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Events


N E W S & E V E N T S

MEMBERSHIP FEES ARE NOW DUE!
The financial year starts each year on July 1.
Membership dues are $125 for Consuls General/Heads of Post or Mission and $85 for other Consular staff.
As well as supporting the Society and receiving invitations to events and activities, SOFC members are eligible for discounts at the venerable New York institution 92Y, and members also receive FREE Gold Club car rental membership (a $60+ value) with Hertz as well as preferred rates and special offers.
Download the current membership form here.

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SAVE-THE-DATE & RESERVE YOUR SPACE NOW
The SOFC is delighted to encourage participation and attendance by our members and colleagues for the Annual 92Y International StreetFest on Sunday, September 14 from 12noon-5:00pm.
Our non-profit partner 92Y is delighted to announce that the StreetFest will take place again this year, so look out for your invitation packet from 92Y’s Director of International Relations, Alison Gardy by email. 92Y hopes to see an even bigger International Way in 2014!
This is a wonderful opportunity to display your country’s culture, music, art & craft, languages, food & drinks.
Expressions of interest and for more information, please contact Alison Gardy on 212.415.5473 or agardy@92Y.org.

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OFFICE OF FOREIGN MISSIONS TO HOST JUNE BREAKFAST & BRIEFING
The US Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions (NY office) invites Consuls General to attend a breakfast gathering on June 18 at the State Department building. Look out for your invitation. On June 19 from 9am-12:30pm, the OFM will host a briefing for the New York consular corps on emergency preparedness, OFM programs, and consular notification and access. Representatives from the Federal Emergency management Agency, the OFM, the Bureau of Consular Affairs, and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s New York Field Office will be on hand to discuss these topics and to answer questions. Details will be sent directly to all NYC-based Consulates.

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MEMBERSHIP FEES ARE NOW DUE!
The financial year starts each year on July 1.
Membership dues are $125 for Consuls General/Heads of Post or Mission and $85 for other Consular staff.
As well as supporting the Society and receiving invitations to events and activities, SOFC members are eligible for discounts at the venerable NY institution 92nd St Y, and members also receive FREE Gold Club car rental membership (a $60+ value) with Hertz as well as preferred rates and special offers.
Download the current membership form here.

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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The SOFC’s Annual General Meeting was held in early June at the Consulate General of the Czech Republic at which the new Executive Committee were elected. They will take up their positions as of July 1, 2014.

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CBP Briefing with CBP & OFM in June
The Consulate General of the Czech Republic was the venue of this year’s annual briefing provided by Heidi Nassauer, Chief of Passenger Operations, Deputy Chief Brian Roe and Supervisor Gerry Clarry of Customs and Border Protection at JFK Airport. Also present were New York representatives from the Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions and officers from the Protective Liaison, Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

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First Visit for the SOFC to the NASDAQ
In May, SOFC members paid a visit to the NASDAQ in New York City to witness the Opening Bell Ceremony and tour the trading floor.

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Farewell Reception for Friends
On May 21, to acknowledge their service to the consular corps, a farewell reception on behalf of the SOFC was hosted by SOFC President and The Philippines Consul General Mario L. DeLeon Jr., and held at Kalayaan Hall (Freedom Hall) of the Philippine Center for Ahmad Corbitt, Director of Public and International Affairs, and Lawrence and Janet Peterson, both International Relations, from the NYC office of The Church of the Latter Day Saints. Mr Corbitt has assumed new church responsibilities in the Dominican Republic and the Peterson’s have returned to Utah.

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92 St Y, Yale Alumni Workshop
In April an exclusive workshop was hosted and convened by the 92nd St Y, in conjunction with the SOFC and organized by the Association of Yale Alumni leadership on “How to Manage NYC-Based Alumni Associations of Home-Country Universities” at the Weill Art Gallery. As representatives of our consulates general, our charge is to build relationships, and New York-based alumni of universities in our home countries provide a mobilized network of connections. This workshop offered insights, strategies and tips on how to cultivate and engage the NYC area alumni who are so vital to our work. The Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) is renowned for its pioneering role as a global steward of university alumni community-building. Presenters included Executive Director of the Association of Yale Alumni, Mark Dollhopf and Director of International Alumni Relations for Yale University, Katherine Edersheim.

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International Women’s Day Celebrations
For the third consecutive year, the SOFC supported the Global Centenary of the International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 7 by inviting NYC consulates along with the women consuls and nationals who have made a difference here in New York, to a special reception kindly hosted by the Consul General of Poland, the Hon. Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka and organized by the initiator of the event, the Hon. Raushan Yesbulatova, Consul General of Kazakhstan. International Women’s Day is a global celebration dedicated to celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Cultural entertainment and cuisine from various countries formed the program which honored outstanding women expats in New York.

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END-OF-YEAR HOLIDAY RECEPTION

SOFC members, their colleagues from the NYC diplomatic community and US Government agencies, along with VIP guests enjoyed a holiday reception in early December hosted by SOFC President, the Hon. Mario L. De Leon Jr. International cuisine was supplied by the Consulates General of Thailand and The Philippines, and entertainment was provided by bright young stars, Ms. Kirby Asunto and Mr. Resty Yongco, who are both members of the casts of the Noli Me Tangere, the first Filipino opera in New York.
Check out photographs by Mr. Jake Tolentino here.

