Visit to Italy to attend 6th National Conference in Milan
10-12th May 2016
The National Council of Italy had the privilege to welcome the IIW President Charlotte De Vos who made an official visit to Italy to attend the 6th National Conference on May 10-12 in Milan.
On arrival at Malpensa Airport the IIW President was received by a delegation formed by the National Representative Ebe Martines, who presented her with a bouquet of roses, the Deputy NR Gemma Pirondini and Past Vice-Chairman of D204, Giselda Maffioli, who took them by car to Hotel Michelangelo, where the National Council President Lella Bottigelli was waiting to greet her.
The day after, on May 11th, the IIW President met a great number of District Chairmen, Past District Chairmen, Past National Council Presidents, Past Board Directors, Past National Representatives as well as IW Voting Delegates and members representing almost all Italian Clubs .
The Meeting Hall was crammed full of about 200 participants who feIt highly honoured to be in the presence of Charlotte De Vos, the head of more than 100.000 members belonging to 104 countries all over the world.
The Belgian, Italian, European anthems and the Song “Standing together IW” were played before the official opening of the 6th Italian National Conference by the President of the National Council.
National Council President Lella Bottigelli extended her warmest greetings and grateful thanks to the audience and in particular she declared to be proud and pleased with the presence of Charlotte De Vos attending the 6th National Conference. Then she asked the audience for a minute’s silence in honour of the passing of Past Board Member Lilla Elmo.
After being introduced by National Representative Ebe Martines, President Charlotte addressed a speech in which, after citing her motto “Unique&United”, she highlighted that it was not always easy to work together, because “everywhere, in family, in business in Inner Wheel, there is someone who will not cooperate and who is acting against”. But women succeed in making compromises. The second part of her message regarded the importance of communication and all the IW communication tools. Then she told a story to explain how a Rotarian lady in Bulgaria had decided to found an Inner Wheel club. Her motivation was “that an organization of women is different of the man world of Rotary”.
After the reports of the National Council President and Treasurer, the proposals to change the National Rules were voted on by using an electronic system which was highly appreciated by Charlotte De Vos because it was rapid , simple and precise.
In the evening the Gala Dinner was “in real Italian style” in Palazzo Parigi. The names of the tables were the names of the butterflies that used to be admired in the Butterfly Pavillion which existed in Charlotte’s town, Knokke- Heist.
The IIW President addressed a short speech.
It was her third time in Italy and her participation in the National Conference had given her the possibility to know how the country was going.
She ended by saying:“If you want to go fast, go alone,If you want to go far, go together, Unique&United!”
Next day Charlotte was accompanied to visit Sicis Jewels and Sicis O’Clock, a boutique located in the heart of Milan’s sophisticated Fashion District, exclusively devoted to fine jewellery and timepieces made of gold, diamonds and precious stones, as well as micro and nano-mosaic. After some shopping in Via della Spiga and Via Montenapoleone, at lunchtime she could enjoy a fashion show at Miroglio House.
Later in the afternoon, a visit to the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana concluded the entertainment program. Inside the Pinacoteca we admired some of the greatest masterpieces such as the Musician by Leonardo, the Basket of fruit by Caravaggio, the cartoon for the School of Athens by Raffaello and the magnificent vases of flowers by Flemish artist Jan Brueghel. In the evening Charlotte was accompanied by Deputy NR Gemma to Malpensa Airport to take her flight back to Belgium. Thank you Charlotte!