We Are London Gala Dinner WRITE UP

We Are London Gala Dinner WRITE UP

February 27, 2017 8:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Well, our biggest social event of the year has come and gone. To all those who joined us: thank you and we hope your hangovers have suitably subsided. To those who weren’t able to: have a read through our write up and find out what you missed. Next year, make sure you get your ticket and join us!

The Private Members’ Lounge at the Guildhall was a perfect setting for our evening. With all of our guests dressed in finery and chains of office aplenty, the backdrop of the main halls served as a fitting reminder of where JCI can take you. We were able to reconnect with old friends from across the world, as we had the privilege of hosting many international guests from chambers across the globe. With welcome champagne, our guests chatted and bonded and generally caught up on all that has happened since we were last together. Rafael called us to our seats, gave us a brief outline on the evening, and we began our starters. The food, as to be expected, was magnificent and served with the perfect wine to compliment each dish. We were certainly spoiled on that front!

The other aspect of the night was the speeches. First, Mr Keith Bottomley CC told us all about how much JCI UK membership has helped and meant to him. We heard a lot about the history of the city, and it was a pleasure to hear what JCI can do for you. It served as a reminder of all of the things JCI gives us aside from a wonderful network of friends. Next, Mr Bill Fraser OBE, Deputy gave us an incredibly moving speech, citing our JCI values. Sometimes it’s good to remember what JCI stands for aside from it’s mission statement. Both David and I were inspired (and slightly emotional) at the end of Bill’s speech. Up next was current JCI UK President Michael Steel. As promised to JCI Southampton, we did keep him in one piece, despite our best efforts to corrupt him. Among Michael’s tales of his experiences with our chamber, he also expressed the pride and gratitude we all have in our hearts for our IPP Rafael. 2016 was a monumental year for JCI London and we owe it to his leadership. It was fitting, then, that Rafael continued proceedings by announcing our awards.

The Peter Ancell Award: Marine Klein

The John Aspinall Award: Garin Rouch

The Gerald Bodmer Award: Zohasina Razafinjatovo

The London Jubilee Award: Matt Beavan

The Prentis Award for Excellence: Heloise Mignot

The Belgium Staines Award: Immaculate Birungi

The David Woodgate Award: Roxana Cardos

The Karen Pheasant Award: Ruta Rataviciute

Discresionary Award for Finance: Bandhu P Das

Certificates of Merit: Velislava Chardakova, Oliver Rieche, Maud D’Agostini, Brenda Kerson

Special Awards for Continuous Support: Marco Van Den Heuval, Joe Dilger

With awards out of the way, it was Raf’s turn to give a speech. Throughout he expressed his thanks for his team, the senators, and most importantly his wife for her constant support. It was lovely and fitting to see her recognised by her husband and a room full of friends who have also appreciated everything she’s done. Next, it was time for the handover of the chain and David’s “inaugaration” speech. I had a bet on whether he would cry (sorry David), but our President stood firm and expressed his pride for the 2017 team in all the work done so far and still to come. In what can only be attributed to karma and not the fact I was a little tipsy and weak, I did have a small cry. JCI Galas will do that to you: you’re reminded of all of the wonderful people you’re surrounded by, the progress you can make in a matter of months, and the places you want to go; not just for yourself but to make everyone around you proud. In other news, I’m a soppy git.

What followed was carriges, and frivolity at Babble. I’d write what happened then but a) we all got a bit silly and b) I can barely remember. This is why you don’t let a 21 year old go drinking with you. All in all, it was a wonderful night for all involved. We’re immensley proud of all recipients of awards, and a huge congratulations and thanks go out to the incomparable Ruta for organising such a fantastic affair.

Thanks to all for joining us and we hope to see you all soon ~ Ruthie 

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This post was written by Ruthie Pinion

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