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SOCIAL MEDIA & DIPLOMACY RECEPTION
The Consul General of Switzerland, Ambassador Francois Barras, treasurer of the SOFC, hosted the first meeting for this financial year with a reception and discussion on September 10 at the Consulate General of Switzerland. More than 40 guests attended the briefing on “Social Media & Diplomacy” given by the Swiss Consulate’s Jennifer Charlton. A blog post about the event, featuring photos and the presentation, can be found here. The Swiss Consulate has initiated a Digital Diplomacy Meetup for the communications attachés and digital media managers at the Consulate Generals in New York. We invite you to join this group online.

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MEMBERSHIP FEES ARE NOW DUE
The financial year starts each year on July 1.
Membership dues are $125 for Consuls General/Heads of Post or Mission and $85 for other Consular staff.
SOFC members are eligible for discounts at the venerable NY institution 92nd St Y, and members also receive FREE Gold Club car rental membership (a $60-plus value!) with Hertz as well as preferred rates and special offers. To download the current membership form, please click here.

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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The SOFC’s Annual General Meeting was held on June 21 at the Consulate General of Barbados at which the new Executive Committee was elected (to take effect from July 1). Representatives were present from more than 30 countries.

SAVE-THE-DATE  – 92nd St Y’s Street Festival 2013
Reserve your booth now!

The venerable New York institution, the 92nd Street Y will stage their annual celebration of international cultures, art, sports and cuisine on Sunday, September 15 from 12:00pm-5:00pm on Lexington Ave from 79th to 94th Streets.
Experience a variety of world cultures along International Way (90th to 91st Sts) featuring booths sponsored by Consulates, UN Missions, tourist offices and their partners.
Featuring free offerings in art, music, sports, fitness, lectures for every age and interest. Live music, dance and spoken word performances will take place on an outdoor stage.
Visit www.92Y.org or call Alison Gardy on 212-415-5473 to learn how you can promote your country!


The ever-gracious Commissioner Irene Halligan at the SOFC's 85th Anniversary Gala in 2005
In Memoriam
C
OMMISSIONER
IRENE R. HALLIGAN

The Honorable Irene R. Halligan who served as Commissioner for the NYC Commission of the United Nations, Consular Corps and Protocol (1997-2002) passed away on March 11 in New York City. Her obituary appeared in The New York Times on March 17.
Commissioner Halligan, who also served for many years as an ex-officio member of the Society’s Executive Committee, was a very well-respected adviser to the consular corps, a popular and elegant hostess, and a much sought after and admired presence in New York’s diplomatic community.
In the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001, Commissioner Halligan tirelessly directed and coordinated official visits to the WTC site and personally accompanied many heads of state, heads of government and senior officials.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 20th at 2:00pm at the Church of the Incarnations, at 209 Madison Avenue, New York City.
Above: The ever-gracious Commissioner Halligan at the SOFC’s 85th Anniversary Gala in 2005 in New York.


…OFM BRIEFING UPDATE…

For policy guidance or questions on
Consular Notification and Access:
Phone: 202-647-4415
After Hours: 202-647-1512
Fax: 202-736-7559
Email: consnot@state.gov
http://travel.state.gov/consularnotification

and for more information on
Social Security and Medicare:
www.socialsecurity.gov
Phone: 1 (800) 772-1213 / 1 (800) 325-0778 TTY
My Social Security (www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount)
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
1-877-486-2048 TTY
www.medicare.gov


OFFICE OF FOREIGN MISSIONS – BRIEFING

On March 27, from 8:30am-12:00pm, the US Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions will host a briefing for the New York consular corps on OFM programs, consular notification and access outreach and Social Security and the consular corps. Representatives from the Office of Foreign Missions, the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Social Security Administration office and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s New York Field Office will be on hand to discuss these topics and to answer any questions.
RSVP is essential by March 22 to (646) 282 2825 or ofmnyrsvp@state.gov. For more information click here.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY EVENT
March 14 –To mark International Women’s Day, the SOFC hosted the third annual Women’s Day reception on Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 6:30pm to honor expats who have made a difference within the NY community. This invitation-only event was held at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation, kindly co-hosted by Consul General Igor Golubovskiy. (Photos.)

WINE TASTING & RECEPTION
December 12 —
To honor the Society of Foreign Consuls, the Consulate General of Argentina and Wines of Argentina invite you to discover the “Flavors of Argentina” on Wednesday, December 12 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Consulate General of Argentina.
By invitation.

SOFC ANNUAL RECEPTION
December 4 —
The annual holiday party was co-hosted by the Hon. Koula Sophianou, consul general of Cyprus and the Hon. Lennox Price, consul general of Barbados and SOFC president at Cyprus House. The cocktail reception for New York’s diplomatic community, US government agencies and friends also marked the Presidency of the Council of the European Union by the Republic of Cyprus. Click here for photos.

CHURCHILL EXHIBITION – MORGAN LIBRARY
September 18
A private tour of the extraordinary Winston Churchill exhibition, Churchill: The Power of Words at the Morgan Library & Museum on Tuesday, September 18. The tour, for SOFC members only, will be led by Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, and Declan Kiely, the department head, Literary & Historical Manuscripts, at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.

HURRICANE  SANDY…
November 6, 2012 –  Here are the latest updates from Mayor Bloomberg on the City’s response to Hurricane Sandy:  Mobile-Medical-Vans  & Hurricane-Sandy-Update. Commissioner Marjorie B. Tiven says the City greatly appreciates all encouraging response as we recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
If you or your nationals wish to help , the NYC Service site at http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycservice/home.html provides information on how to make a monetary donation through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC (100 percent of your donations go directly to relief efforts and organizations); donate goods or services; and/or volunteer your time.

