GALA EVENING AND SEE YOU IN RHODES IN 2011
In view of the high quality of the organisation in general, there was little doubt that the gala evening which marks the end of Christmas in Europe would also be a highly convivial event. The participants were not disappointed. The magnificently laid tables, the background music played by the band from the regional Conservatoire, the aperitif served by the students – all of this set the tone for the evening. As did the menu, composed of local culinary specialities which had been prepared by the kitchen brigade of the Ponta Delgada school.
Towards 22.45 the time had come for the official part of the closing ceremony. In this context Filipe Rocha referred to Christiane Keller (unfortunately absent for professional reasons) without whom Christmas in Europe would not exist. He said how happy and proud he was to have organised this Christmas in Europe with his teams who have worked so hard; he wished all those present a Merry Christmas and a safe return journey to their respective homes.
AEHT President Klaus Enengl also said how sorry he was that Chris Keller could not be present; he also wished everyone a Merry Christmas in several languages, thus emphasising the international nature of the AEHT. On behalf of all present he warmly thanked Filipe Rocha and his teams for their commitment and for the success of the 19th Christmas in Europe – also mentioning the values of Christmas and the European spirit.
Secretary of State Vasco Alves Cordeiro, speaking as a politician, highlighted the notion of Europe to emphasise the importance of tourism which, he said, was undergoing a large-scale development in the Azores. He also wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Klaus Enengl then presented souvenir gifts to Filipe Rocha, Marlène Damiao, Sandra Pinto and Vasco Alves Cordeiro. Then on came the chefs and the kitchen brigade who were treated to a richly deserved standing ovation!
The symbolic handing over of the colours from Ponta Delgada to Rhodes with the European flag slipping from the one school to the next while the European anthem played – all of this ended the evening with a touch of emotion. Loizos N. Soroniatis concluded by warmly thanking Ponta Delgada and by inviting the schools to Rhodes in 2011. And finally Bonneville began the singing of ‘Jingle Bells’ which brought the 19th Christmas in Europe to a close. See you next year in Rhodes.