The Extraordinary General Assembly called in Luxembourg in October had not achieved the necessary quorum, so another General Assembly was held on November 20th 2009 in the Valamar Lacroma Resort conference hall. We should mention that there were fewer members present than expected.
The item on the agenda was the revision of the statutes in order to change certain points to make them more appropriate for today's changed needs. In fact the changes had been decided on in 2008, but needed to be officially ratified.
Louis Robert, still president at this point, gave a commentary on the articles 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 18 and 20 which needed to be amended, supplemented or made more precise. Here is not the place to go into the details of each article: suffice it to say that the most important point concerned the duration of the mandates of the members of the AEHT’s executive or Bureau, henceforth to be known, in both French and English, as the ‘Presidium’.
And in twenty minutes flat the various amendments were approved unanimously.
At the president’s suggestion, and with general approval, the Ordinary General Assembly followed on immediately.
This Ordinary General Assembly was chaired for the last time by Louis Robert supported by his vice-presidents, and as expected the meeting took place in an atmosphere of general consensus. Thus the minutes of the 2008 General Assembly were unanimously accepted as a true record of the meeting.
In his presidential report Louis Robert returned to the matter of the organisation of the competitions, stating that ‘we will try to improve the system and solve the problem of registrations and the make-up of the judging panels; in certain cases we could possibly consider engaging two judging panels.’
Before handing over to his successor, Louis Robert took the opportunity of thanking the members of the Presidium ‘who have helped me in my work’: John Rees Smith the official translator since the very start of the AEHT, now unable to continue because of new professional responsibilities; Natalia Komanicka who has agreed to replace him; Nadine Schintgen, ‘our eternal secretary’; Christiane Keller who deals with Christmas in Europe; Jo Laengy for his reports; and the members of the Competitions Committee, namely Helena Cvikl, Romana Bauer and Asdis Vatnsdal : ‘Please have respect for their work’, said the President with emphasis – more than a little vexed by the arguments which arise every year, even though the rules themselves seem watertight.
He mentioned the Council of Elders, whose remit is to come up with new ideas, and announced that the ‘Gastronomy for Peace’ initiative, launched in 2004, had enabled us to hand over €17,000 to Handicap International. Finally, in a similar vein, Louis Robert mentioned the earthquake in the Abruzze region which caused serious damage to the hotel school in L’Aquila. He appealed to other schools to provide equipment, and presented a piggy bank which would be placed on all the tables during the gala evening, for contributions to help this stricken school.
The president’s speech was greeted with loud applause, before he handed over to his team of vice-presidents.
The ACCOR placements, presented by Bogusława Pienkowska, had attracted twice as many participants as in 2008 – that is to say 14 instead of seven. This was indeed an encouraging result, with double the number of teachers on placement, but let us not forget that this figure is small compared with the 50-odd placements organised in the heyday of the ACCOR placements scheme.
After one year as vice-president, Annie Collinet reported a period devoted to making contacts, to listening to people’s requests and to making herself available to hear proposals. She spoke of a seminar she had attended in Bulgaria, and believed that she could put in place meetings and seminars with a view to tourism development.
Anna Paula Pais, the vice-president in charge of AEHT events, presented a summary of the events which had already taken place in 2009, as well as of future events: the programme had been rich in terms of languages and technical skills. She also emphasised that organisers who receive AEHT subsidies should not forget to send her their reports.Neeme Rand presented his report on communications: he took the opportunity to announce that the website now has a home page which is modern, innovative and highly secure; most importantly, he demonstrated an impressive system for providing statistics, intended for sponsors and other partners.
Klaus Enengl, still officially treasurer at this point, announced a forecast deficit of €16,000, though added that the AEHT’s reserves of €100,000 would enable us to see through this difficult year, which had seen an increase in salaries and on-costs as well as in travelling expenses, as well as a decrease in new memberships, among other things.
The auditors Jürgen Clausen and Danielle Snauwaert were unfortunately unable to attend, so Hans Russegger read out the findings of their report on the accounts, giving a certificate of correct record to the treasurer and to
At 10.05am the new Presidium was in place in accordance with the elections held the previous day at the Executive Board meeting. For the posts of vice-president there had been five candidates for four positions, with the outcome that one candidate, Rinaldo Merlone, the Italian national representative, had not been elected. It had therefore been decided that Rinaldo would be co-opted to the position of consultant in the meantime. ‘It would be a shame if a country such as Italy were excluded, given its large number of members and the large number of activities it generates.’
Klaus Enengl, swapping his vice-president’s hat for the president’s hat, said how proud he was of the confidence placed in him. He thanked his vice-presidents, Nadine Schintgen, ‘heart of the AEHT’ and Norbert Richartz, saying, ‘It feels like a family, I am the Austrian representative but also the representative of all the other countries; I should like to thank my school’s teachers and students, the AEHT is one big family which brings together directors, teachers and students.’
Klaus’s first acts were to appoint Hans Russegger as treasurer – a task he had carried out previously for a long while – and to make Mary Owens (a former vice-president) into an honorary vice-president. And to mark the start of his presidency, he offered a small gift to each of the officers
Klaus Enengl took the opportunity to thank officially Antun Perušina and his teams for the excellent organisation of the 22nd Annual Conference.
Anna Paula Pais presented on a screen display the nine offers of workshops and competitions for 2010, and the representatives of Giulianova and Teramo also presented their activities planned for 2010. The poor representative from the Azores was unable to present Christmas in Europe 2010 due to a technical hitch. And finally, for Christmas in Europe due to take place from December 2nd to December 8th 2009, there were still some places available because of last-minute cancellations; the president reacted to this news by commenting that such cancellations were ‘unfair to the organisers’.
Still on the subject of events, Klaus Enengl proposed an AEHT summer camp aimed at 18-22 year-old students and attended by two students per country. The camp could be held in September 2010 in Bad Ischl as a pilot project, with a programme including seminars, workshops, sport and field visits.The next Annual Conference would be held in Lisbon from October 5th to October 10th 2010, and the conference mascot would be ‘Turi’. Ana Paula Pais promised that all members would receive details within a month, and she backed her promise by showing a video of Portugal, providing ample reasons to take part. The final piece of information: the Ordinary General Assembly would take place in Lisbon on October 8th 2010.