The school’s lecture theatre was first of all the exhibition hall, then an auditorium, and now finally the restaurant. And it is in this beautiful setting that we witnessed the final part of the Poznan Christmas in Europe on Monday December 7th at around 20.00.
The brightly decorated dining hall awaited the guests, who arrived in evening attire for the occasion as you would expect. A group of musicians from the Polish air-force provided a background music of Christmas tunes as an introduction to this reception to which a number of VIPs had also been invited. The speeches were all in keeping with the event, beginning with that of Roman David Tauber, the school’s rector, who greeted his guests, among them a number of the sponsors, emphasising that it was important for everyone ‘that this light (the one lit on each table) should be a sign of hope for the period of Advent’
Przemyslaw Pacia, President of the Greater Poland Region, speaking on behalf of the minister Waldemar Pawlak, was obviously delighted to be present at this event, ‘an excellent opportunity to get to know different cultures, Christmas traditions, regional costumes and Christmas dishes from different parts of the world.’
Jacek Kowalski, President of the city council of Gniezno, former capital of Poland, expressed his pride at taking part in this meeting ‘which reminds us that we are part of the large family of European nations. May I offer you my best wishes: may peace, kindness and joy be with you throughout your lives…’
Three further speeches followed: Eddy Fernandez Monte from Cuba, François Bolle an adviser to the hotel industry, and finally Klaus Enengl who, on behalf of the AEHT, officially thanked that organisers for the excellent arrangements for Christmas in Europe in Poznan, and invited everyone to come again next year, to the Azores. Klaus also gave a present to both Roman David Tauber and to Danuta Przybylak
Next each delegation was called up for the formal presentation by Roman David Tauber of a certificate and of gifts, all taking place in a festive and friendly atmosphere, loudly applauded by the audience.
Then came the moment for handing over the flag from Poznan to the Azores. The ceremony was carried out American fashion, with the entry of the AEHT flag carried by four girls in period costume with the European anthem playing in the background; the flag was folded in the manner of the Marines, placed on a purple cushion and handed to Filipe Rocha, organiser of Christmas in Europe 2010.
The last part of the ceremony was the arrival of the dessert heralded by loud applause, which also greeted the arrival of the kitchen brigade who had worked not only that evening, but also throughout Christmas in Europe.
The page of 2009 is slowly turning over. The first delegations have to leave. It’s time for goodbyes and farewells. The same as every year for the last 18 years. Bye-bye Poznan, see you soon, Azores!