Newsletter of October 2019
Bulletin de Octobre 2019
33rd Annual Conference, Aveiro | Portugal
2 - 7 NOVEMBER 2020
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AN OPENING CEREMONY FOR THIRTEEN SCHOOLS FROM ELEVEN COUNTRIES!


"Christmas in Europe is a construction of bridges….."

The opening ceremony, an important moment in the unfolding of Christmas in Europe every year brings a moment of magic. Each school uses its ingenuity to bring it into the sharpest focus both inside and outside.

This year Kuressaare did not fail the tradition. The parade, listed in the program was in fact a procession led by the Kuressaare Town Orchestra from the courtyard of the Kuressaare Ametikool to the Cultural Centre, near the Town Hall, a superb venue, newly built in which to hold the exposition of the thirteen schools: Podebrady (Czech Republic), Bonneville (France), Budapest (Hungary), Pinerolo (Italy), Wageningen (The Netherlands), Copenhagen (Denmark), Göteborg (Sweden), Poznan (Poland), Diekirch (Luxembourg), Smiltenes (Latvia), Orebrö (Sweden), Tallinn and Kuressaare (Estonia).

The festive ambiance began at the head of the procession led by the mascots of the host country, the Christmas goat and the crane. Then came the participants – some in national costumes, some in heavy winter outer wear, a Sint Nicholas more real than nature, torches to light the way and overall, a joyful brouhaha that the icy temperature was not able to subdue.

The goat and the crane take their place at the head of the parade
The goat and the crane take their place at the head of the parade.

The traditional ribbon cutting was accomplished by Christiane Keller flanked by Neeme Rand, director of the Kuressaare Ametikool and Louis Robert, President of the AEHT. With a tour around the stands, accompanied by the European Hymn, this 11th edition of Christmas in Europe was opened in the true sense of the word. With a few words, Martha Hubbard, one of the key workers in this activity, gave the microphone to her "boss", Neeme Rand, who could not contain his pleasure at welcoming his guests to Kuressaare for the coming days, and in meeting the challenge of organising this Christmas in Europe. A true teacher, he equally emphasised the charms of his town and of his school (800 students) only part of which is Hotel & Catering. The other departments offer programs in a broad palette of different professions. Visibly happy, Neeme Rand wished all the participants an agreeable stay and many good times in Kuressaare.

Neeme Rand, Christiane Keller & Louis Robert cutting the ribbon to open the exhibition to the public
Neeme Rand, Christiane Keller & Louis Robert cutting
the ribbon to open the exhibition to the public.

The traditional tour around the stands
The traditional tour around the stands.

Neeme Rand address to the participants
Neeme Rand address to the participants.

Louis Robert, President of the AEHT stressed that "it is the motor which drives the train and the locomotive of Christmas in Europe has always been, Christiane Keller, ‘the godmother’ of the European Christmas event. ", an image that brings a smile easily. He also accented the significance of Christmas, a festival with special traditions in each country and on the coming entry of Estonia into the European Union, after which he warmly thanked Neeme’s team for their efforts for the event.

Louis Robert, President of the AEHT is happy to be in Kuressaare
Louis Robert, President of the AEHT is
happy to be in Kuressaare
.


The last speech was by Christiane Keller. In a few words, she described the nature of the event in her usual fashion, " Christmas in Europe is constructed of bridges. Each host brings a small stone to add to the work, from Kayserberg up to Kuressaare" She was warmly applauded for this illustration of friendship between peoples, so necessary in a world of so many changes.

Christiane Keller, founder of Christmas in Europe evokes
Christiane Keller, founder of Christmas in Europe
evokes " the building of bridges…"


Then, enlivened by a glass of sparkling wine, made in Latvia, the participants of this 11th edition of Christmas in Europe in Kuressaare investigated the stands of the exposition with particular pleasure. A little later, the mayor, Jaanus Tammkivi welcomed the visitors in the beautiful reception room of the town hall. (see following article)
3rd to 5th December 2018 in Riga
3rd to 5th December 2017 in Fátima
5th to 7th December 2018 in San Benedetto
2nd to 5th December 2015 in Diekirch

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