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Creating global understanding through English ISSUE No. 138 JULY 2008

Tallinn Hosts Launch of ESU Estonia (L-R) Mrs Valerie Mitchell, Secretary-General, ESU International Council, Dr Alexandru Budisteanu, President, ESU International Council and Chairman Emeritus, ESU Romania, Mr Toomas Vitsut, Chairman ESU Estonia, Lord Watson, Chairman Emeritus, ESU International Council and HE Mr Peter Carter, British Ambassador

The ESU was launched in Tallinn, Estonia on Friday 18 April at the city’s picturesque Town Hall. The official ceremony, hosted by the Chairman of the City Council of Tallinn and Chairman of ESU Estonia, Mr Toomas Vitsut, was attended by HE Mr Peter Carter, the British Ambassador and HE Mr Noel Kilkenny, the Irish Ambassador. Twenty-three representatives from Canada, France, Germany, Latvia, Romania and three UK branches also attended. Continued on page 2.


Public Speaking Win for Philippines

Estonia Launch . . . . .Page 1

The final of the 27th annual International Public Speaking Competition was won by Gian Karlo Dapul from the Philippines with the interestingly entitled speech Fish Mucus and Foot Fungus.

Estonia cont’d . . . . . .Page 2

Philippines Win . . . . .Page 1

Public Speaking cont’d . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 3 Schools Mace . . . . . .Page 4 Abbey School Title . .Page 4

Gian’s presentation, given at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, highlighted some of the environmental problems facing his country. His success in claiming the International Public Speaking title endorses the truly global reach that the contest has attained since it was launched back in 1981. Recent winners have come from China, Russia and Yemen. Lord Hunt and winner Gian Karlo Dapul

Continued on page 3.

Telephone : 020 7529 1550 Fax : 020 7495 6108 Email :

Memorial Mace . . . . .Page 5 SSE Visits . . . . . . . . .Page 5 Arts Lecture . . . . . . .Page 6 Librarian Award . . . .Page 6 Georgia Event . . . . . .Page 6 ESU Book Award . . . .Page 6 Tribute to Lord Pym . . . . . . . . .Page 7 Leith’s News . . . . . . .Page 7 Diary Dates . . . . . . . .Page 8

Web :

Tallinn Hosts Launch of ESU Estonia continued A lively and diverse week opened with a seminar at the City Council of Tallinn. A presentation on e-Tallinn, e-government explained the use of internet technology as a platform for exchanging information, providing services and transacting with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government. Delegates experienced the capital through a sightseeing tour on foot, a visit to the National Park Lahemaa, the oldest and largest national park in Estonia and to the Sagadi and Palmse Manor Houses, two beautiful properties in the heart of the National Park. There was musical entertainment too with a visit to see My Fair Lady performed in Estonian and a concert by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, one of the most esteemed choirs in the world.

Toomas Vitsut presents Valerie Mitchell with an historical heraldic Estonian flag

On the final day Lord Watson gave a fascinating lecture on the Rise and Rise of English at Tallinn University to an appreciative audience, which comprised lecturers, students and the international delegation.

Riina Altpere, Foreign Affairs Adviser, Tallinn City Council Office and member of the ESU Estonia committee, introduced the speakers, who included HE Mr Peter Carter, Toomas Vitsut, Dr Alexandru Budisteanu, Lord Watson and Valerie Mitchell. They were followed by representatives from across the world who gave kind words of support to the Chairman and the committee.

Lord Watson addresses the delegates

Riina Altpere and Richard Carr, ESU Estonia with Katie Brock

During the ceremony, Toomas Vitsut presented Valerie Mitchell with a replica of an historic, heraldic Estonian flag. This features the coat of arms of Tallinn City Council and a single specimen is housed in the office of the Council’s Chairman. It is used alongside the Tallinn City flag at festive events which the City Council Chairman attends and, on special occasions, it is given to the most honoured guests. The British Ambassador was immensely supportive of the launch and the future of the ESU in Estonia. He hosted a reception at his beautiful residence for the overseas delegation. Delegates at the launch of ESU Estonia


Lord Watson was honoured by Tallinn University with a Certificate of Thanks to mark the occasion, presented by Professor Suliko Liiv, Director, Institute of Germanic-Romance Languages and Cultures at the University. A full copy of Lord Watson’s lecture is available on the ESU website Our grateful thanks to Toomas Vitsut, HE Mr Peter Carter, Richard Carr and Riina Altpere, whose tireless work on the formal proceedings and cultural events enabled us to have an unforgettable experience in Estonia.

