The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Our biennial Hydra meetups, and the big 2002 Event
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 7243
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by jarkko » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:11 pm

Now, after our successful Hydra Meet-up in June 2019, it’s time to discuss the future plans

Our next, 12th Leonard Cohen Event will be in Gent, Belgium, in August 2020. Maarten Massa is going to make an official, detailed announcement this fall but he has already nailed the dates:
• Early bird registration on Thursday 6 Aug 2020
• Event program from Friday Aug 7 to Sunday Aug 9 2020

Looking forward to seeing many of you in Gent!

And then something that needs to be thought over carefully: how to go on with our Hydra Meet-Ups.

I organized the Hydra Event in 2002 with the help of an international team, and have also answered for all eight meet-ups since 2005 (Henning, Wijbe, Sophia and Demetris have helped to solve certain issues). Lakis Christidis has been our irreplaceable helper and guide on the island for many many years.

Next year I will be 70. Three years ago I retired from my work as a chartered accountant. Now it is also time to retire from the organizing tasks of the Hydra Meet-Ups. I want to spend more time with our granddaughters, need to sort all my archives and photo etc. collections, and there is also that always growing pile of unread books that are waiting for my attention…

How to organize our next Hydra happenings? I think we have three alternatives to choose from:

a) We don’t arrange meet-ups any more but members go to Hydra whenever they want, with their friends and family, for more private holidays

b) We announce meet-up dates but don’t arrange any program at all. No reservations, no participation fees, no organizers. Cohenites could spend time together on Hydra and make their own reservations themselves (like boat trips).

c) We find new organizer who arranges meet-ups in our traditional way, in collaboration with our Hydra contacts. We would need registration and participation fees to cover the costs of our program (like Cinema Nights, Walks, boat trips).

In my opinion a) would be the worst scenario. We could select b) if new organizer(s) cannot be found. With b) we wouldn’t have our traditional Cinema nights etc. but people could meet at Roloi and spend time together. Also boat trips etc. are easy to reserve after arrival.

Personally I would choose the c-alternative but this will be up to you guys.

I can assure you that even if organizing takes time and energy, it is also very rewarding: it’s great to see that you were able to handle the project and everything goes according to your plans!

And of course I’m not going to disappear anywhere; the websites will continue as always and are to be used for announcements. I’d be happy to introduce the new organizer to our local contact persons, and familiarize him/her to the pre-event tasks. Just like we have been doing with the Events: the previous organizer always shares his/her experiences with the next one.

We have developed a certain routine to arrange all our get-togethers. Most of the work is made online, before the happening: taking reservations, collecting participation fees, answering questions, making decisions about the program.

So, do we have a volunteer to be at the head of organizers? You could then form a team of 1-3 other persons if you want.

This thread is open to your comments, thoughts and ideas. Also, if you are willing to be a candidate, please email me! Let’s discuss!

Let’s make sure our Hydra Meet-Ups continue, with a new happening every two years!

1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
Posts: 1217
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:07 am
Location: Ireland

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by lonndubh » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:11 am

Jarkko and Eija thank you for all the time and energy that you put into all the events over the years and especially Hydra this year . I really enjoy them all.Sitting in Rolois and looking through the folder I was amazed at all the content. So so much work.
I feel that option C would be good if there is someone or indeed a few people to organise. Perhaps we do not need a huge programme .
Also option B would work very well as a lot of ground work has been done over the years and events could be planned from the island.
I also feel that Hydra does very well from our visit and spending and that individuals there may also want to be part of the planning .
Last edited by lonndubh on Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 731
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 1:05 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by Wybe » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:17 am

Jarkko we are so grateful of all your effort to make all these Hydra meetups happen !
2008 -- Brugge, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Helsinki, Oberhausen, Rotterdam -- 2008
2009 -- Antwerpen, Venice, Barcelona .-- 2009
2010 -- 2 x Gent, Lille, 2x Las Vegas, -- 2010
2012 -- Gent, 2 x Amsterdam, Dublin, Verona -- 2012
2013 -- Pula, Rotterdam -- 2013
-- +++ -- +++
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 7243
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by jarkko » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:28 am

Friends, I have already great news to share with you!

