A quarterly publication from The English-Speaking Union
Winter 11 Featuring: The Buckingham Palace Awards Ceremony New Research into Debating A Year of Alumni Reunions
The English-Speaking Union
About the English-Speaking Union
How to submit to dialogue
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.
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.
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Letter from the Chairman of the English-Speaking Union: Dame Mary Richardson_04 A message from The Director-General: Peter Kyle_06
Diplomat Reception_25 Speech & Debate Intern_25 Japan Tour_26
A Year of Reunions_30 13
IPSC 30th Anniversary Dinner_31 Young Alumni Reunion_32
International Public Speaking Competition_14
John Smith Memorial Mace_15
Design The Click Design Consultants theclickdesign.com
All Alumni Reunion_30
London Debate Challenge_14
Discover Your Voice_15
Branches Editor Meriel Talbot
Debating the Evidence Research Project_12
Editor Roberta Pearce
International Delegations_24 07
SSE Update and Thanksgiving Dinner_11
Managing Editors Annette Fisher, Kate Bond, Martin Mulloy
Reform Club Debate_22
Middle East Arab Partnership Project_24
Awards Day at Buckingham Palace_08
Furness Feast/Harvard-Westlake Reunion_34
SSE Scholarship 50th Anniversary Reunion_34
If it Wasnâ€™t for the ESU . . . !_35
International Council Meeting_17 Shakespeare Debate_18
Schools Mace and Public Speaking Competition for Schools_19
Summer Seminars_20 House of Lords Tea Party_21
Letter from the Chairman of the English-Speaking Union: Dame Mary Richardson
I am writing this letter to you on the evening of 11 November 2011 having spent the eleventh hour today at the Remembrance Service at The Royal Alexandra and Albert state boarding school. At that beautiful and moving occasion, young people, some in cadet uniform, read the long lists of former pupils who had fallen in two World Wars and in much more recent conflicts. It is on such occasions that one is once again filled with admiration for the vision of Evelyn Wrench, who in the last months of the first World War, set up an organisation through which ‘the use of English as a shared language’ would be a ‘means of international communication of knowledge and understanding.’ These idealistic aims for the
organisation he named ‘The English-Speaking Union’, remain relevant and urgent in our own troubled world. At the recent Awards Ceremony in Buckingham Palace, HRH Prince Philip’s final event with the ESU, he spoke seriously to me about the organisation he clearly loves and has served for nearly 60 years. He stressed that the ESU is about friendship, both personal and between nations, and advised me to keep that focus clear. I was able to reassure him that I intend, with members’ help and support, to do so. We thank His Royal Highness for his dedication to The English-Speaking Union. His wisdom will be sorely missed.
At HRH Prince Philip’s final event with the ESU, he spoke seriously to me about the organisation he clearly loves and has served for nearly 60 years. He stressed that the ESU is about friendship, both personal and between nations, and advised me to keep that focus clear.
I am delighted that the election to the ESU board of 20 Governors and three officers will be open and transparent and am grateful to the Secretary ESU, Professor Steve Hodkinson, for his hard work to ensure this and to Sir Robert Worcester for his oversight of procedures. The current system of elections of all Governors will produce many talents and gifts but may not produce every skill, or the right balance of skills, necessary to take forward the ESU at this time and to ensure sustainability for the future. For example, there was no nomination for a second Honorary Treasurer and in accordance with the Royal Charter, the board has to accept that critical vacancy and may not ‘headhunt’ an expert to fill that office. The review of the Royal Charter and Bye Laws is therefore necessary for this reason and for many other practical reasons. Members will be consulted. The current Royal Charter offers opportunities which we have not used in recent years. One such opportunity is for Governors to appoint up to four Vice Presidents who, the Bye Laws tell us, ‘shall be appointed annually by the Board of Governors and shall be eligible for re-appointment.’ There are no financial implications whatsoever to these appointments.
ESU. At the same board meeting, Governors approved the criteria for appointing ESU Counsellors and these criteria may be read on the ESU’s website. Members should be reassured that the ESU is in good heart, with renewed confidence. The Board and the executive are focussed and moving forward securely and steadily. Dartmouth House is increasingly busy and is beginning to buzz. Some redecoration has been completed and the appearance is more welcoming and cheerful. Difficult decisions are being taken for the sustainability of the organisation. Once again my warmest thanks are due to members for their support, understanding and cooperation. May I wish you and yours a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Dame Mary Richardson
As a late addendum to this letter, I am pleased to let you know that the Board of Governors approved the appointment of Lord Watson and Sir John Bond as Vice Presidents both of whom have given years of service to the DIALOGUE 5
A MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL: PETER KYLE
During my first few months in post, I have taken the opportunity to visit a number of branches. In the months ahead, I intend to visit many more, as I want to understand the members’ perspective from your own locations as well as having a centralised view from Dartmouth House. The recent Branches Conference, held in Cheltenham, provided an excellent opportunity to meet members and to hear your views whilst, on a broader canvas, the extended family of the ESU met in Philadelphia in October for the International Council. One thing is crystal clear from my discussions thus far, but of course you already know this, which is that you, the members, care passionately about this organisation and want to see it flourish. You want to see more energy devoted to pursuing our charitable objectives and that is fortunate, because that is exactly want I want too and is precisely what we were set up to do under our Royal Charter. The Royal Charter has been put on the website so that you may refer to it and I shall very much appreciate your opinion of the programmes we currently offer and what we might do to improve them. The World Members’ Conference, to be held in Istanbul next September, will provide another opportunity for us to come together to celebrate our common endeavours and achievements and to challenge our own thinking about future projects and programmes. My colleagues at Dartmouth House have been working hard to eradicate difficulties experienced earlier in the year with the Members’ database and the collection of DIALOGUE 6
subscriptions and I am now assured that these problems have been rectified. However, do let me know if you continue to experience difficulties and I shall do all that I can to address problems on a case by case basis. As you are aware, the level of subscription has not been changed over the last ten years and, through a process of consultation, this is something we shall be addressing soon, but we also realise that we must control central costs so that we can live within our means. None of us want to see repeated the scale of deficit incurred last financial year and therefore we are taking measures to ensure that our staffing levels and other fixed costs are affordable. One very welcome item of expenditure has been on the Long Drawing Room at Dartmouth House, which has now been repainted, the floors stripped and sealed, the curtains cleaned and re-hung and the chandeliers sparkling. It really does look splendid and provides a sharp reminder of how much work there is to do on other parts of the house to bring them up to a similar standard! It hardly seems possible that the time of year is already upon us when we at Dartmouth House are getting ready to erect and decorate the Christmas tree and preparing for the annual carol concert. If the months ahead are anywhere near as stimulating, invigorating and as challenging as my first six months in the role of Director-General, I know that I am going to thoroughly enjoy my time with the ESU and working alongside you. Peter Kyle
FEATURES â€“ Inside A selection of events and articles that deserve special attention for their significance to the ESU from the last three months.
Awards Day at Buckingham Palace_08 Secondary School Exchange Update and Thanksgiving Dinner_11 Debating the Evidence Research Project_12
AWARDS CEREMONY AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Antonia Clare, Steve Oakes, JJ Wilson, Frances Eales - the winners of The Duke of Edinburgh ESU English Language Book Award
On 9 November, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, President of The English-Speaking Union hosted a ceremony at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the winners of our Effective English speaking competitions and English Language Teaching awards. The annual teaching awards celebrate innovation and good practice in the field of English language and English Language Teaching. A highly respected panel of judges reviewed all the entries over the summer and were pleased to award the prizes. Three entries received accolades in the Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Award:
- Overall winner: Speakout by Antonia Clare, Frances Eales, Steve Oakes, JJ Wilson; Publisher: Pearson - Highly Commended: Dynamic Presentations by Mark Powell; Publisher: Cambridge University Press - Best for Children: Sunshine by Marta Graciela Garcia Lorea and Elida Beatriz Messina; Publisher: Garnet Education The judges were pleased by the high standard of entries this year and commented that the winner Speakout was â€œan ambitious publishing commitment to teachers and learners.â€?
1. Ă–zge Karaoglu Ergen, winner of the CUP-ESU New Writing Award 2. Marta Graciela Garcia Lorea and Elida Beatriz Messina, winners of the Best Entry for Children 3. Georgia McMahon, Rebecca Grant and Roberta Wilkinson from Parrs Wood High School, winners of the Public Speaking Competition
4. Francesca Ruddy and Katherine Docherty from the University of Glasgow, winners of the Essex Court Mooting competition 5. Najma Ahmed, Rommana Delair and Jamiah Okoye from Clapton Girlsâ€™ Academy, winners of the London Debate Challenge
Eamon Chawke of the ESU with Jeon Wook Kang, winner of the 2011 IPSC
The ESU President’s Award is given each year to recognise innovation and good design in the use of new, free-standing technologies in the teaching and learning of English. This year the panel was pleased to award the prize to Phonetics Focus by Cambridge English Online, an ‘app’ for mobile telephones which helps to teach the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The judges described it as “rich in good content and effective in the variety and flexibility of learning options for the learner.” Adrian Illingworth, the creator, flew from Thailand to be presented with his trophy by HRH Prince Philip. In addition, this year, we awarded the first CUP-ESU New Writing Award, a new initiative in partnership with Cambridge University Press. This award is aimed at new and aspiring authors throughout the world who bring fresh and imaginative approaches to the teaching and learning of English. The inaugural winner was Özge Karaoglu Ergen from Turkey for her digital game Bubble and Pebble. Yann Desdevises from France won a highly commended entry and came to the reception at Dartmouth House afterwards to be presented with her certificate by the ESU and Cambridge University Press. Finally, the winners of competitions from the ESU Speech and Debate department were awarded certificates by Prince Philip in recognition of their achievement over the last year. Jeon Wook Kang from South Korea was the winner of the International Public Speaking Competition. The final was held on 27 May at HSBC headquarters in Canary Wharf. Jeon’s speech was entitled ‘Ummm... I Can’t Teach?!’ We are delighted that HSBC continues to sponsor this competition which reaches around 40,000 students worldwide with more than 80 coming from around 50 countries, to take part in the week-long programme in London. The winners of the ESU’s two national schools’ competitions, the Public Speaking Competition for Schools DIALOGUE 10
and the Schools Mace were Parrs Wood High School, Manchester (Georgia McMahon, Rebecca Grant and Roberta Wilkinson) and St Paul’s School, London (Freddy Powell and Ben Goldstein) respectively. Both teams came with their coaches to Buckingham Palace to celebrate their achievement. The annual London Debate Challenge was won by Clapton Girls’ Academy, Hackney represented by Rommana Delair, Jamiah Okoye and Najma Ahmed. At the final on 1 July, the four highest-scoring teams from the first three rounds took part in two final debates in the packed lecture hall, with the motions ‘This House Would allow Students to Skip School to go on Political Protests’ and ‘This House Would Introduce Compulsory Random Drug Testing in all Schools.’ The John Smith Memorial Mace is the oldest debating competition in the world and the final, this year, was contested by Trinity College Dublin, Cardiff University, The University of Edinburgh and the University of Cambridge. Doug Cochran and Maria English from Cambridge were successful at the final in Dublin. The ESU-Essex Court Chambers Mooting Competition was won by The University of Glasgow, represented by Francesca Ruddy and Katherine Docherty. Sponsored by Essex Court Chambers, it promotes the skills of courtroom advocacy for legal students in Britain. Hypothetical cases are presented before a judge and two teams argue for and against the case. All winners, their guests and other invitees from the ESU and English language teaching world attended a reception at ESU Dartmouth House, sponsored by Cambridge University Press. Congratulations to all of the winners!
SSE UPDATE AND THANKSGIVING DINNER
A Memphis welcome for Jessica Caie, UK SSE student
Finn, Emily, Ailie and Saul: 2012 SSE scholars
The Secondary School Exchange (SSE) is one of the ESU’s oldest programmes and enables students to spend a year or six months in the US during their gap year or, in the case of US students, a year in the UK. The current US scholars in the UK and three-term UK scholars in the US all started in September and have been updating us on their progress so far. While it has been a learning curve for some students getting used to a new environment and a new country, they have all been getting involved with activities in their schools, whether that be sailing, drama, music and sport. Below are a few reports from British students in America on their experience so far:
roommate is from New York and I think I’m going to stay with his family in Manhattan during the upcoming parents’ weekend. The school is amazing as well, really beautiful grounds. I’m also involved in the Young Democrats club which is really interesting and also the future business leaders club. I think I’m going to contribute to the school newspaper as well.”
“I never knew that there were so few hours in the day until I came to this school and I love it. I am constantly busy doing interesting classes, spending time with new friends and practising sports. This is the best way to spend a day and I get to do it every day. Every teacher here knows who I am and cares about my welfare and progress at the school. Upon arrival, I immediately asked about possibly joining the football team and around four different teachers approached me and greatly helped me out.” “Everything is going great, I’m really enjoying myself and have already made some very close friends. I’m rooming with three other girls so there’s always something fun going on in my room! I’ve been given some brilliant opportunities to experience new things. I’m going canoeing for the first time ever this weekend and can’t wait.” “So far so good, really enjoying my classes. There’s a lot of work but it’s manageable! I am actually surprised how difficult it is though, not really too different from A level standard here. I’m making lots of new friends as well, my
Meanwhile, back in the UK, in November, we held the briefing day for the new two-term scholars who will be leaving to go America in January. They met alumni and ESU staff to talk through their forthcoming time in the US and to ask any questions before they go. The 2011-12 two-term scholars are: - Finn Houston from Dollar, Scotland going to Westminster School, Connecticut - Saul Shimmin from Bolton going to Woodberry Forest School, Virginia - Emily Swallow from East Yorkshire going to Ravenscroft School, North Carolina - Ailie Walker from Suffolk going to Kent School, Connecticut The same evening, the current US scholars, who are at UK boarding schools, were joined by some of the two-term scholars and recent alumni from the programme to celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey and pumpkin pie at ESU Dartmouth House. The US scholars are spread throughout the UK so it was a nice chance to meet each other, compare experiences and explore London for the weekend. DIALOGUE 11
DEBATING THE EVIDENCE– 90 YEARs OF BEING RIGHT! For more than 90 years, the ESU has been at the forefront of creating and running debating competitions, delivering world class training and producing materials. Now, we have independent research which gives us empirical evidence to support the numerous anecdotes that debating helps people in their studies and in life.