International Public Speaking Title Goes to the Philippines continued of America, who congratulated the finalists on their achievement and wished them luck. Valerie Mitchell opened the proceedings and, at the conclusion of the event, Edward Gould, Deputy-Chairman of the ESU presented each competitor with a certificate and a copy of the Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners, kindly donated by Macmillan.

Lord Hunt, Valerie Mitchell, Edward Gould, judges and participants

Later this year, Gian will return to London to receive a certificate from HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

Judging the Grand Final were Mr Peter Kyle, Chief Executive, Shakespeare Globe Trust who chaired the panel, Dame Mary Richardson, former Chief Executive, HSBC Global Education Trust and President of SOS Children’s Villages UK and Mr Tony Byrne, Director of The Royal Academy Trust.

The runner up was Kanyanat Piticharoen from Thailand, the prize for Best Non-native English-Speaker was presented to Dobri Dobrev of Bulgaria and the Audience’s Choice Award went to Martin Racimo of Argentina. Runner up, Kanyanat Piticharoen from Thailand

Winner, Gian Karlo Dapul from the Philippines

Participants traditionally enjoy a week of events in England and this year was no exception. Competitors had the chance to learn more about our supporters during a tour of HSBC’s global headquarters in Canary Wharf. They also took part in a mock parliamentary debate, visited the House of Commons, and attended a performance of The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre, which was preceded by a talk from the show’s director, Robin Herford, a former ESU scholar.

New Horizons; New Frontiers was the theme for this year’s speeches and the diversity and quality of responses to this brief impressed the judges of both the Grand Final and the heats, which took place in the morning at Dartmouth House. Fifty-eight entrants from 33 different countries took part, each of whom had already achieved success in their own national competitions.

Dobri Dobrev from Bulgaria, winner of the Best Non-native English-Speaker Award

Two-thirds of the contestants went on to spend the weekend with ESU members around the country. This is a highly valued part of the programme, and we would like to thank the host families and branches for their generous hospitality. We would also like to thank branches who gave financial support to the participants, those who judged during the heats, and ESU Colchester branch member David Watson who kindly filmed the final.

Martin Racimo from Argentina, winner of the Audience Choice Award

Participants were welcomed to the Embassy by Mr Richard LeBaron, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States

Special thanks are due to HSBC Global Education Trust, which supported the International Public Speaking Competition and without whom, it would not take place. The ESU would also like to thank the US Ambassador and his staff for allowing us to use the Embassy as the venue for this year’s final. 3

Schools Mace Final Goes North Dalriada School. Their success was particularly significant because it is the first time that a team from Northern Ireland has won the competition. The judges were also asked to name one speaker who they felt was the best individual in the final. The Kenneth Harris, Best Individual Speaker Prize, named in memory of the founder of the competition, was awarded to Georgina Barker from George Heriot’s School.

International Mace finalists with (centre) Hilary King, Chairman and Sue Davies, Secretary, Liverpool and Merseyside branch

On Saturday 10 May, Liverpool, the European Capital of Culture, played host to the International Final of the ESU Schools Mace, the national debating championships for Britain and Ireland. Liverpool Town Hall served as the ideal venue to host this auspicious occasion. The Mace is now in its 51st year and is the oldest parliamentary schools’ debating competition in the world. This year, more than 800 secondary schools participated across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales with the champions from each nation facing each other in the International Final.

International adjudicator and ESU Speech and Debate Squad member, Andrew Marshall chaired the judging panel. He said: "The standard of the International Mace final this year was very high. Each of the teams showed why they were their respective national champions by demonstrating their formidable speaking prowess.”

