A quarterly publication from The English-Speaking Union December 2010
The English-Speaking Union
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The ESU brings together and empowers people of different languages and cultures. By building skills and confidence in communication, we give people the opportunity to realise their potential. Worldwide, the members and alumni of the ESU support these objectives.
International submissions Submissions should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our vision is to provide people in the UK and internationally with communication skills, confidence and networking opportunities. We endeavour to see that the value of good communication as an essential attribute for individual, community and global development and understanding is publicly recognised and widely integrated into education and social policy.
DONATION Can you leave a gift in your will to the ESU? If you would consider leaving us a gift in your Will, we will be able to expand the work of the ESU in United Kingdom and all over the world. For more information on how your gift could be allocated please contact Jo Wedderspoon, Head of Fundraising and Development 020 7529 1576 email@example.com
The English-Speaking Union Dartmouth House 37 Charles Street London W1J 5ED T +44 (0)20 7529 1550 F +44 (0)20 7495 6108 firstname.lastname@example.org www.esu.org Registered Charity No. 273136
Branch submissions Submissions should be made to esubranchesnews @gmail.com
If you have questions please contact the Editor at Dartmouth House – 020 7529 1579 or email@example.com Deadlines Submissions for the edition published on: 15 March submissions need to be received by 1 February
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15 June submissions need to be received by 1 May 15 September submissions need to be received by 1 August 15 December submissions need to be received by 1 November The ESU reserves the right not to publish submissions.
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A quarterly publication from The English-Speaking Union December 2010
ON THE HORIZON
From the Director-General_04
Debate Academy 2011_34
Readers sought for Biography Award_34
Evening Literary Lectures_34
Database Update_08 Gillian Parker Moves On_08
English in Action 20th year_35 New Dartmouth House Lunches_36 ESU Cumberland Lodge Debates_36
House of Lords Tea Party_36
From the Archives_49
Exhibiting English_14 Debate Squad Tour to Japan_16
Buckingham Palace award ceremony_10
Buckingham Palace Garden Party_53 Regional diary_69
A message from Brian Marsh_20
ESU Membership benefits_72
How the ESU changed my life_21
CREDITS Managing Editor Hanna Cevik Editor Roberta Pearce
How The English-Speaking Union influenced my career_27
Maureen is ‘citizen of the year’_29 Profile_30 Annual Alumni appeal and information update_32
Design The Click Design Consultants theclickdesign.com DIALOGUE 3
EDITORIAL Mike Lake ESU Director-General
I thought I should preface this edition of dialogue with a report from the Annual General Meeting.
Following the meeting the Chairman has written to all members and I reproduce below the wording of his letter.
“I am writing to tell you of the outcome of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) here at Dartmouth House last Thursday. I enclose my report to the meeting. This will be my final year as Chairman and I did want to pay tribute to the tremendous support that you all give to our charity, for which many thanks. You may, however, be aware of some concern expressed by a number of members about the proposals stemming from the reviews conducted by the Board of Governors over the last twelve months. At their meeting which preceded the AGM the Governors of the ESU unanimously endorsed the following statement: “The Board acknowledges with concern the expressed unease of many members in response to proposals stemming from the strategic review. The Board agree that a proper and effective consultation with members should now be undertaken and requests Richard Oldham and the NCEW to agree the process and timetable. Meanwhile, no further actions will be taken that impact on governance, any loss of control of charitable funds or new relations with other organisations. No change will meantime be made in the arrangements for Dartmouth House and a working group including representation of the membership will examine the future use of the premises.” I presented this statement to the AGM on 18 November under Any Other Business and it was approved by an overwhelming majority. The statement sets out the broad outline for resolving issues that the ESU has faced before and will do so again in the future unless we take this opportunity to ensure that our procedures are as transparent and accountable as they should be in a modern charity. I am delighted that the NCEW, under its Chairman, Richard Oldham, has been so willing to agree to undertake a consultation with members and to have that work completed by March. I hope that Governors will be able to support this consultation with individual visits to regions. May I please give you notice that it is now my intention to stand down as your Chairman next April. I do, however, want there to be an open
process for electing my successor. To move matters forward I now propose convening an EGM as I am authorised to do under the Royal Charter. At this EGM the conclusions and recommendations of the NCEW on future processes of consultation and governance should be properly presented to all members and voted upon. My suggested date is 14 April at 3pm and this will be confirmed in due course with all the necessary details. These are important matters, but whilst we are dealing with them I would not want any of us to lose sight of the important charitable work we undertake from Dartmouth House and from the branches, involving all members including our alumni and all in the best traditions of the ESU. I am determined that we will continue to grow in this way and our efforts should always be directed with this in mind. Thank you again for your support and my best wishes, as always, as we approach the Christmas festival.” For reasons of space, I have not attached the wording of his presentation to the AGM, but this is available to view at www.esu.org/news should you wish to read it. I am sure that all members will be kept informed of developments as they occur. In the meantime, I am pleased to say that our work continues to grow in its reach and impact on young people. Martin Mulloy, the Director of Charitable Activity, and I are in the process of concluding helpful discussions with our colleagues in the USA and we have every expectation that programmes that have declined in recent years can be revived to a vigorous state. Meanwhile, we are considering ways in which we can introduce public speaking skills to more schools in the United Kingdom. I hope we can devote space in the next edition and give an overview of the charitable work that is generated here at Dartmouth House as well as in the branches. In the meantime, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and successful New Year.
NEW APPOINTMENTS AT DARTMOUTH HOUSE
Missing Susan picture
We are pleased to welcome three new members of staff to the ESU at Dartmouth House. Susan Conway joins as Events Manager, working in the Fundraising and Development team. Susan, whose partner is an alumnus of the ESU, first came to Dartmouth House for the Election Night Party in May. After this introduction to our events, she responded to an advert for Events Manager following the departure of Gillian Parker (see page 8) and the consolidation of all events at the ESU. Prior to joining the ESU, Susan worked at an investment bank, that specialised in providing advisory services to public and private clients internationally. Susan is a graduate of the University of Birmingham where she read English Literature. Susan is developing a seasonal-based approach to ESU events, with the ultimate goal of producing an events calendar that will be advertised as far in advance as possible. The wider aim is to help increase the visibility and prominence of the ESU through broadening the scope of our events in the hope of attracting a new, wider demographic of potential members. Kate Bond is our new Alumni and Development Officer, also working in Fundraising and Development. Kate graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in History of Art last year and has since interned at two arts organisations. She has also travelled to South-East Asia and has written for a student publication. See the Alumni section for a message from Kate.
Kate will be working to maintain and develop relationships with alumni by involving them more in Dartmouth House and increasing the privileges associated with being an alumnus. She writes a monthly e-newsletter for our alumni, which profiles recent successes as well as up-coming events. Events planned for 2011 include the All-Alumni Reunion, a Young Alumni Reunion and the Capitol Hill Reunion as well as Open House Evenings. Kate and Susan will work to engage more alumni in all our ESU Dartmouth House events with ticket prices, pitched between member and non-member prices, reflecting this. Our third appointment is Jen Luk who joined the Education department in September. Originally from London, she studied Psychology at the University of Manchester before moving to Japan to teach English for two years. Prior to working at the ESU, she was at Girlguiding UK where she worked on their national centenary celebrations. Jen is actively involved in volunteering during her spare time including being on the committee of the Shoreditch Sisters WI. This experience puts her in good stead for expanding ESU volunteer programmes in the Education department such as English in Action, English in Action in Schools and Experience English.
MyESU Alasdair Wallace Online Communications Coordinator
The ESU website is an ongoing project. The internet changes, advances and adapts every day and we have to not only keep up with it, but aim to be at the forefront of this ever-changing technology.
Since the last issue of dialogue our focus has been on developing MyESU â€“ a new log-in facility for members to update their profiles, save events and for branch committee members to upload news and event items for their branch. In the future, this will be linked up with our database resulting in automatic updates and seamless integration between your online profile and your record on the database.
Over the last month, the initial stages of this part of the site have been tested by several members, providing valuable insight and feedback, ensuring that when we develop the website we do it in a way that you want and in a way that will encourage real ownership of the branch micro-site and the ESU website as a whole. MyESU will be made available first to branch committee members, then
members, alumni and the general public over the next few months. We hope that this advancement will enable more members to not only use the website, but be a involved in creating content for it. You will be informed directly when this section is available for you and there are plans to hold seminars to train branches and members to use the site to their best advantage.
GILLIAN PARKER LEAVES THE ESU Galitzine Dinner and many social events like the annual Christmas Concert. Gillian was also responsible for running the Shakespeare Study Course and Globe Cultural Seminar programmes and many alumni from those courses will remember fondly her patient and meticulous organisation and whole-hearted enthusiasm for the courses.
Gillian with the Duchess of Gloucester at the 2008 Gala Concert
At the end of October, the ESU said a sad goodbye to Gillian Parker, who had been with the ESU for almost four years. Gillian started as the Cultural Affairs Officer in January 2007. As with many staff at the ESU, she arrived at a particularly busy time and was thrown in at the deep-end but quickly proved to be a valuable member of the ESU team, taking on many new programmes and events. In 2008, she was promoted to Head of Cultural Affairs after the departure of Katie Brock. Members will remember many of the wonderful events she organised, including the Gala Concert, the
In 2010, Gillian took over from Katherine Plummer in the ESU’s Education department, bringing the many scholarships, programme and exchanges of that department under her watchful gaze. Whilst she ran the department for only a couple of months, her influence resulted in the decision to make Education a larger and more all-encompassing department with greater responsibility for all of the ESU’s programmes outside speech and debate. Her contribution to the whole of the ESU will be sorely missed, especially by her office-mate from the International department where she was an invaluable ‘extra’ member of the team, co-organising and attending many overseas launches and events. Gillian leaves us to start her new life in Abuja, Nigeria where her partner has been seconded for the post of West Africa correspondent for Reuters. Everyone at the ESU wishes Gillian well and will miss her hugely.
ESU database UPDATE I want to update you on the progress we have made with the database since we began the process of reviewing it in August. Thank you for all your feedback regarding the data quality of our current database. It has proved very useful in identifying where the problems are. I am encouraged that so many members have returned the forms sent out in September’s dialogue. The data is being processed by two interns correcting and updating the information so the data we use on the new system is both reliable and secure. With regard to the software, I instructed Jo Wedderspoon to set up a working party of staff to assess the solution.
We decided that the current database system cannot meet our needs. They invited five database companies to tender for a new contract. We are very conscious of the need to get this right and don’t want to rush into a decision. The working party will go through three stages to make sure we choose the correct provider. The final decision will be made in December 2010, and the new system will begin the transference process in January 2011. It is anticipated that the first stage will take about a month. We will not change to the twice yearly payment dates until we are confident that the database is working correctly to process payments and renewals. I appreciate your continued patience. Mike Lake ESU Director-General
FEATURES â€“ Inside A selection of events and articles that deserve special attention for their significance to the ESU from the last three months.
Buckingham Palace award ceremony_10 Churchill Lecture_12 Exhibiting English_14 Debate Squad Tour to Japan_16
PALACE AWARDS BRIGHTEN NOVEMBER DAY
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at our annual Buckingham Palace awards ceremony.
On the cold, grey afternoon of 9 November, winners of our ESU Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Award, ESU Presidentâ€™s Award and Competitions for Effective English received their certificates and prizes from His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at our annual Buckingham Palace awards ceremony. This occasion is a chance to celebrate the range and reach of ESU programmes with Prince Philip, our President.
The ESU received over 33 entries for the Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Award, which recognises innovation and good practice in the field of the English language and English language teaching. This year it was decided that two very different entries would be joint winners due to the high calibre of entries. These were Fiction in Action: Whodunit from Abax Ltd, a small publishing group based in Tokyo and Global by Macmillan Education.
The judges felt that Fiction in Action: Whodunit by Marcos Benevides and Adam Gray had a ‘novel and imaginative approach to learning and that using a globally popular genre such as the detective story it encourages learners to read and introduces them to the pleasures of reading’. The co-authors and brothers Hugh and Alastair Graham-Marr were able to fly to London to collect their award. Hugh Graham-Marr was delighted; “It was a wonderful event. I especially enjoyed the students being there for the speech and debate awards. Their joy at this recognition of their efforts was infectious. It is a wonderful feeling to have your efforts and the efforts of people you work closely with recognised. Often in the day-to-day bustle of life these things get missed. Here was a chance to slow down and reflect and say, ‘Yes, we did do a good job!’ and come away feeling that we can do an even better one next time!” The second winner, Global, is part of a major new English language teaching series from Macmillan Education. The digital component of this series, Global eWorkbook was awarded the ESU President’s Award. This award recognises innovation and good design in the use of free-standing technology in the teaching and learning of English. Global was described by the judges as ‘ground-breaking and ambitious and a significant shift from traditional course books in the stylish, sophisticated and mature approach to both teachers and learners’. The winner of the President’s Award Global eWorkbook ‘stood head and shoulders above the field in its clean, fresh design; its user-friendliness and its ease of navigation. It was rich in good content and effective in the variety and flexibility of learning options for the learner’. Completing a hat-trick of prizes for Macmillan Education, Jim Scrivener author of Teaching English Grammar attended to collect his certificate for the Best Entry for Teachers. Finally, Collocations Extra, published by Cambridge University Press, was awarded Highly Commended by the judges. Kate Woodford and Elizabeth Walter, the authors picked up their certificate along with Frances Disken, representing the publishers. The winners from a range of ESU speech and debate programmes then received their awards. The ESU works with a wide variety of participants within its competitions; university debaters, trainee lawyers, school students and international students. Our International Public Speaking Competition involves over 40,000 students in 45 countries throughout the world. Present at this year’s awards ceremony were Sebastien Ng Kuet Leong from Mauritius, who was the 2009 winner and Mouataz El Israwi from Lebanon, the 2010 winner. Mouataz was a memorable winner during the final at the headquarters of HSBC in May with his speech on over-population entitled ‘Oops... I’m Pregnant Again’.
Katherine Heard, Patrick Heard and Simon Mariner from Bourne Grammar School, Lincolnshire collected their certificates as the winners of the Public Speaking Competition for Schools, followed by Hasan Dindjer and Edward Schwitzer from Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, winners of the Schools Mace competition. Both were accompanied by their respective coaches, Richard Cave and Jill Gleeson. These two competitions combined reach around 800 schools throughout the UK and the number expands every year. The winners from our two competitions for university students, the John Smith Memorial Mace (sponsored by Baillie Gifford) and the ESU-Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition, were also at Buckingham Palace to receive their certificates. Sebastian Osborn and Paul Brown from the University of Edinburgh were the winners of the international final of the John Smith Memorial Mace, the oldest debating competition in the world, while Hannah Noyce and Emily MacKenzie won the mooting competition. Emily is currently studying in New York, so Hannah represented the team. Certificates were awarded to Tayla Ryan, Deren Mehmet, Nadine James and Tolgan Ozbilenler from Crown Woods School in Greenwich, winners of the London Debate Challenge. This competition provides the opportunity to all maintained schools in London to learn to debate and take part in competitions. Schools in all 32 boroughs of the capital are able to participate. The ESU has recently expanded its Great Debate series into a major new programme encompassing the arts, science, society and technology as well as our original Great Shakespeare Debate. Teams entered the Shakespeare competition this year by uploading a video of their thoughts on a variety of questions about Shakespeare and his plays to youtube.com. The 12 best teams go forward to the Great Shakespeare Debate in Stratford-Upon-Avon at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. This year the final was held on 3-4 March. The winners were Ewan Bruce, Joshua Ellis-Jones and Jonathan Newhouse of Ermysted’s Grammar School, North Yorkshire and they too received their certificates from His Royal Highness. The boys’ ‘audition’ video can be seen at www.youtube.com. Search for ‘Ermysted’s Grammar Shakespeare’. All our winners, their guests, staff and sponsors were able to enjoy a post-ceremony reception back at Dartmouth House, sponsored by Cambridge University Press. It was a chance for mingling, networking and catching up with partners and contacts.
BARON GUTHRIE DELIVERS CHURCHILL LECTURE
The ESU was incredibly fortunate to have Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank deliver the 34th annual Churchill Lecture at Guildhall on 16 November. Baron Guthrie’s speech focussed on the formative years of Winston Churchill; the childhood and adolescent experiences at Harrow School, of which Baron Guthrie is also an alumnus, which helped make the man. Baron Guthrie introduced the audience to a young Winston Churchill who encountered little contact or affection from his parents. Attending St. George’s School in Ascot, Churchill DIALOGUE 12
was described as independent yet insolent; a boy who won prizes in English and History yet who resented most sports, in which he did not excel save for his accomplishments in fencing. Baron Guthrie moved forward to discuss Churchill’s time at Harrow School which would mark the start of his military career. The audience was informed of some enlightening trivia, including the fact that Winston Churchill sat the entry level exam to Sandhurst a total of three times before eventually passing it. Churchill applied to join the cavalry rather than the infantry as, we were told, the entry
grade was lower and allowed Churchill to showcase his horseman skills which, he believed, were excellent.
answer session covering current and past conflicts and other defence matters.
Lord Guthrie discussed Winston Churchill’s experiences of Cuba, India and South Africa and how, eventually, Churchill’s military career helped resurrect and strengthen his ailing relationship with his father.
Edward Gould, Deputy Chairman of the English-Speaking Union, presented the four volumes of A History of the English Speaking Peoples and the ESU Churchill Medal of Honour to Baron Guthrie. Mike Lake, who also introduced Baron Guthrie and highlighted his personal admiration for him, gave the vote of thanks. The lecture was followed by a reception in the Old Library.
We were treated to Lord Guthrie’s views on what he perceived would be Churchill’s thoughts and opinions on the present day conflicts in Afghanistan, as well as the invasion in Iraq, before he lecture concluded with a lively question and
EXHIBITING THE EVOLUTION OF ENGLISH
David Crystal has been involved with the ESU since 1989, first as a member of the ESU board and more recently as Chair of the ESU’s English Language Council. He has given several lectures, spoken at ESU conferences from Edinburgh to Sydney and written journal articles as well as attending the World Members Conference in Washington in 1992. In 1993, he spoke at the BBC/OUP/ELT lecture ‘In Search of English – A Travellers Guide’ held at Dartmouth House. He spoke at the ESU Language of Science conference in March 2005 and was special guest speaker in Belgrade in 2009 at the ESU ‘Future of Englishes’ conference. He has written a piece for us about the new exhibition at the British Library, exploring the development of the English language for which he was the lead consultant and the author of the accompanying book.
The British Library is doing something rather exciting this year. It’s holding its first ever exhibition totally devoted to the English language. It’s called ‘Evolving English’ and it’s running from mid-November until early April. If you’re anywhere near London during that time, make a visit. You’ll never have seen anything like it. Bits of it you might have seen before. Some of the really famous books and manuscripts are often on display at the Library - such as the Anglo-Saxon saga Beowulf, the first edition of the Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare’s First Folio, or the King James Bible. But they are there as wonderful works of literature in their own right. They’re not there to tell a story - the story of the English language. It’s a story that has often been told in textbook form, but textbooks typically don’t have many pictures - and when you do see them they’re usually quite small and not in colour, and DIALOGUE 14
it’s often difficult to read the words in the manuscripts. TV documentaries are visual enough, but they never give us enough detail, nor do we get a good sense of the physicality of the objects. Once you see how big a First Folio or a King James Bible actually is, you don’t forget it. (And how heavy these books are. You have to be quite strong to lift one of those bibles!) It’s not just the famous books of the past that tell the story of English. The British Library has amazing collections of ephemera - texts that aren’t intended to have a long life, such as tickets, programmes, posters and advertisements. These are also an important part of linguistic history, so they are in the exhibition too. And the Library has great collections of literature from all over the world. English is a global language now, and any exhibition has to show the way it has evolved in other places. This isn’t just an exhibition of British English. Nor is the exhibition only about books. People sometimes forget that the British Library has a large number of audiorecordings of spoken English, some dating back to the late 1800s. The Library has an excellent collection of modern regional accents and dialects too. And it’s building up its collection of reconstructed accents. You can hear how English may have sounded in Beowulf ’s time, or Chaucer’s, or Shakespeare’s. There isn’t just one story of English - there are hundreds. Each dialect of the language, whether national or global, has its own story. This was one of the big problems the organizers of the exhibition had to face. How to tell as many stories as possible, in a limited exhibition space? They solved the problem by dividing the space, and the accompanying book, into seven themes, each of which explores a different strand of the story.
English comes of age
This strand presents the first thousand years of English, beginning with the earliest appearance of the language in Britain, in the fifth century, in simple inscriptions. We follow its growth as a written medium, first using runes, and then the Roman alphabet introduced by missionaries, along with a few extra letters to cope with the Old English sound system. We see the language developing in poems, riddles, charters, wills, chronicles, songs, and stories. As we move into the Middle English period, from around the 12th century, the old letters are gradually replaced, so that the language becomes much more recognizable to modern eyes. The period ends with a letter, written in English in about 1419 by King Henry V, probably in his own handwriting. When kings start using English, rather than French or Latin, we can say that the language has really come of age. Setting the standard
This strand takes up the story as the Middle Ages draw to a close. A nation state needs a standard language, if it is to function effectively, but this isn’t something that happens overnight. It took 400 years to develop a ‘standard English’ a variety in which educated people all came to use the same rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation. The exhibition identifies the main influences. We see the very first printed book in English, published by William Caxton, as well as works by Chaucer and Shakespeare, some early translations of the Bible, the first accounts of English spelling and grammar, and the first English dictionary, compiled by Robert Cawdrey in 1604. We then move into the 18th century, with its hugely influential grammars and dictionaries, such as Dr Johnson’s, and into the present day, with the Oxford English Dictionary and the BBC. Everyday English
Standard English has both formal and informal varieties, though it is the formal variety that we encounter most often in literature and the press, and in such areas as science, education, religion and the law. But this kind of literature is only one side of the coin. On the other side, we find thousands of examples of ordinary everyday English, in the form of letters, cookery recipes, diaries and all kinds of daily chat. In the exhibition we see some fine surviving specimens from the Middle Ages, such as the letters written by the Paston family, as well as informal writing from later periods by such people as Jonathan Swift, Jane Austen, Mark Twain and Harold Pinter. English at work
The next strand introduces the notion of English in the workplace. Here we see the enormous stylistic range of the language as it was adapted to cope with new intellectual and social demands. It does not take long before we can talk about the ‘language of ’ such areas as law, religion, economics, medicine, history, science and technology. More recently,
we find the language of the press, advertising and the media in general. In the exhibition we see the first ever English newspaper and some of the dramatic news reports and advertisements from the 19th century. Special forms of English appear, such as shorthand and the use of simplified systems for teaching purposes. All of this captures the notion of ‘English at work’. English at play
By contrast, this next strand illustrates the equally wide range of varieties involved in ‘English at play’. The concept of ‘play’ is a very wide one. It includes any use of language where someone manipulates the rules to make an effect, as in jokes, riddles, word puzzles and creative literature. We see joke books and language parlour games from hundreds of years ago and how schoolbooks made use of language play to motivate children to learn. The history of English shows a continuous strand of playful language, from the earliest Anglo-Saxon riddles to the latest text-messaging poems. And the abbreviations of text-messaging turn out to be a lot older than most people realize. Accents and dialects
This strand deals with the development of accents and dialects. They can be seen at the very beginning of the Old English period, and they become more in evidence as the language spread around Britain and came to be written down in widely separated places. We see the very first collections of dialect words and the way authors started to bring dialects into their writing, as with the poems of Robert Burns or the characters of Charles Dickens. The large surveys of the late 19th and 20th centuries stimulated fresh interest in the study of regional speech and there are examples in the exhibition showing how dialectologists operate. Global English
This last strand looks at the emergence of English outside the British Isles, on a global scale. The evolution of international dialects follows the course of world history - largely a consequence of the spread of the British Empire. An American English emerged in the 17th century, and was soon followed by other Englishes in the Caribbean, India, the East Indies, Africa and Australasia. In some cases, contact with local languages resulted in the development of pidgin varieties of English, some of which evolved into separate languages. The diversification has continued in a postcolonial era, with many countries adopting English as a lingua franca and then immediately adapting it to express their cultural identity. Several of these ‘new Englishes’ are on display in the exhibition. So: if you can get to London during the opening period, go. If not, there’s an accompanying website and a book of the exhibition, Evolving English. Either way, you’ll experience the language as never before.