Caren Gutschmidt and her husband Hans Kloss will be our new Hydra organizers. They live in Germany.

I find this to be a perfect solution. Caren and Hans have been active members in our community for many years. They know well many Cohenites and vice versa. Also professional background makes it easy for them to handle reservations, payments, and sort databases. I will of course help them to establish good relations with our Greek contacts and will help them to get things going.

This guarantees that the future meet-ups (next in 2021) will follow our traditions (alternative c in my post).

I'm very happy that we will have our Hydra happenings in good hands and am already looking forward to the next one!
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
User avatar
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:56 pm
Location: Berlin

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by Caren » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:45 am

Dear friends,

first of all a BIG thank you to Jarkko for all the time and effort he has put into making our Hydra meet-ups as great as they were. Had it not been for him and all the hard work and many hours he put into this we would not even know many of our dear friends from the Forum.

So - Jarkko you are and always will be the best!

Hans and I are very happy to be able to help keeping a wonderful tradition alive. We will put our best efforts into organizing the future meet-ups on Hydra and are already looking forward to seeing many of you on that beautiful Greek island in 2021.

Much love
Caren (and Hans)

1990s Berlin 2008:Amsterdam-Berlin-Hamburg-London RAH 2009:Berlin-Barcelona 2010:Odense-Berlin-Gent x3 -Wiesbaden-Marseille-Hannover-Las Vegas x2 2012:Gent x5 -Amsterdam x2 -Berlin-London-Verona-Toulon-Paris x2 -Barcelona 2013:Paris-Antwerp-Mannheim-Brussels-Rome-Lucca-Berlin-Lodz-Prague-Vienna-Pula-Odense-Zurich-Manchester-Leeds-London-Rotterdam
User avatar
Posts: 3138
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:36 pm
Location: at home by the sea

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by anneporter » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:01 am

Dear Jarkko, Eija, Caren and Hans,

Oh that is wonderful news! Thank you thank you thank you Caren and Hans for stepping up and into Jarkko’s very efficient shoes!
And Jarkko! There are no words to express the depth of my appreciation for everything you have done: from creating the forum in the first place to opening the doors of Hydra for us all to step through and find our lives magically changed forever. You have given the gift of lifelong friendship among people- kindred spirits- who would otherwise never have found each other. And to toil for us, year after year, so graciously and generously, creating golden moments out of mundane time: true alchemy!
And Eija! Thank you for giving so deeply of your time, your heart and your artist’s eye with your photographic records and smiling presence.

Caren and Hans, please call on me if there is anything I can do to help.

Bowing deeply to the four of you,

Anne Porter
User avatar
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:15 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by bogra » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:32 am

Dear Jarkko and Eija! Thank you both so much for all you have done for the Hydra meet-ups!! We have enjoyed every minute of the past meetings we joined :-) We are sure we will see you back on Hydra!!
And dear Caren and Hans: we think you will be perfect successors to do this job! We have all faith in your dedication. Thanks for stepping in and lots of success!!
To all 4 of you, lots of love Aad and Gery
2008: Amsterdam / 2009: Antwerp / 2010: Strasbourg - Las Vegas / 2012: Gent - Amsterdam - Dublin - Verona - Lisbon / 2013: Brussels - Lucca - Rotterdam - Amsterdam - Perth - Melbourne
User avatar
Posts: 1331
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 1:49 pm
Location: Germany

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by Henning » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:39 am

That's great news indeed. Many thnx go to Jarkko and Eija for having organized these meetups all those years. That's been hard work for sure. Hans and Caren, we are glad that you are keeping Option C alive and I am looking forward to more wonderful days to share with friends on this outstanding island.
1979: Frankfurt | 1980: Frankfurt | 1985: Wiesbaden - Munich | 1988: Munich - Nuremberg | 1993: Frankfurt
2008: Dublin - Manchester - Amsterdam - Loerrach - Berlin - Frankfurt - Oberhausen - London
2009: Cologne - Barcelona | 2010: Wiesbaden - Dortmund
2012: Ghent - Moenchengladbach - Verona - Lisbon | 2013: Oberhausen - Mannheim - Pula
User avatar
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:33 am
Location: Haarlemmermeer /Netherlands

