Every year the setting for the final evening of the Conference is a different one: once it was in a disaffected church, another time on a cruise ship, or in a Venetian palace for example. This time the venue for this gala evening, with the prize-giving ceremony, was the Cervia/Pisignano air-force base.
Just imagine the scene: at the entrance to the base stood two disarmed fighter aircraft. On the tarmac stood two large helicopters, intended mostly for rescue missions and now providing the décor for sumptuous buffets for the aperitif, a jazz band to provide background music and a totally surreal atmosphere in the almost mild climate of the Adriatic.
Later on, in the vast hangar where usually the helicopters are parked, the ‘dining room’ awaited the guests: decorated with the flags of the countries participating in the Conference, and beautifully laid tables.
The starting signal for the evening party was given by the arrival of Giuliano Poletti, Minister of Labour, accompanied by his wife and by Carla Maria Gatti; musical entertainment was provided by a band, and ‘mistress of ceremonies’ was Tania Moroni.
The presentation of the medals and certificates was divided into three phases, and as usual there were the same shouts of joy, the same tears, the same embraces and the usual crush of camera-bearing teachers eager to fix for eternity – at least – these joyous moments. (Please see the photos and the list of winners in the ‘Briefing Meetings, Competitions and Winners’ section).
And at such a gala evening, speeches were essential – translation was provided by Alda Gazzoni of speeches from Carla Maria Gatti, from Agostina Melucci, from Maria Luisa Martinez and from Ana Paula Pais
The speeches were followed by the presentation of gifts
The last act, and by no means the least important, was the handing over of the AEHT flag from Italy to the United Kingdom, a ceremony involving Carla Maria Gatti, Ana Paula Pais and Aysegul Yesildaglar with little Giacomo. A moment of high emotion!
It was already past midnight. Time to return to the hotels and to get ready for departure. It’s just goodbye, not farewell, see you in London in 2016!