ESU JAPAN TOUR 2010 Jason Vit Head of ESU Speech and Debate
Between 26 September and 4 October, four students and I made up the 2010 English-Speaking Union’s Japan tour squad. Alex Just, James Ashton-Bell, Lizzie Bauer and Ben Woolgar were selected from more than 100 applicants, to accompany me based on the work they have done for the ESU in the past and their interview. Here, I report our experiences and give some heartfelt words of thanks to the many people who made the trip an unmitigated success…
on the various educational activities in which the ESU-J had been involved over the past year, our hosts took us for a welcome dinner at a local sushi restaurant. The evening was a true delight, with melt-in-the-mouth sashimi, exquisite sushi and some deep-sea treats! The meal was rounded off with a number of generous toasts from our Japanese hosts, made in the traditional manner using small glasses of hot and cold saki.
Tuesday: Tochigi Prefecture
Our first official function of the tour was a meeting with a former ESU-Japan Debating Tournament winner, Takeshi Ikeda at the offices of his prestigious Tokyo law firm Nishimura Asahi. Mr Ikeda triumphed in 2001 and his success had encouraged him to attend a law school in the USA and qualify as an attorney at the New York Bar. Mr Ikeda hosted us at his firm’s sleek and imposing offices in the Akasaka district and we had a fascinating discussion about the Japanese work culture and the life of a corporate lawyer in Tokyo.
The next day we took our first shinkansen bullet train north to Utsunomiya Girls’ High School – one of the oldest and most successful girls’ schools in Japan. We were met at the station by the school’s debate coach. He told us that his students had been researching and preparing for many weeks in anticipation of our mixed debates where an ESU squad member teams up with two Utsunomiya debaters.
Although Mr Ikeda has not yet qualified as an elite Bengoshi lawyer (incredibly for a country of nearly 120 million, there are only 20,000 of these accredited legal professionals!) he did tell us about the liberalisation of the Japanese legal system. Later that afternoon we took a short walk across town to the ESU-Japan offices, where we met with members of the ESU-J’s full-time staff and were introduced to the student members of the Debate Committee who would be running the debating competition later in the week. After a briefing DIALOGUE 16
Our first debate of the tour was a formed from the squad with Alex Just and Ben Woolgar plotting a path to victory proposing the motion: ‘This House Believes that Science has truly made people happy’. In a passionate and sophisticated debate which pitted co-operative human endeavour against the state of nature, the 200-strong audience of students and teachers seemed to enjoy the analysis of the ennui caused by online social networking. The students especially enjoyed Alex’ similarity to Harry Potter and Lizzie’s to Hermione Granger. As winners, Ben and Alex were rewarded with the task of running a short workshop with the Utsunomiya Girls’ junior debate squad. Despite having only 40 minutes, everyone left
the session with a better grasp of complex vocabulary regarding nuclear energy and some ingenious opposition strategies. The second debate of the evening saw the ESU squad shuffled, and Alex had the pleasure of working with James to propose the motion ‘This House Believes that Japan should lower its immigration policy’. Once again, the debate provoked an excellent reaction from the crowd, which, this time, comprised some 100 students and 20 teachers from nine neighbouring secondary schools. But this merely served as a warm up (no pun intended) for the main event – a much anticipated ‘mixed debate’ on the highly topical motion: ‘This House Would ban air conditioners’ (it had been the topic of a school project for the last few weeks). Given that Tokyo had just experienced one of its hottest summers on record, Sakura, one of the speakers on the proposition, talked about Japan’s future energy security and imagined a world without the unnecessary temperate fluctuations that have become a constant blight on 21st century respiratory systems. “Can Japan live without air conditioners?” she asked. “Yes we can!” the crowd replied. The squad celebrated a successful day by consuming several plates of fresh gyozo (a dish for which the prefecture is famous) at the train station before getting the shinkansen train back to Tokyo. Wednesday: Osaka
Invigorated by the previous day’s debating and teaching successes, the next morning we headed to Shinagawa station to catch one of the fastest shinkansen trains in the country to Osaka. The journey south gave us an excellent sense of the way Japanese people have maximized the use of their land. It appeared that not a square foot of land was unused and, as we glided past spectacular mountain scenery, it was easy to see why, despite its recent fiscal difficulties, Japan remains a global economic power-house. Two students met us off the train holding up a beautifully decorated “UK Debate Team” sign and escorted us via the metro to Osaka Prefecture University, the site of our public debate that evening. The debate that evening was on another environmental motion, ‘This House Believes that developing countries should not have to limit their greenhouse gas emissions’. Lizzie and Alex teamed up and, in a lively debate in front of 150 students, teachers and members of the public, they narrowly lost after our sushi-based analogy was deftly ‘flipped’ in the dying seconds of the debate by Mr James “Fugu” Ashton-Bell. The panel discussion which followed allowed us all to explain to the enthusiastic audience how we initially got involved with debating and our all-time favourite motion.
That evening our student hosts took us to a nearby izakaya (a Japanese pub) where, thanks to the generosity of the Kansai Japanese Parliamentary Debating Union, we were treated to a dinner that comprised lots of small dishes – one of which was raw marinated chicken. We also had the opportunity to taste a variety of local beverages, including umeshu, a sweet and sour plum wine. A consensus quickly emerged that our next stop should be a karaoke bar and we tracked down a central Osaka venue that had Lionel Richie songs available. Our hosts introduced us to the popular J-Pop group Mr Children and we responded with some memorable and melodic (!) performances of British classics. The night finished with a rousing rendition of the Oasis classic Wonderwall, showing our age to our Japanese compatriots. Thursday: Kyoto
The next morning we arose in salubrious spirits and were met at our hotel by two students from Osaka University who were to be our guides for a morning of sightseeing in nearby Kyoto. It was fascinating if uncomfortable to share the journey with hundreds of commuters moving between two sprawling metropolises. Having arrived at the cathedral-like Kyoto train station, we hopped in taxis for the short journey to the Toji complex. After observing the traditional purification and washing rituals before entering the religious compound, we were all amazed at the five storey pagoda that rose up before us. Originally built in the 12th century and restored in 1640s, the structure is the tallest and most iconic shrine in the Kansai region. Despite the drizzle, we ambled around the beautiful traditional gardens in the complex and then headed to Kyoto station to catch the shinkansen back to Tokyo. That evening, after checking into our new hotel in the Yotsuya district, we ran a teacher training seminar at the Japan Professional School of Education. Over 30 teachers attended our demonstration debate (on the old-chestnut motion ‘This House Would ban school uniforms’) and the small-group workshops which followed. These provoked some interesting discussions about how pedagogical techniques differed when students were debating in a second language. Friday: Tokyo
As Friday was our only non-teaching day of the tour, we mapped out a fairly intensive sight-seeing itinerary. First stop was a visit to Ueno Park and a trip to see the hundreds of amazing objects housed at the National Museum of Japan. We headed back into central Tokyo and had lunch in an authentic tempura restaurant not far from the bustling Shinjuku railway station (which according to Lizzie’s guide book has three million passengers through its doors every
day!) It was clearly a fashionable location as we spotted an up-and-coming Sumo wrestler sitting a few seats down from us at the ‘frying bar’ (after having him pointed out by the more knowledgeable in the group). Rejuvenated by our delicious meal (which was rounded off with tempura ice cream!) we hit the shops of Shinjuku, including a Japanese institution like Tokyu Hands (a cross between B&Q and Selfridges). We made a quick pit-stop at the Olympic Centre and after checking in, dropping off our purchases and catching up with the ESU-J debate committee we hopped on a downtown metro. As it was a very clear evening, we decided to ride the complimentary high-speed lift up to the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Building which offered a breathtaking aerial panorama. We walked around the Golden Gai district observing the groups of final-year undergraduates celebrating their official ‘Welcome Ceremony’ in which their future graduate employers formally initiate them into their corporation. After a rather expensive day we plumped for a wholesome and economical dinner in a central Raman noodle house and then went home for an early night. Saturday-Sunday: 2010 ESU-J Debating Competition
The annual ESU-J Debating Competition is always held at the Olympic Centre, which was built for the 1964 Games. It is in an amazing location, nestled on the edge of an ancient forest with great views east of the Shinjuku skyline. All of the rooms are complete with authentic 1964 furnishings, including a built-in bed-side radio which is still enviable today. After the briefing we were sent off to judge each of the four preliminary debate rounds. The motions were both topical and challenging, taking in issues that included whether Consumption Tax was equitable and the morality of eating meat. Although all of Saturday’s debates had closed adjudication (meaning we could not give individual feedback), a very well attended general feedback session was held that evening. The standard of analysis and rhetorical flair was extremely high and the Japanese debaters were a pleasure to watch. The next morning, the teams discovered who had made it through to the Quarter Finals, and we all finished preparations for our afternoon lecture covering ways in which ESU-J members could improve their public speaking skills using philosophy in structure and strategy. After a quick bite to eat in the Olympic Centre canteen, the squad was divided into teams for the final exhibition debate on the motion ‘This House Would not eat meat’. Alex was paired with Ben and they had the task of proposing the motion in front of 300 people – many of whom had already given fantastic speeches on this very topic earlier in the competition. Lizzie and Ben delivered DIALOGUE 18
a staunch opposition and the show debate ended with rapturous applause. In the end, Ben and Alex won a close debate with a sophisticated team-line that appealed to the crowd. Their prize was as much shabu shabu (Japanese hot pot) as they could eat. Our final official duty on the tour was to sit as members of the 13-member judging panel for the grand final, which was fiercely contested between two universities who had never before reached that stage of the competition. Waseda University triumphed over Tokyo University in a 7-6 decision. We said our goodbyes to the ESU-J committee and many of our new Japanese friends, then walked to a nearby Nepali restaurant for a squad farewell meal. Our thanks to: All the committee members at ESU-Japan for their generosity and support throughout the tour, the students on the ESU-Japan debate committee who ran a fantastic tournament! All our student hosts, particularly the Osaka debaters who introduced us to Mr Children, all the other members of the squad for some excellent show-debate banter. Sakura and Hitomi from Utsunomiya Girls’ High School for their sterling efforts in the now famous air conditioner debate!
ALUMNI – Inside In this annual alumni focussed edition of dialogue, we will bring our alumni up to date with the developments of the ESU and provide a selection of stories and messages about the experience of taking part in an ESU programme.
Welcome_20 A message from Brian Marsh_20 How the ESU changed my life_21 How The English-Speaking Union influenced my career_27 Maureen is ‘Citizen of the year’_29 Oops, Dartmouth House again_30 Annual Alumni appeal and information update_32
A MESSAGE FROM BRIAN MARSH I write on the occasion of a new version of our alumni newsletter, in the shape of the December edition of dialogue magazine. The earliest alumni newsletters came out in the 1930s and they were very much increased in the 1960s and 1970s under the title Griffin. Here we are 30 years later with yet another version, which I hope you will enjoy reading. I wish all the English-Speaking Union alumni a very Merry Christmas. Brian Marsh, Honorary Chairman, ESU Alumni Association
From now on the annual Alumni newsletter will be merged with the December edition of dialogue. This is because we felt the alumni might be interested to find out more about the various different aspects of the ESU and vice versa. I have been correlating information from a breadth of sources to include in the alumni section but, in particular, I would like to give many thanks to those who took the time to submit to the How the ESU Changed My Life section. These so often improved my day at work that I will miss their regular trickle into my inbox. I am incredibly proud to include them here (and on the website) so that they can perchance bring a smile to your face also. Please see the Diary Dates section at the back to find all alumni and general events planned for the future. As always if you have any comments, queries or ideas concerning events please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Many thanks and best wishes for the holidays
Kate Bond 020 7529 1571 firstname.lastname@example.org
OBITUARY Dr Ian Noble Dr Ian Noble, Congressional Intern class of 2009, died tragically in an accident on 7 October 2010. He was a dedicated and talented young man who achieved much in his life. Eton-educated, Dr Noble was in his second foundation year at King’s College Hospital and on the British Medical Association’s board of directors. He trained at Sheffield University where he met his partner Dr Annabel Scott. His childhood dream was to become a doctor but those who met him might also remember him as being very political. Other than being a Capitol Hill intern on the ESU programme he also camped in Edinburgh the night before his King’s interview to protest against accommodation cuts for medical students. His family intend to establish a bursary in his name to help future medical students. Our thoughts are with his parents Rod and Joan Noble, his brother Jamie, his partner Annabel and his many friends at this sad time.
HOW THE ESU CHANGED MY LIFE David Taylor (Chautauqua 1963) 1963 was the year of the Great Train Robbery, the Profumo scandal, the Beatles and the assassination of US President John Kennedy. I have a more personal reason, for it was the year that I first met my wife Ruth. At the time I was Head of Physics at Sherborne School in Dorset and Ruth was Head of History at King Edward’s School, Birmingham. We had both been awarded scholarships to the Summer School at Chautauqua in upper New York State, USA, and, apart from a brief meeting at a Dartmouth House reception, we did not see each other again until we were at Chautauqua itself.
Amphitheatre that evening, but fog might prevent his plane landing. Would I stand in for the Governor, if he didn’t arrive? Nervously I agreed, but eventually it was decided to put on a music programme instead! Although I was told “we just love your accent”, a 29 year-old English physics teacher was hardly a substitute for the Governor of Pennsylvania! We had various other experiences of mixing with the ‘great and the good’ of America, especially when staying several days in Washington DC with Henry Fowler, Secretary of State to the Treasury, during a tour arranged for us by the ESU. However, before we left Chautauqua for our tour and 26 days after we met, I asked Ruth to marry me. Without hesitation she said “yes” and our engagement was first announced in the Chautauqua Daily!
A student with us at Chautauqua received news from his mother in Texas that all public places in his town had just been desegregated without incident.
However, that brief meeting immediately convinced me that I would like to see more of Ruth, so I wrote to her asking if she would like to share a car that a friend, teaching in the US, offered to lend me for the summer. She readily agreed with the result that we saw far more of each other than the previous scholars, who mostly went their separate ways. We soon felt an affinity and affection for each other and, apart from our academic courses, (Philosophy of Education for Ruth and Sociology for me) we were rarely apart.
We were known as the Bell Tower scholars on the campus and we were often asked to speak to various organisations. Our American hosts doubted whether the English had a sense of humour (don’t tell an Englishman a joke on Friday, he may laugh in church!). They were reassured, when I said at our welcoming lunch at the Athenaeum Hotel that, at 6’ 7”, I was the Tower but Ruth was the Belle! Curtis Haig, the Director of Education of the Summer School invited me to speak at a Jamestown Rotary Club lunch. After I’d finished, Curtis said that the Governor of Pennsylvania, William Scranton, was due to speak in the
We were married the following April and our daughter Catherine was born in 1966. I eventually became Head of Adams’ Grammar School, a Haberdashers’ Company school in Newport, Shropshire. I retired in 1993. In 1998, while she and her family were living in Pittsburgh, we visited Chautauqua. She wanted to see where her parents had first met! Much had changed, yet as we walked, we recalled with great joy those magical days of 1963. Additional comments by Ruth Taylor nee Bryan:
I would like to add a few observations to the report my husband, David Taylor, has given of our time as Bell Tower Scholars in 1963. I had been actively involved in the Younger members’ Group of the English-Speaking Union in Birmingham before applying for the Chautauqua Scholarship. I had been Secretary and then Chairman, organising a very successful DIALOGUE 21
collection of books for the Ranfurly Library through the Birmingham Public Libraries. So I had some idea of what to expect.
Rod Chamberlain SSE (formally BASS) Harvard School 1963-64
It is only too easy to forget how different American society was in 1963. Two examples will suffice:
In my day Harvard School students wore military uniform all the time, and it was traditional that the British exchange student got bushwhacked and had his head shaved at some relatively early point. Here’s the evidence, complete with autographed arms (to the much later chagrin of some of those involved).
A student with us at Chautauqua received news from his mother in Texas that all public places in his town had just been desegregated without incident. His face was a picture of joy and relief. When we were in Washington, there was considerable apprehension about the forthcoming march on Washington when Martin Luther King was to make his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech. In the event, of course, it passed without incident. The award of an ESU scholarship enabled me to pass on an interest in American Studies to numerous VI form groups who I subsequently taught. Chautauqua was a heart-warming experience, and of course it was where I found my life partner. That certainly changed my life!
Jenny Lowthrop SSE (formally BASS) Lawrenceville School 2003-2004 Studying at the Lawrenceville School as part of an ESU American Exchange Scholarship introduced me to the world of volunteering. I had to do 20 hours to graduate from the school but was instantly hooked and did many more hours, spending my time teaching primary school children and serving food to the homeless. I continued volunteering throughout university and now run the Volunteer Centre at the London School of Economics and a national charity called The Young Achievers Trust, in my spare time... who knows what I would have done if Lawrenceville hadn’t opened my eyes to the wanders of volunteering?!
Not to mention that having been “Roderick” all my life I became “Rod” the second I got off the train from New York, and have remained so ever since. I’ve had a big brother and two children on the SSE programme too and now find myself a Governor of the ESU itself. How good is that?
Tim Davison SSE (formally BASS) Harvard School 1977 On my return from a year away, I visited my school (Brentwood) and was invited to talk to the sixth form about my year abroad. I agreed willingly and stood up to talk for 40 minutes without having prepared a speech. How had I gained the confidence to do this? My year of confidence building started in front of a frightening interview panel at Dartmouth House. Having survived that I was then put on a plane to New York and given lodgings for the night with a complete stranger who kindly whisked me around the city and to the top of the Empire State building despite my general state of jet lagged bewilderment. The next day I was on a plane to Los Angeles and to Harvard School where I had a brief introduction to the rules of engagement by a teacher – McDonalds, Taco Bell, root beer, ice cream flavours galore, turning right at a red traffic light and preparing to make a speech to the school Mothers Union! I was then introduced to a host family who proceeded to treat me like a son while I lived with them for the year. Between them and the school a world of opportunities was made available to me which I took full advantage of. I got a US driving license, went on hiking trips to Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, was taken by other families to Sun Valley for a Christmas skiing holiday and to Palm Springs for Thanksgiving. I joined a jazz band, took courses in film production and political philosophy, coached the school soccer team, learned to scuba dive and much more.
I returned to England more confident and self sufficient. I had grown as a person and discovered the way forward for my working life. It was my host family who suggested I explore the hotel business as a career and their prompting put me on yet another journey of travel and discovery. Perhaps more importantly, my life continues to be enriched by the experience. The friends I made are now offering their friendship and hospitality to my children enriching their lives in the process. As I said in the yearbook, ‘Thanks Harvard, thanks ESU.’
Margery Wilson Chautauqua Summer School 2006 Though being lucky enough to go to Chautauqua Institution didn’t actually change my life (not yet anyway!), it did enable me to re-discover it in a wonderfully meaningful and creative way. This is a picture of the amazing Carol McCarthy Duhme who, together with the ESU, made it possible and I remain forever thankful for the experience and forever hopeful of returning one day.
Matías Marambio ESU Chile Alumnus, Winner National English Writing Competition 2008 The English-Speaking Union is no doubt a remarkable organisation. As an ESU scholar, I was able to visit several branches in England during 2009, getting to know the people who make it possible for many to have a first-hand contact with English language and culture. Being in touch with ESU members has made me more aware of the ways in which culture and language are valuable tools to change society. In that sense, the ESU has given me the chance to be both on the receiving end (by participating in publicspeaking and writing competitions) and on the giving end (by giving a talk on my subjects of study: Latin American history and culture). Hopefully there will be more chances to collaborate in the future.
Peter Robertson SSE (formerly BASS) Loomis Chaffee 1978 In 1978 I was privileged and lucky enough to gain a place on the schoolboy/girl exchange scheme and spent a year in the US at Loomis Chaffee, a mixed day and boarding school in Connecticut. The school, plus the adventures between and afterwards, had a profound and lasting effect on me: • I made one of my greatest and enduring friendships. • I learned more about US history than most British people ever need to know and with a certificate to prove it. • I attended a glamorous Prom under the stars in stark contrast to shambolic school discos I was used to in suburban London church halls. • I criss-crossed the US on a Greyhound bus where I sat next to kind and amazing strangers as well as the mad, bad and sad. • On the same bus journey, I learned it’s illegal to take fresh fruit into Georgia when I had my apple confiscated by the state ‘fruit and veg police’ (had their own uniforms and everything) • I discovered the highs and lows of what was then totally unknown food to me in the UK: granola, tuna mayonnaise, Hot Fudge Sundaes, blueberry pancakes, pecan pie and grits. • I was sacked after two weeks as a useless house builder on Cape Cod for, in the unforgettable words of my grizzled boss, being a “complete pansy-assed tea sipper”. • I avoided several recruitment attempts by some pretty girls to join a San Francisco religious cult despite the even more tempting offer of free food and lodging. • Spending a few nights sleeping rough in an American ditch is much warmer than in Britain. • That the USA and its people, for all the lazy criticism dished out in the UK, is still one of the most welcoming, fascinating and free places on Earth. To my friends and family in the UK, I came back a different person with a changed outlook on life: more confident, mature and open to new experiences. After that incredible year, I felt I could achieve and do anything. And I did. I remain eternally grateful for the opportunity the ESU gave me and have remained a member ever since.
