Klaus ENENGL President
‘You can’t stop the march of time …’
Just before he left to return home to Austria on the day after the gala evening and after a memorable party with the Austrian teams, Klaus Enengl, AEHT President elected in Dubrovnik in 2009, allowed us a little of his precious time during his last Portuguese breakfast.
At the start he says how proud he is of this first year at the head of the AEHT, and, with so many schools taking part in the Lisbon conference, coming from 31 countries, he is convinced of the never-ending success of this Annual Conference. ‘From the bottom of my heart I thank the organisers of the Lisbon conference, and I am proud of all these students who have competed in the various contests. They have given of their best and have been excellent representatives of their schools. I offer them my congratulations’.
Moreover, I should like to say now to Paulo Revés, Lidia Serras and Ana Paula Pais, the driving forces behind this 23rd Annual Conference, how efficiently they and all their teams have worked during these last few days. Overall, everything worked well. What could we have improved? Difficult to say right now. Perhaps better communication to improve the registration process for the various excursions? With the judging panels there were very few problems except for some exclusions because of languages – there’s always the same problem with students who are not sufficiently fluent in one of the two languages. And as for the increasingly frequent use of English – you can’t stop the march of time. But all in all I love to see students putting such effort into defending the colours of their schools and countries.
I am also pleased to see that the two new contests, bar and hospitality management, have been highly successful.
And then it’s such a pleasure to see young people reacting so sensitively – because at the Annual Conference friendships are made for life. Yes, really, this 23rd Annual Conference has been a highly successful event for me, and I hope for everyone else too. Next year the Conference will run from Monday to Saturday, allowing everyone to take a day’s rest to recover on Sunday before getting back into harness the following Monday! In any case, I am delighted to have had such a spontaneous gesture of support from the school in The Hague for the 24th Annual Conference in 2011. We’ll do everything we can to help them.
Theodor SIEGL, Representative of the Austrian Ministry of Education
‘I wanted to take a closer look at this …’
Theodor Siegl had been invited for the first time by the directors of the Austrian hotel and tourism schools, including Klaus Enengl, the director of the Bad Ischl School and President of the AEHT; Herr Siegl is without doubt a ‘big cheese’ at the Federal Education Ministry of Austria, a country famous for its tourism. He is Head of Section II, responsible for vocational training, adult education and sport, and is obviously happy, and makes no secret of it, to be here in Lisbon in such an international setting. Following the opening ceremony he very happily agreed to give an interview that was informal, cordial and without any protocol.
‘I find that the AEHT is an excellent platform for exchanges and contacts. Obviously I know other associations of the same type, but none of them has this aura. Here it’s important to note that the competitions are multicultural and very much in keeping with European unity. I can think of no other example of this type of association which is so obviously effective.
You know, I’m very impressed to see that 31 countries are represented, from Iceland to Russia and even including the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia! It’s a fine example, and it is important to note that tourism is everywhere.
Being here in Lisbon is very important for me, because I wanted to take a closer look at this. It is extraordinary to see these young people competing with each other in the contests, it is very satisfying for them and I can see how proud they are to be able to work in these professions, which are by no means easy. I can also see the excellent contacts between the students, just as I very quickly noticed that the contacts between directors, teachers and students are also extremely good.
Moreover, in future I should like to see students given the chance to carry out six months training in a foreign country. It is already happening here and there, but it would be good if it were even more widespread.
’But of course I’m pleased …’
With his mobile phone in his hand, Paulo Revés, just like a genie, kept appearing everywhere as if he had the gift of ubiquity. He is the organiser-in-chief of this 23rd Annual Conference, and is always on the go to make sure that everything everywhere runs smoothly. After the gala dinner – it was one o’clock in the morning! – I just managed to squeeze a few sentences from him!
