On Tuesday, April 15, 2003, Mr. Joop Ave, Indonesia's former Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications - hosted a special dinner to honor the Life Members of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) attending the 52nd annual conference of that association held in Bali April 13-17, 2003.
Mr. Ave, who is also a former Chairman of PATA, hosted a dinner for 75 of PATA's leading members at the Garuda Wisnu Cultural Park (GWK).
A Evening to Remember
Celebrated under a near full moon, guests were welcomed by a traditional Kokokan musical group and long lines of Balinese youth in traditional dress. Pre-dinner cocktails served at GWK's Memedi Restaurant provided the guests with a panoramic view to both the east and west coasts of the island.
The Cloth of Honor
Prior to a lavish 13-course dinner featuring culinary selections from across Indonesia, the life members of PATA received a special Indonesian recognition. The life members - those recognized by PATA for their life-long contribution to travel and tourism, were called to the stage and presented with traditional ulos woven textiles from Sumatra, signifying the VIP's symbolic adoption by the people of Indonesia. Pictures of the life members wearing their ulos cloths of friendship can be viewed in the link contained at the conclusion of this article.
Nasi Tumpeng Ceremony
Later, Indonesia's Minister of Tourism and Culture, I Gede Ardika, officiated over the ceremonial cutting of an Indonesian tumpeng. The tumpeng is a cone of fragrant rice surrounded by food that is "cut" and shared with guests signifying the Indonesian desire to always seek God's blessing before embarking on any endeavor.
A Toast to PATA
During the opening moments of the lavish meal, Mrs. Meity Robot, the Chairperson of the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA), offered a toast to PATA and acknowledged the important role tourism has to play in promoting world peace, cited the contribution of the organization's life members, and wished the organization well in the second half of its first century.
Special Dance Presentation
A special dance presentation closed the evening reflecting the Conference theme of "Culture and Tourism: From Heritage to Legacy." A full gamelan orchestra from Batuan accompanied dance performances by a large group of dancers, ranging in age from 4 to 78 years, depicting the role of music and dance in Balinese society.
Complementing the wide range of Indonesian cuisine on offer during the evening specially selected wines were served. Two wines, produced by Bali-based Steve Jacobs from his Margaret River Eagle Vale vineyard, were offered to the VIP's. These included an Eagle Vale Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2001 and an Eagle Vale Margaret River Shiraz 2001.
As a special treat, coffee and tea were served with a Pinneau Process Pino Wine from the island's north coast produced by Bali's very own Hatten's Winery.
Bali Discovery Tours provided professional event management for the event.
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