On 10 October, the ESU launched ‘Debating the Evidence’. This is a piece of independent research which was jointly funded and commissioned by the ESU and CfBT (Campaign for British Teachers) Education Trust. The company which successfully won the bid to undertake the research was EdComs, a leading education research charity.
In addition, debating encourages the skills to ‘develop and present their ideas with greater imagination and fluency’ as well as sensitivity to precise language. These are invaluable life skills for any child hoping to pursue a successful career. Academically, the report shows a 25% increase in GPA (Grade Point Average – from a US study) for debaters above that of the control group.
The original brief was to assess all existing evidence from around the world which looked into the effects that learning speech and debate skills have on young people. Collating and assessing the evidence was a major undertaking, with a number of very useful reports from large studies coming from the USA and supporting evidence from countries including Canada, France, Israel, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. An expert panel was established comprising the leading debate and speech practitioners from around the world.
Most particularly, we were pleased with the qualities the young people identified in themselves after experiencing competitive debating; many reported feeling a stronger desire to engage and question than before and, perhaps the most successful quality of all, it has helped to build confidence amongst otherwise more retiring pupils.
The 37-page final report says everything we hoped it would say. This report illustrates that the many positive aspects of debating that we promote have been proven to develop the confidence and analytical ability of school children. Some of the most interesting outcomes are that many children reported ‘becoming more objective and enjoying being able to challenge our teachers’ and a heightened interest in current affairs and their wider social impact. Debate was also found to ‘engender a sophisticated discussion among a class of 10 to 11 year-old pupils when used as an exercise in perspective-taking.’
The report is also valuable in highlighting where we might go next with further research. Although all of the existing evidence points in the right direction, there are limits to the size of some of the studies and a lot of very positive material had to be omitted as the evidence base was not sufficiently robust. Despite these notes of necessary caution, the overall picture is very encouraging and we are in no doubt that further studies will reinforce the findings of this initial report. In a time of tightening budgets and increasing time pressure, this report is a valuable tool to support teachers who are working so hard to establish and maintain debating clubs and activities. The report is available to download from esu.org and a limited supply of hard copies is available from ESU Dartmouth House.
PROGRAMMES â€“ Inside We bring you news and events from the programmes that the ESU runs from Dartmouth House and details of events coming up in 2012.
London Debate Challenge_14
House of Lords Tea Party_21
International Public Speaking Competition 2012_14
Discover Your Voice_15
John Smith Memorial Mace_15
Middle East Arab Partnership Project_24
International Council Meeting_17
Speech & Debate Intern_25
Reform Club Debate_22
Schools Mace and Public Speaking Competition for Schools_19 Summer Seminars_20 DIALOGUE 13
LONDON DEBATE CHALLENGE
Following the success of the London Debate Challenge this year, the ESU is preparing to deliver the London-wide competition again with the aim of recruiting teams from the remaining four boroughs to take participation up to 32. The programme is widely supported by our network of mentors and by sponsors including the London Region and this year, Allen and Overy, Mediacom and The Week. It is
one of the ESU’s most valuable activities and enables us to take debating into schools which do not engage with any of our other competitions. Details of the 2012 competition will be available in the New Year. The grand final will be held at ESU Dartmouth House in the summer term.
INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC SPEAKING COMPETITION Preparations for the HSBC-supported International Public Speaking Competition are well underway. At the end of the summer, the dates and the themes for this year’s competition were released to the national public speaking coordinators in the 50 or so countries around the world who will send participants to London next year to compete in the final. The theme for the national competitions is ‘The Wisdom of Youth.’ Organisers may use this theme for the competitions they run in their own countries, the winners of which will represent their respective countries at the international final next year. The international competition theme for 2012 is ‘The Head or the Heart?’ The IPSC programme will run from Monday 14 May to Friday 18 May, with the first round heats taking place on Thursday 17 May 2012 and the semi-finals and the grand final on Friday 18 May . Participants will write and deliver a speech, the title and content of which must be connected with the international DIALOGUE 14
theme (though the participants cannot use the theme itself as the title of their speech). All participants will then give a five-minute prepared speech. Those who progress from the first round heats to the semi-finals will deliver a threeminute impromptu speech on a different topic, which they will receive 15 minutes in advance of their speech. Finally, the six participants who progress to the grand final will again deliver their original five-minute prepared speech. The IPSC programme will also involve a number of educational and cultural activities and excursions. Last year’s programme offered a trip to Hampton Court Palace, a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, as well as impromptu speaking and performance workshops. The competition handbook for IPSC 2012 has been released and is available to download from the IPSC section of the ESU website. The full programme will be posted there as soon as it has been finalised.
DISCOVER YOUR VOICE The first ‘Discover Your Voice’ mentor training session of the year was recently held at ESU Dartmouth House. We now have a pool of over 80 trained mentors who assist us in delivering our primary and secondary school training programmes. Last year, we worked with more than 100 schools throughout England and Wales, teaching public speaking and debating skills for beginners and intermediates. Our aim is to help develop skills in cooperation with programmes already up and running in schools, but also to establish debating where there has not been a tradition in place. ‘Discover Your Voice’ additionally forms the backbone of our international training programme, and we have been working to develop a version of the texts which are available for use overseas. Teachers and students alike gain a lot from the programme. They build their skills using our class resources, follow up materials, engagement with the ESU competitions and the day they spend with our mentors. ESU Speech and Debate offers workshops to schools at cost price when paid for directly by branches. If you think there may be a school in your area which would be interested, or if you would like more details, please get in touch with Steven Nolan at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE JOHN SMITH MEMORIAL MACE To date, more than 200 teams have entered the John Smith Memorial Mace. As a result, this year’s championships look set to be the biggest in the competition’s 58 year history. Competitions are held in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England, with the national champions competing against each other to select the international mace champion. This year’s international final will be held at ESU Dartmouth House on 29 April. The John Smith Memorial Mace is one of the most prestigious debating competitions in the world, with former winners including the late Donald Dewar, Charles Kennedy, Bob Marshall-Andrews, The Rt Hon the Lord Hunt of Wirral, Professor Anthony Clare, and the late Labour leader, John Smith, in whose honour the competition was re-named in 1995.
and speaking skills at university has enabled us to run dozens of training workshops across the UK and Ireland, including some with universities which have no tradition of debating. This work is being supplemented with the development of online training resources, so those interested are able to get access to expert ESU training, regardless of their location. University students involved in the John Smith Memorial Mace competitions are also vital to the operation of our primary and secondary school programmes. They form the majority of the mentors whom we instruct to deliver ‘Discover Your Voice’ training; they judge public speaking and schools mace rounds, and form an active and engaged alumni network.
The ESU is grateful to Baillie Gifford for its support of the competition. The firm’s dedication to spreading debating DIALOGUE 15
NATIONAL MOOTING COMPETITION
The Essex Court Chambers Mooting competition
This year’s ESU-Essex Court Chambers UK National Mooting Competition has attracted a record number of entrants, with over 60 universities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland fielding teams. Mooting sees teams of undergraduate law students advocate on a fictional legal problem in a mock trial setting. Last year, Francesca Ruddy and Katherine Docherty from the University of Glasgow defeated Alexander Knight and Matilda Forbes Watson, representing BPP Law School in the exciting final. The mooting final was held at President’s Court of the Royal Courts of Justice. Earlier in the day, the teams had faced The University of Cambridge and Kings College London in the semi finals, held at ESU Dartmouth House. The grand final moot itself was of an exceptionally high standard and was judged by a panel chaired by Dr Gavan Griffith QC (Australia), a former Solicitor General Australia and now an International Commercial and Investment Disputes Arbitrator. The other two judges were Martin Griffiths QC, an Essex Court Chambers Silk, best known for his work in employment, and Professor Philippa Watson, an Essex Court Chambers barrister specialising in EU law
and competition and Visiting Professor City University, London. This year sees a new development for our mooting programme. We have launched a sister competition in Singapore, in partnership with Essex Court Chambers and the Singapore Academy of Law. Newly qualified practitioners from the top law firms, as well as the Attorney General’s office, have already competed in the first round of the competition, with the final scheduled to take place on 17 January. The Singaporean champions will then compete against the UK champions in the first international final over the summer months. This is the twelfth year that Essex Court Chambers has been involved with the National Moot. They are invaluable as a sponsor and more importantly, as an organiser and expert in the smooth running of the competition. Long may the relationship continue.
DEBATE ACADEMY The ESU’s 11th annual Debate Academy took place at Oakham School, Rutland, in July. Once again, a group of aspiring young debaters journeyed from across the UK to participate in a series of seminars, lectures and debates organised by staff and mentors. And this year, Debate Academy was bigger than ever. It was filled to capacity with 120 students, with many more on the waiting list who we hope will be able to join us next year. This time round, we were able to offer an unprecedented level of financial support, providing over £5,000 worth of bursaries to students who would otherwise not have been able to attend. Debate Academy went international this year with a new World Schools format course attracting students from as far afield as Mexico, Slovenia and South Africa. As usual, the students threw themselves into the activities, seminars and debates with infectious enthusiasm. Thanks to the support of our expert team of coaches and mentors, students were able to grow in confidence and ability throughout the academy. They debated a host of current
affairs topics ranging from banning tabloid newspapers to allowing students to vote out their teachers. However, the academy wasn’t purely about debating. In the evenings students had time to meet like-minded people of their own age, engage in competitions and quizzes and socialise and relax in the gorgeous surroundings of Oakham School. The course culminated with the traditional beginners’ display debate – where those who had little experience of debate before the weekend debated in front of the whole academy. This was a great success with the teams providing excellent arguments whilst also keeping the audience entertained on the topic of whether parents should have access to their children’s social networking accounts. ESU staff members involved in the weekend would like to thank all the students for their enthusiasm and inquisitiveness throughout the course. We are also hugely grateful to our incredible mentors. The weekend could not have happened without the selfless dedication of our team who gave up their time – for free – to form a truly worldclass faculty.
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING
Pat Schroeder (right), Chair of ESU USA with ESU Philadelphia members
Jon Dye, Deputy-Chair ESU, chairing a Princeton v Columbia debate in front of Independence Hall, Philadelphia
Forty delegates from 20 ESUs attended the International Council Meeting held in Philadelphia in October. The event was chaired by Patricia Schroeder, Chairman of the Council and of ESU USA. Dame Mary Richardson and Peter Kyle represented ESU Dartmouth House and Richard Oldham represented England & Wales.
Terms of Reference for Honorary Posts. Dame Mary thanked Lord Watson (Chairman Emeritus, International Council 2005-2011) in absentia for his two, three-year terms in office.
Key resolutions passed at the meeting included new rules and procedures for elections and voting on the Council and
The AGM of ESU USA followed immediately after the Council Meeting and international delegates had the opportunity to network with members and Chairman from USA branches. DIALOGUE 17
SHAKESPEARE AUTHORSHIP DEBATE – HAVE WE ALL BEEN PLAYED?
In early June, the ESU hosted the ‘Shakespeare Authorship Debate’ in conjunction with Sony Pictures and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. This was to promote the release of multiaward-winning director Roland Emmerich’s latest film, Anonymous, staring Derek Jacobi, Vanessa Redgrave and Rhys Ifans. Emmerich, best known for directing CGI-laden blockbusters such as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, was joined by Professor Stanley Wells, Professor Michael Dobson, Rev Dr Paul Edmondson, Charles Beauclerk and Dr William Leahy. Both sides debated the motion ‘This House Believes that William Shakespeare of Stratford-Upon-Avon wrote the plays and poems attributed to him’.
To a packed room, the eminent panellists debated conspiracy theories, signatures, the role of Hamlet as autobiography and whether Shakespeare was, in fact, an uneducated commoner and eminent fraudster. At one stage, Dr Leahy branded Shakespeare “an opportunist”, and claimed he had stolen the works and “passed them off as his own”. Paul Edmondson, Head of Learning and Research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, rebutted that “this evening we have been entertained by a post-modern cocktail of historical fact and historical fiction.”The questions from the floor were no less heated, with guests, some of whom had travelled across the Atlantic for the evening, passionately giving their views on the authorship subject which
chairman James Probert said “has been going on for long before we arrived here tonight and will continue long after this evening ends.” While a vote indicated a resounding win for the proposition, the conversations being had as the audience left ESU Dartmouth House indicated that there was far more to discuss, and that the question of the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays is far from resolved. Have we all been played? That is the question.
SCHOOLS MACE AND PUBLIC SPEAKING COMPETITION FOR SCHOOLS
This year’s schools’ competitions are underway with more than 350 schools from all over England registered for the Schools Mace and over 320 English and Welsh schools registered for the Public Speaking Competition. This year has also seen an increase in the number of schools taking part in our ‘Discover Your Voice’ training programme in preparation for both competitions. In September, we released the new Speech and Debate Competition Handbook, which is available to download from the ESU website. As well as containing the rules of both competitions and an explanation of their formats, the handbook contains lots of tips and guidelines for students, teachers and adjudicators on various aspects of both competitions (how to construct a speech, how to improve delivery, how to deal with questions and points of information, and much more). The first rounds of the Schools Mace have already begun across the country and will run between November and Christmas. The second rounds will take place in January and mid-February and the regional finals, in mid-February and March.
