behind the formation.

A special guest at the function was Cecilia Vincent, who is believed to be the first woman club president of Skal in the world when she became Wellington president in 1991-92. At the time, she worked at Thomas Cook.

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