John N. Catlett SSE (formerly BASS) Governor Dummer Academy Pocklington School 1959-60 During my senior year at Governor Dummer Academy in 1958-59 I met Brian Marsh who was our ESU Scholar coming from Sutton Valence in Kent. It was probably under the mistaken assumption that, if I were to win the complementary fellowship for an exchange in the other direction, I might become as clever, astute, popular and entertaining as Brian that I applied for the program. I was awarded a place at Pocklington School near York for the following year, and the experience certainly changed the course of my life. I enrolled at Princeton University when my exchange year was over, and during my undergraduate years I developed an interest in radio broadcasting. Partly to avoid being drafted into the U.S. military and sent to fight in Vietnam, I went directly on to earn an MBA degree in marketing at the Tuck School at Dartmouth. Within fifteen years of the completion of my studies I found I had worked at a full dozen radio stations and sometimes also their associated television outlets and I had moved cities seven times---but only inside the U.S. In 1984, an opportunity arose to advise and manage a new radio station planning to serve the U.K. and Europe from a pirate ship in the North Sea, without a license from any government, and I jumped at the opportunity. By operating in international waters with a staff of Americans, Laser 558 was able to avoid breaking any European laws and the station attracted huge audiences from the BBC and commercial competitors in the U.K. and across the Continent. After a breakdown of our ship’s generators in some heavy storms when I was not on board, a temporary captain elected to bring the vessel to a British port for repairs where it was seized and the station could not continue to broadcast. Laser 558 lasted only about eighteen months, but it influenced changes in British broadcasting and won me enough respect in broadcasting circles in Europe that I was able to find other jobs managing legitimate and licensed stations throughout Europe, as well as in Russia and then India, for the next 25 years.
I wouldn’t be able to find or qualify for work in my field outside the U.S. Now, as I reach the conclusion of my working career, I can say that I have influenced the course of radio broadcasting not only in the U.S. but in about a dozen foreign countries as well. Between assignments I have always chosen to return to London where I have kept in close touch with my schoolboy friend Brian Marsh. While he has risen to well-deserved prominence within the ESU and I have no similar accomplishment. I am pleased to report that we remain very good friends.
Mark Featherstone-Witty Rollins College Fellowship-Gertrude Cole Scholarship 1974 When I was given the Gertrude Cole Scholarship (administered by the ESU), my parents were convinced I was the only person who had applied. They were appalled that their son, who seemed to be putting off growing up for as long as possible, had found yet another ruse to delay getting a proper job. I had planned to teach, but teaching practice in Felling (a suburb of Gateshead) had severely dented my confidence. I do want to mention ESU’s Lillian Moore had managed the selection process, not only because we became friends until her death, but she was anything but a bureaucrat or pompous, which was what I had anticipated for some reason. To paint a picture: this was a year in a liberal arts college in Winter Park – a largely retirement town, north of Orlando, Florida. The campus of Rollins College was by a lake. Winter Park was dotted with lakes. I was allotted an apartment, on campus, near one of them. Lucky?
I remain eternally grateful for the opportunity the ESU gave me and have remained a member ever since.
Since my time in the U.K. as a student, I knew I was attracted to the cross-cultural experience of international living, but until the Laser 558 opportunity arose, I assumed DIALOGUE 24
My luck continued. My supervisor took a shine to me so, despite college bureaucracy, was determined to ensure I had a year’s Master of Education experience that was not just tailored to the qualification, but was an experience of what the college was best at doing. So, I attended lectures that had nothing to do with my course of study, but which were exciting and good. One lifelong interest (not quite passion) was acting so I hurried along to the theatre department and eagerly applied to appear in anything suitable, as well as taking courses (outside the assigned curriculum). This culminated,
in a way, appearing in ‘a major motion picture (aren’t they all?) as featured actor, playing a gay hairdresser, Nigel of London. The audition took place in an office block off a highway. The scene asked me to comfort a girl who had just been molested - a bit of an ask at 10.30 on demand, but then, that’s being an actor. I was amazed to find recently that I could buy a copy from Amazon. This is not to say the film was any good. My delightful film teacher (another course I took outside the assigned curriculum) advised me later that, if the film ever came to Europe, I should think twice about getting involved in any publicity. My parents, of course, were freshly appalled; this was not the proper job they had in mind at all. (This didn’t put them off visiting me and enjoying a spell in the Florida sunshine.) Years later, I was going out with (and later married) a teacher, who I encouraged to apply for the same scholarship and who amazingly managed to gain it. So the ESU played a formative part in both our lives.
Ameen Alaghil Yemen - International Public Speaking Competition 2009 A month from the competition I departed from Yemen to Qatar to study Pre-medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. I have been living in a place called the Education city- which was founded and chaired by her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al Missned - which hosts seven of the best universities in the world including Cornell University, the headquarters of Al Jazeera Children’s Channel, and the Doha debates filming site. Living in this place is an experience by itself; I actually went to one of the Doha debates and got to see myself asking a question on the BBC channel! Now, I just finished my first year of Pre-med and am preparing for an exam called MCAT, a requirement of medical school admissions. Other than that, I wanted to say that, if not for the ESU, I would not have met any of my friends who I am still in touch with including Anamaria, Bruno, Rashee, Rima, Wael and many others THANK YOU ESU.
I have always been grateful to the English-Speaking Union for the opportunity the scholarship gave me to spend a year at a school in America.
Aside from gaining the only scholarship in my life, what lasting effect did that year – aside from another degree – have on me? I remember the vitality of the teaching (not what I’d experienced for my first UK degree), the heavenly weather, hitting an intellectual stride, friends for life (as well as some gorgeous temporary girlfriends – not me, I just emphasised the English accent) and a truly lived experience of a part of the USA. I was 27 and wanting to experience. Although I don’t feel sure about the surgery for the first part, the last part hasn’t left me. The bio bit: I am the Founding Principal/CEO of The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (co-founded with Paul McCartney). Daniel Cooper Capitol Hill 2004 In 2004 I received a scholarship to work on Capitol Hill where I met a woman who would become my wife. Now I live Stateside and work for trial attorneys on the east coast as an expert witness when legal disputes require business valuation testimony. Outside of work, I contribute to congressional campaigns, although my current financial support of the Democrats would not please the GOP congressman I interned for in 04!
Martin Skan, SSE (formerly BASS) Harvard School 1953-54 In 1953 I was fortunate enough to win an ESU exchange scholarship from Haileybury to Harvard School in North Hollywood, California. When I left the UK we were on ration books. One was not allowed to take more than £100 out of the country. We were recovering from the war, and Californiawas very much the land of milk and honey. Because of the financial controls and expense, the British were not visiting the States. My school friends at Harvard had never met an Englishman so I was a real centre of DIALOGUE 25
interest – I felt proud and pleased to represent my country in this very prosperous and fast growing State. General Eisenhower was the President, and truly it was America at its best. If you worked hard, you could do anything. The enthusiasm and the belief totally captivated me, and I returned to the UK determined to make a success of my business life. Everything was possible and I feel to a great degree my objective has been achieved, thanks to the ESU for making it possible for me to spend a year at Harvard. Clark McGinn was a team member of the ESU US Debating Tour in 1981, and was invited to be part of the 1982 team. In 1982 he won the John Smith Memorial Mace (then the Observer Mace). Chairman of the ESU Debating Society from 1987 to 1993, he has served on the Speech & Debate Committee since its foundation and is one of the selection team for the ESU US Debating Tour.
George White, SSE (formerly BASS) New York (1957/58) Extract from Riverdale Revisited I have always been grateful to the English-Speaking Union for the opportunity the scholarship gave me to spend a year at a school in America. My year at a school in New York (1957/58) was probably the happiest and most fulfilled of the whole of my academic career. It geared my eyes to a completely different way of life that as a student in the school and also as the experiences gained from travelling around the country during my time in the U.S.
Debaters learn pretty early on how dangerous clichés can be, so the simple statement – ‘going on the ESU debating tour of the US changed my life’ - would be expected to be debating hyperbole were it not utterly true. In 1981 I was studying at Glasgow (or at least attending as many classes as could be fitted in between debates) and had just convened the first World Student Debating Championship, so when the invitation came to apply for the Tour it seemed like a great way to continue a year’s debating. It was much, much more than that. The ability to research, construct, articulate and defend a case is a crucial human skill, but much of student debating is a day in a chamber with like-minded people. When we went on the Tour my debate partner Mark Bishop and I not only spoke in twenty states over eleven weeks, but for the first time we experienced directly a true cross section of American cultures and so came to understand how complex the USA is – and how deep and diverse its political and cultural relationship is with the UK. The defining factor of the Tour is its length and breadth – often debating in cities in America that most Americans haven’t visited. That range gave me insights and friendships which have been of value to me over my career and throughout my personal life. Just like my fellow alumni stretching back to 1922 and I hope it will be for those who will share this in the future through the ESU’s crucial mission.
George White - On the Queen Mary - SSE 1957
Front Cover of George White Poem - Riverdale
My privilege To be Last student of the year To speak The English-Speaking Union Exchange To which I owed So much The gift of this Most special Year Just a few minutes only Into which to cram My gratitude To Riverdale For all that It had Given me Such a fellowship And scholarship As I had Never known before
HOW THE ENGLISH SPEAKING UNION INFLUENCED MY CAREER Alex Hankey PhD Lindemann Trust Fellowship, 1972
In 1967, when I was coming to the end of my Cambridge career, I decided to continue my studies at an American university. Encouraged by Sir John Benn, the then Chairman of the ESU, two student friends joined me in applying for an ESU studentship. My best friend, Ed Williams, a contender for senior wrangler in the Maths Tripos, and like myself a scholar of Trinity College, obtained my first choice of studentship at Princeton, Sir John’s alma mater. Stella Green, Ed’s girlfriend at Newnham, went to the University of Chicago, while I won the studentship at M.I.T, now an unanticipated advantage on my C.V. Ed is approaching retirement from a career in plasma physics, which took him to the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory via Boulder and Buffalo, and a lifetime in Tokomaks and such like. Stella is a senior member of the Federal Drug Administration in Washington, D.C. I count myself extremely fortunate for having attended M.I.T. As a result I was able to work for Steven Weinberg of The First Three Minutes fame, later to win the Nobel Prize. Later, I wrote my PhD thesis on the subject of critical phenomena – an esoteric aspect of the field of phase transitions. After years of neglect, this exotic aspect of phase transitions is now recognized to be of central importance to the regulation of living systems, my current field of research. In the physics of complex systems developed by Murray Gell Mann and his collaborators at the Santa Fe Institute, it has been shown to play a central role.
My recent work has been based on the idea that the biophysics of complexity is the key to developing an understanding of systems of complementary medicine. My present research focuses chiefly on India’s traditional systems of Ayurveda and Yoga medicine. The last is a little known aspect of Yoga, but after the development of enlightenment represents its chief field of application. Previously, the stated theories of such systems were not accessible to western science, simply because essential physical and biological ideas were not available. Meditation, for example, appears to depend on the existence on variable feedback gain in sensory processing circuits, and its essential effortlessness when correctly practiced, on a particular state being an ‘attractor’ of the system. Many phenomena beyond the grasp of scientists of one generation depend for their adoption by the world of science on radically new physical concepts and ideas. Once adopted, they may spawn whole new fields of science and technology. Information theory and control theory offer prime examples. Today’s IT sector is a direct offshoot of Claude Shannon’s information theory. The whole of modern systems theory and its many applications, particularly to information systems, can be traced to Norbert Weiner’s ‘Cybernetics’. Without Wiener’s concept of feedback instability, intimately related to phase transition critical points, certain phenomena at the deepest levels of Yoga meditation cannot be explained.
For myself, ESU sponsorship of my first year at M.I.T had many significant consequences. It led to my marrying an American, and staying for many more years in the US than the single year that I had originally intended. It also led to my applying for a Lindemann Fellowship in the autumn of 1971, the first year of its foundation. I was fortunate that Sir Fred Hoyle took a liking to my imaginative proposal, and I enjoyed a year at Stanford Linear Accelerator, during which I became deeply involved with theories of consciousness. This was partly a result of contacts at the Stanford Research Institute, and partly due to serious studies of oriental literature on the topic, particularly that of South Asia. As a theoretical physicist seriously interested in Yoga and Ayurveda, my position is fairly unique – sufficiently to give me an edge in interdisciplinary research. The practice both systems, has so far helped me maintain levels of health that are of advantage as the years advance – even, dare I say, youthful attitudes of mind and physique. Presently, I have simultaneous positions at two National Centres of Excellence near Bangalore. On weekdays, I work at the new Institute for Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, where I edit a new Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, and apply a combination of systems theory and control theory to interpreting fundamental concepts in Ayurveda. At weekends, I supervise research at the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandana Samsthana, (S-VYASA) a fully fledged university, which has a bespoke system of Yoga Medicine, the Integrated Approach to Yoga Therapy (IAYT).
has received a series of increasingly large research grants from the National Institutes of Health’s National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). These promising investigations are being conducted in conjunction with DM Anderson in Houston, Texas, arguably the US’s leading cancer hospital. Such are the subjects to which I have devoted my life’s work. When I left Cambridge, I intended to make the study of the interface between science and religion a major focus of my professional attention. While I was at M.I.T, I learned a formal system of meditation, following deep, spontaneous childhood interest and experience. My life has followed its present path, as a result of this side benefit of my ESU studentship that would not have happened had I remained at Cambridge where my mindset was so different. I was originally introduced to Yoga and Ayurveda by the genius of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and also to other aspects of India’s traditional knowledge, all of which India’s top scientists are now promoting as a national treasure trove.
As a theoretical physicist seriously interested in Yoga and Ayurveda, my position is fairly unique – sufficiently to give me an edge in interdisciplinary research.
The founders of SVYASA, a NASA physicist and his general practitioner sister who qualified in Liverpool, published their first significant paper in 1985 in the British Medical Journal, a randomized controlled trial of 350 asthma patients. Among their latest published research are studies of Yoga for lower back pain, childbirth, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. That Yoga can benefit the latter may seem unexpected, but it is probably related to the strong trauma and stress components, which diabetes tends to have. In particular, the success of IAYT treatments for diabetes has led to the opening of many hundred ‘Stop Diabetes Now’ centres across India. Some in the UK would help us too, no doubt. Another promising field of IAYT is as a supplement to radio therapy for breast cancer. In recent years, S-VYASA DIALOGUE 28
Pythagoras theorem, infinite series for Sine and Cosine, and the use of the zero, are by no means the only ways in which India once led the world. Even in the 19th century, travellers commented on her affluence and universally high quality of life. India’s ancient medical system of Ayurveda was so successful that it was adopted throughout the South Asian region, and hailed for its quality from Armenia in the west, to Bali in the east. Lord Buddha’s physician, Jivaka, is looked to as the founder of medicine in Thailand. Both Tibet’s indigenous system of Sowa Rigpa and the system of Unani medicine, developed by the Hakims, who accompanied the Moslem invaders of India, are integrative systems of practice. They integrate Ayurveda’s unique understanding of health, as a pattern of ‘balance in the tissues’, and ‘balance in physiological regulation’, with other systems of practice. Even today, Ayurveda’s understanding of health is a challenge to scientific medicine’s reductionist perspective. If the science-based accounts that I have been privileged to help develop prove to be correct, we may yet see the development of a true integrative system of medicine combining Ayurveda with biomedicine, with each fully acknowledging the integrity of the other: hence, the significance of the words ‘Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine’ in the name of my main workplace.
The recent public rejection of the genomic paradigm of disease by leaders in biomedical research has left open the question of how to replace it. The kind of regulatory processes needed to understand the theory and application of both Ayurveda and Yoga Medicine probably have a place in the next scientific paradigm of pathogenesis and its reversal. Certainly, the genomic paradigm was too simplistic to be of assistance in learning how to treat chronic disease. The success rates of both Ayurveda and Yoga Medicine in reversing chronic states of pathology points to their respective theories having something useful to say on the matter. Many 19th century dicta aimed at destroying India’s reliance on her own traditions have now been proved false. As her economy really takes off, the nation is discovering new reasons to respect her ancient wisdom. In work closer to my original physics, I have been able to show how to improve our contemporary understanding of atomic and particle physics using the Vedic literature in new ways... a Vedic interpretation of quantum theory. The philosophical implications of this may be radical, since it relates to the topic for which French physicist Bernard D’Espagnat was awarded the 2009 Templeton prize: a proof that the world of sense perception is not ‘strongly objectively real’, “nothing we see, no object of perception exists as an object in its own right”. One consequence is that the universe cannot be fully reductionist, as scientists have always supposed. These ground breaking results open the way for new developments of all kinds. If objects we see are not objects of the kind, which common sense seems to indicate, then, for example, do they have a subjective component, as Alfred North Whitehead insisted? Will we be able to validly introduce subjectivity into science? Does consciousness exist in its own right? If so, how does the subject him/herself penetrate various fields of scientific study, from philosophy of science, through physical and biological sciences to medicine? And with what consequences? Without the original direction to my life given by the English Speaking Union, I should not now be in a position to help advance the thought of mankind through the thicket of traps and problems, which these new challenges now present. M.I.T and Stanford were ideal places to gain experience with scientists of the highest quality working on the edge – the dividing line where science vanishes into speculation, and where physics merges with metaphysics. What a privilege! The ESU presented me with opportunities for which I shall always be grateful.
MAUREEN IS ‘CITIZEN OF THE YEAR’ Congratulations are very much in order for alumna Maureen Duncan, Walter Hines Page Teacher Scholarship 2004. Maureen was named ‘Citizen of the Year’ as well as winning the ‘Pride of Waltham Forest’ award at the first ever ‘Love Your Borough’ awards, held in July this year. The awards, organised by Waltham Forest Council, were held to acknowledge those who have made a large and very real contribution to their community. It was said of Maureen in the Waltham Forest Guardian, ‘Mrs Duncan is one of the area’s most dedicated volunteers and has helped children with special needs, organised disability awareness evenings, helped the Scout and Guide Group, cooked for more than 50 people at a monthly care lunch and given up her Christmas Day every other year for the past 14 years to cook for up to 150 people.’ – No small feat, proving Maureen utterly deserves every bit of praise she is receiving! The ESU would like to acknowledge Maureen for the fantastic work that she does. We are incredibly proud to have her as an alumna of the ESU. We love to hear good news from ESU Alumni so please always feel free to share any you have with us.
PROFILE Mouataz Al Israwi 2010 International Public Speaking Competition winner
We were very pleased that Mouataz Al Israwi, the winner of the 2010 International Public Speaking Competition (IPSC) could make it back to London from Lebanon to accept his prize from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at our annual Award Ceremony in Buckingham Palace on 9 November. The IPSC involves 40,000 young people from 45 countries competing in national competitions around the globe. The winners then go on to compete, on an international basis, at the finals held in London in May.
Every year, we are astounded by the standard of knowledge and understanding shown by our young participants (who must be less than 21 years old when they compete in the international final). Mouataz gave a speech which made our judges both laugh and think - no mean feat when you’re thousands of miles from home, speaking in a foreign language and competing against your contemporaries. The ESU’s Alumni and Development Officer, Kate Bond spoke to Mouataz about his IPSC experience and the effect it has had on his life.
KB Can you tell us a little about the speech that won the IPSC for you? MAI Yes, my speech was titled ‘Oops I’m Pregnant Again’ and it dealt with the issue of over-population. I started my speech with a comment from my grandmother who thinks having more kids is a blast! However, after that I showed that there are a lot of negative effects to having kids and argued that we cannot consider that having more kids will always bring more love, care and happiness. I also gave some solutions under the title of ‘Education and Awareness’. The significance of education to this issue lies in the importance of enabling everybody
to have the chance to be educated in schools; that there should be no differentiation between genders or any other differences. In regards to awareness, I discussed the International Conference for Population and Development (ICPD), coordinated by the UN, which, among other things, resulted in the enabling of individuals to research safely and responsibly how many children they want to have. KB How did you hear about the competition? What inspired you to get involved? MAI In 2009, I was introduced to the IPSC when I saw my friends compete in the national competition. My teacher, Nayriri Baboudjian, inspired me. She helped me greatly and was the one to first recognise my ability and potential to win the competition.
well as things for me to say to Prince Philip! There are also a lot of people coming to Lebanon now which I’m really happy for. KB How do you think it has changed your life or might have improved your career prospects? MAI First of all these two are quite different for me. The way it’s changed my life has been in the way I’ve grown mentally and emotionally but most of all what has changed my life is having made the friends that I have. Also learning how to deal with others from different cultures; even if they live in a different country and have different cultures and traditions we seemed to think in the same way.
KB What was the feeling like to win? MAI I can’t describe the feeling - you just had to see me jumping around with the trophy! (see June’s dialogue) It was mind-blowing.
I think it will help me a lot in my career because winning an international competition is not exactly something that happens every day! In Lebanon, I am, for now, the only person to have won this competition. [Laughs] If there’s another it might not be as good for my career!
KB The ESU produces alumni from all over the world but you are the first IPSC winner from Lebanon, are you proud to have represented your country in this way? MAI Or course, I am very proud! Especially as my country has only been participating for nine years [out of the 29 the competition has been running]. I was incredibly proud to win this for Lebanon.
KB You have been hailed in your own country for being a talented young entrepreneur. What plans do you have for the future? MAI Actually I plan to be a TV presenter in my country. Even though I’m studying something completely different: pre-medical studies. This is something I started thinking about since I was 10 or 11 years old, and I hope this competition will really help with that.
KB How did it feel to have the British Ambassador to Lebanon, Frances Guy, host a reception for the occasion in your honour? MAI First of all, I just have to say that the Ambassador, Frances Guy, is one of the most amazing people. She was really friendly and happy and proud for my success and for Lebanon. I was so glad to have met her as there are some people who make you fully realise your successes and she made me really understand that I had done something important here.
KB Is there any advice you would give to others thinking about entering? MAI First of all, work on your speeches really hard before you come to London and when you come don’t worry so much about competing, and just make friends with everyone and have fun! I know I am saying this when I won but for me it was a really amazing and wonderful experience and would have been regardless of whether I won.
KB Other than winning, of course, are there any particular moments which stand out for you from your experience of being a part of this competition? MAI I know this might sound cheesy but every moment of the five days! Every moment was amazing. I really had so much fun. I was happy to meet so many friends and learn so much about their different cultures and about how other people think. I didn’t expect to become friends with all 76 competitors but this was what happened! KB Do you think you will stay in touch with the people you met? MAI We are all still in touch since the competition and actually this week they tagged a collage of pictures of us all and wrote messages [on facebook] wishing me good luck as
KB During the final you met some of the people who participated in the competition ten years ago who had come back as a reunion and also to judge you in this competition. Did it change the way you saw the competition? MAI This year’s group seems, to me, to have been quite exceptional in having bonded so strongly and this was helped by us seeing the older participants having the reunion because we felt that it’s not only for five days. We will always be alumni of the ESU and it’s a memory we’ll always share. We’ve actually already planned to have our ten year reunion. I think that we have to do it because everyone’s so excited, I know it’s ten years away but seriously it’s something we can’t wait for!