‘Am I happy? Of course I am. I am happy that everyone is happy! Of course we have had difficulties in organising this conference. All organisers will tell you the same thing. The most difficult part was finding the twenty-odd sponsors who have helped us in various ways, but now that this conference is drawing to a close I have the feeling that I have done all in my power to make sure that all the participants return home with excellent memories of Lisbon and of Portugal. It makes me happy. And I take my hat off to my colleagues from the Lisbon, Estoril, Setubal and Coimbra Schools for their help, as well as to the teachers from the Algarve, Oporto and Lamego Schools who came to work beside us. Not forgetting the thirty-odd people who worked directly with us during the last month before the conference, and those working this evening – 80 students and teachers serving the food and 17 of them in the kitchens.’
Paulo’s broad smile confirms what he says. Yes, Paulo Revés is happy with the success of this 23rd Annual Conference and he is already thinking of the next event he has on his books.
Meeting with His Excellency Paul Schmit, Ambassador to Lisbon of the Grand Duchy of Luxembour
He makes no secret of it, Louis Robert, Director of the Diekirch Hotel School, currently an AEHT Vice-President and AEHT President for two mandates, is a Luxembourg citizen and proud of it.
Thanks to the active complicity of Nadine Schintgen, AEHT General Secretary and a former fellow-student of Mrs Nadine Schmit, a meeting was arranged for the Luxembourg delegation on Luxembourg territory—that of the country’s embassy in Lisbon.
The meeting was both relaxed and pleasant for Louis Robert, his students, Nadine Schintgen and a band of AEHT officers headed by the President Klaus Enengl.
The delegation was welcomed by His Excellency Paul Schmit and his wife, and for over an hour they enjoyed the Ambassador’s homely and kindly hospitality, and were offered petits fours and various drinks including sparkling wine, produced in Luxembourg of course. They had the chance to admire the fine paintings adorning the walls of the reception rooms. In a few sentences His Excellency, who had taken up his post only a short time ago, expressed his pleasure at welcoming his first guests to his Embassy, and the hope that their work at the Lisbon Annual Conference would be fruitful. President Klaus Enengl, clearly delighted with this respite from the Conference, was very pleased to offer to Mr and Mrs Schmit some small presents as a souvenir of the AEHT.
Meeting with Mrs Barbara Murtin, in charge of the ‘vocational and technical training’ programme of the ‘International Organisation of French-Speaking Countries’ (Organisation internationale de la francophonie, OIF- www.francophonie.org)
Since French is a working language – together with English – within the AEHT, it was highly appropriate that an officer of the OIF, in the person of Barbara Murtin, should speak at the Conference. Especially since the OIF’s 13th summit conference would be taking place in Montreux, Switzerland on October 23rd and 24th.
Her dynamic and fact-filled address to the General Assembly focused on bilingual classes for vocational and technical education, which had been set up in seven technical and vocational high-schools specialising in hospitality and tourism; the classes take place in six different countries in Central and Eastern Europe, namely Albania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldavia and Romania.
At present, according to the document distributed at the meeting, 395 students are registered for these bilingual classes (the national language plus French); the objective between now and 2013 is to produce 1,500 graduates with a professional qualification in hospitality and tourism at the professional baccalaureate level.
Barbara Murtin had come to Lisbon with Alain Rossignol, the OIF’s resources officer and a former schools inspector; she had obviously much appreciated the time she had spent with the AEHT, which is a true melting-pot, where directors and teachers from many countries meet and exchange views; these countries include those directly targeted by the OIF’s programme of action.
Meeting with Students
For a few days each year the Annual Conference brings together a number of students – they make up around half of participants – who have come to compete in various tests of their technical skills. And each year we witness the same phenomenon. After four or five days the language barriers fall, the young people of both sexes fraternise together – or more than fraternise – and the general view is that they are delighted to have taken part in the contests and to have shared in the ‘après-competitions’ in various ways. When you look at their smiles you don’t need to ask them for details. The following collection of photos illustrates far better than words their pleasure at being in Lisbon and at having taken part in the competitions.