Year-in-Review 2016: – Happy New Year 2017 – Letter to family & friends

La Tour de Peilz, 18th December 2016

Dear friends,

This is the very first time in 22 years since my retirement in 1994 that I am writing this note from Switzerland and not from the Caribbean, the reason being the colon cancer the doctors discovered last spring when Uschi went for a blood check to undergo a knee operation. The details are in the article below, or on under Family, Not so Great news, and updates. After the 12th chemotherapy session on Jan. 3, 2017 and some other check-ups, we hope that we will get permission to fly to Nevis at the end of January for a 2 months’ rest in our house there so that Uschi may recuperate from the 6-month ordeal.

2016 started out fine enough. In January, we had Hans & Sylvia Friedli for the 7th time visiting us for a fortnight in Nevis before departing on a Caribbean cruise. Then we had lots of parties in February and March with some golf and a run to St. Barth for some freshly flown-in French mussels and purchases of food tîtems. On the way back to Switzerland in late March, we caught up with several friends in Miami.

As usual, I went on my yearly Japan trip in May to see sumo and meet with my former key staff in a nice new restaurant run by a staff member of a former top client. One day I was happy to sponsor Barry and Karen Wilson for an afternoon at the Kokugikan Sumo Arena in a special box with armchair seats for some most exciting bouts, after which they invited me to a superb teppanyaki dinner.

Uschi should have undergone a knee replacement on July 4 and for that, she had to get a new blood test; the yearly one done in October 2015 was too old. It showed she was anemic, and the reason turned out to be a tumor in her colon. This was removed in an operation in Lausanne on June 8th, and her bi-weekly chemotherapy started a month later in the Providence Hospital in Vevey on July 11th.

On July 23rd, I celebrated my 80th birthday (3 days late) with 80 guests: I had chartered the 100+ year old paddle ship m/s VEVEY. Nobody was aware that Uschi had cancer as she felt excellent on the 13th day after her very first chemo session. We had a great time with fine weather despite the poor weather forecast, superb dinner with fine wines in the Salon Belle Époque and a great live orchestra as accompaniment till 1 am.

Because she had felt great during the second week of treatment at the beginning, she could drive to her hometown twice, on one occasion we visited friends in London, and another time we took a one week river cruise on the Rhone which was most enjoyable, but after October, the accumulation of all those chemicals made it difficult for her. The second week also became quite difficult, as the doctors had predicted all along. Now we are staying home and Uschi is resting whenever she feels too tired, but she is mostly in good spirits. Her forward-looking positive attitude is a great asset in all this and certainly greatly assist her chances to come out of all this a winner.

In November I flew for a short trip to Thailand to visit an old friend, Max Kagi, 86, wo is quite sick in his house in Phuket. He has been living there since the return of Hong Kong to China, sailing and playing a lot of golf. For some years, he no longer could walk, and with water in his lungs, he could hardly talk when we saw him 2 years ago, now he no longer recognized me. His Thai “wife” and daughter (not by him) look after him very gently, feed him, change diapers, etc. The sad thing is that his son by his deceased Chinese wife managed to obtain his father’s power of attorney and has now sold all his real estate in Switzerland and transferred the proceeds to his personal account in Hong Kong – he even canceled his father’s health insurance! And until it was changed to his Thai account, the son even used the old man’s state pension (AHV)!!! What a little bastard that Jackie is! Now the former multi-millionaire is living on a mere 2.200 Swiss francs’ state pension … I have a foreboding that I will not see him alive next time I am in Phuket … so I am happy I went this time to bid farewell.

During the last weekend of November, we visited our son’s family in Dättlikon because Keana, 12, our second grand daughter, was again performing in a ballet at the Theater in Winterthur. We try to go there every year, and as in years before, it was a delightful performance under the most excellent direction of Mrs. Claudia Corti – I just found out that she is related to Mario, our brilliant former CFO.

For Christmas, we will visit our son and his family in Dättlikon near Winterthur where the rest of the family is congregating, too. It will be the first time for us as we normally are in Nevis. We are very much looking forward to it.

In closing, Uschi joins me in wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a most wonderful, happy, successful and healthy New Year of the Rooster 2017!

Willi and Uschi

*The Zurich number +41 44 586 5060 is in Switzerland and reaches us anywhere in the world over the Internet; if no answer, pl. just leave a message with your number and we will call you back within 24 hours. The Nevis numbers: Land line +1 869 469 8818 with answer machine; Cell Willi +1 869 660 2000, Uschi + 1 869 665 8322 – the cell numbers will answer only if we are in Nevis in 2017 expected from 28.1. to 22.3.2017.

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