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The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:11 pm
by jarkko
Now, after our successful Hydra Meet-up in June 2019, it’s time to discuss the future plans

Our next, 12th Leonard Cohen Event will be in Gent, Belgium, in August 2020. Maarten Massa is going to make an official, detailed announcement this fall but he has already nailed the dates:
• Early bird registration on Thursday 6 Aug 2020
• Event program from Friday Aug 7 to Sunday Aug 9 2020

Looking forward to seeing many of you in Gent!

And then something that needs to be thought over carefully: how to go on with our Hydra Meet-Ups.

I organized the Hydra Event in 2002 with the help of an international team, and have also answered for all eight meet-ups since 2005 (Henning, Wijbe, Sophia and Demetris have helped to solve certain issues). Lakis Christidis has been our irreplaceable helper and guide on the island for many many years.

Next year I will be 70. Three years ago I retired from my work as a chartered accountant. Now it is also time to retire from the organizing tasks of the Hydra Meet-Ups. I want to spend more time with our granddaughters, need to sort all my archives and photo etc. collections, and there is also that always growing pile of unread books that are waiting for my attention…

How to organize our next Hydra happenings? I think we have three alternatives to choose from:

a) We don’t arrange meet-ups any more but members go to Hydra whenever they want, with their friends and family, for more private holidays

b) We announce meet-up dates but don’t arrange any program at all. No reservations, no participation fees, no organizers. Cohenites could spend time together on Hydra and make their own reservations themselves (like boat trips).

c) We find new organizer who arranges meet-ups in our traditional way, in collaboration with our Hydra contacts. We would need registration and participation fees to cover the costs of our program (like Cinema Nights, Walks, boat trips).

In my opinion a) would be the worst scenario. We could select b) if new organizer(s) cannot be found. With b) we wouldn’t have our traditional Cinema nights etc. but people could meet at Roloi and spend time together. Also boat trips etc. are easy to reserve after arrival.

Personally I would choose the c-alternative but this will be up to you guys.

I can assure you that even if organizing takes time and energy, it is also very rewarding: it’s great to see that you were able to handle the project and everything goes according to your plans!

And of course I’m not going to disappear anywhere; the websites will continue as always and are to be used for announcements. I’d be happy to introduce the new organizer to our local contact persons, and familiarize him/her to the pre-event tasks. Just like we have been doing with the Events: the previous organizer always shares his/her experiences with the next one.

We have developed a certain routine to arrange all our get-togethers. Most of the work is made online, before the happening: taking reservations, collecting participation fees, answering questions, making decisions about the program.

So, do we have a volunteer to be at the head of organizers? You could then form a team of 1-3 other persons if you want.

This thread is open to your comments, thoughts and ideas. Also, if you are willing to be a candidate, please email me! Let’s discuss!

Let’s make sure our Hydra Meet-Ups continue, with a new happening every two years!


Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:11 am
by lonndubh
Jarkko and Eija thank you for all the time and energy that you put into all the events over the years and especially Hydra this year . I really enjoy them all.Sitting in Rolois and looking through the folder I was amazed at all the content. So so much work.
I feel that option C would be good if there is someone or indeed a few people to organise. Perhaps we do not need a huge programme .
Also option B would work very well as a lot of ground work has been done over the years and events could be planned from the island.
I also feel that Hydra does very well from our visit and spending and that individuals there may also want to be part of the planning .

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:17 am
by Wybe
Jarkko we are so grateful of all your effort to make all these Hydra meetups happen !

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:28 am
by jarkko
Friends, I have already great news to share with you!

Caren Gutschmidt and her husband Hans Kloss will be our new Hydra organizers. They live in Germany.

I find this to be a perfect solution. Caren and Hans have been active members in our community for many years. They know well many Cohenites and vice versa. Also professional background makes it easy for them to handle reservations, payments, and sort databases. I will of course help them to establish good relations with our Greek contacts and will help them to get things going.

This guarantees that the future meet-ups (next in 2021) will follow our traditions (alternative c in my post).

I'm very happy that we will have our Hydra happenings in good hands and am already looking forward to the next one!