  October 30, 2012 — Mayor Bloomberg Updates New Yorkers on City Response to Hurricane Sandy.
Click here for latest Mayor’s-Office-Release

October 26, 2012 –The Office of Foreign of Missions New York Regional Office advises that you make appropriate plans to follow the storm and to be prepared for any resulting emergencies both for your mission and  for your foreign national communities.
Click here  for information from the FEMA website concerning the approach of Hurricane Sandy.

CONSULAR WOMEN’S CLUB of NEW YORK
The Consular Women’s Club of New York is a social group open to all whose spouses work with the Consular Corps and international organizations based in New York. Founded in 1972, the Club holds events throughout the year to encourage friendship, support and cooperation among its members who have moved to live temporarily in New York. The current president is Mrs. Alejandra Perez-Gabilondo, wife of the Consul General of Argentina in New York. You may contact her for more information on alefrancopg@hotmail.com

UPDATE….
     August 29, 2012: The Customs and Border Protection Unit (CBP) at JFK International Airport, NY have advised that their regular fax number is now back in service.  Please use this fax number for your VIP arrival (IA) immediate assistance requests: (718) 553-0043. Forms may be downloaded from the home page of this site.

URGENT MESSAGE FROM CBP at JFK REGARDING VIP ARRIVAL REQUESTS
August 15, 2012: 
The Customs and Border Protection Unit at JFK Int’l Airport advise that their office is unable to receive fax requests for VIP help at 718-553-0043.
Until the problem is fixed, please use this temporary fax number for your VIP arrival (IA) immediate assistance requests: 718-553-2064. A message will be posted on this page when the problem is resolved, so please check back.

NY/NJ AIRPORT/SECURITY BRIEFING
In late July the SOFC arranged an updated briefing on Facilitating VIP Arrivals at JFK & Newark Airports by Chief Heidi K. Nassauer and Deputy Chief Brian Roe, Passenger Division, CBP, at JFK Airport with Deputy Chief Rosario LoBello, CBP, Newark Liberty Int’l Airport.  Discussion of UNGA operations for VIP flights and motorcades at JFK Airport was led by Sgt. William Delgado of the Port Authority Police at JFK.
Updates were given on Office of Foreign Mission programs, security, and E-Gov from the NY-based OFM office (Mr. Thomas Gallo, Regional Director, and Mr. Murray Smith, Deputy Director), with representatives from Protective Liaison, NY Field Office, Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Hosted with the kind support of the Consulate General of the Czech Republic, this annual briefing was attended by almost 100 SOFC members and NYC-based consular officers.

Consular Social Security Card Office – NYC
The Social Security Administration advise that the office in Manhattan authorized to process Social Security Card requests for the consular community will change effective August 13, 2012. The office is now located at
123 William Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10038.
Hours are 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
From August 13, this office will be the only place in Manhattan to apply for new or replacement Social Security cards.
Persons not eligible for Social Security cards can obtain letters of ‘non-eligibility’ at this location as well.
Click here for more information.


CONSULAR NOTIFICATION & ACCESS
The Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) advises that important materials on Consular Notification and  Access are now available on-line.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has a training video for law enforcement personnel on the important issue of Consular Notification and Access.  It is available on the Consular Affairs site at http://travel.state.gov/law/consular/consular_2001.html
Also available is a downloadable edition of the Bureau’s manual for law enforcement on notification and access at http://travel.state.gov/law/consular/consular_753.html
 Please contact OFM New York on (646)282-2825 or at ofmnycustomerservice@state.govwith any questions or for copies of the manual.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday, June 14 at the Consulate General of Barbados at which a new Executive Committee was elected, to take effect from July 1. Former SOFC president, the Hon. Koula Sophianou (Cyprus) and treasurer, the Hon. Marijan Gubic (Croatia) were presented with Distinguished Service Certificates by incoming president, the Hon. Lennox Price (Barbados).  See pictures here.

MEMBERSHIP FEES ARE NOW DUE
The financial year commences annually on July 1.
Membership dues are $125 for Consuls General/Heads of Post or Mission and $85 for other Consular staff.
SOFC members are eligible for discounts at the venerable NY institution 92nd St Y, and members also receive FREE Gold Club car rental membership (a $60-plus value!) with Hertz as well as preferred rates and special offers. To download the current membership form, please click here.

FRIENDS OF THE SOFC
An important development at the annual meeting was the establishment of a new category of “Friends” of the Society of Foreign Consuls in New York.
Open to non-consular individuals, corporations, NGOs, institutions and friends (admitted upon the approval of the Executive Committee, with no voting rights), we welcome interested parties to apply. The annual (non-transferable) fee is $200.00 and includes invitations to consular events and access to certain member activities.
To download a membership application form, please click here.

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY RECEPTION
As part of the world-wide celebrations for  International Women’s Day in March, the Hon. Koula Sophianou of Cyprus and the Hon. Raushan Yesbulatova of Kazakhstan, along with Consuls General and consular officers from Italy, the Czech Republic, St. Lucia and Venezuela, honored NYC-based women leaders from their communities at a reception hosted by the Consul General of Russia, the Hon. Andrey Yushmanov.
For a selection of photographs, click here.

 2012 NEW YEAR’S RECEPTION
Ambassador François Barras, Consul General of Switzerland and the Hon. Koula Sophianou, Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus, with the SOFC Executive Committee, hosted a cocktail reception to welcome and celebrate the New Year on January 26. Representatives from more than 60 countries, along with staff from the US State Dept’s Office of Foreign Missions, NYC Mayor’s office and NY media attended the reception held at the Swiss Ambassador’s residence.

