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3.4.1 1st Mini-Symposium, Rochester (England) (1988)
The European SFTE Chapter convened in Rochester, Kent, on September 8 and 9, 1988, for its first mini-Symposium.
This chapter had just started in 1987 during the Annual SFTE Symposium in Amsterdam. By July 1988 the chapter totalled 61 members, spread over 9 countries. Considering this geographical situation the meeting was well attended.
30 to 35 people took part in the two-days meeting, amongst whom over 20 chapter members from 5 countries, a promising start for future chapter activities.

General Electric Corporation Avionics Limited, Rochester, sponsored the meeting by making available generously conference facilities, and taking part in the meeting program with two lectures and the Opening Speech by Air Commodore Spiers.
A particular mention should go to Ken Edwards, a longstanding and active supporter of SFTE, who at the time of this event was employed by GEC and without whom the Chapter’s first symposium would not have been a success.

The program, under the title "PROFESSION & TOOLS" comprised 6 lectures. In seminar sessions after the lectures, discussion of each subject was held. Both the lectures and the discussions were highly appreciated.
The evening of the first day featured an informal dinner in "Ye Olde Leather Bottle", a famous pub in good English style. It became clear that there was place for a tradition in the chapter taking this evening as an example.

In his final remarks at the afternoon of the second meeting day Wim Dijkshoorn could conclude with pleasure that the chapter had made a satisfactory take-off and was now giving evidence of a healthy initial climb-out.

Wim Dijkshoorn and Ken Chilvers, President and Secretary of the first Board, enjoying the dinner at "Ye Old Leather Bottle"