We have set the date for the England final of the Schools Mace - Friday 30 March. The International final of the Schools Mace, which will see the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh champions compete against each other, will take place on Saturday 28 April. Both events will be hosted at ESU Dartmouth House in London. The first rounds of the Public Speaking Competition for Schools are also underway with first round heats and branch finals taking place across England and Wales between November and early February. All branch rounds should be completed by spring half-term and the regional finals will happen in late February and March. The date for the UK final of the Public Speaking Competition for Schools has also been set. It will take place on Saturday 12 May at Goodenough College in London. The final of the International Public Speaking Competition, which will see last year’s Best Speaker compete against speakers from over 50 countries around the globe, takes place on 17-18 May.
ESU delegates at The Globe
In August, the ESU welcomed delegates from around the world and the UK to the annual trio of summer seminars. Two are based around Shakespeare, working with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford, and The Globe in London. The third is the International Relations Conference, held at Mansfield College, Oxford. Nineteen international teachers took part in the ESU Globe Education Cultural Seminar at Shakespeare’s Globe. These were teachers of English or theatre from countries throughout the world and were nominated by their local ESU. They were given the opportunity to take part in workshops on movement, voice, swordsmanship and music run by Globe practitioners who offered them insights into new ways of teaching Shakespeare to students of all ages and the importance of Shakespeare as performance. Delegates attended productions of As You Like It, All’s Well That Ends Well, Marlowe’s Dr Faustus and Anne Boleyn by Howard Brenton. They then had the chance to discuss the plays they had seen with a theatre critic and the actors themselves, as well as experience period music on original instruments. Many of the delegates commented afterwards that they had learnt a huge amount, not just from the Globe practitioners, but from each other. Our Stratford study course was attended by 12 British and two American teachers. Many of them were able to do so due to generous sponsorship from ESU branches. The course gave the delegates a unique insight into the life of DIALOGUE 20
Shakespeare and an opportunity to explore the places where he lived and worked. This was an academic programme of pre-performance lectures and postperformance discussions on plays led by scholars from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. This year’s plays were Macbeth, the Merchant of Venice, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pinter’s The Homecoming. Delegates also enjoyed a ‘wigs and makeup’ demonstration, a directing workshop and classes with members of the RSC (including actors and voice coaches). All reported that they looked forward to introducing new ideas for lesson plans into their classrooms coupled with a revitalised enthusiasm for Shakespeare. Our International Relations Conference in Oxford welcomed 25 delegates from 19 countries. Topics ranged from climate change to peace and conflict. There was also a communication workshop run by the ESU’s Speech and Debate department. Following last year’s success, we again invited the Directory of Social Change to facilitate workshops inspired by the conference topics. These gave delegates the opportunity to share their views and exchange ideas, enabling them to take a more in-depth understanding back to their home countries.
TEA ON THE TERRACE
Lord Hunt with guests at the House of Lords Tea Party
The House of Lords Tea Party was held on 6 July, kindly hosted by The Rt Hon The Lord Hunt of Wirral. This annual event provided an excellent opportunity for ESU members from across the globe to meet and have afternoon tea on the terrace of the House of Lords. This year, for the first time, guests were first offered the chance to board the ‘Queen Elizabeth’ and set sail on the Thames for an afternoon cruise from Westminster to Greenwich. It provided the perfect precursor to the afternoon’s festivities. More than 15 UK branches were represented, including London, Eastbourne, Guildford and District, Brighton
Hove and District, Canterbury and East Kent, Suffolk, Salisbury and South Wiltshire, Ouse Valley, Worcestershire, Lincolnshire and Liverpool and Merseyside. We were also most fortunate to welcome Madame Beatrix de Montgermont-Keil, National President of ESU France; students from the Westminster Internship Programme and representatives of International House from Russia, Brazil, Japan, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Spain and London as well as the Rt Hon Lords Cormack and Dobbs, both of whom are long-time supporters of the ESU’s charitable activities.
ESU MUSIC SCHOLARSHIPS ESU Music Scholarships give exceptional young musicians the opportunity to develop their talents and further their training at highly respected institutions in Canada, the US, England, Italy and France including Prussia Cove and Banff. This year, we were overwhelmed to receive double the number of applications from last year, all of which were of a high calibre.
On 3 November, a panel of esteemed judges enjoyed listening to a select number of invited applicants including violinists, pianists and flautists and we wish the successful applicants all the best in their applications to their chosen schools.
ESU REFORM CLUB DEBATE
Lord Boateng at the ESU Reform Club Debate
Lord Boateng opposes the ESU Reform Club Debate motion.
The Reform Club Library was the historical setting for the ESU Reform Club debate in early July. This took place in front of a packed audience under the motion ‘This House Believes it is time to reform the Lords’. The eminent panellists included The Lord Watson of Richmond, The Rt Hon Lord Paul Boateng and ESU alumni Tara Mounce and Dr James Dray. Chairing the debate was Professor Brian Holden-Reid, Chairman of the Reform Club Political Committee. Opening for the proposition, Lord Watson stated that despite being sceptical of the idea of reformation and a “hybrid” House of Lords which would be “fundamentally unworkable and nonsense”, some degree of reform was necessary to coincide with the current “tectonic shift” occurring in UK politics. Such reform, he argued, should be introduced “seriously, strategically and realistically.” Opening for the opposition, Dr James Dray rebutted and stated that there was “nothing undemocratic about an unelected second chamber.” The role of the House of
Lords, James argued, was simply to “guide, cajole and amend” the law; a role which would not change even if Peers were elected democratically. Tara Mounce, seconding the motion, called the House of Lords “illegitimate” and pleaded for a “mandate of power” to be given to Peers. A reformed House of Lords would, Tara stated, be more representative, more democratic and more effective in its role as a governing political body. Opposing the motion, Lord Boateng accused it of being nothing more than a “threat” to the preservation of the House of Lords and pleaded with the audience to realise that all that was actually on offer was a partially elected house, the role of which was uncertain, unclear and nothing more than a “political totem-pole.”
LAUNCH OF ESU ICELAND AND AN ICELANDIC DEBATING PROGRAMME
ESU Iceland launch
ESU Iceland was launched on 10 June at a ceremony opened by Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, at the Nordic House in Reykjavik
programme concluded with a visit to a highly successful Icelandic company and a tour of the Golden Circle, Iceland’s popular tourist route.
The Ambassadors of the UK, USA, Canada and India supported the event together with 55 delegates who travelled from 15 countries to welcome the latest ESU to the family. Delegates were greeted by Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the President of Iceland, at a reception held in his residence the previous evening. As part of the official launch ceremony, Dame Mary Richardson, Chairman of the ESU, signed the ESU International Council Memorandum of Understanding with Eliza Reid, Chairman of ESU Iceland. The steering committee and alumni from ESU programmes in Iceland then joined the delegates for a panel debate on ‘Global English: Threat or Empowerment?’ The launch
In early November, Annette Fisher, Head of International at the ESU, visited schools in Reykjavik to deliver ‘Discover Your Voice’ training to students and teachers. This was to support the start of ESU Iceland’s debating programme which complements its already successful public speaking programme. Annette also spoke about the ESU’s international reach at an event at the British Ambassador’s residence attended by people from the Ministry of Education, media outlets and education professionals.
ESU IN THE MIDDLE EAST Since the Arab Spring began in Tunisia and then spread to Egypt and elsewhere, the world has watched developments across the Middle East with concern and interest. One of the positive developments is the support from global and UK NGOs which have begun to operate in the region helping to support local programmes delivering everything from education and skills programmes to structural aid and funding.
the ministries of education and, in others, with a range of NGOs to set up scores of debate clubs and introduce training in schools. The ultimate aim of the project is to bring debating to as many people as possible, giving young people communication skills which embrace critical thinking and the ability to analyse, and nurturing their confidence. This is vital in helping with the transition to more open and pluralistic societies.
Sayeqa Islam, from the ESU Speech and Debate department, has been spearheading our involvement in a major multi-country programme funded by the FCO and supported by, among others, the British Council and UNICEF. Sayeqa and her team of mentors have been delivering debate coaching directly to young people in Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia but also training people to be trainers. There are hugely ambitious targets and, in some cases, the team is working with
In one of the debate clubs in Jordan, a 12 year-old girl called A’isha found that debating changed her life. Until six months ago her life outside her home was limited to attending school. She was taken to and from school by her older brother and was not allowed to go to friends’ houses or have friends over to her home. When the debating club was opened in the community centre, her brother wanted to attend but there was not time to take A’isha home first, so she came along. The
club organisers included her in the activities with the other boys and girls. After a few months of taking part in the debate activities, she sat down with her father and, using the skills she had learnt, put forward a clear and logical case, supported with evidence as to why she should, on occasion, be allowed more freedom, including having friends to visit. Her father was amazed at her clarity and she persuaded him that she should be allowed more personal freedom. This is just one of countless stories of how these skills are helping to change lives in big and small ways. The ESU is able to bring its years of experience and its mentors to deliver this critical element of the project. The first year of the programme will conclude soon and we will keep you posted as it develops.
INTERNATIONAL DELEGATIONS Over the last year, delegations have travelled to Japan, Korea, Ghana, Jordan, Turkey, Iceland, Hong Kong and Malta. Their purpose is to:
• Connect with and deepen the relationships with the UK Foreign Office, the British Council and current local partners
• Deliver the ESU’s ‘Discover Your Voice’ programme (this teaches the skills of public speaking, debating and confidence in communication) to school and university students
• Develop and support the ESU committee in each country. Delegations normally consist of ESU staff and expert mentors. The ESU international department works with the ESU in a country to develop a programme which best addresses the needs of that ESU. Where possible, the work and visits are done on a full cost-recovery basis.
• Train teachers and mentors (often university students and ESU members) to deliver ‘Discover Your Voice’, thereby making the programme more sustainable in each country • Facilitate partner and sponsor meetings to build the capacity of the ESU in each country
Our delegation programme has proved an effective and successful way of supporting the work of current ESUs and developing ESU activity in new countries with local partners.
DIPLOMAT RECEPTION The ESU enjoys a close relationship with many of the Embassies and High Commissions in London. These associations help us to connect with government representatives in ESU member countries, to develop links in new countries and to open our membership and programme of ESU Dartmouth House events to the international community in London.
In recognition of these partnerships, the ESU invited Ambassadors and High Commissioners to a reception at ESU Dartmouth House in November. In addition to hearing about the organisation and its education programmes from Peter Kyle, the Director-General, guests enjoyed a tour of the building.
AN INTERN’S EXPERIENCE AT THE ESU
In summer and autumn of this year, I spent two weeks as an intern at the English-Speaking Union in their Speech and Debate department. It was an opportunity I greatly anticipated having participated in several of their schools’ competitions. I am hoping to study a Law degree at university beginning in 2012 and I knew that working with a charity as prestigious as the English-Speaking Union would be an invaluable experience for me. I arrived slightly nervous having never experienced this kind of work before; however I found the Speech and Debate team to be extremely supportive and patient and they have inspired me to pursue my plans in Law with renewed rigour. I was given several organisational and administrative tasks and responsibilities. One of my favourite tasks was judging a Tower Hamlets primary schools’ debating competition at Dartmouth House. The ESU offers a wide range of support for any school, institution or business hoping to further their experience through public speech and debate and it was incredible to watch primary school-age children debate current issues such as the socio-economic impact of the Olympic Games on London’s landscape.
I thoroughly enjoyed being given such a responsibility and watching the children develop their critical, evaluative and analytical skills through debating. I had enough debating experience to see where their arguments were strong or weaker and I knew that this kind of competition would be incredibly useful for them later. I was also on hand in the Speech and Debate office to assist the department with any extra administration and organisational work that needed completing and, contrary to the popular cliché, actually had other people making me coffee! I was able to help the department organise the entrants for the competitions that operate throughout the year as well as compile registration for the summer programmes. I also witnessed the finals and semi-finals of the National Mooting Competition which was an extremely valuable legal experience for me. The English-Speaking Union is full of motivating people and it was both great fun and hugely interesting to be in such an intellectual environment. My time with the organisation has taught me a huge amount, in a variety of different ways, and I know that it will always prove to be great experience on any job or place at university that I hope to get. I had an amazing time and everyone I met was extremely friendly, fun and taught me a lot. Thanks ESU! DIALOGUE 25
ESU JAPAN TOUR Between 29 September and 7 October, a debate delegation team consisting of John Ashbourne, Joanna Farmer, Catherine Kernaghan and Eoghan McSwiney, accompanied by Jason Vit, Head of Speech and Debate, was lucky enough to visit Japan as guests of ESU Japan (ESUJ).
