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The International Inner Wheel (IIW) President 2018-2019, Chris Kirby, accepted the invitation of Inner Wheel Switzerland-Liechtenstein, District 199. Chris informed us that she would be visiting from October 9th to 13th, 2018.
After a detailed plan was developed and arrangements made, a small reception committee was waiting for the IIW President at the Geneva Train station on October 9 th , at 3:30pm. Chris was accompanied all along the lake of Geneva to the Valais, and could enjoy wonderful sunshine and summerlike temperatures. Waiting for her there were other members of the District 199 Board.
After a pleasant evening with interesting and informative discussions, Chris Kirby and Angelika Walde, our National Representative, left early to travel to Bern, the capital of Switzerland. They were met by the District Chairman and Claudia Vonlanthen, member of the IW Club Bern, that expected us at lunchtime. Surprisingly. the whole meeting was carried out in English though it is a German speaking club.
After a short rest in the afternoon, Chris and Angelika left for Fribourg, located in the French speaking part of Switzerland. Here a guided visit of the very interesting cathedral was provided as well as another interesting visit of an IW Club. There was even the opportunity to participate in the introduction a new young member to the club, as well as a birthday party for a 103 year old IW member.
By visiting two very different clubs in two different linguistic regions, our IW President was able to appreciate how clubs and their members changed naturally from one language to the another.
The third day of the President’s visit started with a cloudy sky and the planned lift-ride up the mountain quickly to be transformed in a peaceful excursion, accompanied by our National Representative and our Governor, to the Bernese Oberland. Unfortunately the tops of the famous mountains Eiger and Mönch were hidden by clouds but the Jungfrau could be seen more clearly. In the afternoon, the weather cleared up and the sun came out again. So our excursion in the wonderful Swiss Alpine region was a success. The evening ended with a nice meal experience in a private home.
The last day started with bright sunny weather and began with a short sightseeing tour through the old town centre of Bern. Lunch took place with several representatives of Swiss IW clubs and three alphorn players. This was the official end of the visit of our IIW President. After Angelika and Chris drove the IIW President to Geneva Airport in time for a her flight back to Australia the next morning.
We appreciated this visit very much and, with Chris Kirby, we experienced the proverbially warm-hearted and open-minded Inner Wheel friendship: “A precious contribution to international communication”