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IFALPA Dublin Conference 2013

Annual Dinner at the Officer’s Mess, Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel

April 14, 2013

A truly wonderful weekend of events was had by all who attended the 68th Annual IFALPA Conference at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin, Ireland. Alpha Omega participation was greater than anyone could remember for at least the past 30 years with 34 members attending.

The Conference officially ran from April 12th to the 15th but in actuality many participants participated in the Global Pilot’s Symposium on the 11th and then enjoyed the cocktail reception that evening at the hotel.  Don Wycoff opened the Conference on the 12th with a warm welcome and news of the completed headquarters move to Montreal.  The rest of the first day for participants involved the usual reports from the Executive and Regional Vice Presidents along with some interesting presentations from Tony Tyler, Chief Executive Officer, International Air Transport Association and Ambassador Duane Woerth, U.S. Representative on the Council of ICAO. That afternoon committee meetings were held to approve various papers written over the past year.

For those not too inclined to the presentations there were interesting sightseeing trips arranged by the Irish organizing team which included Malahide castle and another to the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough.  These were very well attended by A-O members as well and were offered on both Friday and Monday.  There was a hospitality suite that night at the Burlington Hotel nightclub.

On Saturday the 13th the Conference members were invited to attend a Safety Seminar in the morning.  The afternoon session consisted of Regional Meetings. Those regions were: Africa and the Middle East; Asia and Pacific; Caribbean and South America; Europe; North America.

Of important significance to A-O members was the meeting that day of designated A-O representatives with IFALPA president, Don Wycoff.  Ted Murphy has previously sent out the summary of notes from the meeting where Don considered A-O members the “IFALPA Hall of Fame”.  The results from this meeting were very encouraging and should enhance the status and role of A-O in the future.

Saturday evening was the Awards Dinner held at the Burlington Hotel.  It started with a pre-dinner reception in the concourse and dinner in Fitzimmons Hall.  Both the food and service for the dinner were superb. The setting was truly Irish with special token gifts for everyone at each table.  The entertainment consisted of wonderful Irish music sung during the dinner followed by a rousing performance of Irish Dance which culminated in a rendition of the well know “Riverdance”.

During the dinner Don Wycoff presented the annual Scroll of Merit awards and Sayen award.  As you know these awardees also become members of the A-O club.  This year’s awardees were:

  • Clarence Sayen Award – Capt. Carlos Limon
  • Scroll of Merit
    • Capt. Georg Fongern
    • Capt. Peder Tanderup
    • Capt. Rick Brennan
    • Capt. Karel Mundel

In addition a Presidential Citation was given to Capt. John Goss who, a long term Ryanair pilot who has personally done front line work in the on-going battle for effective representation in Ryanair.  Presidential Citation awardees are not automatic inductees into A-O, but Capt. Goss was an invited guest at the A-O dinner on Sunday.

All in All it was a great evening for all who were there.

On Sunday the events started at noon with a “Day at the Races” at famous Leopardstown Racetrack just outside of Dublin.  The IFALPA memberships as well as A-O members were hosted in the club restaurant for a very nice sit down lunch as the races tool place directly in front of them. Although there seemed to be no end to the wisdom of how to bet on which horse, the Irish economy did quite well based on what happened to the betters at our table.

The A-O members had to make the early bus back to the hotel that afternoon to get ready for the A-O dinner that evening at the Officer’s Mess, Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel.  The buses left promptly at 7pm with everyone signing the security form for admission to the Irish Army Air Corps base.  Some members joined by car separately.

As the bus arrived and passengers departed they were ceremoniously escorted into the mess by a traditional Irish bagpiper.  The Officer’s mess was truly a historic and beautifully maintained facility with drinks being served over the famous “Bremen Bar”.  This bar was named for the airplane “Bremen” which made the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic Westbound from this very airfield.

After the pre-dinner drinks everyone sat down for a wonderful dinner hosted by Brig. General Frye and organized by Lt. Mullarkey of the Irish Air Corps. Capt. Eli Bahat then inducted the new members into the A-O club presenting them with their own prestigious A-O ties.  Of course each had to provide a suitable humorous story to be recognized officially and these stories were indeed very well done.

We were also honored to have in attendance Maeve White the wife of the late George White who was the recipient of the Clarence N Sayen Award in 1971.  Steve Last made a special presentation to her.

On behalf of all A-O members we would also like to thank Peter Jenkinson and Group Schemes for their kind sponsorship to the cost of the annual dinner.

This officially wrapped up the 68th IFALPA Conference as one of the most successful and best attended by the A-O members.  Next year in Panama City we hope to see another good showing from our group.  Information will be sent as soon as we have it.  The tentative dates are March 28-31, 2014.

Many thanks to the members of the Irish ALPA team for the conference success and also to Bob Tweedy, Ted Murphy and the “Irish Clan” who took such good care of us during our stay in Ireland. Bob Gallagher was unable to be at the dinner but we would like to especially thank him for his work and monetary contributions to the event.

The success of this year’s A-O events was also the result of the outstanding support from Don Wycoff and his staff at IFALPA H.Q.

Finally a very warm thank you to Eli Bahat who coordinated the A-O events for this year and the many past years as he steps back from his coordinating position.  It has been said that without his efforts the A-O club might not have still functioned.  His efforts will be greatly missed but he assured us he will be coming back with many new (and old) jokes.  Thank you, Eli.

The following is a list of A-O members who attended the dinner and Conference.   

Eli Bahat,  Claude Bechet,  Rick Brennan,  Tali Calderon,  Fanie Coetzee,  Christian Denke,  Dennis & Maritza Dolan,  Skip & Kathy Eglet,  Ian & Faith Flaherty,  Georg & Ursula Fogern,  Heinz & Karin Fruhwirth,  Paul & Gillian Fry,  John & Marion Goss,  Brian Greeves,  Boaz & Tali Calderon Hativa,  Jon Hutchinson,  Peter & Mary Jenkinson,  Neil & Grainne Johnston,  Russell & Rosaleen Kane,  Tom & Susan Kraemer,  Steve Last,  Denis and Gillian Leonard,  Carlos & Bernis Limon,  Joe May,  Paul & Nancy McCarthy,  David & Anne Moore,  Frank Mueller-Nalbach,  Ted & Pauline Murphy,  Dennis & Boki Olden,  Jo & Else Puff,  Paul & Maxine Rice,  Frank & Maureen Santoni,  Hans Peder & Inge-Lise Tanderup,  Bob & Anne Tweedy,  Aart Van Wijk,  Maeve White,  Don & Susan Wycoff.

Also at the dinner were Don and Susan Wycoff, IFALPA President; John and Marion Goss, Presidential Citation Winner; Brig Gen and Mrs. Frye.

Regrets were sent in from: Rob McInnis, Bruce Kivi, Tony VanHeerden, Ron Stacey, Stu Julian, Harry Gallagher, Claude Russ, Bruno D'Alba, Tsutomu (Ben) Ishiyama, Bud Leppard, Frances Truchetet, Feroze Khan, Knut Andfinsen, Ike Jones, Barry Pate, Derry Pearce, Zvi Rosenberg, Peter Schmidtleitner, Laurie Taylor, Gary Wagner.

Submitted by: Frank Santoni

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