The ESU team at the Grand Final in Tokyo
We are all incredibly thankful for this fascinating opportunity to observe Japanese debating but also the obvious effort that was made to introduce us to the food, history and culture of a country that none of us (except Jason) had had the chance to visit before. Throughout the visit we were astonished by the thought and effort that had clearly gone into its organisation and would like to convey our gratitude to Mr & Mrs Okada, Miss Ayako, Agata-san and the rest of ESUJ who contributed to the success of the trip. The team would also like to thank Jason for being a brilliant and inexhaustible old hand. Tokyo
On the first night we - and most of our suitcases - gathered at our hotel in Shinjuku. Here, we were introduced to and briefed by the ESUJ and Kowa, the reigning ESU champion, about the forthcoming activities. We were then whisked off to a fantastic dinner at a
traditional Japanese pub. After several hours of beautiful sashimi, shabu shabu and a vast selection of Japanese liquor, we headed back to our hotel extremely excited about what lay ahead. The next day provided an opportunity for some sightseeing, so we rushed around Shinjuku and we were given a tour of the skyline by a lovely elderly guide at the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Tower. John and Catherine’s inspired map reading also eventually led us to Meiji Jingu park, home to several turtles and the Meji shrine, where we were lucky enough to witness a dramatically costumed wedding ceremony. After another amazing fish-based meal, we headed back to the hotel and on to our first official event: a debate for the Oxford and Cambridge Society. This was held in a beautiful room many floors above Roppongi, with a stunning view that proved
distracting to us, and which we assume was the cause of most of the applause. Hopefully, we were able to keep people’s attention with the motion ‘This House Would rather go to Disneyland than a museum’, which saw Jo and Catherine face Eoghan and John. It was a rowdy and extremely enjoyable debate, which, despite the girls’ clearly superior knowledge of the Disney Corporation, was won by the boys. The evening was rounded off with yet another fantastic meal and several interesting conversations with members of ESUJ and the Oxford Cambridge Society. It was notable from these how much the audience enjoyed the stylistic and humorous elements of the debate and were keen to see these deployed more readily by Japanese debaters; something worth keeping in mind for the squad during training sessions.
The next morning saw the beginning of the ESUJ tournament held, as always, at the 1964 Olympic Centre. This was an excellent introduction to Japanese debating at university level for us, as judging several debates in quick succession allowed to us to evaluate the quality so that we could appropriately pitch the level of our training and speaking for the rest of the tour. The standard was, in fact, excellent and all of us saw teams that would excel at many European competitions and at the World Championships.
We also staged a display debate in the magnificent main hall where Catherine and John proposed a motion which had been used in the preliminary debates the previous day: ‘This House Believes Western nations should continue to freeze all Libyan assets until fair elections have been held’. Eoghan and Jo opposed. Possibly the oddest part of this experience was debating underneath giant photographs of our own smiling heads! Eventually, with the aid of several LSE (‘Libyan School of Economics’) jokes, the opposition prevailed.
The first day of the tournament involved us all in judging the four preliminary closed rounds and giving some feedback to teams at the end of the day. We thoroughly enjoyed the motions, especially those specific to Japan, which opened our eyes to issues we have never previously considered. On one memorable occasion, Ambassador Numata was induced to lead the rest of the judging panel in a rendition of the national anthem.
We moved straight on to judging the final round of this extraordinarily well run tournament, where Hirotsubashi University won from proposition on the motion ‘This House Would make language and history tests compulsory for immigrants’. We would like to congratulate all those who competed and especially the organisers and volunteers of this tournament. They had us gasping at the efficiency of it all on more than one occasion.
We returned the next day to judge the break rounds (quarter finals, semi finals and final). These continued to be of a high standard, even when dealing with difficult motions. We also split up to run several training sessions over the course of the day. Eoghan and Catherine very much enjoyed the time they spent with middle school students. This session was challenging and it took some while to adapt to the vast range of English fluency in the room but with the help of the occasional translation by Mrs Okada, it turned out to be a successful introduction to formal arguments.
Jo also ran a session on rights whilst John spent some time discussing strategy. These workshops were very well attended and raised a set of tricky questions for the team to deal with. We were approached several times by teams looking for more advanced coaching, and specifically aimed at the World Debating Championship, which uses a different format of debating.
The next morning Mr Agata escorted us up to Akita, an area we were excited to visit despite persistent warnings about the weather in the region. The weather turned out to be nearly identical to that in London, so we felt right at home. We enjoyed a tour of the very impressive campus of Akita International University before settling down to our third display debate. John and Jo channelled personal employment frustrations into arguing for ‘This House Believes real life experience is more important than university’ against Eoghan and Catherine (both soon to be happily employed). The crowd and the newly-established debating society at Akita were very engaged and we thoroughly enjoyed their company and enthusiasm. That evening we were taken to dinner by Mr Agata, Prof. Mark Williams, Vice-President of the university, and Hiroya Ichikawa, the head of Akita’s International Business Faculty. We
were interested to hear more about the ethos behind this unusually outward looking institution and to make a case for debating finding a central place amongst its innovative curriculum. Especially appreciated was the sharing of a bottle of Mr Agata’s favourite local Sake with him. Osaka
We flew south to Osaka, the next morning, on an amusingly small plane and were greeted by Mika, who ensured we safely found our hotel amongst the vast sprawl of the city. Almost immediately, we managed to get ourselves thoroughly lost whilst attempting to sightsee, ending up amongst a concrete factory and several old men playing cards. We were rescued in time to head to Osaka Prefecture University for our debate to which we welcomed a member of their debating society on to each of our teams. Eoghan’s winning streak was finally broken by John and Catherine opposing the motion ‘This House Would introduce quota for women on corporate boards’, a topic well received by the audience. This was a debate in which a translation of each speech was provided at the conclusion of each speaker’s remarks. Afterwards, we were treated to a wonderful dinner by the debating society at a nearby restaurant, which was a favourite with local students. We very much enjoyed this rare opportunity to spend an extended period with students in a thriving debating society. Kyoto
Several students from the Osaka leg of the tour were kind enough to accompany us to Kyoto the next morning and to guide us around several of the temples. Despite the pouring rain that follows Jason on all these trips, we loved seeing these beautiful, ancient buildings and relied on steaming bowls of ramen and tempura to see us through the day. We were also fascinated to catch a glimpse of several geisha piling into a taxi in order to avoid the rain. DIALOGUE 27
A particular success was the purchase of several prayer candles to be lit in the hope of specific outcomes. Jo has since pledged herself to Buddhism after the prompt fulfilment of her ‘find employment’ candle. We were nearly as impressed with the architecture of the vast, futuristic Kyoto train station from which we caught the Shinkansen back to Tokyo at the end of the day. Tokyo Again
Arriving back into Tokyo shortly before midnight, we had a specific goal in mind: to be the first ESU team to actually make it to the 4 am tuna auction at Tsujiki market. After an all too brief nap, we set off in the dark, in quest of fish. The auction itself was a loud and bustling way to wake up, but by the time we sat down to our sushi breakfast, none of us could possibly regret the morning. We all agreed it was some of the best food we had ever eaten and it set us up well for a spot of last minute sightseeing and shopping in Shibuya. Finally, we headed to our last appointment at the Japan Professional School of Education in Yotsuya. Here, we faced each other one last time over the motion ‘This House Would reduce school holidays from 40 days to 20 days’ after a crash course in the issue by Mr Okada. We also ran exercises introducing the concept of debating to around 20 trainee teachers and attempted to show how arguing in English could be usefully deployed in the classroom. We made our final farewells with our amazing ESUJ hosts and managed to squeeze in a few more glasses of umeshu before we left the country, all of us determined to return soon.
1. Ginza-district, Tokyo 2. The ESU Debate team in Osaka 3. The winners and runners-up at the Grand Final
ALUMNI – Inside A selection of personal reflections from alumni and a look back at some of our programme celebrations.
In 2010, the December edition of dialogue was launched as the alumni edition of the members’ magazine. This section enables us to keep our members and alumni abreast of exciting news and forthcoming events. It also provides our readers with an opportunity to hear how our alumni have been getting on after completing their various educational programmes. As a further treat, you can read some of the wonderful stories we have received from alumni for our special feature ‘If it wasn’t for the ESU...!’
REQUEST FOR EMAIL ADDRESSES! Ever heard how it is the smallest things that make the biggest difference? Simply supplying us with your email address not only means we can communicate with you more effectively but every penny we save on postage goes directly to supporting our charitable activities! Please forward any and all email addresses to email@example.com
A Year of Reunions_30 All Alumni Reunion_30 IPSC 30th Anniversary Dinner_31 Young Alumni Reunion_32 Lindemann Reunion_33 Furness Feast/Harvard-Westlake Reunion_34 SSE Scholarship 50th Anniversary Reunion_34 If it Wasn’t for the ESU . . . !_35
Moved house or got a new job? As well as e-mail addresses, we kindly request submission of your most recent details so we may keep your records as up-to-date as possible.
A YEAR OF REUNIONS The Alumni department works hard to make sure that the benefit of the ESU does not have to end when your programme does! Being an alumnus/a of the ESU means being a part of an international network of over 5,000 individuals. We hold many reunions throughout the year – the perfect opportunity to meet, socialise and network – to re-connect with past contacts and make new friends! We hope you enjoy reading about them.
If you are interested in re-connecting with any of those you remember from your time on an ESU programme or have any suggestions for a reunion or an event, please contact Kate Bond, Membership and Alumni Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL ALUMNI REUNION
In May, the ESU held its annual All Alumni Reunion - the highlight of the alumni calendar. This event saw a wonderful mix of alumni back at ESU Dartmouth House to re-acquaint themselves with the ESU and each other. With representation from a wide range of programmes spanning six decades - and even a couple of guests from across the pond - the occasion was very well attended. Guests enjoyed conversation over Pimm’s and canapés against a backdrop of photos of ESU alumni dating back over the decades. Speeches were given by Kate Bond, Membership and Alumni Officer, and Roderick Chamberlain, SSE Alumnus and ESU Governor. Kate spoke of the ESU’s aims to provide people from all countries, all walks of life and all abilities, with the chance to express themselves. She added
that our members and alumni support these aims through raising money and donating invaluable contacts for our charitable work. Kate also reiterated that her door is always open if alumni or members have any comments or queries, if they feel they can help the ESU with an idea for an event, or with a contact for sponsorship, if they would like to hold a reunion or simply get back in touch with those they remember from their time at the ESU. Roderick then thanked the ESU for putting on the event as well as for the ESU’s positive influence on so many lives. He said, wisely, it is not what the ESU does for you as an alumnus but rather who it helps you become!
IPSC 30th ANNIVERSARY DINNER
The English-Speaking Unionâ€™s International Public Speaking Competition was started in 1981. It originated as a public speaking tournament between England and Australia. Thirty years later, it has evolved to become one of the largest international public speaking tournaments in the world with representatives from nearly 50 countries competing against each other every year.
After the reception, the full delegation was invited to the Long and Small Drawing Rooms where a three-course meal was served. Seating was arranged so that this yearâ€™s participants could talk to those from previous years (many of whom were also alumni adjudicators for the 2011 competition), as well as ESU members, supporters and organisers.
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the IPSC, participants and alumni were invited to attend a commemorative dinner at ESU Dartmouth House on 25 May (the evening before the first round heats!). The participants had spent a beautiful, sunny day at Hampton Court Palace before arriving at ESU Dartmouth House for a drinks reception. A number of displays were set up in the courtyard, showing maps and information on the countries that participate in the IPSC and photos of past participants and competitions. This gave guests a lot to talk about and the opportunity to mingle.
During the meal, a number of participants and alumni spoke about their experiences of the ESU and the IPSC, and gave the participants an insight into the value of the organisation, the competition and the skill of public speaking itself. The winner of IPSC 2010, Moataz El Issrawi, told how the ESU and the IPSC had changed his life in Lebanon, creating opportunities for him and making him a more confident person. Everyone who spoke made reference to one of the most valuable aspects of the IPSC; by the end of the competition, every participant has 80 new friends, each from countries all over the world! DIALOGUE 31
YOUNG ALUMNI REUNION
At the beginning of September, the ESU hosted its first Young Alumni Reunion.
This gave an opportunity for ESU alumni under the age of 30 to meet, greet and network with others who have been involved in ESU competitions, programmes and scholarships.
Jenni Hibbert, Vice-President of the Alumni Association also addressed the group, speaking of the importance of the Alumni Association as a lifelong network for alumni both socially and in their careers.
Guest speaker Faisal Islam, Economics Editor of Channel 4 News, shared many funny and interesting anecdotes about his experiences on the ESUâ€™s Capitol Hill Scholarship and provided insights into the worlds of politics, economics and journalism. He also gave more general advice to alumni wishing to further their careers, specifying the importance of humility, daring and, where possible, seeking a mentor.
The event was hailed a success by those who attended, with plans to make the Young Alumni Reunion an annual event.
In October, we staged our 2011 Lindemann Reunion.
Among the returning alumni of the Lindemann Trust Fellowship were Professor Robin Marshall and Professor Brian Cox. All of the guests were able to catch up with old friends and make new ones at a drinks and buffet reception. The Lindemann Trust Fellowship is a grant giving body for post-doctoral scientists wishing to do research in America. As such, a broad range of scientific fields was represented at the event, from atomic physics to biomolecular science, astrophysics and beyond. The cross-pollination of ideas between alumni was wonderful to see.
lecture by Professor Robin Marshall. Professor Marshall is currently touring with a special lecture to mark the centenary of the discovery of the nucleus. The lecture highlighted the practicality and indeed, morality of nuclear power. It created the springboard for a fascinating discussion. A thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening evening was had by guests and the combination of a reunion with a popular lecture drew wonderful feedback and suggestions for future events.
Retiring to the comfort of The Wedgewood Room for coffee, guests and members of the public were treated to a DIALOGUE 33
THE FURNESS FEAST Our third annual dinner for Harvard-Westlake alumni was held on 21 November (just as dialogue was about to go to press). The SSE (formerly BASS) scholarship is an opportunity for British school children to spend two or three terms in the final academic year of an American high school. It is the oldest running ESU programme, dating back to the early 1920s, and had the aim of fostering relations between the British and American peoples at its heart.