VISIT TO THE 9/11 MEMORIAL
A solemn tour of the National September 11 Memorial was attended by representatives of more than 50 countries in mid-November. Organized by SOFC president and consul general of  Cyprus, the Hon. Koula Sophianou, with the assistance of 9/11 Memorial staff, ambassadors, consuls general and consular staff placed flowers under the Callery Pear tree, known as the “Survivor Tree”.  A symbolic wreath covered in lilies was dedicated on behalf of the Society of Foreign Consuls.
The Memorial (www.911memorial.org) is a national tribute of remembrance and honor to the 2,983 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. (Click here for photos.)

RECEPTION FOR NYC CONSULAR COMMUNITY AT CYPRUS HOUSE
At a special reception at Cyprus House for the NYC consular corps, SOFC president and consul general of Cyprus, the Hon. Koula Sophianou, acknowledged the former SOFC  treasurer, the Honorable Eliska Zigova, consul general of the Czech Republic.
During the presentation of SOFC’s Distinguished Service Certificate, Ms. Sophianou said Mrs. Zigova had also shown dedication and generosity of spirit over several years by hosting numerous meetings, briefings, exhibitions and receptions.
Representatives from more than 50 countries, along with officials from the US Department of State and NYC Mayor’s Office joined press and friends of the SOFC at the mid-November reception. (Click here for photos.)

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PRESENTATION of DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CERTIFICATE TO CG OF KAZAKHSTAN

At the July Executive Committee meeting, the newly elected President of the Society acknowledged the dedicated tenure of former SOFC president, the Honorable Raushan Yesbulatova of Kazakhstan.
During the presentation of SOFC’s Distinguished Service Certificate, the Honorable Koula Sophianou of Cyprus said Ms. Yesbulatova had inspired the members and NYC consular corps with her strong leadership and guidance, and acknowledged her ongoing commitment to improving diplomatic relations within the consular community and with our US hosts. (Click here for photos.)

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MEMBERSHIP DUES…are now due!
The financial year commences annually on July 1.
Membership dues are $100 for Consuls General/Head of Post or Mission and $75 for Consular staff. All SOFC members are eligible for discounts at the 92nd St Y, whose lecture series explores international issues; their concerts feature world-renowned virtuosos and ensembles; and their spa, gym and other facilities are world-class.
Members also receive FREE Gold Club car rental membership (a $60-plus value!) with Hertz as well as their preferred rates and special offers. To download the 2011-2012 membership form,
please click here.
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The 2011 Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 29. Look out for your invitation. Download the current  membership form by clicking here.
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 On Wednesday, May 25 from 6:00pm-8:00pm, the Australian Consulate General in New York will host a presentation by Les Malezer, Co-Chair elect of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, on the subject of  “The new approach to exploitation: The vision of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.” RSVP is essential at 212-351 6550. Building security requires photo ID for entry. Click here for more details.
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The 2011 Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 29. Look out for your invitation. To download the 2011-2012 membership form, please click here.
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On May 25 the Executive Committee, with Hon. Eliska Zigova, Consul General of the Czech Republic, and the Office of Foreign Mission (New York Office) will co-host a multi-level briefing for SOFC members and NYC-based consulates. Subjects to be covered include: OFM programs, security issues and E-Gov. At the same briefing senior officers from CBP (JFK and Newark Airports) will update VIP airport arrival protocol and procedures. Strictly by invitation only. (See photos.)
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On March 11, in support of the Global Centenary of the International Women’s Day (IWD), more than 100 NY-based women (and men) Consuls General and expats, gathered at a special reception hosted by the Consul General of the Czech Republic, the Hon. Eliska Zigova, at the initiative of SOFC President, Hon. Raushan Yesbulatova, the Consul General of Kazakhstan. Consuls General from Cyprus, Poland and Jamaica also partnered in the event which included special guests from the US Department of State and the 92nd Street Y. To celebrate, cultural performances were featured as well as samplings of many national dishes. (See photographs here.)
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The Hon. Raushan Yesbulatova, Consul General of Kazakhstan and SOFC President, hosted an elegant members-only reception on February 2, 2011 at the Michelin-starred SHO Shaun Hergatt.
Members and guests from New York’s diplomatic community welcomed special visitors from the US Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions.
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INTERNATIONAL PERFORMERS WELCOMED TO NYC JANUARY 7–11, 2011 TO VISION 2021 AT APAP|NYC 2011 – HILTON NEW YORK AND TOWERS

 New York City is home to APAP|NYC 2011, setting the stage for worldwide arts and culture at this premier performing arts–industry networking event.
In partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the largest state-government arts agency in the USA, international attendees will have special access to NYSCA staff, who will be available to help them discover New York’s rich cultural community and arrange meetings with arts organizations.
Here are some highlights:

  • 3,900+ performing arts professionals and artists from 49 states and 30 countries are attending APAP|NYC, making it the largest performing arts–industry event.
  • EXPO HALL will host 400 exhibitors: agents, producers and managers, representing artists and events worldwide.
  • There are than 1,200 performances—all forms of dance, music, theater, youth and family programming, live attractions and more—in full-length and showcase formats.
  • Leading creative thinkers and cultural leaders will be there, including SYPartners; Ruth Mackenzie, director, Cultural Olympiad for the London 2012 Olympics; political theorist & activist Benjamin Barber; Ben Cameron, arts program director at the Doris Duke Foundation; and Graham Leicester, director of the International Futures Forum.

In partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the USA’s largest state-government arts agency, international attendees will have special access to NYSCA staff, who will be available to help them discover New York’s rich cultural community and arrange meetings with arts organizations.
Learn more at www.apapnyc.org.

