On Monday evening, January 16th 2012 the club president, Gigi Oeri was given a send off to remember; 553 present members of FC Basel 1893 honoured Gigi Oeri, who passed on her title, accompanied by several standing ovations. The newly elected president, 48 year old Bernard Heusler was welcomed with equal enthusiasm. Heuslers vote was passed by acclamation as was the announcement of Gigi Oeri as honorary president.
(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
At the beginning of the event, vice president Bernhard Heusler directed his words to the present members of FC Basel 1893. He welcomed all persons present and thanked the members, fans and sponsors for their continuous support. A very special thank you was directed at the current president, Gigi Oeri, whose efforts and dedication developed FC Basel to be the club it is today. The resignation of Gigi Oeri and the election of her successor was the main focus of this special annual meeting, which can be described as an event full of emotion and harmony.
Dr. Christoph Eymann, member of Basel City’s government body honoured FCB with his presence and delivered an impressive speech in tribute of Gigi Oeri’s departure. Mr Eymann’s dialogue praised Oeri’s dedication and support in regards to her achievements at FC Basel. He expressed the highest level of admiration and respect towards Oeri, as he announced in the local dialect (Baseldeutsch): „Hesch es rächt gmacht“, translating into „You did it well or „You did a very good job”. In addition Gigi Oeri received a certificate of honour from the city of Basel as well as a roof tile of the Rathaus. Bernhard Heusler also used the occasion to thank Gigi Oeri for her hard work over the past few years, highlighting her work ethic, forward thinking and trust towards her colleagues and club.
For her 12 years of hard work and continuous efforts Gigi Oeri was elected by the many present club members as the first ever honorary president in FC Basel’s History. FC Basel presented Gigi Oeri with a bouquet of flowers as well as a certificate, which she signed herself, stating her new titles as “Honorary President”. In addition, she also received a unique FCB-Brooch which was designed for the occasion. A visibly touched Gigi Oeri stepped up to the podium to thank everyone who contributed to her and the club’s success. The fact that Oeri was forced to fight back her own tears, underlined the warmth and pleasant atmosphere which was felt and expressed by the 601 guest at Basel‘s congress centre.
Heusler‘s ellection supported with big applause
In order to announce the election of the new club president, Bernard Heusler once again passed the microphone to Christoph Eymann, who took on the responsibility of this short but important task. He mastered this challenge with without any issues: Bernard Heusler was elected by acclamation as the new club president of FC Basel 1893. Heusler was also elected as a club delegate within FC Basel`s governing board; a “hurdle” which he accepted without any opposing votes. As the ceremony came to an end, Eymann passed on a message from the first team who are currently located at their training camp in southern Spain, in which the players congratulated Heusler on his election as well as Oeri for all of her hard work at FC Basel.
Bernard Heusler commented on his election with a short but professional speech. He thanked everyone for their trust, which he feels is one of the most important gifts all. He underlines that he would like to return or „pay back“this trust as president of the club. A tip for the fans: to be more excited about football as a game and less occupied by fallbacks. What exited the present fans and club members was the fact that Heusler seemed to have time for a quick chat with anyone who wanted. The communication with fans and fan issues in general have been one of Heusler‘s responsibilities since 2006, which he promises to continue, despite his new role as club president. He will develop the dialogue with the fans, as he is 100% convinced that communication is the key to achieving communal goals.
After Gigi Oeri once again promised not to totally disappear from the scene and dedicate her time to Basel’s youth development projects, Heusler expressed his joy of accepting his new responsibility but also underlined his respect of the challenges ahead.
Symbolically Gigi Oeri handed over a heavy, bronze sceptre to Bernhard Heusler upon which both posed for the many present photographers, leading to the official end of this historic, 65 minute meeting. With sausage and beer, club members and guests toasted to an end of successful era as well as to the beginning of a hopefully, equally happy and promising future.
Gigi Oeri and Bernhard Heusler, the two main characters at FC Basel's annual meeting.
More pictures of the annual meeting: Klick here
(Fotos: Sacha Grossenbacher)