David Bussey, chairman of the committee for the Centre for Speech and Debate, presented the silver mace to the winning team and, in his concluding speech, thanked the Liverpool Schools Parliament who provided the venue. The Liverpool Schools Parliament and staff members from the Centre for Speech and Debate ran a workshop for more than 100 school children in Liverpool, prior to the final and we hope to continue to work together for future events.

The first debate saw the champions from England, Cheltenham Ladies College, in proposition against Dalriada School, the Irish champions on the motion This House would allow parents to cast proxy votes on behalf of their children. Scottish champions, George Heriot’s School followed against Pencoed School, Wales on the motion This House supports policies of positive discrimination to combat historical injustices. Each debate was followed by a lively floor discussion in which audience members from the Liverpool and Merseyside branch and team supporters all had a chance to air their views on the issues raised by the debaters. Of the four excellent teams there could only be one winner and that title was awarded to Sarah O’Neill and Michael Sinclair from

Champions Sarah O’Neill and Michael Sinclair with the silver mace

Abbey Takes Schools Title The Abbey School, Reading was the winner of the National Schools Public Speaking Competition, held in late April. Over 400 schools from across Britain entered the competition, run annually by ESU branches around the country for pupils in Years 10 and 11. Nine schools went forward to contest the final. Mette Isaksen from the Abbey School won a prize for Best Questioner, Ross Ledsham from Jedburgh Grammar School was judged Best Chairperson and Katie James, from Howell’s School, the Welsh representative, won Best Speaker. The contestants in the grounds of Grey Coat Hospital School with Lord Hunt and Alexander Finnis, ESU Governor and Chairman NCEW 4

Please see Branches News for further information about the contest.

Lincoln’s Inn Triumphs in Memorial Mace Contest This House supports increasing the use of civilian nuclear energy was debated by David Jones and Holly Tomlinson (Aberystwyth University), Doug Cochrane and Connie Grieve (University of St Andrews), Marguerite Carter and Ross Reid (University College Dublin Law Society) and the eventual winners from England. Dr James Acton, chair of the judges, a former Mace winner and a recognised expert in nuclear forensics and weapons, described the Lincoln’s Inn pairing as “exemplary, demonstrating excellent research skills, witty rapport and intelligence.” Usman Ahmed commented: “I feel privileged to join the ranks of distinguished public figures who have won the John Smith Memorial Mace in the past.” He added that he is “delighted to have won... I finish my education this summer so it's the perfect cap to my debating career.” Winners Hannah Klein and Usman Ahmed with Baillie Gifford sponsors Ken Barker (left) and Richard Barry

The world’s largest and oldest debating competition, the John Smith Memorial Mace, has been won by Usman Ahmed and Hannah Klein from The Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, representing England. Every year, teams compete in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to become national champions and ‘The Mace’ crowns the overall winners. More than 100 people attended the final at Dartmouth House, including representatives of the sponsors of the competition, Baillie Gifford.

Each finalist performed to a superb standard and impressed the judges with their ability to remain effective and engaged debaters whilst under the pressure of competing in this prestigious and well-respected competition. The 2009 rounds of national competitions begin in the new academic year. Further information will be available from This website also carries a list of former winners of the national and international competitions. Alternatively, information can be obtained directly from the ESU Centre for Speech and Debate by emailing

School Visits Prepare for New Arrivals In preparation for their arrival the Education department has been visiting some of the host schools. Katherine Plummer, Education Programmes Manager, visited Clifton College, Cheltenham College and Caterham School in Surrey. The purpose of the visits is to see the current scholars and to meet with staff to discuss the impact of the programme at their schools. The visits also serve to strengthen the links between the ESU and participating schools and help the ESU staff gain a greater understanding of the schools’ ethos which can only improve the SSE scholarship in the future. At Cheltenham College Katherine had the chance to chat with the current scholar, James Garrido, and to hear what a busy and exciting time he has been having in the UK. Caterham School, Surrey is the latest SSE host school

In late August, 15 American high school graduates will arrive in the UK to spend a year at a British boarding school as part of the Secondary Schools Exchange scholarship.