ANNUAL ALUMNI APPEAL AND INFORMATION UPDATE Alumni will find enclosed with this edition of dialogue an information update and donation form. We are asking all alumni, who have not already done so as members, to complete this form and return it to Kate Bond at Dartmouth House.
In the spring we are moving our data to a new database system and we want to ensure that all contact records for our alumni are correct, including email addresses, so that we can include you all in our monthly e-newsletter.
Mentoring We would also like to encourage you to offer your skills as a mentor. The ESU has a diverse group of alumni with a huge range of personal and professional skills. You could help younger scholars through mentoring and work placements. This is why we will ask you to list your profession and employer on the form. As part of our fundraising efforts, we annually appeal to our alumni to donate to the work of the ESU. Some of our most prestigious competitions continue to thrive as a result of the generosity of alumni through individual giving and corporate
sponsorship. You will see from the feature How the ESU Changed My Life that we do change lives and influence careers. By supporting the ESU we can continue to build skills and confidence, giving young people the opportunity to realise their potential. If you can, please include a cheque with the enclosed alumni form. If you are in the fortunate position to be able to sponsor a programme or competition through your employer, please contact Jo Wedderspoon, Head of Fundraising and Development 020 7529 1576 email@example.com
ON THE HORIZON â€“ Inside We bring you details of events that are due to happen as we are about to go to press. A full report will appear in our next issue, and will be available online, but we want to share the excitement of the moment with you now.
Debate Academy 2011_34 Readers sought for biography award_34 Evening literary lectures_34 English in Action 20th year_35 New Dartmouth House Lunches_36 Great Dartmouth House Debates_36 House of Lords tea party_36
DEBATE ACADEMY 2011 The 11th annual Debate Academy is currently being planned and will be held in Oakham School in Rutland from 22-25 July 2011. Debate Academy is the ESU’s residential debate summer camp for 14-18 year olds. Already, we are receiving online entries. We are hoping to equal the quality of the outstanding faculty of debate mentors who came along in 2010 to coach the students and be able to exceed last year’s total of 100 students. If you would like more details about this, or any programmes run by Speech and Debate please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Each year we offer bursaries for students in financial difficulties who wish to attend the Academy and a part of this fund is normally made up of donations from members or direct sponsorship of the fee by branches.
READERS SOUGHT FOR BIOGRAPHY AWARD Entries for the Marsh Biography Award open in early January. This biennial award is given to the best biography published within the two preceding years that best records significant and valuable human achievement, and which is representative of the highest standards of written English and serious research. In order to whittle down the shortlist the ESU needs the assistance of readers to give their opinions on the entered biographies. If this is something you think you would be interested in please contact Kate McCulloch, Education Programmes Coordinator, 020 7529 1568, email@example.com
EVENING LITERARY LECTURES OPEN WITH SALLEY VICKERS As part of our new season of events, the ESU will be holding a series of monthly evening literary lectures at Dartmouth House, beginning February 2011. Featuring a selection of contemporary authors, the literary lectures will begin at 6.30 pm and be followed by a wine reception. There will also be an opportunity to purchase a signed copy of the publication being reviewed. For the first lecture, the ESU is proud to welcome six-time author Salley Vickers who will talk about her new publication Aphrodite’s Hat, a collection of modern stories which focus on the psychological aspects of love and the “complex geography of the human heart”. The following month, on 17 March, Felix Dennis, entrepreneur, publisher and poet, will give a lecture on his new poetry collection Tales from the Woods; 50 poems celebrating nature and the countryside. Finally, to finish the first calendar quarter, it will be the turn, on 6 April, of Heather White-Smith. Heather will give a literary lecture on her recently published short work My Years with the Churchills: a Young Girl’s Memories, a book written entirely from memory of her three years spent working as assistant private secretary to Lady Clementine Churchill at Downing Street from the age of 17. Tickets for all literary lectures are priced at £10 for members, £11 for alumni and £12 for non-members, to include two glasses of wine or two soft drinks. There will be a cash bar. Please contact Susan Conway, 020 7529 1582, firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place.
ENGLISH IN ACTION APPROACHES 20TH BIRTHDAY
Our English in Action programme will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in the UK next year. The programme originated at the ESU in New York and was brought over by a former tutor, Alison Wheatcroft.
Over the past 20 years, numerous students from a wide range of countries have met with volunteer tutors from the UK to improve their English beyond their textbook studies and gain a greater understanding of British culture. Next year we plan to celebrate by expanding the programme to reach new students. In order to do so, we need more volunteer tutors’ help and this could be the perfect opportunity for more alumni to get involved. It is a fun, rewarding experience which will allow you to personally make a difference in your student’s life and help him or her progress in confidence and adjust to life in the UK. You will also get the chance to learn about their native country and culture as well as deepen your own British heritage. As Jatin Sharma, one of our current tutors and alumni says, “I feel that the ESU has given me a lot of opportunities over the last 10 years from speech and debate to the Capitol Hill programme to gain some great experiences. Now, it’s nice to be able to give back by volunteering some time to represent the organisation.
“I really enjoy meeting new people and wanted to be part of the programme to get to know professionals living in London from other cultures. It’s been eye-opening to hear what the students make of living in London. Many rarely get this kind of one on one time with a native speaker to have lengthy discussions about a wide range of issues from current affairs to The Apprentice. As a result, they are usually very enthusiastic and great fun to meet after a long day at work, so I would definitely recommend it to alumni working in London who can spare an hour a week to meet some lovely people and support them to improve their English.” Our new English in Action term will begin in late January. For more details, please see www.esu.org/englishinaction or contact Jen Luk, 020 7529 1590, email@example.com
NEW DARTMOUTH HOUSE LUNCHES
ESU CUMBERLAND LODGE PUBLIC DEBATES
Following the success of our recent series of Autumn City Lunches, the ESU is proud to announce that, beginning February 2011, a new series of Dartmouth House Lunches will be launched. Occurring monthly and featuring a variety of guest speakers, the lunches will focus on numerous different topics such as business and cultural affairs, environmental concerns and political debate.
The ESU will soon be launching a home and away public debate series with Cumberland Lodge. The first motion will be ‘This House Believes that it’s not what you say but how you say it’ and will explore whether the correct use of English affects the ability to communicate effectively or not. The first debate will be held in March 2010 at Dartmouth House with the return debate in September 2010 at Cumberland Lodge, a fellow educational charity and unique conference centre set in the heartlands of Windsor Great Park. They will be open to members, alumni and non-members alike.
Events will take place from 12.30 pm until 2.30 pm and will include a two course lunch, with wine, following a welcome drinks reception at Dartmouth House. Our speakers will talk on their related subject over after-dinner coffee and engage our audience in an intimate, relaxed and informal atmosphere. Nicola Horlick, investment fund manager and an ESU alumna will be our guest speaker at the first Dartmouth House Lunch on Thursday, 24 February 2011. Nicola’s lunch will focus on ‘Women in the City’, drawing on the different approaches men and women take to life in the corporate world; women’s role in the workplace and her secret insider tips for climbing the career ladder. Book now to avoid disappointment! Our second Dartmouth House Lunch takes place on 30 March. James Milton, former Army Captain, served as an Army Officer between 1998 and 2007, including three tours in Iraq as an intelligence officer and Arabic interpreter. James’s lunch will focus on a presentation entitled ‘Lessons to be learned from the Anglo-American Intervention in Iraq’. James has recently held presentations on this subject at Cryptos, the Intelligence Society at the Reform Club, the Conservative Middle East and Cultural Group and the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. We are delighted to welcome him to the ESU. Tickets for all Dartmouth House Lunches are priced at £40 for members, £45 for alumni and £50 for non-members. For all enquiries and ticket sales, please contact Susan Conway, 020 7529 1582. Please check the ESU website regularly for details of Dartmouth House lunches for April 2011 and beyond.
Please continue to check the ESU website for details.
HOUSE OF LORDS TEA PARTY The ESU will once again be hosting an exclusive tea party set in the House of Lords on Wednesday 6 July 2011. For the first time, this year’s tea party will also feature an exclusive boat-ride along the Thames where you can watch the City go by from a unique perspective. Please check the ESU website for details.
PROGRAMMES â€“ Inside News and events from the programmes that the ESU runs from Dartmouth House.
ESU International Council meets in Albania_38
High demand for music scholarships_45
Whatâ€™s Up Doc?_39
Exchange questions answered at briefing day_46
ESU Iceland to launch in June_39
Art of Asia preview_46
Turkey becomes the 53rd member of The ESU family_40
Competitions are underway_47
The road to an ESU in Turkey_42 Autumn City Lunches_44 International At Home Co-hosted with Mexico_44 Pimlico Academy hosts England team selection_45 Wells Cathedral School sings at Dartmouth House_45
Have you got a favourite recipe?_47 Morrison Heckscher speaks at Dartmouth House_48 Discover Your Voice expands_48 Orient-Express lunches_48 David Smith launches The Age Of Instability_49 From the Archives_49
ESU INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL MEETS IN ALBANIA
In October, 30 delegates representing 18 international ESUs gathered in the Albanian Parliament building in Tirana to meet to discuss the international network of the ESU. The International Council Meeting is an annual forum for Chairmen and Presidents of all ESUs to discuss new challenges and opportunities for the international network in 53 countries. Major decisions include the election of the annual International Council President and objectives for the ESUâ€™s international strategy. At this yearâ€™s meeting, delegates also heard from ESU staff about new initiatives including the partnerships programme between England & Wales branches and International ESUs, and the new developing ESUs in different areas of the world.
As a result of the meeting, we are delighted to announce that Garo Keheyan, Chairman of ESU Cyprus was elected to become the International Council President 2010-2011 and would like to thank the outgoing President, Arne Zettersten, for all his efforts and support throughout the year. We are also pleased to report that the 2011 International Council Meeting will be held in Philadelphia, hosted by ESU USA. The 2012 World Members Conference (open to ESU members worldwide) will be held in Istanbul, hosted by ESU Turkey. As part of the programme for the meeting, the British Council organised a conference on British Council activities in Albania and a video conference with Michael Carrier, Head of English Language Innovation at the British
Council in the UK. Delegates were also treated to a visit of Kruja with an outdoor lunch overlooking the beautiful countryside outside Tirana. We would like to thank the British Embassy and the British Council for their unfailing support throughout the preparations and the programme itself and also to thank Zumax AG who kindly sponsored many aspects of the programme. If you would like any further information on any of the outcomes of the meeting, please contact Annette Fisher, Head of International at Dartmouth House. If you are a branch Chairman in England & Wales and would like more information about the partnership programme, please contact your Regional Officer.
WHAT’S UP DOC? Junior doctors and medical students from across the South East of England came to Dartmouth House on 9 October to participate in the ESU’s new ‘debating for doctors’ course, Say It.
Throughout the day, the doctors involved in the course impressed, confidently delivering and responding to arguments on a range of issues from organ donation and the legalisation of drugs to a proposal to ban alcohol.
The programme offers the chance for a group of highly motivated young professionals to improve their speech and debate skills. Those involved were keen to improve their ability to communicate with large groups, defend policy positions and, perhaps most importantly, communicate complex ideas clearly to patients and larger audiences.
A final set of debates, in which all of the doctors took part and with just under half an hour to prepare speeches, was on the subject of euthanasia. For many, this was their first experience of participating in a formal debate and they did so with a commendable focus.
Led by ESU Speech and Debate’s Sayeqa Islam and Dr Thomas Kelley from the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, the day kick- started what we hope will grow into a larger programme of training and debating for doctors. We began with a demonstration debate on cosmetic surgery which sparked enthusiastic participation in a lively and spontaneous floor debate. Exhibiting expert knowledge and, with many already possessing some basic debating skills, the delegates were then immersed in a series of exercises to prepare them for an afternoon of debates.
In depth feedback was offered at the end of each debate, with Dr Sequeira concluding that the day ‘involved just the right balance between demonstration, theory and practice’. At the end of the day the doctors left enthused by the possibility of participating in future events and competitions run by this new partnership. There are plans to expand the programme much further. We hope, in the near future, to organise a competition, exclusively for doctors with debates on important topics in the world of medical ethics and healthcare.
ESU ICELAND TO LAUNCH IN JUNE Eliza Reid, Chairman, ESU Iceland
Following approval at the recent International Council Meeting in Tirana, ESU Iceland will become the newest member of the ESU family in June next year. The Steering Committee is busy preparing an exciting programme of events for the launch, which will be held from 9 - 12 June. Members and guests are invited to help us launch ESU Iceland by taking part in the formal launch ceremony, functions, and stimulating panel discussions on the ESU and Iceland.
The trip will also include visits to some of the country’s natural wonders, including the other-worldly Blue Lagoon, the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park (site of Iceland’s first parliament in 930 AD), geysers, and stunning waterfalls. Those who wish to arrive early or stay longer and arrange additional excursions will also be able to do so with the help of our conference organisers. Further details will be available soon. Just a three-hour flight from London, and with an exciting programme of events during the season of the midnight sun, we hope to meet many of you in Reykjavik next summer! For more information or to register your interest please contact Annette Fisher at Dartmouth House. DIALOGUE 39
TURKEY BECOMES THE 53rd MEMBER OF THE ESU FAMILY Forty-five delegates from nine countries flew to Istanbul to support the launch of the newest member of the ESU family in June of this year. ESU Turkey organised a spectacular launch programme and opened its ESU in style. John Wright, Chairman of ESU Canada wrote about the experience.
Wednesday 2 June The ‘official’ agenda started with a welcoming reception and dinner at the Ponte restaurant. The reception was on the roof of the restaurant and gave the opportunity to meet the ESU Turkey committee as well as the international guests - several of whom had been in Malta the previous week and several more had been at previous launches. At the dinner, our host, Dr Riza Kadilar, looked a little pensive but he need not have worried - everything was going well. As the sun set, the view from the restaurant window became more spectacular. Thursday 3 June We met our very knowledgeable guide, Sanglu, who would be with us for the next three days and very quickly learned that guiding an ESU group is like pushing string. We travelled everywhere by bus. Traffic was bad. Our bus struggled through the traffic to the imposing Sultan Ahmet Mosque. As tourists we were allowed everywhere, except the carpet area below the dome which is reserved for the faithful at prayer. Next was the Hagia Sophia. Originally a church, then a mosque, it was made a museum by republican president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1934. The original basilica, with a wooden roof, was built in 390AD and burned down in 404. The Roman Emperor, Theodosius, then built a massive basilica which burned down in 532. Emperor Justinian
immediately began rebuilding. In 1453 Sultan Mehmet made the conversion to a mosque. Next stop - Topkapi Palace with a maze of buildings and courtyards added on by successive sultans. We had three magnificent views around the palace and had the opportunity to see the Emerald Dagger which was the object of desire in the 1964 film Topkapi starring Melina Mercouri, Peter Ustinov and Maximillian Schell. The dagger is about 35cm long and was intended as a gift from Sultan Mahmud I to Nadir Shah of Iran. While the dagger and other gifts were on their way, the Shah was assassinated and so the gifts were returned to the treasury in Istanbul. Lunch was at the Armada Hotel - meals were often a series of small mezze dishes followed by a main course. The next stop was the Grand Bazaar. The bazaar is a long covered central aisle with several side aisles. The majority of shops were jewellers, many emphasising gold, but there was a full selection. An example of the diversity is demonstrated by the range of goods available in one line of sight - behind a display of musical instruments was a ceramic store. The eye is drawn to a store offering leather goods, glass, scarves and other clothing items, followed by a vast array of dried herbs and spices, oils and perfumes. As is well documented, it’s possible to spend all day there, and we were sad to be short of time as well as allowing for traffic on the way back to our hotel.
Friday 4 June
Saturday 5 June
In the morning we took a walking tour mainly on Istikal Caddesi but making several excursions into the side streets. By general consensus there was an extended coffee break in the middle of the morning. We picked a restaurant where we could look down on the passing scene and take a long range view of an art display.
A day of bus tours with Sanglu. This included visits to the Kariye Museum - another building which has been a church and a mosque before becoming a museum.
There was nothing scheduled for the afternoon so a little more exploration on foot was called for. The walk downhill to the waterfront, past the Galatasaray Stadium, was much easier than the walk back. The statue of Ali Pasha and his metaphorical lion remain in good shape. The uphill walk back was eased by a pleasant little park. The official launch ceremony took place in the beautiful Victorian Garden of the British Consulate General. The land was given to the British in perpetuity and the imposing embassy was built in 1844 - a date which fits the Turkish name for the area - New Town. When the capital was moved from Istanbul to Ankara, a new embassy was built there and this building became a consulate. Before the signing we were welcomed by our hostess, the Consul General, Jessica Hand. Short speeches of greeting to ESU Turkey by Prof Arne Zettersten, President of the International Council, and Lord Hunt were followed by a response from Dr Riza Kadilar. The moment of signing: Lord Hunt and Riza Kadilar appended their signatures to the Memorandum of Understanding between the ESU and ESU Turkey.
The original mosaics date from the 14th century when the building was the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora (chora means countryside). They were plastered over until being restored in the 1940s. Some show the ravages of time but most are in excellent condition. The last stop was at the Ortaköy mosque and shopping area. We took time out for a coffee and snack at Gloria Jean’s. We found out later that the founder of the coffee shop chain (with branches in 30 countries it must rival the ever-present Starbucks) is Gloria Jean Kvetko, not the Hollywood film star who we assumed. But the coffee was good. The final event of the launch was a Bosphorus cruise on the Tashkent e Hosgeldiniz with dinner on board the boat. The trip started well with canapés on the upper deck until a shower drove us into the main cabin. Dinner was served and we noticed that the boat had not moved. It turned out that the anchors of three boats had become entangled by a fluke and when a diver had it all sorted out, our cruise had to be a little shorter than hoped. All that remains is to thank the ESU Turkey, especially Riza, Pelin and Zerrin for making the delegation so welcome and for organising such a successful launch.
THE ROAD TO AN ESU IN TURKEY Head of International, Annette Fisher, interviews Riza Kadilar, Chairman of the newly ratified ESU Turkey
AF What first interested you in the ESU? RK The establishment of the ESU Turkey goes back to a fortunate coincidence at a charity dinner at the University of Oxford in May 2004. The dinner was organised to support the Roger Short Memorial Fund, the British Consul General who lost his life in a terrorist attack in Istanbul in 2003. The aim of the Fund is to support student exchange between the UK and Turkey to enhance a better understanding and dialogue between these two countries. At the dinner I had the opportunity to meet Valerie Mitchell, the former Director-General of the English-Speaking Union, who was in attendance because of the mutual aims of the two organisations. Our lively conversation led to further exchanges and, during my stay in London, I had the opportunity to get to know more about the ESU as a local member of ESU London, and as a guest at various events at Dartmouth House. But it was only after I moved back to Istanbul that I formed a local steering committee and began to develop a dynamic and sustainable ESU in Turkey.
AF What aspects of the ESU led you to want to open one in Turkey? RK I would say the first reason was the vision of the ESU, to bring together and to empower people of different languages and cultures by building skills and confidence in communication. As we live in an interdependent world, I believe that such a vision is very much needed by all young people from across the world. And as Turkey enjoys such a unique position, thanks to its geography and history, the vision of the ESU has a lot to offer young people in Turkey. By encouraging and empowering young people to better express themselves and understand the views of others, I believe we can have a tangible contribution for world peace and harmony. The second aspect was the fact that the ESU offers concrete successful programmes, projects and opportunities for young people. Unlike many other organisations with prominent visions but not offering much action, the ESU is a well-established organisation with means to turn its vision to reality. AF What do you think the ESU can bring to Turkey specifically? RK The international exchange programmes and all similar programmes that we will initiate in Turkey will offer a valuable experience for Turkish youth to get better equipped for life.
By building their self-confidence and skills, I believe ESU Turkey will empower them in their business and personal lives. AF What, if any, were the challenges which you and the committee encountered in opening an ESU in Turkey? RK The initial steering committee consisted of Barbara Ferguson (an expert in the corporate training world who established a local training company and set up a second home in Turkey), Gamze Bayraktaroglu (an executive coach and corporate trainer and graduate of Istanbul British High School), Revna Tüzmen (Human Resources Director of a leading multinational pharmaceutical company and graduate of Üsküdar - American high school), Aysegül Zeka (Chief Financial Officer of various leading multinational companies in Turkey), Pelin Kadilar (an NGO leader and also the President of the Junior Chamber Istanbul), Onur Sümer (an lawyer with offices in Istanbul, Paris and Milan), and Cenk Özerkan (a prominent Turkish businessmen and real estate developer), together with myself (working as the Country Head of an international investment banking group, and also assuming active roles in various other associations, charities and think-tanks in Istanbul). After initially observing the ESU’s activities in other countries, the
area the ESU Turkey first decided to focus on was the International Public Speaking Competition. The very first challenges were to let people around us know about the ESU, and motivate people to join our activities. Luckily we met with leaders in education, broadcasting and business in Istanbul who understood very quickly the benefits of the ESU’s activities for young people and supported us very efficiently. From the very basic support we got from a leading high school (Hisar Schools) back in 2009, now just two years later, we have more than 15 schools from three cities joining the 2011 IPSC in Turkey. Similarly, with other programmes, it was a challenge to get people with appropriate high profile and standing to join us. However, for example, after we had Berfu Güven (a prominent young anchorwoman at CNBC-e Turkey), who came back with great enthusiasm from the 2009 ESU International Relations Conference (IRC) at Oxford, we did not have any difficulty in promoting this event last year. And now with Gülenç Dere (a leading researcher and journalist) representing Turkey in IRC 2010, I believe we have a solid base for building other high impact projects.
December 2009 was followed by the first official general assembly of the local association in February 2010, and ESU Turkey came to life with its 19 founding members, representing various fields including education, academia, business, diplomacy, and civil society. The official international launch of the
AF What are your plans for the newly launched member of the ESU family in 2011? RK Now, with our solid membership base, active speaking and debating programmes, members meetings, links to major ESU exchange programmes (like the Shakespeare study programmes, and the International Relations Conference at Oxford) and strong cooperation with other institutions like the British Council, and various other education and development charities, the ESU Turkey enjoys a good reputation which will enable us to fulfil our mission. And the reward for all that dedicated hard work came very recently in the form of being elected as the host for the 2012 ESU World Membership Conference. As a growing member of the ESU, we are looking forward to establishing sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships with all major governmental and business entities in Turkey to get better equipped to organize a unique programme for our international guests in 2012. We believe all these connections, international guests and projects will offer wonderful learning and development opportunities for young Turkish people to express themselves in the international world of art, technology, business and sport.
The first reason was the vision of the ESU, to bring together and to empower people of different languages and cultures by building skills and confidence in communication.
Another challenge was the legal paperwork to complete the establishment process. After the above activities and our close relations with Dartmouth House, ESU Turkey’s establishment was approved at the October 2009 ESU International Council Meeting and the official local organization was established by the steering committee. The initial approval obtained by the local authorities in
ESU Turkey was celebrated by a four-day programme attended by more than 45 international guests representing a vast variety of the ESU world globally. On 4 June 2010, almost seven years after the tragic terrorist attack on Pera House, the impressive historical premises of the British Consulate General in Istanbul, witnessed the birth of the ESU Turkey, which promises to enhance global understanding through its education, exchange and development programmes.
