Third Friends of Hungary Conference
Friends of Hungary Foundation held its third worldwide meeting on 6-8 May 2016
The third Friends of Hungary Conference ended with huge success. The Conference was supported by the 1956 Memorial Committee, and was held in the context of the “Year of the Hungarian Freedom” program series, with the participation of more than 120 members of the Friends of Hungary Community.
On the first day of the meeting, President János Áder and his wife, Anita Herczegh, received guests of the Friends of Hungary Foundation at the Sándor Palace, their official residence. At the meeting, the President emphasized that Friends of Hungary have the mission of voluntarily helping Hungary in promoting its history, cultural heritage, values and achievements. The successes and achievements of those present gave credit to their words.
After the reception, Friends of Hungary started their commemoration of the 1956 Revolution – László Kövér, Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary, greeted the participants. Guest of the event was Marek Kuchciński, President of the Sejm. The president of the lower house of the Polish parliament has been a committed supporter of good relations between the two countries and their shared representation of interests. As an acknowledgement of his activity, Mr. Kuchciński was declared a honorary member of the Friends of Hungary Community.
After the ceremony, the Friends of Hungary Community held panel discussions its members can help achieve the aims of the Foundation. Participants had the opportunity to share their views about the activity of the Foundation and their plans to take part in this work in three topics.
On the second day of the Conference, following a bus trip on Saturday morning, our guests had lunch in Gundel Restaurant. Afterwards, the gala ceremony of the Conference began at Várkert Bazár. At first, the oral history book written by members of the Friends of Hungary Community, entitled “My Revolution. Recollections of 1956” was launched by Gábor Borókai and Mátyás Sárközi. Mária Schmidt, Ministerial Commissioner for the coordination of the Memorial year of 1956, delivered a speech following the introduction of the book. The performance of pianist Csilla Szentpéteri and her fellow artists was so successful that the production has been invited to the commemorations of many Hungarian organizations abroad. Similarly to previous years, the main speaker of the Conference was Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and likewise, members of the Community had the possibility to ask questions following his address.
On the third day of the Conference, our guests had the chance to visit the House of Terror Museum.
As a new addition to the program schedule, both Her Excellency Colleen Bell and His Excellency Iain Lindsay received the Members of the Friends of Hungary Community arriving from the United States and from the United Kingdom.