What a festive final evening for the close of a very successful Convention. The red carpet was out, the dry ice was lending atmosphere to everyone who entered the dining room, and every attention to detail was given to the magnificent table decorations.
President Val Harper, wearing her beautiful Maori cloak, opened the evening and introduced Irvin Walker to recognise former Presidents present at Convention: Geraldine Lightfoot, Anita Henzler, Suzanne Shiflet, Jean Turner, Irene Johnson, Hilary Brown, Mary Marshall, Margaret Sutherland and Carol Preiss.
The toast to ITC was given by Kiyoko Takagi of Japan Region and the loyal toast by Nissa Elsey of New Zealand region. As everyone was finishing their delicious three-course meal, we were surprised by a wonderful rendition of ‘Summertime’ sung by Gwenetta Brooks.
Anita Henzler compered the formal part of the evening, introducing the installing officer, Irene Johnson.
Irene took the incoming President’s love of sailing as her installation theme, suggesting that the spinach which gave Popeye his strength was a metaphor for confidence. She presented each of the incoming Board members with a personalised sailor’s cap, as well as the incoming Parliamentarian, Wyn Bowler. Admiral/President Christine Endo was appropriately endowed with a captain’s hat.
The incoming President’s acceptance speech continued with the nautical theme and likened skippering a boat to leading ITC, both requiring a lot of hard work. Christine said it takes a whole crew to sail a boat, working together to achieve goals and win a race. Her motto is ‘Leading the Way’ and she issued the invitation to us all: ‘Welcome aboard!’
Helen Wilson led the retirement of the flags, and with grace and heartfelt emotion, outgoing President Val Harper adjourned the gathering.
Everyone filed out of the room to wish the incoming Board well, listening to the beautiful melody ‘Now is the Hour’ (when we must say Goodbye.)