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 ANNUAL HOLIDAY RECEPTION
The annual end-of-year holiday reception to welcome new colleagues and celebrate the festive season was generously hosted by the Consul General of Poland, the Hon. Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, at the beautiful Consulate General of Poland on November 29.
More than 100 invited guests from 80 countries and representatives from the US Department of State and New York State government officials attended.
The reception featured performances by world-renowned Kazakh-born, US based pianist, Ms Alia Alhan and by cast members of Liberty: The Musical. (Photos will be available soon!)
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The SOFC presents its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Cesar Mercado, Consul of Nicaragua who passed away in NYC recently.
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  The Embassy of Kazakhstan will be hosting the third annual Kazakhstan–U.S. Investment Forum 2010, November 8-9 in NY.
The forum, an official event of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan in partnership with Newsdesk Media Inc, is entitled: ‘Program of Accelerated Industrial-Innovative Development of Kazakhstan’ and will include in-depth analysis in the following industries: Agriculture, Construction & Metallurgy, Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals, Machinery, Transport & Telecommunications, Energy, and the Chemical & Pharmaceutical Industry.
A high-level delegation from Kazakhstan led by H.E. Asset Issekeshev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies, will participate along with H. E. Richard Hoagland, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan. The forum will also host the formal launch of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce representative office in the USA. For further information, please visit: www.kazakhinvest.com  

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  The Office of Foreign Missions (NY)
is on the move!

As of August 23, 2010 their new address is:
799 United Nations Plaza, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Emails remain unchanged but staff have new telephone numbers. Click here for contact details
* * *
In early August, the CG of the Czech Republic hosted a multi-level briefing for SOFC members and NYC-based consulates and UN Missions on the subject of motorcades, VIP arrivals, protocol and procedures at JFK & Newark (and regional private) arirports for the 2010 UNGA.
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  In early July, the Little Singers of Monaco, a group of 30 youths aged 8 – 18 who form part of the Monaco Cathedral Choir, will visit New York for two free concerts featuring American patriotic songs, sacred works and folk songs. On Wednesday, July 7 at 6 p.m. they will perform at the Church of the Holy Family at 315 East 47th Street and on Thursday, July 8 at 6 p.m for one hour at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Park Ave at 51st St.
For more info please visit: www.monaco-consulate.com
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For all the latest news, events and happenings within the Brazilian community in New York, please click on this link to the cultural bulletin from the Consulate General of Brazil…
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  MEMBERSHIP DUES…are now due!
The financial year commences annually on July 1.
Membership dues are $100 for Consuls General/Head of Post or Mission and $75 for Consular staff and you can download the (pdf) membership application form by clicking here.
All SOFC members are eligible for discounts at the 92nd St Y, whose lecture series explores international issues; their concerts feature world-renowned virtuosos and ensembles; and their spa, gym and other facilities are world-class.
Members also receive FREE Gold Club car rental membership (a $60-plus value!) with Hertz as well as their preferred rates and special offers as well as special rates and offers from FedEx.
* * *
Annual General Meeting
The Annual Meeting was held on June 30 hosted by the Consul General of Switzerland, H.E. Christoph Bubb. A new board was elected. Please see the Executive Committee page for the results.
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 Annual General Meeting
All members are cordially invited to attend the annual meeting to be hosted by the SOFC President, Ambassador Christoph Bubb of Switzerland on Wednesday, June 30. Look out for details on your invitation. (RSVP is essential.)
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Second Guided Tour of Central Park

On Saturday, May 29, we hosted the Second Annual Guided Walking Tour of Central Park to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Participants from more than 20 countries raised over $4000 and, along with Urban Park Ranger Sheridan Roberts, enjoyed a 3 hour-long trip through this iconic landmark taking in the Literary Walk, Bethesda Terrace, Cherry Hill, Strawberry Fields, the Tavern on the Green & Sheep Meadow. Special thanks to all who participated and donated! Click here for a selection of photos…
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SAVE-THE-DATE
The 2nd Annual Guided Walking Tour of Central Park to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be held again this Spring! On the morning of Saturday, May 29 bring along family and friends for a leisurely stroll through this iconic New York City landmark…
We will be guided by NYC Parks Cultural Affairs Liaison Officer, Gary Rozman, and will take in The Arsenal and the north-south section from 65th to 72nd Streets then walk east-west from 5th Avenue to Central Park West including the Literary Walk, Bethesda Terrace, Cherry Hill, Strawberry Fields & the Sheep Meadow. There is a $45* donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the door or via sponsorships.
Sponsorship brochures have been sent to all SOFC members, but if you need additional brochures, please feel free to photocopy or download here

Some more details:

  • Check-in from 8:00am at The Arsenal, 1st Floor lobby and bring your completed sponsorship form and checks made payable to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
  • The tour will start at 9:00am and will go ahead rain or shine!
  • For each $45* donation, participants will receive:
    - Access to the tour and refreshments
    - Gift bag including a t-shirt, bottled water, map, Central Park gift, St. Jude gift and some surprises!
    - The individual raising the highest amount will win a special prize! (* donations may be tax deductible.)
  •  Members and non members of the NYC consular corps are welcome but each participant MUST PRE-REGISTER ASAP AND PRIOR TO THE EVENT by emailing Beth.Desai@StJude.org and please include your name, consulate/affiliation, number of people in your team and contact phone number and email address.

