President’s Message – April 2018
In the last week of March, prior to our Annual Conference and AGM, we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of Přemysl Hytych from the Czech Republic. Little did we know that less than a week out from our Opening Night, there would be issues at Hong Kong Airport which related to his onward travel from New Zealand to Australia (he had forgotten to have those details with him!).
This information was provided and an Australian Visa obtained, but his access to New Zealand was blocked again the following day (even though the Czech Republic is a Visa Waiver country for New Zealand). We were advised by the Immigration Department that he should apply for a Business Visitor Visa, this was completed and we had hoped for rapid processing, but we still have yet to hear the outcome.
By Monday lunchtime, with no Přemysl on the horizon we had to formulate a Plan B. Our Stage Manager Fay Edgecombe and her six stage assistants were called to a meeting and although we always hoped that Přemysl would be with us, the show had to go on, even if he was not there. Francine Thomas and Jenny Harris willingly offered to help and Annette Waller and Shirley Russ stepped up from being Stage Assistants to designers. We utilised Přemysl’s concepts; we wanted to incorporate the spirit of his design style, but the contents of his box from CZ were not liberated from customs until 9.30 am on the morning of the Opening Night.
We had the staging, the flowers and the sundries that he had requested, so a massive Imposé was embarked upon. The audience were very appreciative of this CZ design style with an NZ spin and were so impressed with the talents of our designers. I can only thank the whole team, from the bottom of my heart, for creating a spectacular floral theatre on Wednesday and then, with less than 24hours to prepare it, a fabulous Trends and Techniques presentation on Thursday.
So….. to the team that made it happen: Fay, Francine, Annette, Jenny and Shirley, big hugs from me. The stage crew of Pauline, Jill, Me Ja and Sue; you all worked so hard to support the designers, thank you so much, too. Leigh Greenstreet led a team of nine models who enhanced the show with their poise and elegance, ‘Bravo’! Thank you for your time and commitment.
The Auckland Conference Committee pulled out all the stops to ensure smooth running of the whole event and those who fed and watered the stage team must feel very proud – because they did us proud!
Now on to the planning for next year’s event.