From 25 – 29 September 2012 around 130 participants from 13 countries of sub-region Western Europe and beyond gathered at Cork, Ireland in hotel Montenotte.
The Gathering has to be part retreat, part holiday, and part business meeting - over the years it’s developed an effective ‘formula’ for meeting all these needs.
Some words of welcome by Eileen O’Connell, the National President of the Irish Fellowship, as well as from regional and country commissioners of Scouting and Guiding in Ireland and from the Chairman of ISGF World Committee. The opening ceremony with small table flags of the participating countries took place after the welcome speeches.
Various Fellowships showed some typical crafts from their country and participants could also have their hands on these special crafts if they were interested.
An official from Lifetime Lab, the old Cork Waterworks, explained the various methods to save our precious water. A visit was brought to these waterworks premises the next day.
Excursions were organized to BlarneyCastle where those who wanted to kiss the Blarney stone were invited to do so. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). An excursion was made to Cobh, called Queenstown until 1920, where the Titanic had her last port of call on her maiden voyage in 1912 before she wrecked and sank after colliding with an iceberg some days after. We also visited the estate of Fota, famous for its magnificent heritage house, beautiful formal gardens and world renowned arboretum. Also Cork itself was visited including salmon tasting.
Ceili dancing, a popular form of folk dancing in Ireland was taught and later in the evening it was showed to the audience.
The theme of the Gathering was Share and Care and a guest speaker from SHARE (Students Harness Aid for the Relief of the Elderly) of Cork had been invited.
A series of small ‘reporting-in’ from National Scout and Guide Fellowships about their projects to the community followed,
During an artificial campfire, as it was too cold outside, we sang and showed various funny acts from participants.
At the closing ceremony the lord Mayor of Cork addressed us as well as some officials from Scouting and Guiding.
The Irish host committee could close their book and the 26th sub-regional Western Europe Gathering will be organized in Belgium in 2015.
Click here for the photo gallery