If you need additional information or have questions, please contact Ms. Beth Desai at ALSAC/ST. JUDE on 212-239-3239.
We look forward to your participation in this fun social event to raise awareness and funds to fight childhood diseases and to benefit the vital international outreach programs of
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

The 2010 Central Park Guided Walking Tour is proudly hosted by the Society of Foreign Consuls with generous support from
The Copy Room, Inc.

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Runners from more than 100 countries are expected to converge on New York City on Monday, April 12 to participate in an international ceremony and Parade of Nations to mark the World Harmony Run, a global relay that promotes friendship and understanding with the passing of a flaming torch. The hour-long ceremony starts at 1:00pm at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (47th Street bet 1st & 2nd Aves). Call (718) 291 6637 for more information. www.worldharmonyrun.org.

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International Mother Language Day
An international cultural program accompanied a special reception in February, organized by the Consulate General of Bangladesh with the support of the Society, to celebrate International Mother Language Day.
Please click here for a selection of images.

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SOFC Members Ring the Opening Bell at
the New York Stock Exchange.
In February, the members of the SOFC were guests of the NYSE Euronext, where we rang the Opening Bell and had a private tour of the trading floor. Please click here for photos.
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If you have not yet signed up for the 2010 financial year, please do so to ensure future invitations to special events! Click here for a membership form.

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On Friday, January 29 from 7:00PM
Czech Republic and Friends
present
HAITI BENEFIT CONCERT
AT THE BOHEMIAN NATIONAL HALL
321 East 73 Street (bet 1st & 2nd Aves)

All PROCEEDS GO TO THE RED CROSS
Suggested donation USD 20

FEATURING
MARTA TOPFEROVA, GARY LUCAS,
LUCIA PULIDO + more

For more info: 646-422-3399
Czech beer/delicatessen at the bar by Zlata Praha Restaurant (portion of bar proceeds will also be donated to the charity.)

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END-OF-YEAR HOLIDAY RECEPTION
This year’s annual end-of-year get together for SOFC members and invited guests, was held on Sunday, December 20 at the Kellari Greek Taverna, hosted by the Consul General of Greece, Hon. Aghi Balta. Highlights included a lucky door prize trip for two to Europe on SWISS International Airlines!

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  BRIEFING FOR SOFC MEMBERS
SOFC members are invited to attend, on October 8 at the Consulate General of the Czech Republic, an updated briefing on the subject of:
“Facilitating VIP Arrivals at JFK and Newark Airports”.
The presentation followed by Q & A will be given by Heidi Nassauer, Chief, Passenger Ops, CBP, Passenger and Cargo Ops at JFK Airport and Domenico Calise, Deputy Chief, Passenger Ops, CBP, at Newark Liberty Airport.

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92nd Street Y’s Street Festival on October 18
The venerable New York institution, the 92nd Street Y will again stage their much-anticipated annual celebration of international cultures, art, sports and cuisine on Sunday, October 18 from 11:00am-5:30pm on Lexington Ave from 79th to 94th Sts.
Experience a variety of world cultures along International Way (91st to 92nd Streets), featuring booths sponsored by Consulates, UN Missions, tourist offices and their partners. There will be free offerings in art, music, sports, fitness, lectures and in many other areas for every age and interest. Live music, dance and spoken word performances will take place on an outdoor stage.
Visit www.92Y.org or contact Alison Gardy on 646-436-7287 to learn how you can set up a booth to promote your country!
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MEMBERSHIP DUES…are due!
The financial year commences annually on July 1.
Membership dues are $95 for Consuls General/Head of Post or Mission and $60 for Consular staff and you can download membership forms from the “About Us” page. All SOFC members are eligible for discounts at the venerable NYC cultural institution, the 92nd Street Y, whose lecture series explores international issues; their concert series features world-renowned virtuosos and ensembles; and their spa, gym and other facilities are world-class. SOFC members also receive FREE Gold Club car rental membership (a $60 value!) with Hertz as well as their preferred rates and special offers as well as sepcial rates and offers from FedEx.
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 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Annual General Meeting was held on June 24 at the Consulate General of Indonesia. A new board was elected. Please see the Executive Committee page for the results.
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On Saturday, May 30, we hosted a Guided Walking Tour of Central Park to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Continuing our long record of philanthropy, approx $4000 was raised and donated to the International Outreach Programs of St. Jude.
Participants representing more than 25 countries along with our guide, NYC Parks Cultural Affairs Liaison Officer, Mr. Gary Rozman enjoyed an almost 3 hour-long trip through this iconic landmark.
Starting from The Arsenal and covering the north-south portion from 65th Street to 72nd Street and east-west from 5th Avenue to Central Park West, we passed by the Literary Walk, Bethesda Terrace, Cherry Hill, Strawberry Fields, the Tavern on the Green & Sheep Meadow. Special thanks to all who participated and donated! Click here for a selection of photos…
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WALK FOR ST.JUDE
On Saturday, May 30, 2009, the Society of Foreign Consuls will host a Guided Walking Tour of Central Park to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Continuing our proud record of philanthropy, the proceeds raised will be donated to the International Outreach Programs of St. Jude.
The tour will start at 9:00am and our guide will be NYC Parks Cultural Affairs Liaison Officer, Mr. Gary Rozman. The tour will go ahead rain or shine! (Permit)
For each $45* donation, participants will receive:
- Access to the tour and refreshments
- Gift bag including a t-shirt, bottled water, map, Central Park gift, St. Jude gift and some surprises!
- The individual raising the highest amount will win a special prize! (* donations may be tax deductible.)

