32nd Annual Conference, Split-Croatia
November 11-16 2019
32nd Annual Conference, Split-Croatia
November 11-16 2019
Newsletter of January 2019
Bulletin de janvier 2019
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
19TH CHRISTMAS IN EUROPE IS DECLARED OPEN

An event cannot begin until it is officially opened; the official opening ceremony took place according to plan on December 3rd at 15.00 when the participants, most of them in national costume, gathered together before setting off, each delegation behind its flag, from the Amphitheatro to the nearby Pavilhao do Mar. The children’s choir of the São Miguel Regional Music Conservatoire gave a spirited rendering of the European anthem as the delegations entered the hall.

The parade of the delegations enters the hall
The parade of the delegations enters the hall
The children’s choir from the Conservatoire
The children’s choir from the Conservatoire

Filipe Rocha, in his role as master of ceremonies and event organiser, made a short speech to the large audience, which included Maria Lina Mendes (Regional Secretary for Education and Training), Rui Bettencourt (Regional Director for Employment and Vocational Training), Bruno Pacheco (Director for Youth) and Gavin Sandwall (United States Consul). ‘I am delighted to welcome you here to Ponta Delgada and I thank you for coming here for Christmas in Europe, sometimes travelling a very long way. I wish you all a warm welcome, and I thank the authorities and the sponsors for their support in organising this event’, said Filipe with warmth and simplicity.

The VIPS in the front row
The VIPS in the front row
Filipe Rocha
Filipe Rocha

Christiane Keller, the founder of Christmas in Europe which was held for the first time in her native town of Kaysersberg in Alsace (France), spoke in glowing terms of this exciting adventure which takes place very year, and this year for the 19th time in a row, emphasising that ‘we are rich through our differences’.
Klaus Enengl
Klaus Enengl

AEHT President Klaus Enengl, in a similar vein to the previous evening, highlighted the fact that Christmas in Europe ‘brings the AEHT family together to share in the values of Christmas. I should like to share with you this spirit which is of such importance’, he concluded. Maria Lina Mendes, speaking on behalf of the governor of São Miguel, was obviously delighted with the convivial atmosphere, and said how pleased the people of the Azores, and in particular of São Miguel, were to welcome the delegations who had come from the continent.

Then it was time for the VIPs to visit every one of the exhibition stands, to hear the appropriate explanations and to taste the culinary specialities of these eleven countries which had come together in Ponta Delgada. It was obvious that the VIPs were enchanted by this fine range of fare, and Maria Lina Mendes, accompanied by Klaus Enengl and Filipe Rocha, was clearly both delighted and fascinated by what she saw.

In the afternoon it was the turn of around 200 children from the Ponta Delgada’s nursery schools to visit the exhibition, creating a pleasant hubbub which their teachers, delighted with this European escape from routine, had trouble in containing. Could it be that one day these children will be the standard-bearers of the European ideal? Perhaps they will.

The VIPs visit the exhibition. Klaus Enengl, Maria Lina Mendes and Filipe Rocha in the foreground
The VIPs visit the exhibition. Klaus Enengl, Maria Lina Mendes and Filipe Rocha in the foreground
The nursery school children are immensely pleased to visit the stands!
The nursery school children are immensely pleased to visit the stands!

 

2nd to 5th December 2015 in Diekirch
8th to 12th December 2014 in Prešov
8th to 13rd December 2014 in Marseilles
28th November to 4th December 2012 in Budabest

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