The meeting of the Prague RC International this week was really quite special. We welcomed guests from Canada, Florida and Australia and exchanged flags. Following our tradition we toasted a rotary club from another part of the world, this time Waga Waga in Australia.
Following a delicious dinner of Czech Rabbit we listened as Jan Kasl, our guest speaker, opened up the world of Prague politics, city planning and some of the things which go on behind the scenes. Jan was Mayor of Prague from 1998 to 2002 and spoke with passion about his visions for the city. He believes that a city can only evolve if it has a plan and that the role of the Mayor and his/her team is to ensure such a plan is in place and is executed. He told of the ongoing struggle to connect the airport to the city even though elegant and 'smart' solutions exist. Jan also enlightened us about some of the less desirable aspects of Prague politics including corruption, personal interests before serving the city and ex STB agents in positions of power. When asked about the priorities he sees as critical for Prague today, he answered without hesitation: To become the Headquarter for Central Europe by adopting a Smarter City Policy, integrating transport and making Prague a Safe, Clean and Green City managed by a legislature with transparent and honest governance. He elaborated on each of the points with great examples of how it could work, however also with examples of how Prague has been less than effective in achieving some of these goals. Jan has now returned to his passion of city design and architecture and runs a successful architecture studio in Prague. And as for the future in politics, well we'll see....
A few reminders for our Members and Friends: our fundraiser: Selling Mulled Wine will be taking place on the 4th, 5th and 6th of December - more details to come. A Service of Remembrance will be held at the Military Cemetery to remember and honour those who gave their lives in the First World War and other conflicts. All welcome.