LETT’S TALK ABOUT IT: AUTUMN CITY LUNCHES Members, alumni and supporters of the ESU gathered for our Autumn City Lunch Series at Dartmouth House in October and November to hear Quentin Letts, Sophie Loussouarn and Michael Crick give their ‘Reflections on the Election’ and the coalition government five months on. All three are ESU alumni, and as such gave their time for free, for which we are very grateful.
Political sketch writer, Quentin Letts opened the series, giving his views on the achievements of the coalition, as well as an insight to life inside Westminster. We were treated to Quentin’s sharp wit as he talked about the current major figures in Parliament and answered some of our guests probing questions. He also reminisced about his year at Bellarmine University, Kentucky, where he was given an undergraduate scholarship by the ESU in 1980. Signed copies of Quentin’s latest book Letts Rip! are available at £10 (RRP £12.99) from firstname.lastname@example.org with a donation going to the ESU.
We were given an insight into the French view of our election and government from Sophie Loussouarn at the Autumn City Lunch on 27 October. Sophie, a lecturer at the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Amiens has written The Political Odyssey of Tony Blair and recently, David Cameron, A Conservative of the 21st Century. She covered the British elections on French television in May. Her talk at the lunch provided an excellent topic for a lively discussion.
The final guest speaker of our autumn series was Michael Crick. He gave a brilliant analysis of the present parliamentary situation and shared with us a glimpse of what the future holds. He handled guests’ questions with good humour and treated us to some inside jokes from Newsnight. The 1926 Chatham House Rule prevents us from reporting these. We are planning to extend our lunch series in 2011 to hold a Dartmouth House Lunch once a month with a topical guest speaker taking questions. Profits from the lunches will go toward ESU education programmes.
INTERNATIONAL AT HOME CO-HOSTED WITH MEXICO Three times a year the ESU opens its doors to members of the organisation and the international community in order to make links, friendships and new and positive connections with others. In October we welcomed Ambassadors and High Commissioners from Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Lebanon and Macedonia, along with representatives from the Syrian Embassy, the Ugandan High Commission, the Embassy of Hungary and the High Commission of the Maldives to our International at Home Coffee Morning. The event was held in partnership with the British Mexican Society and we welcomed HE Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza, DIALOGUE 44
Ambassador of Mexico as our guest of honour. The Ambassador spoke about his country’s bicentennial celebrations and the importance of English not just in the Mexican education system but also for Mexico as an emerging economy. The ESU launched in Mexico in 2005 and our international programmes involve many young people from across the country in public speaking and debating. The next International at Home in February 2011 will be themed on Malta. For more information or to reserve your place, please contact Annette Fisher, 0207 529 1565, email@example.com
PIMLICO ACADEMY HOSTS ENGLAND TEAM SELECTION The selection for the national debate team, which will represent England at the World Schools Debating Championship, has been completed. The first stage was a competition in World Schools format, which was generously hosted by Pimlico Academy, thanks to the assistance of the Deputy Head, Mr Ivan Baird. Fourteen teams from around the country came to the competition to gain more experience of the format with motions set by the current England team coach Nick Pacheco. Over three rounds, the students received expert feedback and many of them used the experience to prepare for the actual selections which followed on the 20 and 21 November. More than 100 students applied to be trialled for the England team. Each had to fulfil strict criteria including a reference from their teacher and information about their future life plans. From the original list of applicants, 48 were invited to trial, speaking in three debates and completing a specially written quiz which tested their knowledge of current affairs, politics and social issues. Based on their performance, 12 students were invited to return for another day of selection with two more debates and an interview by the selection panel. The four successful candidates who will represent England at the World Championship in Dundee in August 2011 are Matt Handley from St Francis Xavier’s College, Liverpool, Greg Farquhar from Grammar School Leeds, Alice Coombes-Huntle from Parrs Wood High School, Manchester and Akshay Karia from Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, London. We all wish them the best of luck with their training and preparation. We will keep you posted on their progress.
WELLS CATHEDRAL SCHOOL PERFORMS AT DARTMOUTH HOUSE
In November, the ESU hosted a lunchtime programme of music by students of Wells Cathedral School, Somerset and the Music School attached to Xinghai Conservatory of Music, Guangzhou. The joint concert of collaborative and individual performances featured works from both East and West, including Bach, Handel-Halvorsen and J. Heifetz. The orchestra was composed of pianist Daniel Evans, violinists Huali Dang and Johanna Bernard, violist Leidy Sinclair and cellist Hongli Diao. There was also a wonderful solo performance by Sit Lo Wong, who played the Guzheng, a traditional Chinese instrument which was later donated to Wells Cathedral School by the Xinghai Conservatory of Music.
HIGH DEMAND FOR MUSIC SCHOLARSHIPS The ESU Music Scholarships allow exceptional individuals to develop their talents and further their training at highly respected institutions in Canada, the US , England, Italy and France including Prussia Cove and Académie Maurice Ravel. We have been inundated with applications of an incredibly high standard this year and auditions for scholars wishing to attend courses beginning in 2011 were taking place at Dartmouth House as dialogue went to press.
EXCHANGE QUESTIONS ANSWERED AT BRIEFING DAY The two-term scholars, their parents and alumni from the Secondary School Exchange programme all met on Friday 12 November at Dartmouth House. The exchange sends a student on their gap year to a US high school and US students to spend a year at a UK boarding school. The briefing day is an opportunity to pose serious questions about aspects of the scheme such as visas and insurance as well as helping clear up other worries or queries about the scholars’ time in the US. Catherine-Maria King, Billy Grace and Jasmine Rahman, alumni who have just returned from their time in America and are now at university, were on hand to give advice such as “buy bedding there, the beds are a different size” and “take lots of dresses, you’ll have lots of formal occasions”, though some tips were perhaps more relevant to the female scholars! Catherine’s mum was also on hand to discuss her experience as an SSE parent and to pass on advice. In the evening the ESU continued the SSE theme with the annual Thanksgiving Dinner for US students, recent alumni and the two-term scholars and their parents. It was a festive occasion with turkey and pumpkin pie, giving a great opportunity for the US scholars to discuss the differences between their UK and US schools and to meet other students involved in the programme.
ART OF ASIA PREVIEW On 9 November, the ESU held an auction preview and informal gallery in aid of the ESU Chilton Art History Scholarship. The event featured items from the ‘Art of Asia’ exhibition and showcased world tastes in Japanese and Chinese Art. Colin Sheaf, Bonhams United Kingdom and Asia Chairman, welcomed a host of ESU members, alumni and nonmembers to a private preview of artefacts that would soon be sold in the New Bond Street flagship auction house.
The two-term scholars will be leaving the UK in January 2011 for their exchanges and applications for the 2011-2012 three-term exchange are now being accepted. The deadline is 25 February 2011. This year’s two-term scholars are: Ashley Alexander-Birch from Matfield, Kent, going to Hutchison School, Memphis, Tennessee Rose Allan from Harrow, Middlesex, going to Virginia Episcopal School, Lynchburg, Virginia Naomi Clothier from Camberley, Surrey, going to Mercersburg Academy, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania Abigail Field from Wallacestone, Falkirk, Scotland, going to Ravenscroft School, Raleigh, North Carolina Elliot Gilford from Hereford, going to Westminster School, Simsbury, Connecticut Ben Hamer from Harpenden, Hertfordshire, going to Avon Old Farms, Avon, Connecticut Margery Infield from London, going to Ridley College, Ontario, Canada Helena Kohen from Windsor, Berkshire, going to Stevenson School, Pebble Beach, California.
During the reception, Colin discussed the traditions of art auctioneering in London since the 18th Century as well as commenting on the history and artistic features of the various lots on display. The recipient of this year’s Chilton Art Scholarship is Sylvia Bai, who has gained a place on the Christie’s Masters Course in Modern and Contemporary Art. Sylvia grew up in China, and at 18 obtained a scholarship to study at Mount Holyoke College, one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the United States. She graduated with a high distinction in 2007. She has recently completed an Art History foundation course at Birkbeck College, University of London and speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and French. Sylvia is bright and articulate with original insights to offer and has been highly recommended by her tutors at Mount Holyoke College.
COMPETITIONS ARE UNDERWAY The end of the first school term is in sight and most of our biggest programmes are underway with the deadlines for round one of the Schools Mace and Public Speaking Competition coming early in the New Year. Schools Mace This year, the Schools Mace has 375 schools registered. Host schools have allocated motions and positions to those in their heats, and teams have begun preparing. The first round heats will run until the beginning of February. Regional rounds in North, South, East, West, Central and London will then take place in February and March, and the English final will take place at the end of March. Public Speaking Competition for Schools There has been great interest in the Public Speaking Competition with 295 teams registered, so far and late entries continuing to get in touch. Each school competing has been sent a copy of the new competitions handbook and has been furnished with the contact details of their ESU branch public speaking organiser. Branch organisers have worked hard; liaising with host schools, arranging dates, heats and sending topics out to schools. The first round heats will run until February, regional finals will be
HAVE YOU GOT A FAVOURITE RECIPE?
completed by 20 March 2011 and the UK Final will be held on 7 May 2011. IPSC We are also hard at work on the International Public Speaking Competition and the handbook for this will be completed by the time this issue of dialogue is printed. Copies of the handbook, which will be sent to each of the international ESU branches, will contain comprehensive information on the competition, as well as guidelines for speakers and adjudicators. The closing date for countries to register for the competition is 4 March 2011 and the event itself will run from 23-27 May. The national/regional theme is ‘Lessons for the Future’ and the international theme for this year’s IPSC is ‘Words are Not Enough’. Tours On the university side, the ESU overseas tour delegations are currently being finalised and in the next few months, ESU mentors will be travel to Malta, Turkey, Rwanda, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Morocco, Denmark and the United States. Most of the tours involve working with international ESU’s to teach public speaking and debating skills, alongside participation in public debates and help with running competitions. Participants are drawn from the pool of ESU mentors who
London Region is planning to put together an ESU cookery book, incorporating members’ favourite recipes. This will be sold to generate funds for the ESU and will include both national and international recipes. Please do spare a moment to contribute and make this exciting and multicultural project a success.
work with school and university students on our programmes in the UK, and reflect some of the best debaters and coaches in the world. National Mooting Competition More than 60 university law faculties have entered the ESU-Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The competition is one of the foremost training exercises for would-be barristers, and provides a real experience of advocating in a case before a judge in a mock trial setting. The final will take place on Thursday 23 June at the Royal Courts of Justice. John Smith Memorial Mace By the time you read this report, the Champion of the English leg of the John Smith Memorial Mace will have been selected. More than 66 teams from across the country sought to win the opportunity to represent England in the International John Smith Memorial Mace. Named in honour of former Labour leader John Smith, the Mace is one of the most prestigious events on the Universities’ debating calendar, and attracts the highest standard of speakers to participate in five rounds of debating, prior to a highly contested final at Dartmouth House.
Please send your suggestion, together with your name and branch, to: Charmaine Jayetilleke, firstname.lastname@example.org Send posted recipes to: 30 College Way Hayes Middlesex UB3 3DZ DIALOGUE 47
MORRISON HECKSCHER SPEAKS AT DARTMOUTH HOUSE Alys Rickett Morrison Heckscher gave a wonderful lecture to a packed audience on ‘Rediscovering American Art at the Metropolitan Museum in New York’ at Dartmouth House on 22 September. As Lawrence A. Fleischman Chairman of the American Wing, he is extremely involved in the current renovation of the American Wing so it was extremely kind of him to spare the time to come over and talk to us. Indeed, Mr Heckscher has been a very good friend of the English-Speaking Union for ten years. In 2000, he gave his first lecture for us in this series which was in memory of the Harvey A. Bakers who took a little English girl into their home during World War II. This first lecture for us was entitled ‘American Decorative Arts and their English Origins’. This was followed by 30 superb lectures on American subjects by people well-known in the academic and museum world in America. These eminent experts in their fields gave up their holiday time and paid for their travelling and accommodation expenses to talk to us over here based on their desire that more people should appreciate American culture. Morrison Heckscher’s introductions were a tremendous help as he is respected and loved by so many. He gave unstinted aid and advice drawing from his encyclopaedic knowledge of the art world. The proceeds from the tickets sold went to an ESU halfscholarship for an American arts student at the beginning of their career to study at the three-week Attingham Summer Course held each year in England for scholars from all over the world. The course consists of erudite and inspiring lecturers discussing the art and architecture they visit during excursions to many of the UK’s best art venues – an eye-opening experience for all of the nine ESU scholars. It is a pity that we have had to sacrifice these lectures for the new programme. Let us hope that the ESU’s new strategies meet with as much success as this programme has enjoyed.
DISCOVER YOUR VOICE EXPANDS This year the demand for Discover Your Voice workshops and resources has increased. In 2010, the programme worked with over 3000 students in England and now, we are extending it to provide more options to schools around the country, with advanced workshops also being offered. A series of online resources, which will be available from January to all member schools, is also being developed, focused primarily on resources that the teachers can use in the classroom. In addition, we have launched a new mentor programme so that more schools can take part in Discover Your Voice. More than 150 university students from around the UK have signed up to be ESU mentors and assist with delivering workshops to schools around the country. The first two mentor training days took place in Dartmouth House in September and October and more sessions are planned for later this year. For the first time, there is now a full accreditation process in place for our mentors, giving them access to training and resources. With the valuable help of our expert mentors, the Speech and Debate team can now take the Discover Your Voice programme to more schools than ever. Please note that there is a 50% discount on workshops booked by ESU Branches for schools in their area. For more information please contact Kallina Basli, email@example.com
ORIENT-EXPRESS LUNCHES Thank you to all members who booked tickets on the recent Orient-Express fundraising lunch events from Cardiff, Liverpool and London. You raised £700 for the ESU. £25 per booking will be sent to your branch in the New Year. We will advertise the lunches in next year’s June dialogue to give you plenty of time to book.
DAVID SMITH LAUNCHES THE AGE OF INSTABILITY On 21 October Saroj Chakravarty, a Governor of ESU, organised and chaired an economic conference to discuss The Age of Instability – a recently published book written by David Smith, the economics editor of The Sunday Times. Ironically, when David happened to meet Gordon Brown at a Treasury Department party in 2004, Gordon asked him to write a book about ‘the great stability’ of the early 2000s. Unfortunately, by the time he was ready to write a book, it was 2007 and the stability was long since gone. David himself started the discussion for the evening. Setting the near collapse of the international financial markets and banking system in a global and historical context, he looked not only at the political and economic factors that contributed to the fall of Lehman Brothers, the collapse of Iceland’s banks and disintegration of the subprime mortgage market but also the emergence of a culture of risk and greed that made it possible to believe that, once again, greed was good and the good times would last forever. Enlightening contributions were made by the other two members of the panel – Richard L Bright, Economic Minister of the American Embassy and Hiroshi Oka, Economic Minister of the Japanese Embassy. They were questioned deeply by the audience, quite a few of whom were international bankers. One German banker asked about Chinese interest in Japanese bonds, a Spanish banker asked how much Bill Clinton’s reckless bonuses were responsible for the doctrine of greed and a retired Lloyd’s Bank manger asked anxiously, how long the bankers would take to pay back their debts. At the end of the conference, over their drinks, the audience was full of praise. Everybody agreed it was the best question and answer session they ever experienced. Leslie Dubow, one of the members of the London Region committee, came to Saroj and said, “We not only had brilliant speakers but we also had some very learned and knowledgeable audience.”
FROM THE ARCHIVES WASHED-OUT GARDEN PARTY The January 1964 issue of Concord reported details of a garden party held in 1952 – 12 years presumably being enough time for staff to have recovered. ‘The summer ESU reception was planned to be a large garden party in the main court of the university; 600 were invited, with some trepidation as the alternative bad-weather accommodation was the college hall, holding only 250. Tea was planned in the surrounding cloisters, wet or fine, but half an hour before the starting hour it was found the caterer had put up the tables in a distant part of the college, and they had all to be moved at the eleventh hour by the Branch Secretary. The guests began to arrive 20 minutes early when there was nobody to receive them. The announcer arrived half way through the reception having been told by the caterer to go to the wrong college. The Chairman of the Hospitality Committee had been summoned to London urgently by telegram that morning, and her Deputy arrived late having also had a telegram, before setting out, announcing the death of one of her family. The Guest of Honour did not arrive until half an hour after the advertised starting time. The secondary Guest of Honour arrived 24 hours late having mistaken the day. When the rain started, it was found that the supposedly prepared hall was locked and the key unfindable. But the guests had turned up in their hundreds, clad in mackintoshes, sou’wester hats and wellingtons. And they all went away saying “Thank you for a lovely party!” When the Branch Secretary returned to Branch Headquarters feeling damp and depressed, the Fire Brigade arrived at the same time with bell clanging. Fire at Branch headquarters after a Garden Party of torrential rain was the final straw. But unfortunately the reason for the firemen’s visit was only to rescue a Member locked in the ladies’ lavatory with a jammed lock.’ The article ends ‘Today ESU Garden Parties are quite different, even when it rains!’ Perhaps further trawls through the archive will prove this wrong!
FROM THE ARCHIVES ESU ACTIVITIES Concord in November 1963 published a table of the ESU’s activities for that year. Entitled What the ESU Does, it chronicles ‘in the past 12 months the ESU has: • Sent more than 100 people to the US on post-graduate scholarships • Sent 4 apprentices to Canada for eight weeks study • Sent 4 technical teachers to the US for eight weeks study • Sent a British medical specialist to Australia and New Zealand • Sent 3 leading British educationalists to Africa • Sent 23 Bristol school children to Kentucky for three weeks • Sent 7 Trade Unionists to visit the US
• Brought a Hong Kong social worker to the UK for special training
• Enabled 400 people to further their education overseas
• Brought a Nigerian political secretary to Britain to study politics
• Established a pre-primary school at Karumam, Kerala, India
• Brought 4 US technical teachers to Britain
• Paid 4 return fares for Canadian undergraduates going to Canadian colleges
• Arranged the exchange of 81 British and American schoolteachers
• Awarded 20 scholarships for British boys and girls to US schools
• Arranged for an Art Collection to visit five Commonwealth countries
• Held the Oxford Summer School for Commonwealth students
• Arranged special flights for members to visit the US
• Provided help and hospitality to over 20,000 visitors to Britain
• Arranged over 1,000 meetings in Britain on US/Commonwealth subjects
• Collected, packed and shipped over 400,000 books overseas
• Arranged over 400 similar meetings for Younger members
• Produced, addressed and mailed 216,000 copies of Concord.’
• Arranged the third series of the US/Commonwealth yachting competitions
BOAT RACE DARLINGS In 1968 the Cambridge Boat Race crew spent the last two weeks of their training at Dartmouth House. Concord (May 1968) reports: ‘They, with their coach and cox, with their strictly supervised menus, their maximum alcohol allowance of one and a half pints of beer a day, their 10 pm bed-time, their white flannels and sweaters and light blue blazers, and their continual coming and going by coach to the Tideway at Putney, brought a new breeze to the centre of the ESU. DIALOGUE 50
When they left for the race, they were presented with a stuffed light-blue elephant. When they returned from their three and a half length victory over Oxford, they were cheered by Members assembled in the hall and by the female staff lining the marble staircase, who were rewarded with kisses from the 13-stone stalwarts. That evening they held a Victory Dinner at Dartmouth House, which was covered on the television by the BBC, and went on to the Boat Race
Dance at the Carlton Tower- not returning for bed at 10 pm that evening. This surprise accommodation booking came through the Cambridge Branch, where a Committee Member’s husband, Dr. Bevan, one-time blue and coach, is Treasurer of the University Boat Club.’ Gill Hale, ESU Librarian
BRANCHES â€“ Inside The UK branches of the ESU provide a stimulating range of events and programmes often inspiring ESU DH to turn local endeavours into national ones.
Buckingham Palace Garden Party_53 East Region_54 Midlands Region_57 North East_59
North West Region_59 South East Region_60 London Region_63 Wales Region_64 South Region_65 South West_65 Regional Diary_69
BRANCHES Unfortunately due to space considerations within dialogue, we were unable to publish a report earlier this year of a visit to York by Lord Watson and his lecture on ‘The Voyage of English’. We are delighted to rectify this omission and to thank Patricia Cook, Chairman of York and District branch for reminding us. The report is doubly relevant in the context of the article by Professor David Crystal in this issue on ‘Evolving English’ and the exhibition of the same name currently on at the British Library.
On April 15 2010 The Chairman Emeritus of the ESU International Council and Former National Chairman Lord Watson of Richmond CBE, came up to St. Peter’s School in York to give a lecture entitled “The Voyage of English”. This was a fascinating talk about the progression of the English language through history and the emergence of its importance as the language of the Global Village. A small but enthralled audience enjoyed an elegant, entertaining and witty discourse by Lord Watson in the historic main hall of St. Peter’s School, one of the oldest schools in the U.K. members and their guests, both inside and outside the ESU had a glass of wine before being treated to a wide-ranging history of English, punctuated by many amusing personal anecdotes. It was a pity, however that the event was not well supported by members from within the branch itself, though it was pleasing to see so many guests. Afterwards, Lord Watson signed copies of his book on the same subject, and was able to chat to members individually.
DIALOGUE 52 52
Lord Watson extended his stay in Yorkshire courtesy of the hospitality of Branch Chairman Patricia Cook, and the following day he paid a visit to his friend Simon Howard at Castle Howard, home of the Howard family to this day. Castle Howard was designed by Sir John Vambrugh and is widely regarded as a stunning house in its own right as well as being Vambrugh’s prototype for Blenheim Palace, home of the Duke of Marlborough in Oxfordshire. We would like to thank Lord Watson for being able to take time out of his busy schedule to come to York and provide Members with a very enjoyable evening.
BUCKINGHAM PALACE GARDEN PARTY
Several members were lucky in a draw to be chosen to go to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. When they arrived in London Lord Hunt entertained them to lunch at Dartmouth House and then the members enjoyed the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in the most perfect weather. DIALOGUE 53
BRANCHES EAST REGION
Cambridge Welland Valley In late September we held our branch AGM at the Hunting Lodge Hotel, Cottingham, which was well attended and our guests included Alexander Finnis, Leo Hamilton-Hoole and Margaret Furst from the East Region. Both the Chairman and Treasurer reported another successful year, membership and funds are holding up well and our donations to very worthwhile organisations and students amounted to £1507. Neville Rumbelow retired from the committee during the year but we have been fortunate in persuading John Cartwright a member of the branch to join us and he was duly elected at the meeting and we welcome him on to the committee. All other members of the committee were re-elected. The AGM lunch followed and we were happy to welcome many guests including ESU Director-General Mike Lake as our guest speaker. The title of his talk was ‘The ESU, Past, Present and Future’ and was well received and a very lively question time ensued. On 26 October we held a “Bridge Lunch” at our usual venue at Gretton and 12 tables of players from around the area enjoyed good bridge followed by an excellent lunch. We held a successful raffle and our players assured us that they had had a really good day, and look forward to the next event in May 2011. Our next event was Thanksgiving Dinner in November; this will be reported in the next edition of dialogue.
humour, that everyone present was delighted by the talk. He took us back over the last 200 years and we progressed as far as Le Corbusier. Unfortunately we then ran out of time so there is still much to be covered; perhaps he will be able to visit us again sometime in the future to bring us up to date?
