HOC Chair Carsten Dencker Nielsen rolls out the welcome mat for the 2006 convention.

By Carsten Dencker Nielsen, 2006 HOC Chair
Special to The Rotarian

February 2006
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The Bella Center is the Nordic region's largest meeting facility. Photo courtsey Bella Center
A tranquil morning on the water in Sweden. Photo courtesy Malmö Turism  
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It is a great privilege for me as chair of the Host Organization Committee (HOC) to invite all Rotarians to Malmö and Copenhagen for Rotary International's 97th annual convention, which will take place 11-14 June. I promise a fantastic experience for all.

The week leading up to the convention will be a busy one with the Rotaract and Youth Exchange Officers meetings in Malmö, and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards training and group discussions taking place in Helsingborg, just north of Malmö.

Before and after the convention, visiting Rotarians will have the opportunity to stay in the homes of Rotarians in Northern Europe through the HOC's homestay program. Others may want to take part in the Convention World Cup Golf 2006 from 8-9 June at the Barsebäck Golf & Country Club near Malmö. The greens are beautiful but also provide major challenges, as I know from my own painful experience.

On 10 June, sailing enthusiasts will want to attend the Convention Match Race 2006, which will take place in the picturesque þresund sound separating Malmö and Copenhagen. Professional skippers will be onboard, so Rotarians don't have to have sailing experience to participate.

The afternoon and evening of 10 June, I hope all convention goers will gather at Copenhagen's Tivoli for good food, entertainment, and fellowship. Founded in 1843, Tivoli features a beautiful park, first-class restaurants, international entertainment, and thrilling amusement rides.

On 8-10 and 12 June, Rotarians are invited to the Nobel Dinners, dining in Malmö's regal City Hall and using the same menu and tableware that is used at Stockholm's Nobel Banquet.

On 12 June, Rotarians from Sweden and Denmark will share an evening at their homes or at restaurants with visiting Rotarians during Host Hospitality Night. The next day in Malmö, an indoor audiovisual show will tell Rotarians about Sweden's geography, big-name businesses, festivals, and music, all while the audience samples local delicacies.

The House of Friendship will be the heart of the actual convention, which will take place at Copenhagen's Bella Center. Complete with a maypole, the House of Friendship will be a marvelous place to learn about Swedish and Danish culture, history, and business. Here Rotarians will be able to meet up with their friends from all over the world, and the HOC will facilitate luncheons where Rotarians at tables of 8 to 10 can exchange business cards and enjoy fellowship. Rotarians will also learn about the Vikings and personally experience what a friendly lot they are.

Let me end by telling you that my own best memories of the last three conventions have been of the fantastic opportunity to enjoy friendship and fellowship with many new Rotarian acquaintances. I am convinced that Malmö and Copenhagen will present a relaxed, secure, and stimulating atmosphere for Rotarians from all over the world to create their own rewarding memories in 2006.

Read more in the February 2006 issue of The Rotarian.

This article originally appeared in the February 2006 issue of The Rotarian.


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