The Education Department is grateful to all the schools for arranging such worthwhile visits and in making the SSE Programme such a success. It is especially pleased to be able to welcome Caterham to its first year as an SSE host school.

ESU Merchandise When visiting Dartmouth House, why not take a moment to look at the display cabinet, where you will find an exclusive range of gift items, all featuring the ESU logo. The items for sale are reasonably priced starting from just £3.50 and range from key fobs to an impressive assortment of glassware, ties, and jewellery. Ask at reception for details. 5

Literary Lecture with Vernon Ellis Vernon Ellis is Chairman of English National Opera, the Classical Opera Company and the Sacconi Quartet Trust and a trustee of the Royal College of Music and several other music organisations. He is also a significant patron of the arts. His lecture explored arts funding – a prevalent topic in the news. Most attention has been on the recent Arts Council funding cuts to a number of performing arts organisations but the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has also published the results of the Brian McMaster review – Supporting Excellence in the Arts, which signals new approaches to the appraisal of arts organisations. Ellis underscored the importance of private funding and its increasing role in supporting the arts. He also outlined the downsides, explaining the uncertainty of corporate sponsorship and how private patronage is often from a limited base. (L-R) Anne Skeggs, Vernon Ellis, Lord Watson and George Isserlis

In April, Vernon Ellis gave a lecture on Funding of the performing arts – reflections on public and private funding at Dartmouth House.

Mrs Anne Skeggs, Chairman ESU Music Committee presided, George Isserlis, Vice President, ESU Cultural Affairs sub-Committee gave the Vote of Thanks and Lord Watson also gave a few words of support.

Travelling Librarian 2008 The winner of the 2008 Travelling Librarian Award hails from a rather more unusual professional environment than some of our previous winners.

The English-Speaking Union is pleased to invite entries for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh ESU English Language Book Award 2008 and for the ESU President’s Award 2008.

Sybilla Parkhill is a librarian at HMP Bronzefield, a contracted prison accommodating remand and convicted women prisoners. She was selected for the award following interviews held in May and will use her bursary to travel to the United States to investigate the role of libraries in the US penal system in the autumn.

The ESU annual awards celebrate innovation and good practice in the field of the English language and English language teaching.

Victory Day in Georgia were among those who joined the Georgian Prime Minister, Mr Vladimir Gurgenidze and other Government ministers at the celebration event. Hosted in Tbilisi’s British Garden (which belongs to ESU Georgia and ICCBR, an Anglo-Georgian Cultural Centre), the festivities attracted local TV crews, keen to film the war service veterans and conduct interviews with the ministerial delegation. Mr Vladimir Gurgenidze, Prime Minister of Georgia (left) and Marina Tsitsishvili, Chairman of ESU Georgia (right) with guests at the event

Inhabitants of Tbilisi got a taste of England such as they had never experienced before when ESU Georgia flew the British flag at Georgia’s Victory Day celebrations on 9 May. Two Chelsea Pensioners, resplendent in their famous scarlet coats and medals, 6

Entries Invited for Book Award

ESU Georgia is very thankful to Ms Sally White, a great friend of Georgia for her support of the event. It was also delighted to have present young members of ESU Georgia, Ms Sopho Gorgodze, the 2002 winner of the ESU International Public Speaking Competition and Alex Chiaureli who also participated in the finals in London.

The widely respected HRH The Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Award was founded in the 1970s to recognise the book published in the previous year that has contributed most to the understanding of the English language. The award is presented to a single work selected on the basis of originality and substance by a select panel of widely respected judges. The ESU President’s Award was inaugurated in 2003 and is presented for innovation and good design in the use of technology for the teaching, learning and advancement of English as a first, second or foreign language. Entries published from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008 are eligible and must be submitted by 12 noon, Monday 21 July 2008. For further information please contact

Obituary Lord Pym of Sandy

Board of Governors in 1988, the year of our 70th birthday. He did, however, take over the chair at a time when the ESU was facing some important financial challenges and, in particular, the need urgently to renovate Dartmouth House. He led the appeal for funding for that vital project and established more scholarship programmes. His many other responsibilities never prevented him from attending receptions, conferences, launches and literary lunches, and all were strongly supported by his wife, Valerie, in his constant efforts to promote the ESU. Lord Pym's high political profile did much to strengthen the credibility of the ESU and brought the US Ambassador, Henry Catto to the Branches Conference and foreign dignitaries to other events.

