We are extremely proud that our current World President – Lavonne Wittmann, hails from Pretoria, South Africa. This is only the 2nd time in the 85 Year history of Skål International that the President is from South Africa. We are experiencing real value in being Skål members down south. With members in almost every sector of the Travel and Tourism industry, Skål is the place to do business amongst friends. We are actively using Skål to do exactly this and the results are tangible. South Africa is also one of the countries that has a 100% attendance record at all International Skål Council meetings. The ISC is very important and of value to us. This is where we have a direct influence on the operation of Skål International, being the advisory body to the Executive. This is also the platform where we learn from each other’s best practices and implement it in our prospective countries and Clubs. 

We would also like to use this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all our friends all over the world who so generously contributed to the Knysna Fire Fund. Many members of the Garden Route club suffered severe losses during the devastating fire disaster. All the money donated to this cause now has been put to good use. A Tourism Ambassador’s Course was developed and successfully presented in Knysna, Sedgefield, Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn – funded by donations from Skål clubs over the globe. This course is aimed at grass-root level and proved to be a massive success. Wine service courses were also presented to employees of member establishments who were affected by the fire. Most of these people have been re-employed with a number of them being promoted to better positions.

Currently we are working on a Purple Skål project which involves retired members to participate in a mentorship programme. Another exiting project is International Trade Shows – to promote Skål International, but also to provide a value-add to our members. Please forward any ideas and suggestions and also bestpractices to your Councillor. 

I am proud and privileged to serve on the ISC Board and looking to meet as many members as possible at World Congress on the Symphony of the Seas. I wish you happiness, good health, friendship and a long life – Skål!