Both members and non members of the NYC consular corps are welcome but each participant MUST:
- PRE-REGISTER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND PRIOR TO THE EVENT by emailing Beth.Desai@StJude.org (please include your name, consulate/affiliation, number of people in your team and a contact phone number)
- Record contact details and the details of any sponsor/s in your brochure (download below)
- Present completed brochure and all monies raised upon checking in. Please make your checks payable to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Sponsorship brochures have been sent to all members – if you need additional brochures, please feel free to photocopy or download here

On The Day – Saturday, May 30:
From 8:00am – Check-in for all pre-registered participants at The Arsenal, 3rd Floor. This building is located within Central Park, down the steps at the junction of 65th St and 5th Ave.

9:00am (sharp!) The leisurely walking tour will start from The Arsenal, covering the north-south portion from 65th Street to 72nd Street and east-west from 5th Avenue to Central Park West. We will pass by the Literary Walk, Bethesda Terrace, Cherry Hill, Strawberry Fields, and the Tavern on the Green & Sheep Meadow. The tour lasts approx. 2 hours and ends back at The Arsenal. Participants may drop in and out of the tour at any time but no refunds will be given.

If you need additional information or have questions, please contact Ms. Beth Desai at ALSAC/ST. JUDE on 212-239-3239.
We look forward to your participation in this fun social event with your consular colleagues to raise awareness and funds to fight childhood diseases and to benefit the very important international outreach programs of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
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The Governor of New York, David Paterson, hosted a dinner on Wednesday April 29, 2009 in Buffalo, New York as part of a two-day trade mission (April 29-30) at which many members of the Society of Foreign Consuls attended. Click here to download the invitation and arrangement details.
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The SOFC was delighted to support and sponsor the Celebration of International Mother Language Day, an important initiative of the Consulate General of Bangladesh on February 27, 2009 which was hosted by the Turkish Cultural Center in Manhattan. More than 30 members of the NYC Consular Corps participated at this reception to celebrate the world’s languages.
Click here for the program.
This event provided an opportunity for Consul Generals of different countries to project languages and cultures at a multicultural function. Apart from members of the Consular Corps, the event saw attendance US dignitaries, civil society organizations from different communities, the UN and UNESCO officials, linguistics, experts on multiculturalism, academics and cultural activists. By way of background, the UNESCO declared 21 February as International Mother Language Day in 1999 and the UN General Assembly established 2008 as the International Year of Languages and the International Mother Language Day is observed annually in UNESCO’s Member States and at its HQ to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
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The Executive Committee arranged a lunch and private tour of the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange in February.
It was the largest group ever hosted on the trading floor by the NYSE. Representatives from more than 80 countries were hosted by NYSE CEO Duncan L. Niederauer and Vice President, Global Affairs, Jeffrey H. Eubank.
Click here for photographs.

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If you have recently been posted to NYC, consider joining the SOFC…
The financial year commences annually on July 1.
Membership dues are $95 for Consuls General/Head of Post or Mission and $60 for Consular staff and you can download membership forms from the “About Us” page. All SOFC members are eligible for discounts at the venerable NYC cultural institution, the 92nd Street Y, whose lecture series explores international issues; their concert series features world-renowned virtuosos and ensembles; and their spa, gym and other facilities are world-class. SOFC members also receive FREE Gold Club car rental membership (a $60 value!) with Hertz as well as their preferred rates and special offers as well as sepcial rates and offers from FedEx.

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– HOLIDAY RECEPTION 2008 –

The SOFC’s annual holiday reception for the New York City-based consular corps was held on Thursday, December 4 at the New York Marriott East Side on Lexington Ave. More than 80 guests attended this international evening.
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NEW!

Newsletter from the US Dept of State’s Visa Office
The Visa Office has started putting out a newsletter for the diplomatic and consular communities which has lots of useful information. Click here…
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Renee Monique Pinder

OBITUARY

Renée Monique Pinder
Vice Consul, The Bahamas

With profound sorrow, the Society announces that Renée Pinder (41), Vice Consul of The Bahamas in New York since 2002 and an active and long-time member of the Society, passed away suddenly on July 30, 2008 in The Bahamas.

A book of condolences was opened for signatures at the Consulate General of The Bahamas and a well-attended memorial service was held on Friday, 8 August at the Kelly Temple Church of God in Christ, in New York City.

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MEMBERSHIP
The financial year commences annually on July 1.
Membership dues are $95 for Consuls General/Head of Post or Mission and $60 for Consular staff.
You can download membership forms from the “About Us” page.
All SOFC members are eligible for discounts at the venerable NYC cultural institution, the 92nd Street Y, whose lecture series explores international issues; their concert series features world-renowned virtuosos and ensembles; and their spa, gym and other facilities are world-class. SOFC members also receive FREE Gold Club car rental membership (a $60 value!) with Hertz as well as their preferred rates and special offers as well as special rates and offers from FedEx.
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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The AGM was held on Thursday, June 26, 2008 at the Consulate General of South Africa and a new Executive Committee was elected. Vsit the Executive Committee page for the results.
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BRIEFING FOR SOFC MEMBERS
On June 12, the Indonesian Consulate General hosted a lunch and updated briefing on the subject of:
“Facilitating VIP Arrivals at JFK and Newark Airports”.
The presentations were given by Ms. Heidi Nassauer, Chief, and Mr. Richard Pileggi, Deputy Chief, Passenger Ops, US Dept. of Homeland Security, Customs & Border Protection Bureau, Passenger and Cargo Ops (JFK Airport) and Mr. Al Parra, Supervisor, Passenger Services, CBP, Newark.
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COCKTAIL RECEPTION AT FORBES GALLERIES
A VIP invitation-only Spring Cocktail reception, co-hosted by Mr. Christopher Forbes, Vice Chairman, Forbes, for SOFC members, recently arrived Consuls General and distinguished guests was held at the Forbes Galleries in New York City on May 21. More than 100 Consuls General and consular staff attended. Click here for a selection of images.

