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The Skål Club of Wellington gathered at the Grand Mercure Wellington last week, with 11 of its Past Presidents and 45 current and former Skålleagues and guests to celebrate the 61st Anniversary of the very first Skål Club in New Zealand.

Skål an international travel and tourism networking organisation was first established in New Zealand in 1957 as Skål Club of New Zealand based in the nation’s capital. Ten years later, the Skål Club of Auckland formed, resulting in a name change for the original club to Skål Club of Wellington. Since then the organisation has grown in New Zealand with clubs in Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, and Rotorua. Skål Wellington President Sally Attfield reminded Skålleagues that the Skål organisation is about fellowship, not just locally and nationally, but also internationally and she urged all Skålleagues to ensure they took advantage of this network.

“Skål has changed from the traditional men’s domain typical of the1950’s to now, when both the New Zealand President, and the Wellington President are female, as well as the female membership much better represented. Skål continues to offer relevance and strives to inform and promote global tourism and friendship” observed Sally.

The celebration featured a ‘This is your Life’ format of vignettes and sketches presented by Skål Past President, Bruce Robertson. He was able to share little know facts and accomplishments of Skålleagues past and present. Certainly one aspects that was very obvious was the radical change within the industry throughout the past 60 years.

“We have seen the dramatic growth of air travel, and the increasing demand for more diversity of product and much higher expectation of our customers. It has been estimated that only 5% of the world’s population have been on an aircraft. This surely emphasises both the challenges and opportunities in the future” commented Bruce.

Skål International today has approximately 15,000 members in 400 Clubs throughout 90 countries. Most activities occur at local level, with National Committees connecting into Skål International, headquartered at the General Secretariat in Torremolinos, Spain.

Contact Skål Wellington

Inaugural Dinner Skål Club of New Zealand held at the Hermitage, Mount Cook 6th June 1957.

Presidents SkALL! – (L to R) Paul Borrie, Peter McGhie, Des Schollum, Peter Lowry, Sally Attfield, Craig Crestani, Cecilia Vincent, Bridget MacDonald, Paul Yeo (obscured), Bruce Robertson, Fegus Brown, and John Hanning

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