GALA EVENING AND PRIZE-GIVING
The closing evening of the 27th Annual Conference in Belgrade was held on the premises of the Crowne Plaza Hotel where the 600-odd guests took their seats from 19.00 in the Atlantic and Pacific halls, which had even had to be extended into the lounge!
Everyone in evening dress or in their school’s uniform; the tables beautifully laid; a band on the small stage to provide background music - so much for the décor. For the food, a beautifully prepared festive meal, a large proportion of it consisting of Serbian specialities.
When the hubbub died down, Slavoljub Vicic, Director of the Belgrade school, took pleasure in greeting the delegates, expressing the hope that the competitions had been fruitful. He declared that his school, as well as the city of Belgrade, had been happy to welcome so many visitors from all over Europe; and finally he wished everyone a very pleasant evening and a safe journey home.
For her part President Ana Paula Pais warmly thanked Slavoljub Vicic and his team for the excellent organisation of the 27th Annual Conference in Belgrade, and was delighted to present a cheque for €2,300 to a Serb school in Obreonac, namely the ‘Centar za smestaj i dnevni boravak dece i omladine ometene u razvoju' as part of the ‘Gastronomy for Peace’ initiative, a scheme initiated several years ago by Louis Robert who was then AEHT President. The gesture was warmly acknowledged by the guests.
General Secretary Nadine Schintgen presented the eleven head judges with a gift and a certificate which they had richly deserved; and then, between the different courses on the menu, there was the prize-giving (see the section under this title) in an atmosphere that defies description, especially in the hall where they formed into congas and danced to the music of an indefatigably efficient band!
And finally it was almost midnight when the time came for the handing over of the AEHT flag from Slavoljub Vicic, Director of the Belgrade School, to Carla Maria Gatti, Director of the Cervia School, flanked by Roberta Monti, Italy’s national representative. This last act of the Conference was greeted, as it is every year, with loud applause, and the new date in our diaries is October 5th-10th 2015 in Cervia on the shores of the Adriatic.