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IMPORTANT NEWS FROM THE OFFICE OF FOREIGN MISSIONS

- Policy Change regarding parking at NYC area airports -

May 1, 2008 –The Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) wishes to announce a change in the policy regarding parking fees at New York-area airports, to include JFK International. Following discussions with OFM, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has informally indicated that, effective May 1, 2008, vehicles with consular (C) plates may park free of charge at JFK, Newark, La Guardia and Stewart airports for up to twenty-four hours. However, if a vehicle with consular plates parks for a longer period, parking fees may apply to the entire time the vehicle was parked at the airport. This policy does not apply to vehicles with staff (S) plates, which will continue to be subject to all parking fees.

The Port Authority has informed OFM that it is communicating this change in policy to its relevant personnel, including contractor-supplied employees at the airport parking facilities. The Port Authority is also amending its protocol so that the change in policy will be reflected in its operations manuals and written instructions.

OFM anticipates that it will receive formal notification of this change from the Port Authority shortly. Until then they request that Consulates contact OFM (Tel: 212- 826-4500) if they encounter problems under the new policy as it is being implemented.
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WELCOME FOR NEW CONSULS GENERAL & END OF YEAR HOLIDAY RECEPTION 2007
The Society and the Consulate General of Indonesia hosted an end-of-year holiday reception for all members of the Society and members of the NYC-based Consular Corps on December 13. Guests included representatives from the New York Governor’s and Mayor’s offices.
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BRIEFING FOR SOFC MEMBERS
On November 28, the Indonesian Consulate General hosted an updated briefing on the subject of:
“Facilitating VIP Airport Arrivals at JFK Airport”.
The presentation, along with Q & A, was given by Ms. Heidi Nassauer, Chief, and Mr. Richard Pileggi, Deputy Chief, Passenger Ops, US Dept. of Homeland Security, Customs & Border Protection Bureau, Passenger and Cargo Ops (JFK Airport).
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SOFC WALKS FOR THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY IN CENTRAL PARK AND RAISES MORE THAN $13,000!

Under the leadership of former SOFC President and Consul General of Barbados, Hon. Jessica Odle, more than 80 members and friends of the Society of Foreign Consuls joined the “SOFC Cares” Team and raised in excess of $13,000 to benefit the American Cancer Society. Click HERE to see how the SOFC team fared at the ACS’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in NYC’s Central Park on October 21.
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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The AGM was held at the Consulate General of The Philippines on Tuesday, June 26 and the new Executive Committee was elected. For details, please see the Executive Committee page.
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NY DRIVER LICENSE AND IDENTIFICATION
The State Dept through its Office of Foreign Missions can provide diplomatic spouses, (some) family members and G- and A-series visa holders with a driving license. The OFM can also provide spouses who do not drive with a non-driver photo ID
For more information on obtaining a driving license, please visit: www.state.gov/ofm/resource/imp/roinfo/ny/20946.htm.
For additional New York State DMV information,
please visit: www.nysdmv.co

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2006 HOLIDAY RECEPTION

In early December, the Consulate General of Monaco hosted SOFC members including Ambassadors, Consuls General and representatives from more than 45 nations as well as invited guests from the US State Department’s Office of Foreign Missions and the New York City Commission for Protocol, the UN and Consular Corps. Click here for photographs from the event.
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2006 CONSULAR DAY IN NEW YORK CITY
October 17 was officially proclaimed Consular Day in New York by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. At a reception in the refurbished Gracie Mansion, the Mayor and NYCCUN Commissioner Marjorie B. Tiven, welcomed 150 representatives of the New York City consular corps and other NYC agencies.
Mayor Bloomberg presented the 2006 SOFC President and Consul General of Monaco, Hon. Maguy Maccario-Doyle with an official Proclamation. She responded by thanking the Mayor for his Administration’s support of the consular community and for “fostering such a wonderful environment in NYC so that all voices of the world could be heard.”

Click here for photos and a press release of the event.

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FUND-RAISING WALK
The SOFC Walks… and raises more than $12,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

On Saturday, June 3, the walk to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital raised more than $12,000 (after the final tally) and saw walkers from more than 20 countries participate.

Browse our picture gallery!

The beautiful Hudson River Park on Manhattan’s west side was the site for the Society’s inaugural sponsored walk, an initiative of SOFC President, Hon. Jessica C. Odle of Barbados.
Many people from the following countries took part in some way: Antigua & Barbuda, Austria, Australia, Barbados, Bahamas, Chile, Cyprus, France, Grenada, Guyana, Guatemala, Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Philippines, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and the USA.

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80th ANNIVERSARY GALA
An international black tie/national dress celebration was held at the spectacular Ballroom of NYC’s Mandarin Oriental in November 2005 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of The Society. The Gala was chaired by the Consul General of Monaco, Hon. Maguy Maccario-Doyle, with SOFC President Hon. Jessica C. Odle, Consul General of Barbados and the Executive Committee and SOFC members.
Congratulatory letters and greetings were received from former US President George Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, the Office of Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza Rice, Governors from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg as well as numerous Past Presidents from around the world. Also featured was a luxury raffle with the Grand Prize of a dream trip for two to Barbados and a $500 spending spree at the Bernardaud boutique on Park Avenue. Proceeds from the raffle were presented to staff from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
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