The History of Skal

Founder members – Pan American Airways; American Express; Holland Africa; Mitchell Coutts; KLM; Ellerman and Bucknell; African Car Hire; African Tourist; Thomas Cook; SABENA; Wilson Collins; Sturrocks; Parry Leon; Union Castle; South African Railways; Automobile Association; Farrell Line. The formation of Skal Club was unanimously approved.

Elections to Committee –   Mr Paterson Chairman; Mr Sturrock Vice Chairman; Mr Agnew Secretary; Mr Wislade Treasurer

It was unanimously decided that the fees would be:-  Entrance Fee of 3 guineas and an Annual Fee of 2 guineas.

Additional founder members were approved: – Hotel General Managers from the Mount Nelson, The Queens and The Metropole. The Arthur’s Seat, The Esplanade, The Clifton Hotel, The Majestic and the St. James. And also from the Blue Star Line, Shaw Savill, the Natal Line, Coast Lines, Transatlantic, Peltours, SA Travel, Satour, RAC, BOAC and The Cape Peninsula Publicity Bureau

Sir Mile Thomas, Chairman of BOAC was to be the first guest speaker at the general meeting and lunch on 27th January

The Club was officially founded as Skal International, Cape Town, Club 109. The Constitution and Rules were approved.

The Club letterhead was designed as representing the outline of Table Mountain.

 The Post Office Box and the bank account opened at Barclays Bank. Lunches were decided as the first Tuesday of each month.Members must assemble at 12h30pm and the function must terminate at 2pm, precisely.

The Inaugural Function was discussed. It was felt that, whilst an evening social occasion would be pleasant, the apathy of Cape Town to such functions was well known and it was considered very doubtful that an evening function could be organised properly. It was decided that the Inaugural Function should be in the form of a luncheon to be held at the Grand Hotel on Tuesday 3rd March1953.

The Secretary was asked to send a letter to the members concerning the poor attendance at the last lunch. Members should also be asked their opinion on future Skal social events such as cricket, tennis, golf or bowls for the day or on dances, smoking concerts or travel films for evening functions

The first letterhead was used.

It was resolved to make a charitable donation of One Guinea per month to the Service Dining Rooms.

On the Inaugural Lunch, although all agreed that although the arrangements and service were very good, the quantity of the food left much to be desired and were not up to the standard Club members had a right to expect. It was agreed that the Treasurer should interview the General Manager of the Grand Hotel on the matter

A letter has been received from AISC, accepting the Cape Town Club as No. 109 under the foundation date of 27 January 1953.

It was decided that as the June lunch would be taking place during Coronation Week, the guest speaker would be the Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic.

It was discussed with management of Grand Hotel that the luncheon price be reduced to 5/6d inclusive of tips.

It was agreed that the Secretary should be paid £1:10/= per month for payment as a typist for Skal work.

The Treasurer reported that the bank balance reflected £166:8:11d and he was authorized to open an Investment Account in the Cape of Good Hope Savings Bank.

The GM of Arthur’s Seat Hotel offered to host the Christmas lunch. For the January lunch, Lord Jowitt, President of the British Travel & Holidays Association and Lord Chancellor in the last Labour Government would be the guest speaker.

It was decided to continue the one guinea per month donation to the Service Dining Rooms.

A donation of five guineas was made to the Greek earthquake disaster fund.

On a question from the floor whether consideration be given to have lady members on the committee. The Chairman replied that it was not a committee matter it was for the members to decide.

Today Skål Cape Town has 148 members and has had a very successful history where members from all sectors of the Tourism Industry are able to network and in many cases experience the benefits Skål has to offer.

A Trip To Sweden

Shortly after the inauguration of the first joint Swedish and French air service between Stockholm and Paris in 1932, a group of travel people from the French capital were invited to make an exploratory flight over the new route. The welcome they received in Stockholm led to many pleasant friendships. Realizing the importance of closer relationships among those who strive to develop and promote both national and international travel, the men who made the flight to Stockholm determined to found a permanent organisation whose primary aim would be the creation of goodwill and friendship in travel and transportation circles throughout the world.

Founding Committee: Jules Mohr, Florimond Volckaert, Hugo Krafft, Pierre Soulié, George Ithier

The Paris Skål Club was formed on 16 December 1932, with Rene Genestie as President. On 27 April 1934 twelve other Clubs from five countries had been formed and Florimond Volckaert conceived the idea of uniting them into an international organisation. The “Association Internationale des Skål Clubs (A.I.S.C.)” was created on 28 April 1934 in the Hotel Scribe and Volckaert became its Founder President.

On 27 April 1934 a cocktel was held in the “Cintra Bar”, which served to “warm up” the atmosphere, after which dinner was had at the Pennsylvania Hotel. This meal will always be remember has a “marvellous culinary experience, with cascades of speeches”. Afterwards there was a reception at “Scherezade” for a glass of champagne and they were able to appreciate good music for hours.

On 28 April 1934 the working sessions were held and it is for this reason that it is considered as the founding date. The Agenda for the meeting was as follows:

  1. Study of the Statutes
  2. Nomination of the A.I.S.C Committee
  3. Organisation of the General Secretariat
  4. Organisation of the Treasury
  5. Report by the Secretary for the Skål Bulletin
  6. Responsibilities of the delegates on the Committee
  7. 1934 Action programme
  8. Next meeting – date and place
  9. Any other matters

The meeting opened at 10.15 and twenty-one official delegates were present representing eleven Clubs and two observers from London. The recently formed Copenhagen Club was absent but agreed to the decisions that would be taken.

The delegates represented Antwerpen, Bruxelles, Budapest, Lucerne, Montreux, Marseille and Provence, Netherlands, Paris, Stockholm, Wallonia, London.

At the beginning of the meeting and as it was an “amicable” it was decided that voting would be by a show of hands and each delegation would have one vote. Florimond Volckaert read the articles which were discussed and approved. During the elections all the candidates were unanimously approved except Axel Ekstam and Honore who received nine votes each.

Camille Mathez, who was elected unanimously, gave his post to Axel Ekstam so that Sweden would be represented. All countries were represented on the committee and they were elected for one year with the possibility of re-election.