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:45 am
by Caren
Dear friends,

first of all a BIG thank you to Jarkko for all the time and effort he has put into making our Hydra meet-ups as great as they were. Had it not been for him and all the hard work and many hours he put into this we would not even know many of our dear friends from the Forum.

So - Jarkko you are and always will be the best!

Hans and I are very happy to be able to help keeping a wonderful tradition alive. We will put our best efforts into organizing the future meet-ups on Hydra and are already looking forward to seeing many of you on that beautiful Greek island in 2021.

Much love
Caren (and Hans)

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:01 am
by anneporter
Dear Jarkko, Eija, Caren and Hans,

Oh that is wonderful news! Thank you thank you thank you Caren and Hans for stepping up and into Jarkko’s very efficient shoes!
And Jarkko! There are no words to express the depth of my appreciation for everything you have done: from creating the forum in the first place to opening the doors of Hydra for us all to step through and find our lives magically changed forever. You have given the gift of lifelong friendship among people- kindred spirits- who would otherwise never have found each other. And to toil for us, year after year, so graciously and generously, creating golden moments out of mundane time: true alchemy!
And Eija! Thank you for giving so deeply of your time, your heart and your artist’s eye with your photographic records and smiling presence.

Caren and Hans, please call on me if there is anything I can do to help.

Bowing deeply to the four of you,

Anne Porter

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:32 am
by bogra
Dear Jarkko and Eija! Thank you both so much for all you have done for the Hydra meet-ups!! We have enjoyed every minute of the past meetings we joined :-) We are sure we will see you back on Hydra!!
And dear Caren and Hans: we think you will be perfect successors to do this job! We have all faith in your dedication. Thanks for stepping in and lots of success!!
To all 4 of you, lots of love Aad and Gery

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:39 am
by Henning
That's great news indeed. Many thnx go to Jarkko and Eija for having organized these meetups all those years. That's been hard work for sure. Hans and Caren, we are glad that you are keeping Option C alive and I am looking forward to more wonderful days to share with friends on this outstanding island.

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:30 pm
by HugoD
Very happy to read that there will be future events in Hydra! Of course big thanks to Jarkko and Elija for all there efforts in the past (almost) 2 decades! Without them these meetings would never have evolved in the wonderful meetings as they have become.
Looking forward to 2021 already and wish Caren and Hans all the best in organizing the next event. I am sure it will be great again.

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:47 pm
by Maarten

I can only second everything that's already been said above: a huge thank you to Jarkko and Eija for all these years of commitment towards our beloved community and of course I'm wishing Caren and Hans the best of luck with the organisation of the next Hydra Meetup(s).


Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:20 am
by margaret
Thank you so much to Jarkko and Eija for all your dedication over the years in organising these events. I have very happy memories of the 3 Hydra gatherings John and I attended and the friends we met. Family circumstances have limited our attendance in more recent years.

I am so pleased to see Caren and Hans taking over the organisation and hope to revisit Hydra again one day.

Thank you again Jarkko and Eija, and good luck to Caren and Hans. I'm sure you will keep up the good work.


Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:04 pm
by Janetld
I would like to add my thanks to Jarkko and Eija for organising these wonderful events - we have been so lucky to spend time at these gatherings with such special people. The music, the sun, the boat trips, the walks, the films, the trip to the mainland - just perfect.

And thank you so much, Caren and Hans, for taking over the organisation for future events. We are truly so lucky.

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:36 am
by MargRz
Jarkko and Eija,

Though I’m a newbie to the forum and Hydra I can see what a profound impact your efforts have had on the lives of all the Cohenites. Your little internet pastime evolved into a truly Unified Heart of nationalities, languages and cultures. I, for one, feel privileged to be a part of it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making it possible. LC would be proud.

Caren and Hans - thank you for carrying the “thin green candle”. I look forward to meeting you and wish you the best of luck.


Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:02 am
by Andrew (Darby)
Jarkko and Eija, thank you so much for your splendid efforts over the many years to keep our meet-ups happening... you always could/can be relied on. 8)

Thank you to Caren and Hans for taking over this challenging role... I wish you well with this responsibility.

Andrew D. :)

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:36 pm
by commonbabbler
Anyone in hydra on Tuesday or Wednesday this week and wanting to meet? (July 16th or 17th)