BRISBANE, Australia – SARS, terrorism, and war did not stop 1,100 people from stepping on an airplane and travelling hours – or in some cases days – to attend the 2003 World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) International Forum here. Although early registrations were slow, the numbers eventually surpassed previous WOCCU Forums held in Ireland, France and Poland. The down-under feeling pervaded the conference. Delegates used to "coffee breaks" found their agendas marked with "tea breaks," and the social life involved an Australian Night with shrimp on the barby and side trips to the Great Barrier Reef. Thirty-nine countries were represented at the conference from the five major continents. Countries sending the biggest delegations were: United States, 311; Australia, 223; Ireland, 115; Canada, 96; and Poland, 26. Among the highlights of the forum was the election of Bobby McVeigh as WOCCU chairman. He succeeds Gerry Foley of Ireland.

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