Written by long time SWC member, Maurice, who attended both SWC Euro conventions.
We had two Europe based Conventions in the past. I went to both of them. Made friendships and memories that still last.
The first Euro Con was in Amsterdam. Arthur from the Netherlands made the arrangements. He found a great hotel with great rates for us that included breakfast. We did not have workshops so the SWC did not pay any part of our expenses. It was just to meet each other.
I had just joined the SWC but I did manage to find a roommate. Then to help each other we stayed 3 to a room and it brought our price down. I’d never met my roommates until I got to Amsterdam, but one roommate and I have been roommates at Conventions ever since.
There were not a lot of us. International travel is expensive but we had talked of this for a long time. Most of us were from the U S. One from Sweden one from Finland, Arthur from the Netherlands, one from England, and one from Israel. We had a time that has meant more and more to me.
We did not do everything together. We did try to meet at night for dinner. Also, the hotel had a lobby close to the bar, and we wrote lots of notes to each other. The hotel was so nice. They gave us paper to write notes.
It was with tears in my eyes that I said good bye to these friends when it was time to go home. Three of us shared a cab to the airport and went our way to separate airlines. My thanks will always be to Arthur who planned and arranged this wonderful experience. Visits to Museums, boat rides, visit to flower shows, even to the red light district. Wonderful food, wonderful friends. Memories to last forever.
The next Euro Con was in London. Again, Arthur made these arrangements. Jazzy helped him and went to London with him to find the hotel. Again it was a nice hotel by the tube. He got us a good price. Jazzy got sick and did not get to go back with us.
It was the same as before. No financial help from the SWC. No workshops. Again, there was no formal plans. We did our own thing but came together for dinner.
A SWC member from Greece was living in London and planned a dinner for us one night in a Greek Café. However, her work took her out of town until the night of the dinner, so we did not get to see a lot of her. This woman and Arthur were the only ones not from the US. There were not many of us, but some of the ones who went to Amsterdam plus some newbies. On a rainy day, we went to the British Museum together. We had lunch together. Again, Friendships were made, Memories were made. I’ll never forget that wonderful time, or the wonderful people I shared it with. My thanks to Arthur, and to Jazzy who made it happen.
Perhaps the best that came of my experiences of the Euro Cons, was from the friendships I made. You can always plan to stay with a SWC friend if you are in their neck of the woods. I met Ilana in South Africa. I have met so many SWC friends that were not on my home list when I travel. My home always has a bed for you if you come to Houston. The best thing about the SWC is, there is no friend like a SWC Friend. They are the best. Of course, when you visit a SWC friend, you might have to sleep on the couch or a cot. I have often heard the story of the first SWC get together in Canada. I think if I remember right, they only had one bathroom, but they had an abundance of love for each other.
I close with, “there are no friends like our SWC friends”.