Association International DES SKÅL CLUBS
Shortly after the inauguration of the first joint Swedish and French air service between Stockholm and Paris in 1932, a group of travel men from the French capital were invited to make an exploratory flight over the new route. The welcome they received in Stockholm led to many pleasant friendships.
Realizing the importance of closer relationships among those who strive to develop and promote both national and international travel, the men who made the flight to Stockholm were determined to found a permanent organization whose primary aim would be the creation of goodwill and friendship in travel and transportation circles throughout the world.
The Paris Skål Club was formed on December 16, 1932, with Rene Genestie as President. In 1934, twelve other clubs had been formed and Florimond Volckaert conceived the idea of uniting them into an international organization. The Association International des Skål Clubs (A.I.S.C.) was created on April 28, 1934, and Volckaert became its founding President.
On April 1, 1938, the Skål Club of North America (Skål Club of New York, No. 28) was founded. As the first Skål Club established in North America, the New York Club assisted and guided in the formation of other Skål Clubs on this continent.
“The North American Chapter Committee” in which all Skål Clubs in North America were represented, was formed on March 31, 1949, and was followed by the “North American Skål Council” on August 9, 1950, and that organization was superseded by the “National Skål Committee of the U.S.A”, now called “Skål International U.S.A.” (SIUSA). There were also National Committees formed in Canada and Mexico.
Coincident with the formation of the three separate National Committees, its “North American Skål Council”was continued to help in all matters of joint and common interest between Canada, Mexico and the USA, as well as offering membership to Skål Clubs affiliated with the Area Committee under new name of “North American Area Skål Committee.” In 2007, it was decided being part of an Area Committee was no longer necessary and the name was changed to the “North American Alliance of Skål Clubs.”
From that modest beginning, Skål now has more than 25,000 members in over 500 Clubs spread throughout 80 countries. On October 22, 1966, the Skål Club of Columbus was founded.
Experts differ as to the origin of the word “Skål” (pronounced Skoal) which occurs in the Swedish language. It is the basis for the universal Skål. A toast.
“To fellow Skålleagues everywhere,
Happiness! Good Health! Friendship! Long Life! Skål!”