Relating all the highlights that this major event in Zurich held in store would go beyond the scope of this article. Here are just a few examples:
While the three Districts were holding separate meetings, governors were being discharged and welcomed, and a considerable number of Paul Harris Fellows were being named, the people accompanying the Rotarians were exploring the city. There were six different guided tours to choose from – including “Love Stories – Passion, Love and Happy Endings”.
The first communal highlight of the three participating Districts was a concert at Zurich’s Tonhalle. With a fantastic Lionel Bringuier wielding the baton, the orchestra performed works by Dvorak and Verdi, which succeeded in giving guests goosebumps. As it turned out, this was to happen on a number of occasions over the weekend.
A Sensation in the Flesh
Guests had scarcely finished being pampered with a gala dinner – with musical accompaniment provided by the “Four for the Blues” – when it was time for a world premiere. A film specially produced for the IDC portrayed in an impressive way the fate of Lungiswa Nzube. Suddenly, the young woman from South Africa who had just been seen on the big screen was standing there in person on the stage – much to the surprise and amazement of everyone present.
The emotional rollercoaster continued with a grand auction. In the run-up to the IDC Conference, six artists – some of them Rotarians themselves – had created works underscoring one of Rotary’s areas of focus. These and other precious items came under the expert gavel of Dr. Bertold Müller, Managing Director of Christie’s. The proceeds from both auctions went to the Rotary Foundation.
Two Impressive Checks
The Rotary Foundation, whose centenary had been chosen as the occasion on which to hold the IDC, was also generously supported the following day. “One Million Swiss Francs” was written in large letters on the check presented to Foundation Chairperson, Kalyan Banerjee. In addition, Christine Beerli, Vice President of the ICRC, was delighted to receive the same staggering amount. This valuable piece of paper was handed over by Dr. Christian Bay (President of the Rotary Foundation, mine-ex) and Governors Heinz Eberhard and Franz-Xaver Stadler.
Making a Mark!
After the Stadtmusik Zürich had played their last note and Markus Kägi (President of the Zurich Cantonal Government) and Judith Lauber (Chairperson of the Council of Governors CH/FL) had finished delivering their friendly words of welcome, the attention turned once again to the Rotary Foundation: six Rotary aid projects from the three Districts were presented to the attendees.
Many Happy Ends
The guided city tour, movie protagonist Lungiswa and the IDC itself all had one thing in common – a happy end. After years of preparation and intensive planning, the head of the Organization Committee, Hans-Peter Hulliger, could quite justifiably be very proud of what he and his team had achieved. Bravo!
Text (German): Verena Maria Amersbach
Photos: André Springer