On Thursday 24 October we celebrated the 40th anniversary of Martine Joos as secretary of the International Press Association. In October 1979 she started working for API-IPA, and in the four decades since Martine has been continuously at the center of the association. She has been and still is the most invaluable source of information for thousands of foreign correspondents in Brussels, who have passed by her office in the IPC to become a member of API, to get help with accreditations or advice on settling in Belgium and how to cope with the many institutions and local bureaucracies.
Former and current API board members, journalists, EU-fonctionnairs and union-representatives came together in the Residence Palace to celebrate with Martine and her husband Robert. "We are here today to thank you for everything you have done during these four decades for API and for every Brussels correspondent who ever knocked on your door", API-president Katalin Halmai said in her speech. ,,Even Boris Johnson among them, if I am not mistaken…?"
Martine was and is the heart of the association. Her memory is legendary. Katalin Halmai praised Martine for remembering journalists even years and years after they left Brussels, with all details about where they lived and who they worked for. "API would simply cease to exist without you. Without your knowledge, dedication, loyalty…", Halmai said.
Martine herself said that in those 40 years she has always loved to work for API, almost never skipping a day and enjoying the contact with journalists from all over the world. "I traveled all over the world, without leaving my desk", she said.
In those 40 years she worked with fourteen API-presidents and three secretary-generals. Four former presidents since the ninety's were at the reception.
Martine listens to the speech by API-president Katalin Halmai.
PHOTO © Thierry Monasse