I then move to a tour operating company, selling mostly tours to London to the growing senior market. This is also the time I became President of Skål International Cote d’Opale club.
The club was making so much noise that I was asked to join the French National Council.
Lot of change in my life, I move to Sealink, becoming the sales manager for France based in Paris, and I also get married to Elisabeth, a Skållegue and at the time sales representative for British Rail.
I resign from the National Council as I did not agree with the conduct of the then National President, who has been fired a few month later, but that was the start of difficult times for Skål International in France.
At the opening of the Channel, I decided to come back on the Côte d’Opale and launch my own tour operating firm, selling tours in Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Netherland, to the French coach operators. And I was asked to re take the helm of the local club. But times were more difficult and we were the only club in North France, after the collapse of Lille and Picardie. The links were still very strong with Kent and Canterbury, and soon we decided to merge in one club to the great upset of the then French President… but with the help of Skål International UK and Skål International HQ at Torremolinos who saw the interest of keeping clubs alive.
A few year later we have been in contact with Brighton, and we decided to merge in a large territorial Skål International Brighton, Sussex and the Channel. This is a lively club having monthly meetings, with good attendance, and good atmosphere.
When I have been elected President I was a little bit afraid, but I had great help from the Council and I had two very friendly years. During the which when attending a national I was asked to join the UK National Council, which I did with pleasure.
A few month later, I was told if you seat on the Council, you have to follow the way to the top job… I became UK President, at the time our International Councillor, Mark Alexander was elected Sk9l International Director.
Nobody to take over its duty in the UK, I became the UK International Councillor. At the same time with some Skålleagues in Europe we spoke about the idea of a way to have a better visibility for Europe inside Skål International. I cannot be out of this move. And I participate to exciting meetings. Now Skål Europe Area Committee is born, and the challenge starts.
I should say Skål International is very important in my life.
I met Elisabeth, my wife, at Skål International, presented by her father Jean who was one of the founder of the local club. Our daughter, Alice, is a young Skål International member.
I had jobs opportunities, and business contacts because of Skål International. When Alice went to the other side of the world for training, I have been in contact with the local president, and I knew if something was to wrongly happen, she wont be alone.
It is a great honour to be the Europe Area Committee President, but also a great task.
I know for that I am not alone, as my fellow council members are working in the same direction. We have one goal, making Skål International in Europe strong. We need you for that.”
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