The dinner is open to all SSE alumni who attended Harvard-Westlake School in California during their time abroad as well as American H-W alumni living in London. Last year was well attended with 46 guests representing six decades of the programme between them and this year looked set to be no different! This time, we were delighted to welcome Tom Hudnut, President of Harvard-Westlake, who was due to travel straight from Boston from the American version of the annual alumni dinner.
Alumni of Harvard-Westlake: the Furness Feast 2011
1961 SSE SCHOLARSHIP 50th ANNIVERSARY Twenty-one fresh-faced youths line up on deck behind a lifebelt labelled ‘Queen Elizabeth’. It is the autumn of 1961, and these schoolboys are off to the USA on a great adventure as English-Speaking Union Exchange Students. Of course, the Sixties had not yet begun to swing, so the schoolgirls selected for the year away went on a different vessel!
direct result of my year at Mount Hermon School, Massachusetts, I met my (American) wife Kathy. I don’t think that Lillian Moore, the ESU’s then Director of Education, ever saw that as part of the scholarship programme!”
Fifty years later, a dozen or so former students got together in London just after Thanksgiving to eat, drink and reminisce. Their careers range from headmasters to race horse trainers, members of the Royal Household to theatre administrators and journalists. They talked about their year at boarding schools across the USA and Canada but how did the ESU’s scheme change their lives? Organiser Paul Wade, for one, has no doubt: “It completely changed me. It opened my eyes to a different way of life, to different points of view, and it also made me think about how we lived our lives in the UK.” Since then, as a travel writer and broadcaster, he has reported right across the USA. But that was not the most important effect. “It didn’t happen immediately, but as a DIALOGUE 34
SSE scholars aboard the Queen Elizabeth’s voyage to America in 1961
IF IT WASN’T FOR THE ESU . . . !
We invited alumni to submit their own stories for our special feature - ‘If it wasn’t for the ESU...!’ and we are delighted to be able to share with you some of the amazing ways they were able to finish that sentence. From furthering professional development to building lifelong personal relationships, our alumni certainly prove that the ESU continues to have a transformative effect on their lives. We would like to thank all those who contributed to this feature! ‘I wouldn’t be spreading the values of debate and free speech around the world!’ At school, I was selected by the ESU to become a member of the England Schools’ Debating Team. In 2005, the team competed at the World Schools’ Debating Championships in Canada, reaching the grand final. The coaching I received from other ESU alumni during my time on the England team helped me to gain admission to Magdalen College, Oxford, where I studied Philosophy, Politics & Economics.
Following graduate school at Harvard, I now work at a leading management consultancy firm with several other ESU alumni. My experiences with the ESU have genuinely been life-changing and as a result I owe the ESU a huge debt of gratitude. Andrew Goodman – Mongolia Debate Tour 2007
At University, I was chosen by the ESU to participate in a tour of Mongolia where, along with the staff of ESU Mongolia, we introduced Mongolian students to speech and debate and provided political parties and NGOs with an overview of the importance of debate as a form of civic education. My experience as an ESU alumnus gave me the inspiration and credibility to set up QatarDebate with a fellow ESU alumnus. QatarDebate is a civic engagement initiative which aims to develop and support the standard of open discussion and debate among students and young people in Qatar and the broader Arab world.
I would not have met my wife!’ The English-Speaking Union (of course) gave me a year in the USA as a boy of 17. But the English-Speaking Union gave me much else besides. For example, it was at the English-Speaking Union that I became involved with Ronald Fredenburgh, whose Current Affairs Unit gave regular Commonwealth Students’ Supper Parties, over which I sometimes presided if Ronald was away. At one of these Supper Parties (in late 1971), I met a chap from Poland called Emil Kowalski whom I visited in Krakow a couple of months later. There, amidst the snow of the Tatra Mountains, I met a girl called Aleksandra Wacwakik. My wife, in other words. Brian Marsh – SSE (formerly BASS) 1958 – 9 and President of the Alumni Association
Emma Pinder and her fiancé Nash at the Buckingham Palace Commemorative Dinner 2011
James Probert, as part of the England Schools Debating Team, 1999
‘I wouldn’t have got the job!’
‘I wouldn’t have made friendships spanning fifteen years and half a dozen continents!’
In 2009, I went for a job interview for a temporary position with the Treasury Solicitors. At the start of the interview, one of the interviewers looked over my CV and commented that he had also done the SSE with the ESU. I was immediately able to talk about how I had enjoyed my year at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, what I had gained from the experience and how that would help me in the role I was interviewing for. It was a great starting point for the interview as I instantly had something I could talk about that I knew the interviewer could relate to. A few days later, I was offered the job. Little did I know that this was a practice run for an interview I had three months later for a training position with the law firm Spring Law. Imagine my surprise (and delight) when this second interview started with the Managing Director informing me that he too had done the SSE with the ESU! I have been with Spring Law for two years now and have just been invited to stay on once I qualify as a solicitor in November 2011. Emma Pinder – SSE (formerly BASS) 2001
If it were not for the ESU picking me for the England Schools Debating Team when I was 15, I wouldn’t have taken my first ever trip on an aeroplane; wouldn’t have left Europe for the first time to spend two weeks in Israel and Palestine arguing (in a very constructive way) with a group of some of the most extraordinary young people in the world; wouldn’t have made friendships with them spanning fifteen years and half a dozen continents. The experience left me with a store of self-confidence that has served me well ever since, and a passion for the people, ideas and organisations that I encountered that has led me to devote my working life and much of my free time to international and educational charities. These include the ESU itself, of which I’m a former employee and a proud member, and the World Schools Debating Championships, the destination of that first ever ESU-funded plane journey, of whose board of trustees I am now chair. I can say, without hesitation, that the ESU’s support for England’s national Schools Debating Team has changed almost every single aspect of my life for the better, and I like to think it was some of the best money they ever spent. James Probert – England Schools Debating Team 1999, Capitol Hill 2001 and ex-member of ESU staff
‘I would not have rubbed shoulders with Putin, Arafat and Mandela!’
Elliot Beard at the Buckingham Palace Celebratory Dinner February 2011
Although it may sound like hyperbole or exaggeration, the ESU and its programmes really do change the lives of young people. Forever. In my own case, the things that I have done and the thing that I am doing now, would likely not have been possible but for the time I spent on Capitol Hill in 1998 on an ESU scholarship. When I got to Capitol Hill in the summer of ‘98, I was sent to the office of Congressman Ed Royce of California. Congressman Royce was the head of the House Africa Sub-Committee and, at the time, he was a co-sponsor of a bill going through Congress called the ‘Africa Seeds of Hope Act’. The bill was facing virulent opposition from certain constituencies and Congressman Royce, one of its chief proponents, found himself making several impassioned speeches in its defence. Part of my role was to aid the Congressman’s speech writer, Gregory Simpkins, to write these speeches. I learned so much from Greg about how to write the spoken word and how to craft powerful rhetoric which would hopefully persuade and encourage initially unsympathetic minds to our cause. I left Capitol Hill that summer a different young man. A young man filled with ambition and enthusiasm for a bigger life outside of Scotland. Imbued with a sense of the wider world around me, I applied and won a scholarship from the St Andrew’s Society of the State of New York the next year
which sent me to do a Masters at New York University in Manhattan. Whilst there, my experience with Congressman Royce was what helped me persuade Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign team to hire me as their first intern (a role I turned down to intern with Global Strategy Group in Manhattan who were involved with Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign pollster Harrison Hickman). Without my ESU scholarship, I would not have had those fantastic opportunities. A year later, I found my ESU experience on Capitol Hill catapulting me to the 38th Floor of the UN building on 1st Avenue in New York City, where I worked as a speech writer for Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN. The team was small (I was one of five speech writers) and I got to write sections of important speeches on the Middle East, global economic policy and UN peacekeeping. I also got to rub shoulders with world leaders including Vladimir Putin, Yasser Arafat and Nelson Mandela. No doubt, it was a role that many talented young people applied for but I was able to persuade the team that because of my time on Capitol Hill and the speech writing experience I had there, I was best suited for the role. I left New York City in 2002, went to law school in London and Oxford and am currently a senior associate at the City law firm Herbert Smith. My experiences in the US as a DIALOGUE 37
young man (all generated from my time on the ESU’s Capitol Hill Scholarship) were doubtless, what helped me persuade the partners at my firm that I should be taken on as a trainee solicitor in 2004. Overall, ESU scholarships like this provide practical experiences for young people that are rare and exhilarating. They also act as a catalyst, setting talented young people off on a new track of bigger and better life experience. But, perhaps more important than that, they give young people confidence. Confidence that they belong in a high achieving world. Confidence that they are talented enough to achieve literally anything they want. And also the confidence and the understanding that one day, they can give back to their communities and help the next generation of young people unlock their full potential.
It’s true in life that one or two experiences can make the difference. A watershed moment, a chance encounter, a moment of luck or high achievement, setting one off on a totally different path. My being awarded a scholarship by the ESU was one of those moments. They say the trick is knowing when these moments are occurring as they are occurring. Well, I still have my eyes open for the second one... Elliot Beard – Capitol Hill 1998
SSE Lawrenceville alumni: Emma Pinder, Jen Lowthrop, Niroshee Bronebakk and Catherine-Maria King - at The Buckingham Palace Celebratory Dinner
Steven Brindle at the Furness Feast 2010
‘I would most definitely not have had the chance to speak at Buckingham Palace to an audience of 150, including HRH Prince Phillip!’
‘I wouldn’t have gained a second family!’
It was such an incredible evening; having the opportunity to share the story of my time at The Lawrenceville School and how my year there completely changed my life. The evening will stay at the top of my list of amazing experiences forever, that and the actual year I was in America on my ESU Scholarship. To top off a brilliant evening I had the chance to catch up with three fellow Lawrenceville alumni and meet so many interesting and entertaining people. A sensational evening... I cannot thank the ESU enough for such a brilliant once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Jen Lowthrop – SSE (formerly BASS) 2003 – 04
If it wasn’t for the ESU, I wouldn’t have gone to school at Harvard High (now Harvard-Westlake) in 1981 and wouldn’t have been welcomed into their home by Tom and Cynthia Berne and their children, Susie, Katie and Johnny. They became - and remain - my American family. We have kept in close touch ever since. They have visited us over here, I have been back to the United States to visit them, more than 10 times, and am godfather to Johnny’s eldest son. Going to California gave me a lifelong love of the United States and the American people - and my muchloved second family. Way to go, ESU! As they say in the States. Steven Brindle – SSE (formerly BASS) 1981 – 82
‘I would never have graduated from the University of Life!’
For me, all those years ago, the SSE Scholarship was an exciting and constructive way of avoiding taking A Levels (though I suspect that was never the scheme’s true intention)! After making a bit of a hash of my O Levels the first time round, and then successfully re-sitting them the following year, I realised that I was either going to have to stay on at school for an extra year or put my name in the hat to attempt to spend an exciting, potentially lifechanging, year in what Giovanni da Verrazano, Dvorak, d’Anghiera et al had dubbed the ‘New World’. My eight months at Cranbrook, one of America’s finest prep schools in an extraordinarily affluent town a mere 15 miles from Detroit, was both a thrilling opportunity and, as it turned out, an eye-opener. My education was followed by three months traversing the States (in a car loaned by Chevrolet – a huge advantage of being at a school close to ‘Motown’ where several of the governors were top dogs in the motor industry), which provided an opportunity for me to stand on my own feet three and a half thousand miles from home in a world still free of mobile telephones, faxes or e-mails. Until then, travel for me had been almost entirely restricted to family holidays in Europe, CCF camps
in Germany and Denmark and a student train trip to Warsaw, Moscow and Leningrad (as of course it still was in 1965). Since my scholarship, the US has become almost a second home - indeed, I did once resist the strong temptation of acquiring one in Manhattan way back in the ‘boom times’! I reckon I have now crossed the pond well over 40 times. Furthermore, having been to school in the relatively remote Midwest, many of my classmates moved on to the major cities around their nation to pursue their livelihoods and careers. Thus, my scholarship has also provided me with years of happy experiences visiting them all over the country. Having been Chairman of the Stowe alumni body a few years back, I even spent a contemporaneous spell as the European representative on Cranbrook’s Alumni Council – not a bad double! And that ‘degree’ from the aforementioned ‘University of Life’? Modesty aside, it has proved to be summa cum laude. Thank you, ESU! John Fingleton – SSE (formerly BASS) 1967 – 8
‘I would not have learnt the power of the individual!’ At times of crises, perhaps like ones being flashed across news screens today, the might of abstract inevitabilities can seem too large to be affected by the actions of individuals. My time spent with the English-Speaking Union has urged me to think otherwise. Discovering the importance of speaking out was an invaluable lesson I learnt from my interactions with the ESU. As an apprehensive 15 year-old, I was amazed at the response I could get simply by voicing my inner thoughts. For me, this was important in learning how to effectively communicate a message to an audience. Through the platform provided by the ESU, I have been able to explore, clarify and refine my ideas through the National Schools Public Speaking Competition. Furthermore, the concept of the ESU truly being a ‘union’ became apparent through time spent volunteering at the International Relations Conference 2011. Discovering how inter-connected ideas and values are on a global level has promoted an understanding of complex national identities. In addition, the importance of communication was taken further: from discovering, I now had to learn how to use my voice to exchange ideas and learn from others. The opportunity to hear experts in the field discuss topics such as leadership transitions in China, the role of the media in the Arab Spring and the politics behind climate change was a unique insight into the challenges facing the future and how we can attempt to resolve them now. Throughout my experiences, a consistent message has been not to underestimate the power of the individual. So, despite looming threats of impending doom, these lessons the ESU has taught me could not have been more relevant, and have been instrumental in shaping my outlook for the future. Rhea Saksena - National Schools Public Speaking Competition and International Relations Conference intern 2011
Niroshee and Jakob Bronebakk at their wedding reception at ESU Dartmouth House
‘We wouldn’t have had such a wonderful wedding!’ We wanted a ceilidh to make sure that our Scots, Lancastrian, American and Norwegian guests would not be too shy to dance, but St Paul’s Cathedral could not accommodate this because of the evening mass. We then remembered the beautiful surroundings of ESU Dartmouth House, where we had been for election night, and where I still remember walking up the big marble staircase for the ESU scholarship selection interviews at age 16. The people at ESU Dartmouth House put on a great show and many of my friends from Lawrenceville (where I went on my SSE scholarship) came over for the big day. The ESU alumni office even remembered me and sent us a wedding present. Niroshee Bronebakk – SSE (formerly BASS) 1993 - 4
‘I wouldn’t have met Barack Obama!’