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by HugoD » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:30 pm

Very happy to read that there will be future events in Hydra! Of course big thanks to Jarkko and Elija for all there efforts in the past (almost) 2 decades! Without them these meetings would never have evolved in the wonderful meetings as they have become.
Looking forward to 2021 already and wish Caren and Hans all the best in organizing the next event. I am sure it will be great again.
Lille 2010, Dublin 2012, Mannheim 2013, Rotterdam 2013, Montréal 2017
Happiness is just the side effect of a meaningful life.
User avatar
Posts: 1471
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:31 am
Location: Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by Maarten » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:47 pm


I can only second everything that's already been said above: a huge thank you to Jarkko and Eija for all these years of commitment towards our beloved community and of course I'm wishing Caren and Hans the best of luck with the organisation of the next Hydra Meetup(s).


2008 Manchester | Bruges | Amsterdam | London | 2x Brussels | Rotterdam |2x London
2009 New York | Cologne | Antwerp | Venice | Colmar | Barcelona | Las Vegas | San José
2010 Salzburg | 2x Sligo | Helsinki | 3x Ghent | Lille | 2x Las Vegas
2012 5x Ghent | 2x A'dam | Helsinki | Dublin | Verona | 3x Paris | Lisboa
2013 Paris | Antwerp | Oberhausen | Brussels | Pula | Rotterdam | Amsterdam | 2x Wellington | Auckland
User avatar
Posts: 1856
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 1:21 am
Location: UK

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by margaret » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:20 am

Thank you so much to Jarkko and Eija for all your dedication over the years in organising these events. I have very happy memories of the 3 Hydra gatherings John and I attended and the friends we met. Family circumstances have limited our attendance in more recent years.

I am so pleased to see Caren and Hans taking over the organisation and hope to revisit Hydra again one day.

Thank you again Jarkko and Eija, and good luck to Caren and Hans. I'm sure you will keep up the good work.

Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:35 am
Location: West Yorkshire, England

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by Janetld » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:04 pm

I would like to add my thanks to Jarkko and Eija for organising these wonderful events - we have been so lucky to spend time at these gatherings with such special people. The music, the sun, the boat trips, the walks, the films, the trip to the mainland - just perfect.

And thank you so much, Caren and Hans, for taking over the organisation for future events. We are truly so lucky.
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:39 am
Location: Lake Zurich, US

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by MargRz » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:36 am

Jarkko and Eija,

Though I’m a newbie to the forum and Hydra I can see what a profound impact your efforts have had on the lives of all the Cohenites. Your little internet pastime evolved into a truly Unified Heart of nationalities, languages and cultures. I, for one, feel privileged to be a part of it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making it possible. LC would be proud.

Caren and Hans - thank you for carrying the “thin green candle”. I look forward to meeting you and wish you the best of luck.

User avatar
Andrew (Darby)
Posts: 1061
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2002 5:46 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by Andrew (Darby) » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:02 am

Jarkko and Eija, thank you so much for your splendid efforts over the many years to keep our meet-ups happening... you always could/can be relied on. 8)

Thank you to Caren and Hans for taking over this challenging role... I wish you well with this responsibility.

Andrew D. :)
'I cannot give the reasons
I only sing the tunes
The sadness of the seasons
The madness of the moons'
~ Mervyn Peake ~
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:35 pm

Re: The Future of our Hydra Meet-Ups

Post by commonbabbler » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:36 pm

Anyone in hydra on Tuesday or Wednesday this week and wanting to meet? (July 16th or 17th)
Post Reply

Return to “Hydra Meetups 2019, 2017, 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005 & The Event in 2002”