The ESU was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Francis Pym. Lord Pym held many important Offices of State. He was appointed by Margaret Thatcher as Foreign Secretary following Argentina's invasion of the Falklands in 1982. In 1987, when he was created a Life Peer, Francis Pym quickly moved to give tremendous support to the ESU. He spoke at the Branches Conference in 1987 and became Chairman of the

The then Director-General, David Hicks suggested that, “not the least of our assets is a strong and wise Chairman, Francis Pym, whose influence got President Reagan to give this year’s Churchill lecture and so enhanced our standing considerably.” Other political figures that he brought in to add influence to the ESU lecture programme included Virginia Bottomley, Paul Boateng and Casper Weinberger.

In an interview prior to his departure as Chairman in 1992, Lord Pym suggested that the ESU’s role was in working with parallel organisations like the British Council overseas, and through developing programmes at home, to support the maintenance of the highest standards in the use of the English language. Under his chairmanship, preliminary work was completed on establishing debating competitions in schools and universities and he encouraged the ESU to help build bridges with Eastern European countries. Francis Pym was a high profile politician with a human touch and a popular Chairman, who will be missed by many in all walks of life. Archive photographs show him taking an active part in all ESU activities, shaking hands with an American President, sharing the platform with Jerry Hall and a joke with Prince Philip, and taking tea with an elderly member whom he had invited to tell him about the ESU’s early days in the 1920s. A Memorial Service was held in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster on 16 June.

Leith’s Summer at Dartmouth House Dartmouth House, the home of the English-Speaking Union is an elegant mansion house set in the heart of London’s Mayfair, providing the perfect setting for a summer party. The beautiful Courtyard with the adjoining Revelstoke Room makes an ideal location to enjoy the long summer evenings. Alternatively, The Revelstoke, Courtyard, Long and Small Drawing Rooms and Churchill Room are available as a whole house hire. Food and beverages are provided by Leith’s and we can offer as much or as little assistance as you need for music, entertainment, flowers, table set-ups, acts and, of course, catering. Choose between our Cocktail, Bowl Food, BBQ Style, British Summer and Mexican Summer Packages, which are priced between £54.00 and £85.00 + VAT per person for a minimum of 60 people. We can also provide a bespoke quote depending on your requirements. For further information on our summer party packages, menus and availability, please contact Nicholas da Costa, Events Executive on 0207 529 1578 or email

The Courtyard at Dartmouth House

Leith's at Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5ED. 7

Diary Dates

Unless otherwise stated we regret that no refunds can be made for cancellations within seven working days of an event.

For members: We accept payment for Dartmouth House events and membership subscriptions by credit/debit cards. Cards bearing Visa, Master-Card, Maestro, Switch, Solo or Delta symbols can now be used to make bookings by post, telephone or email. DARTMOUTH HOUSE Telephone : 020 7529 1550

JULY Tuesday 8 July 3.30 – 5.00 pm House of Lords Tea Party. Lord Hunt will receive guests on the Terrace of the House of Lords. This event is now fully booked. Contact: Gillian Parker Wednesday 9 July 10.30 – 11.30 am ESU members are invited to a coffee morning at Dartmouth House. This is an opportunity to meet old and new members and to introduce friends to the ESU’s international headquarters. Contact: Annette Fisher Friday 25 July Branches Conference The conference will be held at Dartmouth House, followed by a reception and dinner at The Royal Over-Seas League. Contact: Meriel Talbot Wednesday 30 July at 7 pm Literary lecture with Tim Heald on his recent book Princess Margaret: A Life Unravelled. An elegant and sophisticated biography of Princess Margaret, the controversial sister of Elizabeth II. Tim Heald is a biographer, crime writer and journalist. He was chosen by Prince Philip to be his biographer on his 70th birthday. Tickets: £8 to include a glass of wine Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Contact: Gillian Parker