Jamie Brockbank with President (then Senator) Obama
The story goes back to summer 2006, when I was one of 10 UK students taking part in the Capitol Hill internship programme. As an intern placed in the Republican office of the House Committee for Education and the Workforce, I soon realised that my lack of formal tasks combined with a security pass giving me unfettered access to the Capitol Complex, meant I had an unprecedented opportunity to seek out the movers and shakers of this intensely political city. Thanks to my sympathetic boss - the Director of Communications and a former intern himself - I seized the chance, for instance, to listen to Committee hearings of interest, gate crash a press conference that (then Senator) Hillary Clinton was giving about high gasoline prices or scour fringe lobbying events for free snacks and drinks. Over a beer one night, fellow ESU intern Jonathan Bailey mentioned he’d heard that Senators Durbin and Obama ran a weekly Thursday morning breakfast for Illinois constituents passing through DC. While the older Dick Durbin was the Senate Minority Whip, both Jon and I were far more interested in hearing his much-vaunted younger colleague after his stirring “One America” speech at the Democratic National Convention. Jon and I managed to kick our 21-year old student sleeping habits and haul ourselves out of bed to join the queue at the grand Senate meeting room. The great and good of Lincoln’s state seemed to have turned out in force. Aided by Jon’s stellar Democrat credentials as a Kennedy intern (and my concealment that I was in fact interning for the ‘Dark Side’ of the party of Bush and co.), we were treated as VIP guests, ushered to our seats and revived from our slumbers with bagels and coffee. The Senators then duly bounded in, giving pumping handshakes to seemingly long-lost friends (or rather, prospective voters) in the crowd. They launched into their pitch about how marvellous the good folk of Illinois were and how honoured they were to represent them as Senators. While Durbin was an impressive politician in his own right, it was clear that it was Obama who possessed star quality.
He showed an ability to mix a personable, folksy charm – which belied some media portrayals today of his supposed aloofness - with an intellectual drive and enticing vision of change. He combined these qualities when he gave a rallying cry for the importance of America ending its dependence on foreign oil from often, despotic regimes by promoting the use of ethanol fuels instead; conveniently produced by corn-belt states like Illinois. It was an impressive display of Obama’s ability to blend high principles with populism. And as an audience, we warmed to him and there were shouts of “We Love you Barack!” and even of “Barack for President”, although the latter was chuckled at openly as anyone who knew anything about American politics knew that a black man would never get elected President... but while this barrier has been smashed, Obama’s vision of an ethanol-fuelled America has fared less well in the face of economic obstacles; rather like his entire Presidency. With the talking out of the way, the all- important photo shoot could begin, orchestrated with military precision. While Jon’s audacious attempt to invite Obama to speak at his alma mater, the Oxford Union, was politely turned down, we both got the chance to press the flesh and be snapped for souvenir photos of a remarkable morning. During the November 2008 Presidential election, in an act of solidarity (or rather shameless self-publicity), I posted this very photograph as my Facebook profile picture. A friend posted on my wall to express mock envy, before suggesting I had been spending too much time at Madame Tussauds. So, it was rather satisfying to remind her that there is no such thing in Washington DC and to then see her astonishment as the penny finally dropped. If it hadn’t have been for the ESU granting me a place on the Capitol Hill internship programme, then her scepticism would have been vindicated. I would have had to settle for the waxwork instead, which would be a far less interesting story to tell my grandchildren one day. Jamie Brockbank - Capitol Hill 2006 DIALOGUE 41
Roderick Chamberlain (far left) and Tony Poole (second from right) aboard the Queen Mary commencing their SSE (formerly BASS) scholarship in 1963
‘I wouldn’t have discovered a cross-section of America!’
‘I would not be planning the 50th anniversary of my friendship!’
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.
If it wasn’t for the ESU I would not be planning the 50th anniversary of my friendship with Tony Pooley, in September 2013. We met aboard the ‘Queen Mary’ in September 1963, he en route from Charterhouse to Hotchkiss, I from Radley to Harvard (now HarvardWestlake). Return dates in those days were random, so it was chance that we came back together on the ‘Queen Elizabeth’ – and chance again that we discovered we were both going up to Trinity College, Cambridge on return.
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 20 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.
Through the ensuing decades of marriage, parenthood, various expatriations and latterly grandparenthood, not only have we remained the closest of friends, but our wives and children have too. For several years we all spent Christmas together, shamelessly arranging this in midsummer to stave off Royal Command Performance invitations from families!
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 1928 - and I hope it will be for those who will share this in the future through the ESU’s crucial mission. Clark McGinn - US Debate Tour in 1981, John Smith Memorial Mace (formerly The Observer Mace) 1982, Chairman of the ESU Debating Society from 1987 – 1993 and part of the Speech & Debate Committee and the Selection Team for the ESU US Debating Tour
More recently, we have both served as trustees of a major Hampshire-based disability charity, Enham: no coincidence again, since I brought Tony on to the board to share his marketing and branding expertise. In early November, I stepped down as Chairman after six years, the leaving dinner of which Tony attended. Who knows? We may need to commandeer ESU Dartmouth House for the Golden Anniversary party... Rod Chamberlain – SSE (formerly BASS) 1963 – 4 and ESU Governor
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. East_44
London_51 Wales_52 South_52 South West_53 Regional Diary_55
EDITORIAL EAST REGION
Branches Conference 2011 The 2011 Branches Conference was an extremely successful event. Held at the Cheltenham Park Hotel, delegates welcomed our Chairman, Dame Mary Richardson, and the new Director-General, Peter Kyle. Peter opened the conference by promising to visit branches on a regular basis to listen to members and to offer support. A number of matters were discussed at the conference and delegates were informed that the ESU will not hold the Churchill Lecture this year but will examine the idea of it being part of the members’ conference in future years. The Board has been reviewing the future of Dartmouth House, which remains central to the identity of the ESU, and plans to rethink the membership areas of the building. Other matters discussed included possible plans to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and thoughts about the ESU’s centenary celebrations in 2018. In addressing recent concerns from members, Dame Mary outlined that members should naturally have a right to ask questions of the Board of Governors, a right to expect an answer and an obligation to hold the Board to account. In reference to the Board and its committees, delegates were informed that all Governors have seats on Board committees and are required to commit to holding branch clinics and report back to the Board on these consultations. A new Audit and Risk Committee has been set up as has a Royal Charter working group which would look to revise certain technical aspects of the Charter and bring proposals to the Governors and the members for consultation. After this any proposals would be submitted to the Privy Council for consideration.
Richard Oldham outlined the role, business and composition of the National Council for England and Wales and announced membership of a working party to examine its future role in detail. Dame Mary said that Steve Hodkinson, the new Board Secretary, would serve on that group. The conference was told that the building of the new website was completed and in the future, there will be a branch administration zone, better navigation and a ‘myESU facility to enable members to update and correct their personal data. Branch officers will be able to enter their own branch news and information directly to the website with editing privileges retained by Dartmouth House. Two very enjoyable dinners were held with entertainment being provided on the first night by the harpist Jemima Phillips, and on the second night by the novelist Sarah Harrison. An optional excursion took place on the Saturday afternoon to Chavenage, an old Elizabethan house, where delegates were shown around by the family. Branch Awards: The Hardacre Trophy to Ouse Valley The ESU Media Award to South Wales The Gavel for the highest percentage increase in membership to Southend-on-Sea The ESU Membership Prize to South Wales The NCEW Prize to London The Lord Watson Award to York The Valerie Mitchell Award to London
Cambridge Welland Valley The Cambridge Welland Valley AGM was held in September at the Hunting Lodge Hotel, Cottingham, with guest speaker Dame Mary Richardson. The title of her enlightening talk was ‘The ESU Today and Beginning the Road Map’. The Bridge Lunch in October, was well supported again and is proving to be a popular event in our calendar. The ESU Speech and Debate department held two public speaking workshops for schools in our area, one at St Mary’s School in Cambridge when six local schools were invited to attend; the second was held at The English Martyr’s Catholic School in Leicester with ten schools invited. Our Thanksgiving Dinner was held on Thanksgiving Day at The Hunting Lodge Hotel, Cottingham with guest speaker J Simmonds who gave us a talk entitled: ‘Lincoln – Life and Language’ which was enjoyed by members and their guests.
BRANCHES Colchester and Northeast Essex
Geraldine Watson planting the Wollemi pine
An afternoon event was held to mark the service of Geraldine Watson, former Chairman of the Colchester & Northeast Essex Branch on 4 June. Janet Edwards, Vice-Chairman and her husband, Colin, kindly opened their home in Ardleigh, to host a garden party for around 30 members. Special guests were Steve Roberts, Regional Officer and Margaret Furst, Secretary of the East Region, who brought a message from Alexander Finnis, President of the Suffolk branch. Current branch Chairman, Brian Cooke, referred to Geraldine as “a true ambassador of the ESU” before proposing a toast to her many years of service. Margaret Furst acknowledged Geraldine’s depth of knowledge of ESU matters, recording her thanks for the guidance she herself had received. Prof James Raven, branch President concluded the speeches with an optimistic view of the future of the ESU, embracing the qualities exemplified by Geraldine. Brian announced the planting of a Wollemi pine tree in her honour in due course, while Janet presented a bouquet on the day. There was also a special presentation of a bottle of wine to David Watson, Geraldine’s husband, who served as Branch Treasurer over a lengthy period and undertook the video recording of several ESU events.
Brian and Chris Newton, Branch Secretary, attended the England & Wales final of the Public Speaking Competition on 7 May, introducing two students from Colchester to the competition, Chiyiang ‘Ada’ Chao, from Taiwan and Soo-Yeon Lee, from South Korea. They enjoyed the afternoon, which gave them the opportunity to meet a range of members over brunch as well as listening practice during the competition. In October, a total of around 30 members and students were entertained by pianist Matyas Bacso at Colchester English Study Centre. Matyas played a variety of music including jazz standards and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as well as his own compositions. Brian interviewed the Hungarian performer about his personal background and musical career. There was an interval, which allowed members of the audience to meet each other and network. In November, Colchester & Northeast Essex Branch held a public speaking competition for local international students at Colchester English Study Centre. The event attracted seven entries, split into two groups, relating to the participants’ level of English. Two participants in group 1 (the more elementary level learners) spoke on a topic of their choice for two minutes and they were declared joint winners. Those in the other group spoke twice for three minutes, first on a choice of one of four prescribed topics. The votes of the audience decided the winner which resulted in a tie between two entrants. Brian presented prizes worth £20 each to Elisabetta Santoru from Italy and Marzoog Alhothaly from Saudi Arabia in the level one group and Jaein Yoon from South Korea and Ales Perlik from the Czech Republic from the level two group.
The event was followed by the branch AGM, where Bob Foster was elected to the committee. Hertfordshire
We began the Autumn Programme with a visit to the Theatre Royal, Windsor in September and a series of concerts in the National Gallery. Our Celebrity Dinner was held at Porters Park Golf Club in November and our guest speaker was Peter Kyle. The format for the talk was more of a dialogue than a formal address; initially with Nigel Rogers, our Chairman who began by asking about Peter’s early life in the North-East and how that lead on to his involvement with Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre. Peter then went on to answer questions about the ESU from the audience, some of whom were not members, in an inspiring and interesting way. This led to several of our guests asking for membership application forms! Our Patron, Sir Simon Bowes Lyon and Lady Caroline were also present, and very keen to talk to Peter about the future direction of the ESU, in particular the Schools’ Public Speaking Competition, as Sir Simon has for many years attended our branch final and been impressed by the high standard of the teams’ presentations.
BRANCHES Norwich and Norfolk Our AGM was held in July. The Chairman began by asking for a minute’s silence for our late President, Bill Wuest, who passed away last November. After the usual business the election of officers took place. The committee was re-elected unanimously to stand ‘en bloc’ for a further year. We welcomed Melvyn Roffe, Headmaster of Wymondham College, who was elected as our new President. He delivered a short speech in which he highlighted that he had been an ESU member for many years and was delighted to accept the position. Our usual visit to the Cromer Pier Show took place in early September. Once again we had a fish and chip lunch prior to the show! Our new year began in September with a talk by Silvia Dowrick entitled ‘Bangles and Booze’. Silvia makes and sells magnetic jewellery and she explained how magnets in jewellery can be beneficial for aches and pains. The jewellery was lovely and many members purchased some of her items. Her husband runs the ‘Booze’ side of things and she brought along some of the homemade liqueurs made by him. Of course we had to sample them! In October, Stephen Ashworth from the Chemistry Department at the University of East Anglia gave us a talk entitled ‘Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics’. It was an interesting and entertaining talk, involving us all in experiments to illustrate the fundamentals of statistics. Why didn’t we have this topic taught in this fun way when we were at school?