Brian Cooke and Walter Scott with Colin West at Tiptree
Around 30 members and guests enjoyed an entertaining and informative talk in the tea rooms of the world-famous Tiptree jam factory in the afternoon of Sunday 31 October. Managing Director, Walter Scott, explained the history and ethos of the company, delighting the audience with his amusing anecdotes. Branch Chairman Brian Cooke thanked Wilkin & Sons for their generosity in putting on the event. The talk was followed by afternoon tea before individuals visited the factory’s museum and shop. As mentioned by branch President, Professor James Raven, at the start of the afternoon, the contributions, which totalled £140, are being allocated to educational activities. The visit followed in the footsteps of HM The Queen - Patron of the ESU - who had been a guest three days earlier in what is the 125th year of production.
Epping Forest We have recently had two excellent speakers to entertain us at our monthly meetings. The first was Timothy Bruce-Dick whose talk was entitled ‘The History of Modern Architecture’. Not everyone was sure this was a subject that would necessarily appeal to them, but such was the knowledge of Tim Bruce-Dick, combined with his wonderful ability to impart this knowledge with great clarity and
Our second speaker was Barry Kaufmann-Wright, who worked with the naturalist and author Gerald Durrell at Jersey Zoo for six years. He has written many books himself, was a Police Wildlife Crime Officer with Essex Police for 22 years and now lectures too many varied and diverse groups. In 2003 he was named as the ‘Wildlife Law Enforcer of the Year’ by the World Wildlife Fund and in 2007 he was awarded a Fellowship of the British Naturalists Association. His talk to us was entitled ‘In Celebration of Trees’ and was illustrated by a selection from his vast slide collection. Apart from his knowledge and humour, we were also entranced by the pointer he used to draw attention to particular items showing on the screen. It was a slender black willow wand which had been gracefully contorted by honeysuckle winding round it. He had made it himself by seasoning the wood for two years and then polishing it until it shone and sparkled. It was finished with a horn tip and Gandalf himself, the white wizard from The Lord of the Rings, would surely have been proud to have owned such an item.
Dr Tony Wood, Chairman of the Ouse Valley Branch, introduces speaker Mike Lake whilst Vice Chairman Roger Cornwell looks on
ESU Poetry Garden Party
Norwich and Norfolk As usual, our ‘year’ ended with a coffee morning at the home of our Chairman, June Baker and her husband Brian. Although the weather was not kind to us, 24 people did manage to dodge in and out of the garden as the showers permitted. Also in September, 18 members and friends enjoyed a fish and chip lunch before the matinee performance at the Cromer Pier Show. After the show we enjoyed tea and cakes at the home of Major Gurney. Once again the weather defeated our gathering in the marquee and we ended our day in front of the fire in Major Gurney’s sitting room with a “wee drop” of something to warm us inside as well as out!! Our first meeting in our new year was exceptional - Bill Richmond spoke about ‘Stage Make-up and Special Effects’. After a preliminary talk he then went on to turn one of our younger members, firstly into an old lady, and then into a geisha! We all agreed that this meeting was one of the most enjoyable and amusing talks we had heard.
The speaker in October was Sylvia Barrett whose talk was entitled “Fun with Follies”. Her talk, supported with slides, was most interesting. Follies can be found everywhere and the stories behind many of them were sometimes amusing and sometimes we were left with the feeling of why these were built in the first place. Barrett ably enlightened us. Our Christmas luncheon will be held as usual at The Park Farm Hotel, Hethersett on Friday 17 December. Professor Bill Wuest It is with great regret that I have to report the death of our President, Professor Bill Wuest who passed away on Saturday 30 October. For many years Bill has been an avid supporter of the ESU and his contribution to the branch and his support to me as Chairman was always of great value. He will be sadly missed by us all. Our condolences go to his wife Mary and his family at this sad time.
With impeccable timing in view of the on-going strategic review and the ESU AGM a few weeks later, our speaker at the end of October was DirectorGeneral Mike Lake. Just back from Albania – where the ESU’s place in the country’s affections was forever assured following his presentation of a boxed set of films of Albania’s hero Norman Wisdom to the ‘high ups’ – he began by reviewing briefly the historical origins of the organisation and then moved quickly to the main issues facing the ESU in the future. Members were visibly amazed at the statistics illustrating the world-wide thirst for English, such as the 180 million people in China outside the education system who are paying to learn the language. Clearly a huge challenge for the country – and perhaps for the ESU itself. Closer to home, he emphasised the continuing need in our own country for the kinds of services the ESU provides, such as the example of the patois, a mark of pride in the inner cities, but singularly unhelpful when seeking a job in Barclay’s Bank! His comprehensive and most interesting talk covered many aspects concerning the possible future
BRANCHES direction of the ESU, and the audience was not reluctant to ask a number of searching questions at its conclusion. And the verdict of the members? “Well done Director-General: the ESU appears to be in good hands”. On other matters, the chairman reported that following the recent successful pilot of the ‘Discover Your Voice’ public speaking scheme with 8/9 year old children in a deprived area of Bedford, word of mouth had resulted in 12 other Lower Schools in the town requesting the initial training with a view to cascading public speaking activities subsequently throughout their schools. The branch is organising this in conjunction with the ESU ‘Speech and Debate’ section, and will also provide the necessary follow-up member support for the schools involved. He also hoped that sufficient sponsorship would be raised to introduce into Bedford schools in the new year the highly successful scheme run for the last two years with GCSE level students in Luton, known as the ‘Ludlow Awards’ after the sponsor. The awards recognise excellence in achievement or progress in the English Language for those students whose first language is not English, and resulted in the branch being awarded the ESU Hardacre Trophy this year for the most imaginative and successful branch project.
Southend on Sea
Marie Brown It is with very great sadness that ESU Southend announces the death of Marie Brown, a most dearly loved member of our branch. Marie was 97 years old. For many, many years she supported her husband Ken in his work as Branch President. We will always remember Marie with affection: a kind, very elegant lady with a fabulous smile for everyone.
From Russia with love to England with Thanks
Members of ESU Southend attended the funeral where Ken, now 100 years old, asked us to remember him to all his friends in the ESU. We send our condolences to Ken and all Marie’s family.
Katrina with Chairman Joy Childs
Katrina with Sir Reginald Harland
It is said that you should never return to a place or experience that you have enjoyed as you are likely to be disappointed. This was certainly not the case today when the members of the Suffolk Branch of the ESU were again spellbound by the second episode of the adventurous life of Katrina Rowling nee Kirilenco. Katrina related her story from the period following her 4-month walk from Russia to Germany as a young child slave labourer. This vibrant and lively lady said that whilst the horrors of her period of captivity are mostly forgotten she recalls with clarity the small gestures of kindness shown towards her.
She did tell of her humiliation at having her clothing removed for fumigation and her head shaved on her arrival in Nazi Germany, her stay in a camp with imprisoned homosexuals and Roman Catholics, of the attempted rape she suffered on a train, the trauma of seeing the terrible wounds of so many young German soldiers whilst she was forced to work as a cleaner in a Military Hospital run by an order of nuns. This caused her to collapse and be unable to work for 6 weeks. She was fortunate to be working with the nuns who nursed her other-wise she would have been exterminated. On her recovery she was sent to work on a farm in southern Germany, where the farmer’s wife encouraged her to attend the local church, and whilst the services were incomprehensible to her it offered her the chance of a much needed rest. These visits led to her becoming a member of the church choir and being taught to speak German by the young German choristers. The farmer’s wife taught her to knit and crochet which stood her in good stead, for when the war ended she sold her work to the occupying American troops. Her good luck continued when she was employed by a well known professor as a housemaid at his home in Frankfurt. Where her duties included serving drinks at parties given by her host. It was at one of these parties she met TS Elliot, and someone that offered her work in England at a house in St John’s Wood, London. When she arrived she could not believe that the room and large bed was for her sole use and not shared with 6 or 7 other people. She recalled that she was visited by two police officers every 4 weeks, and that one young officer by the name of Brian, invited her to her first ever dance, and how she was so thrilled to have such an experience after all her trials and tribulations of her young life. When Brian escorted her home to St John’s Wood he asked her if it was OK,
she replied: “Brian this is all better than OK.” Katrina told her story so well that we all shared the highs and lows of her experiences, and marvelled that this woman who had suffered so much yet still showed the courage and spirit that carried from her village in Russia to Bury St Edmunds, where we are fortunate enough to share her life. We were in fact doubly fortunate to have our Vice President Sir Reginald and Lady Harland with us. Sir Reginald made a presentation to Katrina, and Mike Ames a member of the committee offered a vote of thanks for such a well delivered talk without the use of notes, but delivered from the heart.
MIDLANDS REGION Gloucester
Austin Millington, Chairman of Gloucester, with guest speaker Pete Waterman
The world-famous Music Impresario, Pete Waterman, came to our Thanksgiving Luncheon, at Chavenage House, Tetbury, on November 7, to tell us – we had all thought – about the “Pop Music World”. A world few of us knew anything about. Instead, this charismatic 63-year-old man spoke for an hour and a half on almost everything but the “Pop World”. He is a man of great depth and sincerity and an inspiration to us all, including the Prime
Minister himself ! Pete, without doubt, has a “great passion and love” for this country. “Where else would I want to live? Recently, I turned down what would have been a four-year contract to work in America. I love my home and my own bed!” and, most importantly he has the passion, sincerity and determination, to help as many young people as possible. So much so, he approached the current Prime Minister and said: “I will give you £250,000 of my own money if you match it with the same amount.” The result of this agreement is The Local Enterprise Partnerships, introduced by Vince Cable, on 28 October 2010. This is only one of his inspirationalenterprises to help this country. The number seems endless. He believes passionately that this country could still lead the world in the manufacturing industry. Immediately, the audience called: “Here, Here!” He then gave a list of manufactured products of which we should all be proud: the Bentley car for one! “I told the Prime Minister that we needed to return to reality and commonsense and to stop pussy-footing around. Where has common sense gone? We have so much to be proud of in this country and we must start feeling passionate about it. All this about Health and Safety is a nonsense – more “Here, Here’s” from the audience - it is just providing jobs for the boys instead of for apprentices. Do away with the second-class so-called universities (another “Here, Here”!) and bring in apprenticeships instead”. One of his companies, providing apprenticeship schemes, manufactures engine parts, some of which are now installed in The Orient Express. He is a man of many parts. Within his introduction he did actually explain how he entered the pop world, and said the first time he heard a certain DIALOGUE 57
BRANCHES “group” playing before anyone had ever heard about them, he knew there was something “special” and of “worldwide interest”. This group was The Beatles! “John Lennon asked me to be his personal assistant; which I was for a while. We were all the same age, but then we all moved on. That is all history. They were phenomenal. I knew there was something there that would go and on! He also explained how he earned his first money, by getting on a bike, with other choir boys, and riding round from church to church to sing at weddings. The writer of this news item says she has never received so many phone calls, and e-mails after any other speaker before this. The praise for Pete Waterman is heart-warming. “If only there were many other people like this who would stand up and tell the powers-that-be what they should be doing for this country.” Another e-mail (one of 22, plus phone calls) said: “It was a privilege to hear him speak”.
On 9 September our Chairman, Sonia Chance, held an evening reception at her home. This was arranged so that members could meet Daniela Cortes from Chile who had won an ESU Poetry/Essay competition, the prize being a trip to England. About 20 members enjoyed a very pleasant evening at which Daniela talked about how she had won the prize. The Oxfordshire branch sponsor a Polish nurse every year to come over and work shadow at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. Kasha was a fabulous person to sponsor who left us stating “give me your standards and policy, some equipment and I will be as good as English nurses” and was thoroughly delightful throughout her trip. We wish her all the best in her future career. As part of the yearly sponsorship of Rhodes Scholars the Oxfordshire branch of the ESU met with the current year intake of Rhodes Scholars. Coming from all over the globe it was apparent immediately that these were some of the brightest people on the planet duly enjoying their year at Oxford. Many were doing a Masters course but most were looking for ways to extend their stay. ESU members were able to discuss current world matters with the group and Oxfordshire branch chairman Eric Parslow made a short address welcoming the scholars to this seat of learning.
On 23 September a Literary Lunch was held at a local restaurant. Following lunch, Irina Nikitina, ESU member from St Petersburg, gave an interesting talk entitled, ‘The Architecture of St Petersburg’. Our branch has sponsored the autumn in Malvern Festival, a Literary and Musical Feast, together with the Ledbury Poetry Festival, particularly with primary schools in the area where poets work with children aged 5 – 10 years, and then the children perform their works in front of an audience. On the 13 September, the DirectorGeneral Mike Lake came to our Chairman’s home in Malvern to talk to members of the Midlands Region, including representatives from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Birmingham and Worcestershire, about the proposed merger between the ESU and the Royal Commonwealth Society. Members were not convinced that the merger would be successful in view of the debt that the RCS has. Members would be agreeable to co-operating with the RCS, but not to a merger.
NORTH EAST REGION
North West region
Liverpool and Merseyside
Our project for 2010 is once again to cooperate with Queen Margaret’s School at Escrick, near York, by sponsoring a girl from St. Petersburg to spend a term at this lovely girls school, set in beautiful grounds and with the main building being an eighteenth century mansion. Girls from many countries are at the school and Paulina has settled in very happily and made friends with her classmates, including a girl called Olga who is also from Russia. Paulina’s father has visited the school during a business trip to Scotland. Although two years ago we had another Russian girl - Anastasia - at the school, the arrangements for visas and transport remain complicated, difficult and expensive and the branch is particularly grateful to Anne and Richard Oldham for once again negotiating all the many obstacles and paying many of the incidental expenses themselves.
(L-R) Lady Kirsty Pilkington, guest speaker Detective Inspector Bill Stupples from Merseyside Police, Chairman Mike Shankland and Vice President June Lancelyn Green.
Nor must we forget the support and help we have received from Marguerita Mudrack, President of St. Petersburg ESU, for which we are very much obliged. A few weeks ago it was exciting to receive a huge box of books from America via our long term friends in St Louis, Missouri. We are one of only two British branches to be sent these books, the cream of current US literature, and it is often somewhat reluctantly that we hand them over unread. This year we have distributed the books to Queen Margaret’s School and St Peter’s School, York who have been so supportive of our branch and of course to Selby College, a Beacon college of tertiary education with which we have had strong links over many years. I shall be going to St Louis next week and will have the chance to thank the branch personally.
Our fund raising event at Hurlston Hall in September was a great success, attended by over 60 members and guests who raised £250 for the Rattle Scholarship Fund. As we gazed over the sun dappled laws on a soft autumn day, we were regaled by our speaker Bill Jones’ harrowing, heroic account of his ascent of the Rwenzori in Uganda, otherwise known as the Mountains of the Moon. The very slides seemed to run with humidity as we wended our way though monstrous plants and stinging insects to within sight of the final peak only to be frustrated by the adverse weather conditions. Members were pleased to make a donation to his charity in Nepal where he is undertaking his next climb. Special thanks to Patrick Waite and Betty Benson for organising such an enjoyable and well managed event.
Not many people know that the film series The Matrix was named after Detective Inspector Bill Stupples’ Department at Merseyside Police! Matrix tackles gang, gun and drugrelated crime with DI Stupples specialising in the detection of cannabis farms. Bill gave an entertaining but often horrifying account of posh ‘des res’ on Merseyside concealing cannabis yielding hundreds of thousands of pounds a year unbeknown to neighbours. Helicopters with thermal imaging cameras, sniffer dogs or tragic fires caused by diverting mains electricity illegally often give the game away. Thank goodness we have the like of DI Stupples to protect us from these armies. A well attended regional meeting in Chester on 19 October hosted the Director-General, Mike Lake. It is a fair summary to say that members were relieved to hear that the merger with the RCS would not proceed but were concerned with Lord Hunt’s qualification ‘at the present time,’ Liverpool and Merseyside having voted unanimously against it. Other concerns were around which funds ESU would manage solely and whether there would be equal contribution and access to the proposed Joint Commonwealth Societies Trust. Probably the saddest feeling of the meeting was the apparent erosion of trust and confidence between the local members and the Director-General and the Governors.
After the lunch, members voted unanimously against the merger with the RCS as proposed in the ‘Project Evelyn’ documents.
BRANCHES South East region South East Region visit Lille
Annual Literary Lunch at Chartwell which holds divers paintings, ceramics and sculptures from the 17th through to the late 19th centuries was also on the agenda.
South East Region members in the Mercure Hotel
From 1 – 4 October, 18 South East Region members travelled to Lille on the eurostar from St Pancras on 2 October. The smooth 85 minute journey afforded the opportunity to renew old acquaintances and make new introductions. These convivialities were furthered at a group dinner on the first evening at the Alcide, a favourite haunt for previous visitors from the ESU South East region, close to our hotel the Mercure Opera, situated centrally in the Old Town of Lille. For the majority, a 50 minute bus tour on Saturday morning from the informative and helpful Office de Tourisme served to give us our bearings and highlight the principal buildings and cultural centres. Others gained familiarly with the Old Town with its cobbled Streets and strong Flemish influence from a guided walking tour. With a feeling for the town, members set off to explore further sites of particular interest. Among these was the birthplace of Charles de Gaulle, now a museum complete with a multimedia centre which creates the atmosphere into which he was born and reviews his life’s work. The Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille
The more adventurous members of the group who travelled to the outskirts of the city to the recently re-opened Lille Art Museum (LaM) found a prestigious collection of modern art including works by Braque, Kandinski, Modigliani and Picasso. LaM is also gaining recognition as a centre from contemporary art. A memorable but sobering option was a tour of the Flanders’s Fields incorporating the Great War battlefields, several commonwealth war grave cemeteries and the Menem Gate. Dining was not neglected and the last evening found the group snugly seated around a table reminiscent of a French farmhouse, discovered by Meriel Talbot, Director of Branches and Membership, sampling cuisine la perigourdine. Monday morning was devoted to last minute shopping with “Patisseries from Paul” much in evidence, before departing after an early lunch with memories of a trip well-planned but not over-organised in congenial company for which we thank Meriel.
The Lake District cast its spell over a southern audience as Dr Ian Thompson of Newcastle University spoke to our annual luncheon at Chartwell. His book The English Lakes (Bloomsbury), currently short listed for the Portico Prize (which ranges over the northern counties), transcends the simplicity of its title, being an evocation of both the beauty and the heritage of our own “English Alps”. Richly illustrated with Ian Thompson’s own photographs and with prints of the paintings and drawings of artists, including Turner, Constable and Landseer, much of the narrative traces the lives of those who came to the lakes and never quite recovered from the impact. Wordsworth is pre-eminent but there were many others, and we can even sympathise with Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice, who cried “what delight! what felicity!” at the prospect, but never actually got there. Today those of us who fix our gaze towards the sun may reflect on how much our rain blessed “Alps” can offer.
Luisa closed with a caprice by Paganini, as brilliantly jazzed up by Benny Goodman. At our next Luncheon on 4 November, Mike Lake, Director-General of the ESU, will be our guest at the Cooden Beach Golf Club. Information from Cath Burrows, 01424 432 054. Brighton and Hove
Jenny Miller, Luisa Rosina, Nancy Cooley
Luisa Rosina, the noted clarinettist for whom the 1066 Branch has been pleased to provide a little sponsorship, gave a delightful afternoon recital, accompanied by the Hastings pianist Nancy Cooley, on 25 September. Jenny Miller, the singer and teacher, kindly invited us to hold the event in her studio in St Leonards. Members of the branch provided a splendid repast of yummy home-made cakes & sandwiches. Luisa started with a concerto by Crusell, then came a fiendishly-syncopated sonatina by Malcolm Arnold. ‘5 bagatelles’ by another English composer, Gerald Finzi, and a piece by Ludovico Einaudi followed. Then we all went to Scarborough Fair, with tapping feet.