SEPTEMBER Tuesday 2 September Literary lecture with academic, journalist and author John Laughland, on the subject of international war crimes tribunals and the prosecution of heads of state. Tickets: Free of charge. Names must be submitted for the guest list. A cash bar will be available. Contact: Gillian Parker Monday 8 September & Monday 27 October at 6 pm An expert panel of political pundits will address the prospects for the US Presidential Elections at a joint meeting of the Pilgrims and the English-Speaking Union, to be held at Dartmouth House. The panel includes Stryker McGuire, formerly London Bureau Chief of Newsweek magazine and current Editor of the London-based International Quarterly and others who have all covered Presidential elections in the past. Tickets: £25. Guests welcome. For those who wish to stay on at Dartmouth House following the reception, a dinner will be available for an additional £40.00 each. Contact: Tessa Wells, tel: 01622 606404, email: 15 – 18 September ESU World Members’ Conference There is still time to register for the World Members’ Conference in Edinburgh. We are delighted to announce that HRH Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh will be attending. The conference theme is Creating an ESU for the modern world and guest speakers include: Sir Christopher Meyer, The Rt Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, Sir Richard Dearlove, Professor David

Crystal, Sir John Bond and Sir Bob Worcester. A full and exciting programme of pre- and post-conference tours has been laid on. The conference website gives full details. The delegate fee is £330. Tuesday 16 September at 7 pm Emily Ballew Neff, Curator, American Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on John Singleton Copley (1738-1815): Painter of American Revolutionaries and the English Aristocracy. Tickets: £7.50 to include a glass of wine Contact: Gillian Parker

ADVANCE NOTICE Wednesday 8 October at 12.30 pm Literary luncheon at Dartmouth House. The guest of honour will be Mrs Maria Tuttle, the wife of the present Ambassador to the Court of St James’s for the United States of America, on her recently published book, Winfield House. In this handsome book, James Mortimer's glorious photographs and Maria Tuttle’s text reveal every aspect of the elegant house and garden and its role as a tool of modern public diplomacy. Tickets: £30 to include a two-course lunch with wine. Contact: Gillian Parker Wednesday 15 October 12.30 for 1.00 pm Former minister and Governor of Gibraltar, Lord Luce gives a sensitive insight into his life with his book Ringing the Changes: A Memoir. The book covers the tumultuous period covering the deaths of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, as well as the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles. Lord Luce will present his book at a literary luncheon at Dartmouth House. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Tickets: £30 for a two-course lunch and a glass of wine Contact: Gillian Parker 1 – 3 November The Future of Englishes An international conference held in Belgrade, Serbia to mark the 90th anniversary of the English-Speaking Union entitled The Future of Englishes, organised by ESU Serbia, the first ESU to be launched in Eastern Europe in 1991. Professor David Crystal will be keynote speaker and the conference will include a cultural programme. The delegate fee is £300. For more information or to make a booking, please contact Branka Panic, ESU Sebia, Strahinjica Bana 63, 11000 Belgrade, tel/fax: +381 11 3287300, email: ybs.esu@EUnet.yu Monday 24 November at 6.30 pm Gala Concert at Goldsmiths’ Hall. The cellist Steven Isserlis is generously giving a recital in aid of the ESU Music Scholarship Fund, to celebrate the 100th birthday year of the founder Belinda Norman-Butler and the 90th anniversary of the ESU. This will be a superb evening of music. Tickets: £60 each or £100 for two. Contact: Gillian Parker

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ESU News July 2008  

The final of the 27th annual International Public Speaking Competition was won by Gian Karlo Dapul from the Philippines with the interesting...

ESU News July 2008  

The final of the 27th annual International Public Speaking Competition was won by Gian Karlo Dapul from the Philippines with the interesting...