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The region covered by the Asia Pacific Zone has a longstanding association with the International Wine & Food Society. The first IWFS branch in what is now the APZ was the Victoria branch in Melbourne, which commenced operations in1936, shortly after the formation of the IWFS in London in 1933, and which continues as a well established branch to this day.
During the 1950s, Victor Gibson AO of the Victoria branch formed a lasting friendship with André Simon which lead to the expansion of the IWFS in the region, with the formation of new branches in Australia and New Zealand. Subsequently additional branches were established in Tokyo in 1959, in Singapore in 1965 and in several other South East Asian cities during the 1960s and 70s.
The Asian Pacific Zone Steering Committee was formed in June 1986 at a gathering in Singapore under the leadership of IWFS Chairman Dr. Louis Hughes with Dr. Max Lake AO installed as the inaugural Chairman of APZ. Read more here.
In 1989, soon after its formation, APZ hosted a memorable International Festival shared between Singapore and Hong Kong. Subsequently, Regional Festivals have been held in Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Adelaide, Hong Kong and Sydney and an International Festival in Auckland.
APZ is a far flung region with great diversity and enthusiasm. In between Festival years, long weekend events are now established as mini festivals to coincide with the region’s AGM, with recent gatherings in Penang, Cebu, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Taipei.
On 1 January 2015, in an effort to modernise the structure of the Zone, IWFS Asia Pacific Ltd assumed the assets, liabilities and responsibility for managing the Zone. The final (26th) AGM of the Asia Pacific Zone Committee was held in March 2015, while the first AGM of the new company was held in the same month.