Many ESU members will have become acquainted with the vagaries of the Old Ship Hotel, Brighton, during the 2007 conference. But however perceptive they were, they may have been surprised by its history and significance when local historian and guide Jackie Marsh-Hobbs gave us a scintillating appraisal at our September meeting. It is immersed with Brighton`s history and development as a leading seaside resort, frequented by royalty, aristocrats and artists. It wasn`t built, in 1559, as an hotel but, rather, an inn, evolving as it added on other, adjoining properties over the decades. Used as a coaching inn for 100 years or so, it sported a series of stables for the horse and, later on, 16 midget bedrooms for the chauffeurs to the good and great who adorned the prestigious hostelry when it became the hub of so much Regency social life in all its swirling magnificence. Apart from two spacious assembly rooms, and large cellars, it also hosted a post office, a corn market and Petty Sessions. Paganini played there, Charles Dickens gave readings to the literary alert and Thackeray started his Vanity Fair within its precincts. The local, boisterous and giddy scenes must have given him much material for his masterpiece. “Prinny”, the Prince Regent, later George IV fitted into Brighton`s rakish atmosphere as easily as a hand into a glove, but Lord Baker of Dorking,
former Home Secretary and Education Secretary, and an avid collector of political cartoons, was at pains to illustrate his more appealing side at our Joyce Rolf memorial lecture, in October. Entitling his compelling lecture: George IV – Cad or Catalyst? – he in no way airbrushed this notorious rake`s womanising, and plethora of illegitimate children, from his broad canvas, but pointed out he was a serious and influential patron of the arts, who added significantly and sensitively to the Royal Collection, promoted the Gothic revival and engineered the layout of Regents Park southwards, not to mention bequeathing the extraordinary Royal Pavilions in the centre of Brighton. He also ran up debts of £30 million by today`s standards, and his extraordinary liaison with Mr Fitzherbert was almost cruelly exploited by the cartoonists of the time. Indeed, Lord Baker illustrated his talk with a wealth of contemporary cartoons and prints dating from the late 18 century, including Hogarth, some of them extraordinarily explicit and coarse, described gallantly by Lord Baker as “graphic satire.” He didn`t press for a vote on whether his packed audience considered George IV to be a cad or a catalyst (pity!) but averred that the period from 1780 to 1830 was the country`s greatest. Really? Scope for a follow-up, lecture there, perhaps. The second lecture of the month was by local historian Michael Smith, his subject being Napoleon`s exile in St. Helena, under the title “England`s prisoner.” This was especially apt for a local lady, Mrs Barker, because her great-great grandfather, with the 53rd Regiment of Foot, was one of the military contingent deputed to help DIALOGUE 61
BRANCHES guard Bonaparte who, incidentally, was never without the company of around 45 fellow-Frenchmen. Barker had picked up a flyer advertising this meeting in her doctor`s surgery and so, for the first time, visited an ESU gathering. So, it pays to scatter the good news! Michael described how, first at Torbay and then at Plymouth, Napoleon became a tourist attraction when his ship, HMS Bellerophon put in for goods and minor repairs. Over 100,000 giddy young things at Torbay chartered boats to take them out to see the former Emperor, standing with studied dignity on its quarter-deck, lapping it all up. They cheered him wildly, blew kisses and in other ways gave us a faint foretaste of the booming celebrity culture of the 21st century. The military and naval arsenal of Plymouth was more restrained, many of its sons having fallen in battle while fighting the French. Michael’s excellent talk was backed by some contemporary material, including maps and portraits. Canterbury and East Kent Actors from Globe Education were in action in Canterbury on October 21. As part of the umbrella programme of the Canterbury Festival they ran a day of lectures and workshops at the Baptist Church, St George’s Place. Colin Hurley, Mary McNulty and Chu Omambala led students from eight local schools in Workshops on Macbeth, Othello, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet. The idea was to take Shakespeare off the page of A-level set texts and show how actors make his stories live through their voices, their bodies and their imaginations. In one room, Colin and his group stamped out the rhythms of DIALOGUE 62
Shakespeare’s verse metre. In another, Chu’s class developed a confrontation of wills through body language and the words ‘yes’ and ‘no’ alone. At the same time Mary’s class were discovering through a clapping exercise how Shakespeare uses dense images calling up our pity to build Richard III’s sense of himself. Geoffrey Towers’ excellent lecture made the point that we have changed from a society of listeners to a society of watchers (‘voyeurs’). He made the point that knowing this can illuminate our understanding of Shakespeare’s plays. This popular and successful dramatist had no stage lighting except daylight. Costumes were simply the dress of the time. To draw his listeners into the story, he relied on language. He also involved his audience in the show. Romeo’s ‘soft you’, told the Elizabethan audience of 3,000 to keep quiet because he has arrived in the garden of the Capulet’s, a dangerous place for a Montague. When he compares Juliet to the sun, we might remember that he is a teenager, they have just got married and he has come to consummate the marriage. Yes, Juliet is hot. Jeffrey involved his young audience in working all this out for themselves, which made for a lot of head-scratching but at the end a big measure of illumination too. The schools involved were Astor College, Simon Langton Boys’ School, Harvey Grammar School, Barton Court School, CATS Canterbury (a college for foreign students studying to enter UK universities), Archbishop’s School, Dover College and Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School. Helen Stevens It is with deep regret that the Canterbury and East Kent Branch report the death of Helen Stevens this
autumn. Helen did a great deal for the English-Speaking Union over many years. Her delight, enthusiasm and the energy she put into her running of countless ‘Shakespeare on the Platform’ and public speaking events will be sorely missed. A well respected member of the community, she wrote a version of Pride and Prejudice especially for the Canterbury and East Kent Branch and masterminded the production and performances. Over the years Helen helped countless students with their speech and understanding of voice projection and many will remember the confidence she helped them achieve. Our thoughts go to her family at this time. Eastbourne The Eastbourne branch began the autumn season with afternoon tea in the very comfortable setting of Dianne and Jimmy Stuart’s home. The branch had donated towards the expenses to enable James Cotton, a sixth former, to travel to Washington and New York to attend the Global Young Leaders conference. James, who is now a student at UCL, had promise to return to Eastbourne to report on his experiences. He gave a most informative and interesting talk; the conference was clearly well organised: first he described the experience of living with other students from different cultures - they came from 30 different countries. He explained the impact this had on his understanding of his own culture. His description of the ways in which the organisers dealt with questions in the open forum showed considerable insight and maturity. He remains in touch with many of the students from other parts of the world. It was exhilarating to share these experiences which were presented with
such wisdom. We shall follow his career with much interest.
We are now looking forward to celebrating our thanksgiving evening. Our guest speaker will be Dr Sarah Churchwell, and her subject will be ‘Professing English’. Guildford and District The Guildford ‘Holding’ Committee has met on several occasions to plan the ESU Guildford area Public Speaking Competition for Schools. Arrangements are at an advanced stage with the area final planned for Wednesday 2 February 2011; this will be held at the Guildhall with presentations by the Mayor. A small number of tickets are available to which members are warmly welcomed to apply (01483 449 669). The Guildford branch has formed a ‘friendly’ alliance with The Friends of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. A Christmas Buffet, at the theatre, is planned for members and Friends on Wednesday 15 December (12.30 pm). Information and prior booking is essential, please, on 01483 449 669.
London Region is very proud to announce that our committee member, Charmaine Jayatilleke MBE, has been awarded the International Voluntary Humanitarian and Environmental Services Award Trophy for exceptional services to humanity. Nelson Mandela is a previous recipient of this award - so well done, Charmaine, a great achievement! In early August, a party of London Region members took a day return trip by train to York to meet up with members of York branch. Whilst there they visited the Minster, the Railway Museum and other places and enjoyed a very, pleasant sociable lunch. The hospitality was much appreciated and a good time was had by all.
Charmaine Jayetilleke receives her Award from Debbie Brock, the Worshipful Mayor of Milton Keynes
In March students from the Yehudi Menuhin School will visit the theatre to offer an evening entertainment. Details are being finalised but further information will be available after January from 01483 449 669. Dancer Tushi Banerji entertains at London’s Indian Evening
Then, in September, we had a very interesting and entertaining talk by Andrew Crisford, a professional antiquarian horologist, on the subject of Abraham-Louis Brequet, who is widely regarded as the father of modern clock and watch-making. His customers included members of Europe’s royal and noble families and a surprising number of English aristocrats and gentry. His talk was peppered with many revealing comments on events that were contemporaneous with the creation of the many masterpieces illustrated. Later in the month, several of us had a very interesting visit to the Government Art Collection. Although we had to battle through London on the first day of the Underground strike, it was well worth it. We heard about the vast collection used to furnish British Embassies throughout the world, as well as ministerial offices in the UK. At the end of September, a party of members flew to Lisbon for a long weekend, kindly arranged by members of ESU Lisbon. On the first day they visited the summer palace of the former Braganza royal house in Cintra and
London members meet Lisbon members DIALOGUE 63
BRANCHES then Cascais where they saw a very interesting art exhibition of works by Paula Rego and her British husband, Victor Willing. Later that day they were escorted to the beautiful home of the Treasurer of the Lisbon Branch, Chari Empis and her husband, Jose, and were entertained to a festive dinner before being driven back to their hotel by members of the Branch. The next day they had a guided tour of the historic part of Lisbon, restored after the devastating earthquake of 1755. On the last day they drove to the ancient capital of Evora, which has existed since Roman times, and saw the remains of a large temple. There they had a special al fresco buffet lunch of traditional Portuguese delicacies. The lunch venue was attached to the Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval, scions of the former royal house of Braganza, which we then visited and where, at the behest of the Lisbon Branch, we were personally greeted by the Duchess and her husband, the Duke of Anjou, who is the son of the Comte de Paris. This was totally unexpected and left us to reflect on the tremendous hospitality of our hosts as we drove back to our Lisbon hotel for a final night before returning to London. In October, Saroj Chakravarty, Governor of the ESU and a member of London Region committee, arranged with the help of his Indian Cultural Group called DIGANTA (HORIZON), a splendid Indian entertainment for us, leading a choir of Indian singers and introducing some fascinating and beautiful Indian dancers. Sarojâ€™s theme was that we are all part of One World and must live together in peace and as friends. The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by over 70 London members with the Churchill room full to overflowing and we were graced with the presence of His
Excellency, Keiichi Hayashi, the Deputy Ambassador of Japan and his wife.- a truly enchanting evening.
Wales region South Wales
Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards, Lord Hunt and Sir Geoffrey Inkin
Members were delighted to welcome Lord Hunt, ESU Chairman, as the Guest Speaker at the lunch following our AGM in September, an occasion which provided the opportunity for him to renew acquaintance with many friends made during his time as Secretary of State for Wales from 1990 to 1993. Lord Hunt mentioned the admirable grounding he had received for a life in politics through winning the Observer Mace in 1965 and the ensuing public speaking tour of the USA, sponsored by the ESU. His membership of our organisation dates from that time and he emphasised that the basic principles and aims of the ESU remained as important now as in those early days. He also commented upon the continuing objective to develop relationships between the Commonwealth and the USA, and the aim to establish more Branches in Commonwealth countries. Given the recent spate of biographical outpourings by politicians it was somewhat refreshing to hear Lord Hunt`s confirmation, in answer to one question, that he had no intention of bursting into print!
Branch members were also content to hear at the AGM that membership is now in the order of 260 and that the balance sheet and cash balances are robust. The income from events during the year had allowed investment in further sponsorship of the teaching of English in schools in Africa, financial support for a local student on internship in Washington, and the funding of English language lessons for the needy street children in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. This latter initiative had resulted in the winning of the Lord Watson Award for outstanding achievement, through imagination and effectiveness, in promoting global understanding through English. We had also been successful in winning two Branch awards for increases in membership during the year.
Dr Peter Beck; Lyn Beck; Dr Margaret Jones
Gwilym Jones, Linda Jones, Julia Kelsall, Bev Thomas, Ian Kelsall
South West region
Bath and District The Branch committee has been much exercised by the consultation which has been taking place between Dartmouth House and the membership over a possible merger with the Royal Commonwealth Society. The idea of a merger has been dropped, at least for the time being, but there is now talk of an alternative arrangement which has not been the subject of consultation with the members. The new proposal is attracting opposition and the committee will be keeping branch members apprised of developments.
Dr Peter Beck; Lyn Beck; Dr Margaret Jones
Our attention is now focussed on two events. First, our member working group on the Schools Public Speaking Competition is well under way in planning and organising the Heats which will lead up to the Final on Monday 7 March 2011. This continues the process of establishing a strong presence in this form of competition, with the aim to bring on board more schools in West and North Wales. Second, we look forward to our fourth Christmas Carols and Supper at Howell`s School, Llandaff on Monday 29 November. This is always a most joyful event, and this date means that Christmas festivities will commence even earlier than usual in the Welsh ESU community. Finally, a Merry Christmas to all our members in Wales and colleagues beyond the Severn Bridge. Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda.
June Jessop steps down as chair of Salisbury branch. Picture courtesy of Salisbury Newspapers journalphotos.co.uk
The Branch AGM was chaired by our president, The Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, John Bush. He paid tribute to our chairman for the past six years, June Jessop. Gill Prior was elected as the new chairman. The meeting was addressed by ESU Director-General, Mike Lake, who explained the strategic review of the organisation which he had undertaken, and his conclusion that the ESU needed to improve its status as a charity. He outlined the proposal made to the Board of Governors that a merger between the ESU and The Royal Commonwealth Society would be of benefit to both organisations. After questions and discussion, the general feeling of branch membership was that close cooperation between the organisations was preferable to merger.
We made a good start to our year with an entertaining and instructive talk on 27 September by Irina Nikitina about St Petersburg and the Hermitage. On the 8 October 2010 our joint annual event at Bathampton Church and the Guildhall Bath with the BritainAustralia Society, to commemorate Arthur Phillip, first Governor of New South Wales took place. It was a success as usual, thanks to the efforts of Richard Pavitt Chairman of the Britain Australia Societyâ€™s South West Branch and his committee. On Friday 22 October 2010, members gathered at the George Inn, Norton St. Philip and received a fascinating and encouraging report from Andrew Fletcher about the experiences of several of our alumni. There followed a pleasant lunch in charming surroundings at that ancient Inn.
Catherine Johnson (centre) with Tony Williams, Branch Chairman, and members
Women Bishops - during ‘question time’ Bishop Tim said that he was in favour of women bishops. There is due to be a local diocese debate, which will be followed by a further debate at the synod, the Church of England’s parliament next year. When the historic vote on women clergy was passed in 1992, with a two thirds majority required in all houses of laity, clergy as it will for women bishops in 2012, it passed by just one vote in the laity. Asked whether the C of E could continue without women priests Bishop Tim said that with nearly 30 in his diocese ‘it would be difficult’. When asked what is the biggest problem in the Church today the reply was ‘lack of confidence’ – ‘Christianity is a world faith’ and the Church needs to have ‘something relevant to say’. On the subject of Science, creationism and the Bible – the Bible is true but not to be taken literally. Environment – the Bishop of London is leading the debate on this. Maintaining Churches – Bishop Tim said that the Church of England gets no help from government unlike France – their government maintains the churches – and in Sweden a percentage of income goes for the upkeep.
New members Ann and Jeremy BradshawSmith, with Exter Chairman Louise Burbridge and Membership Secretary Joyce McRae
Our new year began with a lunch time meeting at our usual venue, the Duckworth Suite at the Exeter Golf and Country Club, where we were pleased to welcome colleagues from the Bristol, Plymouth, Salisbury and Taunton branches.
We were then treated to a timely reminder of the true purpose of the ESU in the form of a presentation by Ellie Clarey. The Exeter and District branch had previously awarded Ellie £400 to assist her in meeting the travel expenses of her gap year project which was to spend time teaching English in a relatively remote part of Peru. Ellie’s presentation was a real pleasure and most interesting with some wonderful slides of Peru. It was clear
that her visit there had been very worthwhile. Our Chairman, Dr Laurie Burbridge, thanked Ellie warmly for giving up her time to give us such an excellent presentation. We then enjoyed a most delicious lunch! The Director-General of the ESU, Mike Lake, now took centre stage to put the case for the merger of the ESU with the Royal Commonwealth Society to an audience of rank and file members - hence all that interest from Bristol, Plymouth, Salisbury and Taunton! However, in the light of the recent letter from our Chairman, what follows is history – or might it be said that some light was shone upon the way ahead from the stimulating debate we enjoyed? The Director-General explained that, prior to his arrival, the Governors had instituted a review of the future strategy of the ESU due to concerns that it was declining in size, status, and activity and that its public profile was thereby reduced. Operating as it did on its own in a crowded market meant that it was of limited appeal to sponsors and of limited interest to policy makers. He had been asked to complete the review. The Governors had concluded that the ESU must grow either from within or by merger or cooperation with other organisations, or by a combination of both. The Director-General’s own conclusion was that an amalgamated organisation would be more attractive to sponsors and Government bodies and that the Royal Commonwealth Society appeared to offer most potential as a partner. The Director-General received a robust response to his address. It became clear that most members were not in favour of the proposed merger. Concerns were many but there was a strongly held
belief that the Royal Commonwealth Society should sort out its financial difficulties before any further involvement took place. Members also questioned the compatibility of the two organisations and the worry that further emphasis upon the Commonwealth might be at the expense of our work in America. The big discrepancy in subscriptions between the two organisations was also queried and the need for more office space. The animated question time lasted about an hour and this was certainly our most controversial meeting to date. The views expressed above and further advice have been taken into account now and all has been resolved in a spirit of fairness and decency that would surely have impressed our guest as we gathered again in the Duckworth Suite in October. That guest was Roger Knight OBE, former Secretary and Chief Executive, MCC and the subject of his talk was ‘The MCC and the Spirit of Cricket’. Dare one admit that previously some of us may not have been entirely captivated by the game of cricket? Notice the past tense. Knight’s obvious passion for the game and belief in fair play actually bowled us over and won us all to his cause. Of course we all knew, didn’t we? that MCC stands for Marylebone Cricket Club. However the grounds themselves, owned by the club since 1814, are named after one Thomas Lord, bowler and ambitious entrepreneur. And although MCC is not the governing body of international cricket nor is it the governing body of cricket in England and Wales, it is responsible for the laws of the game and those laws are used throughout the cricket playing world.
Executive, Roger Knight’s achievements include a transformation of the Club’s facilities, the inclusion of women (on an equal and fair footing with men – that is, subject to the same nineteen year waiting list!) and the promotion of the worldwide Spirit of Cricket initiative launched by Lord (Colin) Cowdrey and Ted Dexter. Roger describes the spirit of cricket as being “very dear to my heart”. Essentially it is all about reminding players of their responsibility for ensuring that cricket is always played in a truly sportsmanlike manner. The foundation stone of the spirit of cricket is respect – respect for the captain as well as for one’s opponents and respect for the umpires and for traditional values. The players should lead the way and the captain is responsible for discipline. The umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. This “Spirit” is spread to all interested in the game by a variety of pursuits from the Cowdrey Lectures, given by, for example, Dr Desmond Tutu to the spirit of cricket cards: some 400,000 of them distributed throughout the world, in 14 languages. Currently the notion of what is fair is the political “hot potato”. Perhaps the ‘spirit of cricket’ has the potential for a wider application to inspire those teams in Parliament to have respect for each other (and us) with the umpires from “Lords” determining what fair play is!
During his 13 years with the MCC, serving on the Committee, as Secretary and then as Secretary and Chief DIALOGUE 67
BRANCHES Taunton The Branch opened its 2010/11 season by welcoming Sir Peter Jennings, a member of the London Branch, who as a former Serjeant of Arms to the House of Commons treated members to an informed and often gently amusing insider view of the workings of the legislature. He came to the post from a career in the Royal Marines and took a while to adjust to what appeared to him to be the indiscipline of MPs and as he put it the fancy address that he was expected to wear as he moved about Barry and Pugin’s gothic extravaganza. He likened the Lords and the Commons to two schools operating in the same building, each with its separate services with the chairmen as headmasters. As Sergeant he answered to the Speaker and his office had wide responsibilities for security, works, IT and other services and public access. It was long hours and utterly absorbing, and if it seemed a trifle ridiculous to have to don the fancy dress every day, it was marvellous to be involved in the State Opening, slamming the door in the face of Black Rod and then leading the whole House into the Lords with no one between him and the Queen as he entered the Upper Chamber. But he also gave members food for thought. State occasions apart, he felt that Parliament was weighed down by too many traditions and in need of modernisation. In his time he saw a reduction in unsocial hours and the introduction of elections for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker and for chairmen of the Select Committees, but he also drew attention to the proliferation of legislative layers brought about by devolution (297 extra representatives) without any reduction in the 650 MPs and 750 members of the Lords. He looked forward to promised reforms and gave members plenty of food for thought. DIALOGUE 68
Dr Ann Pulsford
The speaker at our October meeting was Dr Ann Pulsford from the Marine Biological Association, MBA, based at Citadel Hill, Plymouth. Dr Pulsford joined the staff of the MBA in 1976 as an Assistant Scientific Officer after completing her PhD studies on parasites of marine fishes at the University of Plymouth. She had previously studied for her BSc in Zoology at the University of Aberystwyth and MSc in Applied Parasitology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The title of her talk was ‘Women In Science’ and Dr Pulsford brought to our attention the remarkable work women scientists have contributed over the years, especially in marine biology. Below are a couple of examples. Miriam Louisa Rothschild (1908-2005) the daughter of Charles Rothschild of the Rothschild family of Jewish Bankers. During the 1930s she made a name for herself at the Marine Biological Station in Plymouth studying the mollusc Nucula and its trematode parasites. She was a leading authority on fleas and was the first person to work out the flea’s jumping mechanism. She also studied the flea’s reproductive cycle and linked this, in rabbits, to the hormonal changes within the host. Her New Naturalist
book on parasitism (Fleas, Flukes and Cuckoos) was a huge success. Its title can be explained as: external parasites (e.g. fleas), internal parasites (e.g. flukes) and others (the cuckoo is a ‘brood parasite’). The Rothschild Collection of Fleas (founded by Charles Rothschild) is now part of the Natural History Museum collection, and her catalogue of the collection (in collaboration with G H E Hopkins) is a master-work. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1985 and was made a Dame in 2000. She had always considered herself as an amateur but by the time of her death at ninety-six in 2005 after having six children; she had published six volumes of her workings with fleas which had earned her eight honorary doctorates. Vera Fretter (1905-1992) was a colleague of Miriam Rothschild and they worked together on the anatomy of molluscs. Marie Victoire Lebour (1876-1971) worked at the MBA from 1915-1946 as a scientist and was an authority on Parasitology. She concentrated on the parasites of molluscs and her first paper was on parasites of the cockle. Her first research at Plymouth started her off on the study of planktonic stages of marine animals, for she described in 1916 the development of the copepod Calanus, a decapod (10 legged) free swimming zooplankton. At the same time she continued her interest in parasites. From this beginning she was eventually to cover the planktonic stages in the life-histories of a number of major groups of the animal kingdom. The talk was not only attended by our members but also with representatives of the Natural History Department of the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.
REGIONAL DIARY East Region Cambridge and Welland Valley Contact: 01536 770580, firstname.lastname@example.org 4 March 2011 Noon for 12.30 pm Fitzwilliam Lunch Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge Lord Hunt of Wirral, ESU Chairman on ‘The Future of the English Speaking Peoples Tickets £25
Epping Forest Contact: Daphne Ruffell – 01992 561470 Monthly meetings on Thursdays at the Murray Hall, Borders Lane, Loughton at 10.15 for 10.45 am. £4 including tea/coffee Thursday 6 January 2011 Our Chairman, Sylvia Keith, will talk on ‘Fifteen Years of Restoration of Copped Hall Thursday 3 February An International Speaker from Dartmouth House will deliver a talkSouthend-on-Sea. Thursday 3 March Dudley Chignell will deliver an illustrated talk on entitled ‘Beatrix Potter: The Lake District, Her Art and Inspiration
Norwich and Norfolk 17 December 2010 Xmas Luncheon 14 January 2011 Save the Children Project in Bangladesh - Marilyn Evans.
The following events commence with lunch at 1 pm with the talk to follow. Enquiries to Brenda Alexander, 01234 881473. A full annual programme and booking form are both available on www.esu.org/ ousevalley14 January
All applications for tickets to: Joy Childs, Casita, Culford, Bury St Edmunds IP28 6DP
Tuesday 18 January 2011 Henry Davis, specialist in Russian and Eastern European History, will talk on ‘The Blue Danube: history and culture past and present’. Tre Fratelli Ristorante, Tithe Road, Kempston Thursday 17 February The ever popular Peter Dorling, former BBC presenter, producer and director, will give an illustrated talk on ‘The Television Pioneers’. The Sharnbrook Hotel, nr Bedford Wednesday 23 March Literary Lunch. Chris Mullin, former MP and government minister, whose diaries have been described as “wickedly indiscreet, entertaining, selfdeprecating and honest”, will speak about his recent life as an MP in a talk entitled ‘A View From The Foothills’. The Sharnbrook Hotel, nr Bedford
Please send a separate cheque for each event in advance.
