Ex-Tablers Denmark AGM. International president’s report.
This was my first trip of the year as 41 International president. Not my first trip to a Denmark, though. I had learnt Danish as a student, some 35 years ago and had been to Euromeeting 15 in Holbæck, 2 RT AGMs, one international AGM and one Ex-tablers AGM in Denmark before.
The 2019 AGM of Ex-Tablers Denmark took place in Roskilde in early May. Roskilde is a charming city about 45 min by train from Copenhagen Airport. It used to be the old capital of Denmark. It still has a Viking long ships shipyard and also a nice Viking long ship museum.
I arrived at the hotel early on that windy and grey Friday morning. Apparently, a little bit too early. The Danish board was meeting somewhere in town and none of the guests had arrived yet. Besides, it was too early to get a room yet. So I had a tour of the modern style hotel which was remarkably well equipped and definitely looked like a nice place to enjoy a weekend. I did not have long to wait before Thomas Elong arrived and we could share the first beer of the day together.
Soon Tangent members joined and we had a light lunch together while preparing the registration desks and folding information leaflets for the weekend. Within an hour the hotel lobby was full of people coming in and going out, queuing for their rooms and registration, or just enjoying a snack and beer at the bar. In Denmark, Tangent and Ex-Tablers have their respective AGMs together.
More international friends from 41 arrived in the afternoon and evening : Peter Harding, from South Africa, Christer Olofsson from Sweden, Simon Medley from Switzerland, Martin Hartl from Italy and Nils Henriksen and Tom Albrigsten from Norway. Also, Nina Leppakangas, Tangent International president was present. That gave us an opportunity to enjoy a RT family moment on the dance floor in the gala evening. After an afternoon spent mingling and talking with quite a few old and new friend, it was time for the get together party. It took place in a warehouse. The theme was “Festival”, which seemingly, many associate with colour orange, in Denmark. Anyway I really was under the impression that we were at a Dutch AGM. (see pictures)
The Saturday morning was in the large hotel auditorium. What struck me first was the bar and beer taps installed inside the room right at the entrance. What an association that takes care of their floor members thirst during their (very, very) long meeting.
After my first president’s speech, (That may have been a bit too long, sorry guy) I exceptionally decided to join the international delegation for a walk to the local museum. An opportunity for me to get to know them better. Besides, my Danish is not what used to be and I did not want to attend the full AGM as I had done in Herning two years ago.
At 14.30 we had to cut our lonely walking tour short and hurried back to the hotel for the banner exchange, with Martin running to his distant, isolated hotel to get his smoking and be on time for a strangely scheduled, very early exchange ceremony. It did not happen however. Due to the length of the AGM, the banner exchange was postponed to the evening gala. Too bad for us. Some of spent time in their room, others had a beer waiting for the AGM assembly to end.
In the evening, the gala was nice and the food and wine excellent, but the banner exchange ceremony was almost forgotten again. It was quickly improvised, later in the night, outside, in the cold and almost in the dark when everybody else was dancing or enjoying their conversations in the dinner room. What a disappointment. No official picture of the international delegation was taken. I had to find a small place and get the foreign visitors together myself to get a souvenir shot to bring back. Too bad really. I felt quite uncomfortable about it, especially for one of the foreign visitors, and Peter Harding, national president of South Africa, who had come a long way. RT and 41 are about honouring local and international friendship. I sincerely hope Ex-Tablers Denmark can do better than that in the future. Leaving at 10h30 the next morning, I could not have a quality moment with the new president, Per Bøje and his new board as it is tradition. I hope we can do that later, if they do wish so, in Malta, maybe.