With the successful completion of Skål International Asia’s 50th Asian Area Annual General Assembly Andrew J Wood was elected President 2021-2023 at the virtual meeting.
Prior to the election Wood, widely considerable one of the regions most visible Skålleagues, was Skål Asia’s Vice President (Southeast). A Skål member for 29 years he was first elected to the Asia board in 2005. Wood, who was due to complete his second term as President of Thailand’s oldest club – Bangkok, will pass the reins to James Thurlby, Bangkok’s new President-elect.
Skål Asia has 2529 members in 39 Clubs, 28 grouped in 5 national committees and 11 affiliated clubs, the Skål Asian Area (SAA) is the most diverse Area in the world of Skål. The Asian Area spans from Guam in the Pacific Ocean over more than 10,000 km to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean with clubs in 15 fascinating countries in-between. The Asian Area accounts for almost twenty per cent of all Skål International’s global members.
“To all my Asia Skalleagues I say that like many Presidents before me I am humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you’ve bestowed.
“I am forever mindful of the 15 countries that we serve under Skål Asia and the need to work together to build strong bonds of Friendship on solid foundations”, newly elected President Wood said.
“Skålleagues everywhere have remained faithful to the ideals of our forefathers of Happiness and Friendship. So it has been and so it must be with our new generation of Skålleagues.
“Building bridges, emphathy and compassion shall be my priority. After the pandemic, when the time is right, we need to get up, get out and throw open our arms and let the light flood into our lives once more,” said President Wood.
Wood also encouraged his members to look to the future with renewed optimism, “Our economies may be badly weakened as a consequence of closed borders. No-one can under-estimate the global damage to our industry. It has however given us a rare opportunity to press the reset button, to undo past wrongs and make them right.
He added, ”A new world of travel and tourism awaits. A new world that is hungry to travel, that is more peaceful, more sustainable and for Skål Asia certainly larger, friendlier and more hopeful.”
With no congresses in the world of Skål since the start of the pandemic 2 years ago, Wood said he is delighted that plans are already well advanced for the Skål Asian Area Congress in June 2022 when Thailand will host the sustainably inspired #RediscoverThailand Asian Area Congress which is expected to attract 300 delegates for the 4 day (3 nights) conference.
The Skål Asia President concluded by saying, “The challenges we face today for a new world that travels tomorrow, are real. They are serious and they are many. I don’t profess that it will be easy nor met quickly, but they will be met. Tomorrow has arrived.”