The pioneering competitors and their teachers
In 2010, as in previous years, we attracted only a handful of secondary schools to our public speaking heats, and I wondered again whether the ESU should be introducing these activities at an earlier age to create a better foundation for the future. The next day I retrieved from my files a leaflet on the ESU ‘Discover Your Voice’ scheme for the primary sector, and a project to introduce public speaking to Year 4 (8/9 year old) students in Bedford began to take shape. The early steps in the process were reported in previous copies of dialogue (June 2010 pp36/37 and March 2011 pp46/47). We arranged training days (delivered by the ESU Speech and Debate department) for the 13 interested schools, four or so at a time. In addition some branch members worked alongside the mentors. The teachers also received training with the intention that each teacher would subsequently cascade these skills to their year 4 groups during the 2011 Spring Term, and work towards an inter-school competition the following summer.
As follow-up support, all schools were issued with copies of the Key Stage 2 resource book from the ESU’s ‘Discover Your Voice’ teaching materials, plus sets of our own pre-prepared teacher help sheets based on popular activities, with writing frames to guide the children. An e-mail help-line was also established. The competition day took place at Bedford School in June 2011 and ten schools made it through to the competition. Schools were allocated their topic beforehand from six preferences previously selected from a long list. In contrast to the secondary competition, teams were called forward in pairs (pairings and topics were known beforehand); to encourage teamwork all participants could prompt their own members if they were stuck. Each questioner asked at least four questions of the other team on the topic. No time limits were imposed, as previous experience suggested that the complete sequence for a school was unlikely to exceed five minutes. Three experienced ESU members (all former teachers) acted as judges, and our Regional Officer was conscripted to ask an extra question of each team on behalf of the ESU at the end of every presentation.
MIDLANDS REGION The children rose to the challenge with great aplomb. After a slightly nervous start, confidence grew, notes were set aside, speeches flowed and questions became more demanding. There were some sparkling presentations by speakers, examples of very good chairmanship, and many challenging questions posed. It was really quite inspirational. All present – children, teachers and ESU members - judged it a great success, and so we are repeating the project in 2011-2012. Over 500 children were involved in public speaking activities for a whole term on this first occasion – not a bad start I am sure you will agree. A short DVD of edited highlights from the competition can be viewed on the Ouse Valley web pages Tony Wood, Chairman, Ouse Valley branch Suffolk
enjoyed the event at Alexander’s home in Barton Mills. Alexander, with the able help of Leo Hamilton-Hoole, worked very hard to make it a day we would remember – the sun shone, (another sign of Alexander’s genius perhaps!) and, as usual, the sound of the band playing jazz wafted over the superb Italianate garden while we sipped champagne, ate delicious canapés and engaged in a huge range of conversations, greeting old friends and meeting new ones. This year, Alexander added an extra magic ingredient to his Garden Party recipe – the guest of honour was Peter Kyle, the ESU’s new DirectorGeneral. Peter’s presence was welcomed by us all. With Peter and our Chairman, Dame Mary, we feel sure that the organisation is in good hands and we look ahead with confidence.
Gloucestershire Warm sunshine and the sound of live jazz greeted everyone as they arrived at our annual summer garden party at the Dumbleton, Gloucestershire, home of Committee Member, Jenny Hunter. As a branch we sponsor the Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Band and, as always, we were not disappointed with the performance of eight members of the band. Their chosen professions vary from doctors, dentists, lawyers, teachers and musicians, and their musical ability and joy of entertaining never ceases to give us great pleasure. Members from the Worcestershire and Birmingham branches joined us for the party, together with Sonia Chance, the Regional Chairman. Austin Millington, our Chairman, thanked Jenny for once again welcoming us into her home and garden. We have been to her home several times for events and we all appreciate her warm hospitality. Any young person receiving a branch scholarship should have their main home in Gloucestershire, and we encourage local young people to contact us about scholarships.
Garden Party guests
Invitations to our annual garden party hosted by our region President are eagerly awaited; Alexander Finnis is renowned as an excellent host. This year’s event on 7 August was, as always, arranged to perfection. One hundred and forty five guests, representing all eight of the branches in the Region, plus their guests,
BRANCHES NORTH EAST REGION Oxfordshire The Oxfordshire Branch of the ESU held a very successful dinner event in September at St Edwards Hall in Oxford. The guest of honour and speaker was Peter Bazalgette, creator and founding genius of Bazal Productions and responsible for Innovative TV whose programme remit includes Ground Force and Big Brother amongst many others. Peter took those present on an entertaining journey through British TV, citing some of the most popular shows of the time as examples as to how the entertainment genre has changed. Not content to provide those present with purely a speech, Peter entered into a very lively debate about the nature of popular TV and thoughts for the future, taking a variety of questions from the audience. With a speech entitled ‘Communication, Communication, Communication’ it was simply ‘Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!’
York and District
Matthew Parris, Gunilla Carlbom and Douglas Hogg
The Lincolnshire branch of the ESU held its Annual Literary Dinner on 20 May at RAF College Cranwell with the kind permission of Air Commodore P N Oborn. Guests arrived at 6 pm for a tour of the college, followed by drinks in the Rotunda. Some 160 members and their guests enjoyed the dinner, and the special atmosphere of College Hall. The welcome address was given by Sir Michael Graydon, branch Chairman, who introduced the guest of honour, Matthew Parris. Matthew spoke amusingly about his life and times and provided splendid entertainment. Afterwards, he signed his book Parting Shots which was eagerly purchased by many. In addition, we were delighted to have Meriel Talbot and Annette Fisher with us from ESU Dartmouth House. On 8 July, under the kind auspices of Douglas and Sarah Hogg, the AGM of the branch was held at Kettlethorpe Church and a reception was held at the Hall afterwards. Tony Worth, Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire and the branch President, presided over the AGM. David Richardson Eames,
having been Treasurer for some 21 years, retired and his role was taken on by Andrew Wallis. Sir Michael was elected to stay for another year as Chairman and Douglas was elected to the committee; Shervie Price stood down.
In August, Ellen Coles and I attended the celebration dinner for the ESU’s International Relations Conference and Globe Seminar. York branch had sponsored a delegate from Russia and we were looking forward to meeting her. The evening, a lovely warm summer one, began with drinks in the courtyard and we had the opportunity to meet not only several of the delegates but also our new Chairman, Dame Mary. There was some short entertainment by actors from the Globe who acted a scene from Romeo & Juliet. This was followed throughout the evening by Globe Seminar delegates from different countries performing the same scene in their own language, a novel idea, which we all enjoyed. Patricia Cook, Chairman York Branch
NORTH WEST REGION Liverpool and Merseyside
Henry Tudor with President Elizabeth Steel and Michael Shankland, Branch Chairman
It was as if Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII had stepped out of its frame at the Walker Gallery and caught the train to Ormskirk to regale our September lunch with tortuous tales of infidelity. Every inch a King, he helped swell the Rattle Fund thanks to the efforts of Betty Benson, Patrick Waite and the Ormskirk crew. Talking of the Walker Art Gallery, by the time you read this members, you will have seen the ‘Wonders of the Walker’ including Henry VIII, Nelson, the pre- Raphaelites and part of the Roscoe Collection. In addition many of you were deeply moved by Schubert’s Octet at the Philharmonic Hall which suggests the lunchtime concerts could become a new tradition for the branch. An established tradition of the branch is the Christmas lunch which was graced this year by HH Judge Jon Roberts whose outrageous stories make me glad not to have crossed wits with him in court!
SOUTH EAST REGION that to ‘Settings of Beauty: Italian Cities of Art’. An experienced international tour guide, art historian and musician, Paul has forgotten more than I ever knew about Italy. While we’re on the subject of memory loss, in March, Andrew Curran, a consultant brain specialist will explain ‘How the brain works and how to keep it working’. Those members who attend the ESU mace final at Liverpool Town Hall will have seen Andrew’s son awarded the prize for best speaker. Later in the year Baron Mike Storey will try to explain ‘What the Lords do for us!’ and our own Anthony Quinn will feature in the Athenaeum/ESU Literary Lunch reading from Half the Human Race which is published in paperback in May. He is keen to discuss themes from the book with us so please bring lots of questions. Six Liverpool members attended the Branches Conference at Cheltenham in October. It was encouraging to meet the new Chairman, Dame Mary Richardson and Director-General, Peter Kyle and hear of the huge changes achieved in such a short time which has given a genuine surge of energy to the organisation. It was affirming to hear comments such as “members are the soul of the organisation”; “the membership is the ESU” and, from Dame Mary, “our values are held in safety by the members.”
Annual Literary Lunch at Chartwell
The Duchess of Windsor was brought back to uneasy life at our annual Chartwell Literary Luncheon by Hugo Vickers, author, lecturer and acknowledged expert on the Royal Family. The ascent of Wallis Warfield, born in a humble cottage in Pennsylvania, to the inner sanctums of British Royalty is told in his recent publication, Behind Closed Doors. The particular value of his story lies in the detailed and deeply disturbing account of her last years; perhaps of more significance is his study of the real causes of the abdication and of whether the Duke was unconsciously seeking to escape from his destiny. Our members seized their opportunity to probe our speaker on many aspects of this constitutional earthquake, now 75 years ago but still capable of generating passionate debate.
Michael Shankland, Chairman, Liverpool branch
In January we can look forward to (or dread?!) Ken Pye’s ‘Bloody History of Liverpool’. Survivors may buy a signed copy of his latest book! Next, Paul Crossey will take us away from all
BRANCHES Brighton and Hove
Canterbury and East Kent
Lord Hattersley`s enthusiasm for a whirlwind tour of the life of David Lloyd-George, at our October meeting, was contagious. From the moment he got to his feet, and without any ‘padding’ or notes, he raced through a streamlined version of this supremely enigmatic character, for whom he obviously harbours a great admiration. Yes, indeed – the “Welsh wizard” was “the most authentic radical this country has ever produced,” he was a man of “passionate enthusiasm, a free spirit,” “the first working-class man to become Prime Minister” and so on. Lord Hattersley traced his subject’s extraordinary career from his early days as a small-town solicitor in Wales, through his radical reforms in the early years of the last century, his eventual premiership in the First World War and thereafter, until the eventual split-up of the post-war coalition and the demise of the Liberal Party and his own sad journey downhill. His visit marked the yearly Joyce Rolfe Memorial lecture and the audience accorded him a deserved ovation. Yet perhaps Hattersley was at his most appealing when he answered quite a barrage of questions off-the-cuff. There we saw the seasoned statesman, alert and able to deal with any query on his feet, without pause.
Eastbourne The autumn season began with a delightful afternoon tea in the home of Patricia King and an interesting talk and demonstration of water colour painting by Gillian Toft, a well known local artist.
Professor Stephen Pickett with Ann Peerless
This season started with Stephen Pickett giving a fascinating talk on the King James’ Bible which prompted many lively questions from the audience, a mixture of ESU members and the King’s School Society; this was a joint evening held in King’s School, Canterbury. In October, we held ‘The Shakespeare Experience’ when a number of tutors came down from the Globe Education Team and ran a series of workshops and lectures throughout the day, as part of the Canterbury Festival. This attracted many students from a wide range of schools across our region and was a successful, worthwhile and enjoyable day.
Meanwhile our indefatigable leader, Sarah Carr, has attended a great number of ESU events in her capacity as Chairman, including a well attended Literary Lunch at Chartwell, the Branches Conference, the House of Lords Tea Party and River Cruise and much more as well. The 4th of July Garden Party at the home of our President, Jane Mitchell and her husband, was a great success with some wonderful weather. The next important event on our programme was a Thanksgiving dinner in November. Alan Lee Williams was the speaker. A full programme for 2012 is already in hand and we are looking forward to an exciting year with the introduction of several new events. Guildford and District The small ‘holding’ committee are currently engaged organising the Guildford area Public Speaking Competition for Schools. Fifteen schools have entered this popular ESU event from as far apart as Petersfield to Chertsey, Epsom to Haslemere. The District Final will be held at The Guildhall, Guildford on 8 February at 6pm to which members are invited. Volunteer Stewards from among members will be especially welcome - particularly those with First Aid experience. For a seat at the District Final or to volunteer for stewarding duties please telephone 01483 449 669; seating is limited and so a ‘first call’ system will operate.
LONDON REGION West Sussex In June, a dozen members met at the Bank of England Museum in London, learning about the history of currency, interest rates and other financial matters. This was followed by a walk to the Monument, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, where three of the party climbed the 311 steps to the top for an aerial view of the city. The visit ended with a visit to Tower Bridge, with a walk over the upper section and a look at the engine room. In July, we were treated to an ‘after closure’ tour of Petworth House. Our guide took us round the house showing us some of the great paintings by Turner, Van Dyck and others that are the treasures of Petworth. The September event was a talk by Barry Shears on ‘The Business of Art in Renaissance Venice’ and in October, a group of about 20 visited the D-Day Museum and Southsea Castle, before lunching at the Royal Naval Club in Portsmouth. All these activities helped to raise funds to enable us to give £600 to the last International Relations Conference and £300 for the International Public Speaking Competition.
And finally, we have just had a brilliant and very amusing talk by Colin Dexter, author of the great Inspector Morse novels. Like his alter ego Morse, Colin is a crossword addict, and he talked about his latest book Cracking Cryptic Crosswords. For this event, London Region was delighted to welcome the Chairman and Director-General, Dame Mary and Peter Kyle, as well as great friends of Colin’s Sir Jeremy and Lady Morse, who gave the Inspector his name. Holly Shakespeare, Don Miller and Colin Dexter
A very busy time for London Region with many highlights during the last few months: Early in August, we had a talk by author Patricia Friedberg to introduce her latest book 21 Aldgate. This book illustrates the close relationship of the artist Paul Maze with his painting companion, Sir Winston Churchill, in the war years.