NORTH WEST REGION Mid-Cheshire Contact: Valerie Mais, 01606 76534 New Venue From January 2011
Portal Premier Golf Club, Forest Road, Tarporley, Cheshire. 12 noon for 12.30 pm
Farmers Club Bury St Edmunds
Tuesday 11 January 2011
15 December 2010
Christmas Luncheon with speaker Mr Colin Blumenau, Director of the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. Tickets £22.95 1 February 2011 5 pm prompt St Benedicts Catholic School Bury St Edmunds Suffolk Branch Schools Public Speaking Competition
‘The Victorian Country House’ with Roger Mitchell 19 March North West Regional Final of the Public Speaking Competition for school at Grange School, Hartford, Cheshire. Also to be arranged: A spring/summer outing A summer event
Admission free 16 February Noon Nowton Court St Valentine’s Day Lunch Tickets £13.95 12 March Eastern Region Finals of the Area Schools Public Speaking Competition. Timings and venue to be advised
SOUTH EAST REGION Brighton Hove and District Meetings 2 for 2.30 pm at The Hove Club, 28 Fourth Avenue (opposite Hove Town Hall). Contact: Arthur Collins on 01273. 307335 or email email@example.com Tuesday 18 January 2011 ‘Passion or Promises?’ Is the somewhat eclectic title of a talk by Professor Brenda Almond, author of The Fragmenting Family, who will be disclosing the roots o family troubles and breakdowns so endemic in our society.
18 February ‘The Use, Stories and Legends of Shells’ - Daphne Howlett. DIALOGUE 69
Tuesday 25 January 2011 2.30 pm
Monday 14 March 2011
The hugely-popular annual lunch at Brighton`s sumptuous Royal Albion Hotel.
1.30 pm with lunch available from noon.
Tuesday 15 February 2011 ‘Gandhi in Brighton (and elsewhere)’ a talk by Dr Peter Bishop, author and teacher of Indian religions and history.
Barry King-Smith will give a talk entitled ‘Tibet and Back’. Saturday 16 April 2011 Pre-Lunch drinks at Corner Cottage, Bury starting at 11.30 am.
West Sussex Contact: Branch Secretary Elizabeth Brooks, 01243 378900 Friday 26 November 2010 Thanksgiving Lunch at Champs Hill preceded by a recital given by music students of Chichester University. Guest Speaker: Nicola Horlick Tuesday 11 January 2011 The Barleymow Walderton 1.30 pm with lunch available from noon. Andrew Shaxson, Chairman of the South Downs National Park Planning Committee, will speak on the future of the National Park. Tuesday 8 February 2011 Local Heats for the E-SU National Public Speaking Competition for Schools take place at Edes House, West Street, Chichester at 2 pm.
Salisbury 15 December 2010 ‘Real Conservation in the English Countryside’. Teresa Dent, Game Conservancy Trust. 17 January 2011 ‘Ferdinand de Lesseps Creator of the Suez Canal.’
LONDON REGION Please see insert for full details. Contact Susan Conway at Dartmouth House for more details. 27 January 2011 Jewellery Talk at DH by Robert Ogden
Sunday 30 January 2011 A Celebration for Australia
The Barleymow Walderton
Tuesday 15 March 2011 ‘British Film Stars: From the Turn of the Last Century to the Present Day’. A talk with display material by Patricia Warren, British film historian and author.
Adrian Sindall CMG 16 February 2011 ‘The Changing Role of English in the 21st Century Implications for the ESU’. Martin Mulloy, ESU Director of Charitable Activities
A Britain-Australia Society event. Service at Bath Abbey followed by lunch with wine at the Assembly Rooms. Cost £37 and Non-Members £41* Details from Richard Pavitt 01935 824045 Friday 25 February 2011 6.30 for 7 pm - talk. 8 pm, dinner. Dinner and Speaker at the Bath and County Club. Trevor Osborne on ‘The Civilisation of Bath in our time’ Cost: £22 and Non-Members £24* Friday 18 March
SOUTH WEST REGION
Lunch and Speaker at Bath Cricket Club.
Visit to Big Ben
Bath and District
Major General Ray Pett is our guest speaker.
23 February 2011
Tuesday 18 January 2011
Princess Charlotte, Talk by James Chambers
Guided tour of the Old Theatre Royal, Lunch and Lecture.
12.15 for 1 pm, lunch. 2 pm, talk
8 February 2011
22 March 2011 Machiya, a talk by Pauline Chakmakjian 13 April 2011 St. Petersburg, talk by Leslie Dubow
David Lloyd Jenkins on ‘The History of Somerset Freemasonry’. David Lloyd Jenkins is the Masonic Provincial Grand Master of Somerset. 10.30 am Tour. 12 noon a glass of wine, 12.30 to 1.30 pm 2 course lunch with wine, 1.30 to 2.15 pm Lecture and questions. Cost: £23 and Non-Members £25
Cost: To be advised.
Bristol Evening meetings commence at 7 pm - wine, soft drinks, coffee and biscuits are available. The talk starts at 7.45 pm Thursday 16 December 2011 Christmas At Home 90 Redland Road by kind permission of Dr John and Sue Cottrell, 6 - 8 pm. Drinks and Canapés Tickets: £8 (Cheques to John Lindley)
Wednesday 19 January 2011
Tuesday 1 March 2011
Thursday 20 January 2011
Thursday 20 January 2011
Visit to the House of Commons (TBC)
Sir Andrew Burns, KCMG, MA, FRSA
Public Speaking Competition
*Saturday 5 March
‘Reflections on the state of higher education’
Queen’s College Conference Centre 6.30 pm
Sir Andrew was a career diplomat 1965-2003 and is currently Chairman of the Committee of University Chairs in the UK and Chairman of the Council of Royal Holloway University of London.
*Friday 8 April 2011
11 for 11.30 am at Queen’s Conference Centre, Taunton
Visit to China Clay Museum
luncheon at 1.15 pm
ESU Bristol Schools’ Public Speaking Competition Finals 5.30 for 6 pm Tuesday 25 or Thursday 27 January 2011 Date and venue TBC
St Piran’s Day Lunch Speaker: Author William Shawcross Tresanton Hotel, St Mawes
‘The Problems at BP’ with Peter Mather, UK Managing Director of BP. Peter is also Chairman of BP Oil UK and BP Lubricants UK, and is a board member of the Energy Saving Trust.
Thursday 17 March 2011
Wheal Martyn, Carthew, Nr At Austell 12.45 pm
Martin Shirley, ‘The Irish Presence in Dhaka’
Members and guests will be invited to make a donation at events except where tickets (*) will be required. Full details will be provided by e-mail or letter, and subsequently website, www.esu.org/cornwall *Friday 10 December 2010 Christmas Lunch (with short talk – speaker TBA) Carruan Farm, Polzeath 12 for 12.30 pm Tuesday 25 January 2011 Great Explorers Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE Burrell Theatre, Truro School, 6.30 pm (Joint event with Cornwall Branch, Oxford Society) Thursday 27 January 2011 Secondary Schools Public Speaking Competition Truro High School for Girls
Simple lunch and tour
Taunton and District The Branch organises lecture meetings on the third Thursday in every month except, August, September and December including luncheon or supper for those who wish to stay. In addition the Branch organises a District Public Speaking Competition and the Regional Competition when it is its turn. Members from other branches and members’ guests are very welcome at all the meetings. Applications should be made (October to February) to Alan Collinson 9 Tatham Court, Taunton TA1 5QZ T: 01823 321818 or (March to June) to Jenny Bell Spring Bank, Back Street Long Sutton TA10 9JP T: 01458 241438
Martin Shirley helped to run a relief and rehabilitation centre in Bangladesh. He is currently Chairman of a UK charity that supports the Dhaka Ahsania Mission, a Bangladeshi education and development organisation. 11 for 11.30 am at Oake Manor Golf Club luncheon at 1.15 pm Thursday 21 April 2011 Andrew Wilson: In search of confident humility - a challenge for BBC journalism Andrew Wilson is currently Head of the BBC College of Journalism in Bristol 11 for 11.30 am at Oake Manor Golf Club luncheon at 1.15 pm
Taunton Branch Final
Sunday 6 March Regional Final 2011 Public Speaking Competition Taunton Branch Final Queen’s College Conference Centre 6.30 pm
Venues King’s College, Taunton is on the left hand side of South Road (B3170) going out of the town, a little over a mile from the centre. Oake Manor Golf Club. Take the B3227 Wiveliscombe Road out of Taunton to the west through Norton Fitzwarren. Oake village lies on a side road on the left some 3½ miles from the roundabout with the Minehead Road (A358). It is signposted, as is the Golf Club, which lies just beyond the village. Queen’s College Conference Centre is on the Trull Road out of Taunton beyond the College itself and about 1½ miles from the centre of the town. Taunton School is on the right hand side of Staplegrove Road (A3027) about a mile from the centre of the town.
5.30 for 6 pm
ESU SEASONAL MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS Contact Jo Wedderspoon, 020 7529 1576, firstname.lastname@example.org for further information
Fortnum and Mason Online Shopping – free standard delivery
Mount Street Printers, 4 Mount Street, London W1K 3LW – 10% discount
www.fortnumandmason.co.uk promotional code FEM50
Members will receive discount on production of ESU membership card.
If you want something a little different this Christmas, look no further than Fortnum and Mason. Whether you would like to order a hamper for yourselves, as a gift, select some of the finest wines or decorate your home and table with the most beautiful decorations and crackers, visit www.fortnumandmason.co.uk. Thanks to the generosity of Fortnum and Mason, who regularly support the ESU, we are delighted to be able to offer our members free standard delivery on all online orders worth over £50. Our exclusive promotional code is FEM50 to be entered when you place your order.
Buyagift.com – 15% discount www.buyagift.co.uk/esu – discount code ESU15 Buyagift.com offers a range of over 2,200 amazing gift ideas including once- in- alifetime experiences such as Ferrari or tank driving to relaxing spa breaks and balloon flights. Buyagift also provides a range of traditional gifts including fine wine, flowers, hampers and chocolates. You can even book theatre tickets and hotel rooms throughout the UK and some worldwide destinations. T. M. Lewin Discount vouchers available for members for T M Lewin throughout the UK and online. Please contact Jo Wedderspoon, email@example.com Penhaligons, Burlington Arcade, London W1 – 15% discount Members will receive discount on production of ESU membership card.
ESU members receive a special subscription deal for £29.95/year plus a Granta tote bag. Please visit www.granta.com/esu10 for details.
LEAVING A GIFT IN YOUR WILL
Ambassador Select www.AmbassadorTickets.com/select – username: ESU password: play RADA, 62-64 Gower Street, London, WC1 25% discount on the full ticket price. For more details and to book tickets please contact the RADA box office, 020 7908 4800 quoting your ESU membership number. Janet Ginnings Hair & Beauty, 45 Curzon Street, London W1J 7UQ Members will receive 10% discount on production of an ESU membership card. T: + 44 20 7499 1904 or + 44 20 7499 2767 to book.
With your kindness the ESU will be able to continue its work with school children, university students, teachers and young professionals. Your gift will help us develop our existing programmes and create new ones. The ESU has been the fortunate recipient of many legacies over the years. In 2010, alone, we have received £120,000. A professionally drafted, legal Will is the only way to ensure that your property, possessions and savings are left to the people and causes you care about. Some people choose to give directions for their funeral arrangements in their Will. You may prefer that donations be given to your chosen charity in place of flowers, as a more lasting tribute. The ESU would be very grateful to accept such donations and will enter you in our Book of Remembrance. We have recently produced a new document entitled Leaving a Gift in Your Will. To receive a copy please contact Jo Wedderspoon, Head of Fundraising and Development 020 7529 1576 firstname.lastname@example.org
January – April 2011
Please contact Susan Conway, 020 7529 1582, email@example.com, unless otherwise stated.
Friday 4 February, 7 - 10.30 pm RBS Six Nations: England v Wales Dartmouth House
Wednesday 12 January, 3.30 – 5 pm Afternoon tea for Tom Dartmouth House
To kick-off the official 2011 RBS Six Nations tournament, the ESU will be broadcasting the Wales v England game at the ESU from 7 pm. Come and watch the historic rivals do battle on the rugby pitch for 80 minutes live from the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. A cash bar, bar snacks and a free bottle of beer or glass of wine on arrival will be available to all.
Tom O’Brien, who sadly passed away recently, was porter/receptionist at Dartmouth House for over ten years and a good friend to many of our members. Please join us for afternoon tea in his memory to be hosted by Lord Watson of Richmond. There will be no charge for this event, but please register your attendance with Susan Conway. Thursday 20 January Award Ceremony for the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation Tuesday 25 January, 6.30 - 9.30 pm Burns’ Night & Whisky Tasting Dartmouth House Come and begin your Burns’ Night celebration at the ESU. Join us from 6.30 pm and sample an exclusive range of Scottish malt whiskies during our ‘tasting hour’” between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm. A selection of Scottish fare will be served and a cash bar will also available for those who want to get the party started in style. Tickets: £35 Thursday 27 January, 6.30 – 9 pm Jewellery in the Burlington Arcade, A talk by Robert Ogden Dartmouth House in association with London Region Robert Ogden is a fourth generation jeweller who is also a former ESU scholar. He now runs Richard Ogden Ltd in the historic Burlington Arcade and will be talking about the various changes that have occurred in the jewellery business since the arcade first opened for business in 1819. Tickets: £10 members, £11 alumni, £12 non-members. To include a glass of wine/soft drink on arrival. A cash bar will also be available before and after the talk. Contact: Susan Conway, 020 7529 1582, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets: £5 Wednesday 9 February, 10.30 - 11.30 am International at Home Dartmouth House HE Joseph Zammit Tabona, High Commissioner of Malta will be the special guest at the ESU’s February International at Home for ESU members, friends and members of the international community in London. The event will include tea and coffee, a talk by the High Commissioner and will end with a tour of Dartmouth House. Contact: Annette Fisher, 020 7529 1565, email@example.com Tuesday 10 February, 6.30 - 9pm Literary Evening Salley Vickers: Aphrodite’s Hat Dartmouth House Six-time author Salley Vickers will give a lecture on her new publication Aphrodite’s Hat, a collection of modern stories that focus on psychological aspects of love and the “complex geography of the human heart”. Tickets: £10 for members, £11 for alumni and £12 for non-members, to include two glasses of wine or two soft drinks. There will be a cash bar.
Monday 14 February, 12.30 pm – 2.30 pm (last orders) Valentine’s Lunch Dartmouth House The ESU would like to a special Valentines Lunch in the Revelstoke Room on Monday 14 February. Choose from an exclusive two-course menu from £24.50 per person and/or a three-course menu for £29.50 per person. Both two and three-course offers include wine. Please note: the restaurant will be open for normal lunch service that day in addition to the special Valentine’s Lunch menu. For all non-Valentines bookings, please contact reception at Dartmouth House, 020 7529 1500. Thursday 17 February Deadline for Lindemann Trust Fellowshipscholarship for Post-Doctoral Scientists Wednesday 23 February, 6.30 – 9 pm Princess Charlotte – the first People’s Princess Speaker: James Chambers Dartmouth House in association with London Region In the early 19th century, Princess Charlotte was the only popular member of the Royal Family. Her poignant, often hilarious, and eventually tragic story will be told by James Chambers, author of Charlotte and Leopold. James will sign copies of his book after the lecture. Tickets: £10 members, £11 alumni, £12 for non-members to include a glass of wine/soft drink on arrival. There will be a cash bar. Thursday 24 February, 12.30 - 2.30 pm Nicola Horlick: Women in the City Dartmouth House Lunch ESU alumna and investment fund manager Nicola Horlick will host the fi rst Dartmouth House Lunch which will focus on ‘Women in the City’. Nicola will draw on the different approaches men and women take to life in the corporate world; women’s role in the workplace and her tips for climbing the career ladder. Tickets: £40 members, £45 alumni and £50 nonmembers to include a two-course lunch with wine. Friday 25 February 2011 Deadline for three term SSE applications, leaving September 2011 DIALOGUE 73
MARCH Thursday 10 March 2011
Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 March
Wednesday 13 April, 7 - 11 pm, £125
Walter Hines Page scholarship interviews.
Provisional dates for three term SSE interviews
Wednesday 14 March, 2.15 pm onwards
Wednesday 30 March, 12.30 - 2.30 pm
Commonwealth Observance Day Westminster Abbey
James Milton: ‘Lessons to be Learned from the Anglo-American Intervention in Iraq Dartmouth House Lunch
Easter Gala Dinner featuring creations by Theo Fabergé for the St Petersburg Collecion Dartmouth House in association with London Region
Commonwealth Observance Day is celebrated across the member countries of the Commonwealth, and in other parts of the world where Commonwealth citizens gather together. Attendance at the Commonwealth Observance Day service at Westminster Abbey is free for ESU members. A selected number of tickets are available from Susan Conway. Please register your interest for this event by emailing her on firstname.lastname@example.org
Captain James Milton served as an Army Officer between 1998 and 2007, including three tours in Iraq as an intelligence offi cer and Arabic interpreter. Tickets: £40 members, £45 alumni and £50 non-membersto include a two-course lunch with wine.
Thursday 17 March, 6.30 - 9 pm Literary Evening Felix Dennis: Tales from the Woods Dartmouth House Entrepreneur, publisher and poet, Felix Dennis will give a lecture on Tales from the Woods, a collection of 50 poems celebrating nature and the countryside. Tickets: £10 members, £11 alumni and £12 non-members, to include two glasses of wine or two soft drinks. There will be a cash bar. Tuesday 22 March, 6.30 – 9 pm Machiya - Traditional Japanese merchant townhouses A Talk by Pauline Chakmakjian Dartmouth House
APRIL Wednesday 6 April, 6.30 - 9 pm Literary Lecture Heather White-Smith: ‘My Years with the Churchills: A young girl’s memories’ Dartmouth House Heather will give a literary lecture on her recently published short work My Years with the Churchills: A Young Girl’s Memories, a book written entirely from memory of her three years spent working as assistant private secretary to Lady Clementine Churchill at Downing Street from the age of 17.
Machiya townhouses are found mainly in central Kyoto, the old capital of Japan. This very visual lecture will cover a variety of different types of town houses as well as provide an overview of the unique architectural features specific to these charming homes.
Tickets: £10 for members, £11 for alumni and £12 for non-members, to include two glasses of wine or two soft drinks. There will be a cash bar.
Pauline Chakmakjian is a member of London Region Committee and a Trustee of the Japan Society of the UK. She has previously lived in a Machiya in Kyoto.
Tickets: £10 for members and £12 for non-members, to include a glass of wine and soft drinks at reception. After the talk there will be a cash bar. Contact: Susan Conway, 020 7529 1582, email@example.com
Tuesday 12 April 2011
Tuesday 12 April 2011 Travelling Librarian Interviews.
The ESU takes great pleasure in inviting you to our Easter Gala Dinner featuring creations by Theo Fabergé for the St. Petersburg Collection. Join us for an exclusive black-tie reception with champagne and canapés from 7 pm, followed by an exceptional five-course dinner. Your host will be Philip Birkenstein, Chairman of the St. Petersburg Collection, and Philip will give an amusing and informative talk about the history of the Fabergé family and their exquisite creations – of which a magnificent selection will be on display including jewellery, watches and Eggs. While coffee is being served an auction will also be held giving the highest bidder an opportunity to own one of these spectacular pieces of decorative art. Tickets: £125 (to include champagne and a complimentary cocktail on arrival, canapé reception, five course dinner (with wine) and gift). Tables of 10 are available for £1000 Tuesday 19 April 2011 Spring Alumni Open House Evening & Easter Egg Hunt Dartmouth House Alumni Open House Evenings will become a seasonal pleasure changing from monthly to quarterly. For our Spring event we will be holding an Easter egg hunt. Guests are invited to explore and probe the rabbit warren that is Dartmouth House to find the chocolate trophies. Contact Kate Bond for further details
Sir Donald Tebbit, GCMG
22 May 1940 - 8 October 2010
May 1920 - September 2010
Tom O’Brien arrived as porter at Dartmouth House in June 1999 and very soon became a fixture at the Reception desk.
After serving in the Second World War in the Royal Navy Sir Donald joined the Diplomatic Service in 1946. After a very successful career involving both home based postings and overseas countries including Bonn, Copenhagen and Washington, he ended his career in the senior post of High Commissioner in Australia from which he retired in 1980.
Born in Tipperary on 22 May 1940, Tom had a hard life. Left at a home for unwanted babies when he was born, he was educated by the Christian Brothers until the age of 16 when he was handed £100 and asked to leave. His experiences with the Brothers coloured his view of the Church for the rest of his life. Tom travelled to England in 1956 and joined the Army at the age of 17. This broadened his horizons as he spent time in the Middle East, Egypt and Cyprus, as well as a short period in Germany. Military service was followed by a post with the Prison Service and from 1982 onwards he worked for the University of London as Stores Supervisor, followed by a brief period at the University Women’s Club. Tom’s home was a flat near Russell Square and he had no known relatives. From 1999, the ESU became Tom’s family and he formed a close friendship with Fiona Robinson with whom he worked at the Reception desk at Dartmouth House, such that she and her family cared for him when he became very ill in the last two years of his life. Tom’s feigned grumpiness and exasperated grimaces covered his shyness and were always accompanied by a twinkle in his eye. The ESU took Tom to its heart as demonstrated by the number of staff, past and present, who turned up to bid him farewell at West London Crematorium on 22 October. Valerie Mitchell gave a moving address and wonderful tribute to this gentleman with a penchant for fruit cake. We are holding a members’ afternoon tea in his memory on 12 January 2011 from 3.30 to 5 pm. Please contact Susan Conway for more details 020 7529 1582 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sir Donald was born into an East Anglian family background and when he retired he returned to live near Cambridge taking on a number of charitable commitments, some connected with his old school, Perse, and his college, Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was appointed as Chairman of The English-Speaking Union in 1983. It was at a time when Dartmouth House was in great need of a face-lift but the previous Chairman, Sir Patrick Dean, two months earlier, had sent a letter to all ESU members setting out the situation and the overwhelming response was that Dartmouth House must be kept at all costs. In 1985 the Board of Governors seriously considered selling both Dartmouth House and the Chesterfield Hotel. Fortunately that decision was reversed and in August 1986, it was announced that Dartmouth House would be kept and remain the International Headquarters of the ESU. Sir Donald played a strategic role in ensuring that money was raised including tough negotiations leading to a new hotel agreement and raising membership fees. After a successful appeal and with the resurgence of ESU fortunes Sir Donald announced his retirement in the summer of 1987. In all of his work for the ESU he was very ably supported by his wife Barbara. In paying tribute to his successor, Sir Patrick Dean said ‘Sir Donald has been a most admirable, able and respected Chairman. He has done a difficult job, at a difficult period, wonderfully well.’ In appearance he gave the impression of urbane benevolence, modest but at the same time selfconfident but with great personal charm. Among his many interests were golf, gardening and old maps.
– March’s issue of dialogue: More of the latest events, reviews, competitions, updates, and developments, including: the John Smith Memorial Mace, an update on our schools competitions, and the ESU’s new spring season of events.
The English-Speaking Union