The Anglo-Swiss Club of Locarno (ASCL) was founded in 1934 to promote good relations between Swiss and English-speaking people. We now have become very international with members from all countries. Quite amazing!
The ASCL is mainly a social club, which helps people meet each other, enjoy each other’s company and, most importantly, speak English, the language of the Club.
The ASCL does this through a programme of several events throughout the year. Rather than specialising in any particular type of activity, the ASCL tries to give its members as wide a choice of activities as possible. Cultural outings, walks, lectures, lunches and dinners! We celebrate in style! Halloween, Fish & Chips, morning coffees and great aperitifs. We try to hold events within a reasonable radius of Locarno, rather than going farther afield.
The Club also has its own library of books in English. The library is run by volunteer members and is open on coffee mornings during the Club season.
The Club is open to members from all backgrounds and ages, and the only two conditions of membership are to be socially congenial and have a reasonable command of English.
We try to combine the best of Swiss, Anglo and international cultures - the good organisation and frugality of the Swiss with the more relaxed, less formal Anglo approach.
Our club year begins in January with a summer break from June to end of August. During 9 months we offer a wide range of interesting activities. We have a nice clubroom, which is located on one of Locarno's most beautiful squares, Piazza G. Pedrazzini 12, 3rd floor, 6600 Locarno.
On 13th February Alexandra and Anders Lantz hosted a quiz afternoon combined with an apero in the club room, very much enjoyed by some 20 members. The questions were challenging and interesting, such as identifying photos of celebrities in younger years, identifying singers and movies from music clips, a couple of questions on Ticino, and even how many hearts an octopus has (apparently two).
The lucky winners got free tickets to an English Movie event, but all who were able to come had a most enjoyable time.
There are photos to enjoy here.
Instead of its monthly coffee morning, the Club organised Prosecco and Panettone at the Bar Festival on 6th January, 2024. This was a great success, with more than 50 members able to come. Katy gave a little presentation on panettone, part fact, and sadly part unfounded speculation, and we provide a link to a transcript of this by popular demand here.....
On December 12th our former President, Stefanie Bertoneri Amrein, was awarded Honorary Membership of the Anglo-Swiss Club of Locarno for years of dedication and dynamism, also keeping the Club active throughout the difficult years of the pandemic.
On 20th September our outings co-ordinator Kurt Amrein took a group of some 20 members to the Castello Montebello in Bellinzona followed by a very interesting time tasting and hands-on experience making salami with Salame Rapelli. It's always an inspiration to see our members don hygienic gear and get stuck in!
There are more photos to enjoy here.
On 19th September, 37 members were privileged to hear renowned Swiss pianist Christina Harnisch play works by Polish composers Chopin, Maria Szymanowska, and Grazyna Bacewicz, French composers Cècile Chaminade and Debussy, and German composers Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, spanning more than two centuries.
Christina Harnisch played the pieces with precision and fiery intensity, and introduced us to a number of previously unknown or unfairly neglected female composers, in particular the extraordinary talent of Cécile Chaminade, whose 'Valse-Caprice', Op 33, was a crowd favourite this evening.
The programme and a couple of photos are to be found here.
On a beautiful evening in September, some 40 members found themselves luxuriating on a gentle cruise from Locarno towards the Brissago islands and back. We all had memories of being on the Katja during Covid, a highlight for many of us during those socially distanced now thankfully distant days, and the collation and the congenial company were enjoyed by all fortunate enough to be able to attend. You can see some photos here.
At the La Palma on 30th May, a packed house of over 70 club members enjoyed a recital, called 'Eternity in an Hour', of songs and sonnets by William Shakespeare, Kabir, and principally William Blake, composed, sung, and played by Victor Vertunni and accompanied by his son Maxim on double bass.
The songs were delightful, and the performance was very much appreciated to the last diminuendo of 'The Tyger'.
Then Stefanie Bertoneri Amrein was presented with the heartfelt thanks of the membership, heard some well-deserved praise of her personality and achievements, was given a standing ovation, and managed herself to find fitting words in response. Finally, a performance of William Blake's 'Ah! Sunflower' by Victor and Maxim, danced by Victor's wife Monia, paid appropriate tribute to Stefanie's continual quest for excellence.
All then repaired to the buffet and bar to enjoy an aperitivo, drinks, and of course lively conversations.
This event was a fitting conclusion to Stefanie's tenure as President, and will now be followed by our traditional 3 month summer break. There are photos from the event in the photo album.
Our member Lisa Bruggink Weis gave a very lively, entertaining, and informative presentation on sparkling wine (and let us sample some excellent drink and enjoy accompanying nibbles) on 23rd May in the clubroom.
The speed with which the cork flies from the bottle? The differences between the tank and traditional method? What causes corking? What factors influence the manufacture of the best sparkling wines? Is Dry really dry? We heard all this and much more from Lisa, and came out from her presentation with a better idea of this fascinating subject, and in some cases with a literal thirst for more.
There are a few pictures in our Photo Album to give you a better sense of the afternoon.
By popular demand Kurt, our Outings co-ordinator, organised another visit to REGA on Friday 28th April in beautiful weather, and our members were again impressed by this extraordinary Rescue organisation, its dedicated staff and its meticulously maintained helicopters.
The group admiring a helicopter....
Even more impressive in flight.