Do you realise how difficult it is today to find a photo with suited men. Even the so-called “designer” jeans are accepted on official occasions. Here we are going back to 1968 when I was a 22 year old taking minutes at an international meeting, being held in Oslo, Norway. When my boss in my Swiss company invited informed me that they needed someone that wrote stenography to take notes at a European conference where 95% would be in the english language and the remaining 5% in French and I would be ideal, you do not say no. The actual conference was known as the CEE Conference, and our part dealt with safety regulations for hand tools, such as drills etc.
I arrived in Oslo, accompanied by a few members of the Swiss delegation. The next day the conference began: a large hall packed with about 100 members of the delegation and for this particular event, Switzerland had the chairmanship. There I was sitting on the stage and writing, writing, writing. Today it would probably all be done by recordings, but at that time they were not applied.
Unfortunately digital cameras were not yet in use and I only had my basic camera with me, with film. If only I had taken more photos. We made excursions on the days when there was no conference and I remember visiting a hydraulic power plant with dam, and we had excursion to the Norwegian mountain area.
Norwegian mountains are quite high, but not with peaks and valleys, more slopes. I remember every time I reached the top of a slope, I was confronted with further slopes. With time it was a little boring taking walks.
Another memory I had was of the wooden train we took to the outskirts of Oslo, passing the well known Olympic ski jump at Holmenkollen on the way.
When I returned to my office afterwards I was occupied for at least a week writing the minutes I had recorded at the meeting. Who knows, perhaps they still exist somewhere in the records.
I remember it happening in November at the end of the year. Afterwards my romance began with Mr. Swiss, we got married in the following February and that was the next suited occasion. And then there was the next conference to be held in London, my home town. My boss called me into his office to ask if I would be prepared to do the necessary again, but I then had a baby bump and so my chance of becoming an international conference secretary was over.
However I have never forgot the week I spent in Oslo with the suited men.