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President's Report Unione Ticinese

Unione Ticinese AGM & Risotto Dinner

Unione Ticinese President's Report

 Dear members,

I am coming to the end of my two years as a caretaker President and I would like to thank our Honorary President, Ambassador Alexandre Fasel, for his continued support, his presence and interest in our activities, his availability and for making it easy for us to use the Embassy rooms for events. Thank you to our new Consul, Simona Regazzoni, and all the staff at the Embassy, who are always lavish with their time to help us.  I would like, above all, to thank all the members of the committee, who have been at my side to understand the workings of our Unione and who have always been ready with their time, advice and understanding.  Finally, it is all you members I thank for keeping our Unione alive.  During this last year we have managed to keep our membership at the same number; some people have left us and some new ones have joined.  Of course, if you know of Ticinesi in London or in the UK, tell them of our existence.

I am very pleased to have been able to preside over our 145th anniversary, celebrated on the 9th of February this year, with almost eighty members and friends.  It was a memorable evening that we will look back to with great pleasure.  It is a milestone that not many other groups can achieve.  I have reported on it in my last Newsletter so I will not repeat myself.

We are now already looking at how we will want to celebrate our 150th anniversary.  We will have to do it in such a way as to honour the founder members and all those who have managed to make certain the association would continue; it will have to be something for us all to build on and show the world how a little community has managed, not only to survive, but also to continue old traditions, introduce new ways and keep friendships going.  This is an achievement we must never forget.

Last year we did not have the usual outings, probably since we were so busy planning ahead for February and we had to cancel San Nicolao because of insufficient bookings.  However, the coming year is already looking quite interesting.

We are going to hold our AGM on the 27th of April, and we hope to see many of you on that occasion; come along with lots of ideas as to what you would like us to organize in the future.  For those that can stay afterwards, we will have dinner, starting with a glass of wine, followed by what we now think is a must, Christiane’s famous and inimitable risotto and a chance to purchase some Ticinese wine to accompany it.  As you know, this is normally a nice, friendly occasion, when we can see old friends and catch up with their news, and also when we can meet new members, get to know them and find out what they expect from our association and how they could help.

On this occasion, I hope you will put yourself forward to come and serve on the Committee.  We need more people, not only so we can share out tasks more evenly but also add new activities.  Please let our secretary Peter Barber ( if you intend to do so.

On Sunday the 9th of June, there will be an outing to Waddesdon Manor in the Chilterns.  It was built for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the 1870s to display his collection; we will be guided by our secretary, historian and friend, Peter Barber.  At the end of the visit, we will enjoy a cup of tea and patisserie in the Manor.   Details to follow.

On 27 and 28 July the London Canal Museum will celebrate Carlo Gatti’s life and story.  This is not a Unione Ticineseevent but Peter Barber has been providing historic background.  Info at

On the 19th of September Peter Barber will give us a talk on the history of the Unione Ticinese, following in the footsteps of the presentation he has given to the Anglo-Swiss club in Locarno this April.

Of course, we will hold our Castagnata on the 19th of October, as usual at the Embassy.  Times and details will be sent nearer the time.

I welcome Emilie Martinoni Hogenboom, our Vice President, who has agreed to take over as President at the AGM, subject to your approval.  She has three young children and is a full-time anaesthetist at the UCL hospital.  She is highly capable and will bring lots of energy and drive to our Unione. 

Finally, my thanks to you, members of the committee, members and supporters.  You made me feel that what we do in the Unione Ticinese is good and worthwhile.  I needed that encouragement and I am very grateful.

Rita Day-Giollo