Finally, we are working with the ESU’s Speech and Debate department on an exciting new plan for a Performing Shakespeare competition, covering the 8 and 9 years age group. The finals are due to take place at Dartmouth House in May of next year.
Then later in the month, we had a visit to Strawberry Hill House, home of Horace Walpole, son of the one time Premier Sir Robert Walpole. Having received a grant following the TV programme Restoration, the house has been rebuilt in the original style, and the visit was greatly enjoyed by our members. In October, we were oversubscribed for a visit to the Royal Courts of Justice, a couple of hours well spent, which covered the history and the architecture of this really interesting building. This is a visit which may well repeat in years to come, to try to satisfy those we could not accommodate on the day.
BRANCHES WALES REGION
Joe McLean, Dame Mary Richardson, Norma Lloyd-Nesling and Derek Morgan
Following our successful lunch at which Chris Mullins spoke, our social activities have continued with a garden party at the home of Sir Geoffrey and Lady Inkin. Some 15 miles to the east of this venue, and an hour before the time appointed, there was a violent rainstorm which deterred a few who could not believe that a Garden Party could be held under such conditions. If we had to take odds on the winner of Lady Inkin v The Weather our money would be on the former and Castle-upon-Alun did indeed escape the rain, with the garden in its usual sparkling form, as were those who were able to attend the function. Just over a hundred members and guests joined in the festivities and were entertained by a delightful quartet from the Bridgend Youth Band. The summer garden party (and particularly the raffle) is one of the branch’s main fundraising events and as a consequence, the branch was able to sponsor two teachers from the USA (one from Winthrop University, South Carolina and the other from Mountain Ridge Middle School, Denver) to attend the ESU’s Stratford Study course, aimed at promoting the knowledge and appreciation of Shakespeare’s works. As last year, we DIALOGUE 52
Salisbury also offered Bridgend Soroptimists International the opportunity to run a raffle at the party to help raise funds for the English language books they provide for an orphanage school in Canesar Goth, a village near Karachi. We have also provided a second tranche of sponsorship to continue an English language teaching programme for street children in Bolivia; an initiative which can prove to be a life changing experience. Our AGM was well attended and we were privileged to be the first branch to welcome as guest speaker, the newly elected Chairman, Dame Mary Richardson. Dame Mary delivered a speech which was both inspirational and wide ranging. We now look forward with great anticipation to our Christmas Carols Supper, to be held again this year at Howell`s School, Llandaff. The Senior Girls` Choir will provide musical cheer and member Wyn Calvin, well known as the “Welsh Prince of Laughter”, will set the scene for the seasonal festivities to come.
Tim Hatton, Gill Prior, Professor Mulvey and Sarah Hatton
At this year’s AGM, chaired by Vice-President, Tim Hatton, Gill Prior was re-elected as Chairman and the existing committee were re-elected ‘en bloc’. The Chairman took the opportunity to update members on recent changes at Dartmouth House including details about the forthcoming members’ election of Governors. She also described a new programme set up this year with local schools to provide an ESU certificate and prize to the final year pupil, chosen by each school, as best in written and spoken English. The plan is to continue and expand this programme for the coming years. It was with regret that members learned of the death of Christina Maude, former Chairman of Salisbury branch. This was followed by a clear and entertaining talk on ‘The History of English in Wiltshire’ by Christopher Mulvey. He not only covered his title subject, which included such facts as the name of the River Wylye dates from pre-Norman times and means ‘Farm Liable to Flooding’, but he also dealt in-depth with the development of language in Britain. In doing this
SOUTH WEST REGION he covered both history and culture from before the Roman invasion, in a style that was greatly appreciated by members. The Chairman and four other members attended the annual Branches Conference in Cheltenham and were most encouraged by the presentations from the Chairman, Dame Mary and the new DirectorGeneral, Peter Kyle. It is obvious that both have put a great deal of time and effort into the ESU since taking up their roles and this was made clear to Salisbury branch members at their October meeting. The speaker in October was Sir Andrew Burns, who was appointed UK Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues in June 2010. A career diplomat who served as British Ambassador to Israel from 1992-1995, he was able to touch on many aspects of a complex and sometimes almost impenetrable subject which concerns not only Jewish victims but many other groups. He was able to communicate these heavy issues in an informed and balanced way, free from bias or excessive emotion with his warm yet professional style.
Bath and District
At the end of the month, there was a pleasant gathering of members at the home of our Chairman and his wife, where we enjoyed a well presented account of the experiences in China of one of our alumni, Sam Claxton. In October, at the Cumberwell Park Golf Club, Roland Symonds, from the City of Bath Heraldic Society, treated us to an interesting explanation of heraldry, illustrated with several examples of his own heraldic art.
In the Bath branch we are solvent and in good heart; delighted that Alan Cox, our branch President, who has already given long and distinguished service to the ESU, stepped into the breach to take on the role of Honorary Treasurer and is now helping with the charity’s finances. Four of our members attended the Branches Conference in Cheltenham and were very encouraged by the new management team. The contributions from the Chairman, Dame Mary, the new Director-General, Peter Kyle and the new Board Secretary, Steve Hodkinson, made an excellent impression and we came away believing that the ESU is in safe hands. At our invitation, all three will come to Bath in turn to speak to us in the period February to May; first, Peter, on ‘My Shakespeare, your Shakespeare: a facilitated Discussion’; then in March, Steve on ‘Disadvantaged Young People in Sport – it is their Olympics Legacy too’. And finally, at our gala lunch in April, Dame Mary will speak on the topic ‘Whither the ESU?’ At branch level, we have made a good start to our season of events. In September, at the Bath and County Club, Alan Borg gave a fascinating and well-illustrated pre-dinner talk on the history of the Knights of Malta.
We have a full and varied programme for the rest of the season, culminating with the AGM in May at which our guest speaker will be Sir Andrew Burns. He will talk, drawing on his own experiences, on ‘Life and Politics after the Holocaust; the role of a British Envoy’. Some may well be feeling the pinch with rising prices and almost nonexistent interest on their savings. Being anxious not to exclude people who might feel unable to go to the expense of a function involving a meal, our committee has decided, as an experiment, to arrange an event, where members gather for coffee and then hear a speaker, without having to pay for lunch or dinner; there will be a nominal charge to cover expenses. Due to the on-going public concern over the conduct of some members of the print media we have invited Sam Holliday, editor of the Bath Chronicle, to speak about public interest and the freedom of the press. Like many branches, we do not have many young members. This is a challenge and it is shared by many organisations but if the ESU is to thrive, we must find ways to attract younger members to the ESU. In 2012 we shall be contributing £500 towards a special theme event to be DIALOGUE 53
BRANCHES held at the Mid-Somerset Festival, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Festival and the Diamond Jubilee of HM the Queen. There will be classes for lower secondary school and for primary years and the task will be to create and present a 10 minute group performance on the theme of one or more of the decades from the 1940s to the present day. Our contribution will be for the winning school’s library or other facilities. David Leonard, Chairman, Bath and District branch Bristol
address was followed by questions from our members which allowed us to learn yet more about the history of the Mayoralty in Bristol. We wish them well in their very busy year in office. October gave us a lively talk entitled ‘Are We Getting the News We Deserve?’ Andrew Wilson, a Sky News presenter, described the perils faced by the modern day news reporter. Having travelled all over the world, his missions included the Chilean mining rescue and many trouble spots, among them Afghanistan and more recently, Benghazi, during the conflict for control of Libya. Vivid presentation and personal stories were at the heart of what made the event so impactful. Present day assignments can often involve significant personal danger in bringing the news from areas of conflict and we wish him well in the future. Exeter and District
The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of Bristol Councilor Geoffrey Gollop, the Lady Mayoress, Bernice and our President and Chairman, Tony Williams
At the beginning of September, we were delighted to welcome The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Geoffrey Gollop, and his wife, the Lady Mayoress Bernice. Councillor Gollop gave us a most interesting address about the history of the Mayoralty in Bristol from the 13th Century to the present day. In 1899, Queen Victoria granted a Lord Mayoralty to Bristol and on her visit that year she knighted the then Mayor, Herbert Ashman, who then became Lord Mayor. Councillor Gollop’s DIALOGUE 54
At the beginning of our first meeting of the season, we had a delightful presentation by Charlie MurrellEdwards and Ewan Gibson who received gap year grants from us for their Cambodian project. At our main speaker event, Air Cdre Graham Pitchfork entitled his talk ‘The Men behind the Medals’, a particularly apt topic for Battle of Britain Day. He described the various medals awarded and explained why the colours in the ribbons were as they are, all carefully designed by King George VI. Air Cdre Pitchfork then showed four sets of medals awarded to the Air Crew of Bomber Command, one set awarded to a pilot who worked covering the Arctic Convoy. The
Conspicuous Gallantry medal was awarded to a Bomb Aimer who, having been sent on a Pilot’s Course, later flew during the Berlin Air lift and also worked on the Kings Flight for three years becoming one of the early test pilots. Many of the pilots were also helped to escape back to England by Belgian patriots and we were shown a map of the various routes, in particular the Comet route by which 700 British personnel escaped across the Pyrenees and down through Spain.
REGIONAL DIARY EAST REGION
NORTH WEST REGION
SOUTH EAST REGION
Cambridge and Welland Valley
Liverpool and Merseyside
Canterbury and East Kent
Public Speaking Competition for Schools Monday 25 January Uppingham Heat at Uppingham School. Monday 30 January Cambridge Heat at St Mary’s School, Cambridge. Thursday 23 February Branch Final at Oakham Castle, Rutland. For further details contact Rob Carley, tel: 01858535391. Friday 2 March Fitzwilliam Lunch to be held at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 12.30 pm. For tickets Contact John Hindle, tel: 01539770580.
Suffolk All applications and payments in advance to: Mrs Joy Childs, Casita, Culford, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP28 6DP (separate cheques for each event) Thursday 12 January 2 pm St Edmunds Cathedral Tour: short organ recital and a cream tea. Cost £10 Tuesday 7 February 4.30 pm - Schools Public Speaking Competition - King Edward VI Upper School Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3BH Thursday 16 February 12 noon, Colin McCorquodale Luncheon, ‘A Date With Monarchy’, cost £17.95. Nowton Court Saturday 17 March Finals of the East Region Public Speaking Competition, time and venue to be confirmed Thursday 22 March Coffee Morning - time and venue to be confirmed.
All details and availability of tickets from Jacqueline Millington, 1, Queen Street, Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, OX10 7HR tel: 01865340266 (STAMPED ADDRESSED ENVELOPE PLEASE). Sunday 5 February 12 noon prompt. Annual February Luncheon with our first visit to The Three Ways Hotel, home of the famous Pudding Club, Mickleton, Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire. Guest-of-Honour and Speaker, The Chairman of the EnglishSpeaking Union, Dame Mary Richardson, who will talk about “My Vision for The EnglishSpeaking Union”. Luncheon, a rather special one, Rib of Hereford Beef (medium rare) followed by a buffet of puddings – a selection from the famous Pudding Club – such as Treacle Sponge, Spotted Dick, Bread and Butter Pudding, Jam Roly Poly, all with lashings of custard.
All lunches are held in The Athenaeum Church Alley Liverpool at 12 noon. Further details from Sue Davies Secretary 01513426157 email: suedaviesheswall@googlemail. com Friday 28 January Speaker: Ken Pye on ‘The Bloody History of Liverpool’ Friday 24 February Paul Crossey on ‘Italian Cities of Art’ Thursday 22 March Dr Andrew Curran on ‘How the brain works and how to keep it working’
Mid-Cheshire Contact: Valerie Mais 01606 76534, email valerie@mais. demon.co.uk
1 February 5 pm: Finals of the Public Speaking Competition at the Guildhall Canterbury CT1 2DB, by kind permission of the Lord Mayor. Visitors welcome. Thursday 23 February ‘The Great Dickens Debate’ at Dartmouth House, London. 10 am-3.30 pm 10 am Introductory Lecture by Prof Malcolm Andrews Tuesday 6 March In conjunction with Christchurch University 6 pm Karen Fernald ‘Florence Nightingale - Letters and Diaries, Life and Work’ Admission Free Saturday 21 April 5pm at St Nicholas at Wade Church Thanet CT7 ONT
Lunch Meetings at Portal Premier Golf Club, Forest Road, Tarporley, Cheshire
‘Celebration of Words and Music’: Gawain Douglas Poet with young musicians
12 noon for 12.30 pm
Tuesday 10 January Speaker, John Steedman, ‘The Natural History of a Garden’ Wednesday 25 January Theatre Trip by coach Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – Two
Sunday 15 July 3pm: Strawberry Tea at Sandgate Castle by kind permission of Lord & Lady Boot. Enjoy a summer tea and entertainment by Mrs Pinkerton: Lovely, unique 1920s and 30s cabaret. Tickets £12. List closes 10 July.
Tuesday 14 February
Speaker – Peter Hyde – ‘The Oldham Rescue Team’
Thursday 9 February
Tuesday 13 March Speaker, Peter Kirk, ‘A Penguin Safari to the Falklands’
2.30pm ‘New Venture’ at Devonshire Club, Hartington Place, Eastbourne. Mr Chris McCooey, freelance speaker and author will talk on ‘Kent & Sussex Scandals sensational salacious and sad’. Followed by Tea. Thursday 22 March 12.30pm for 1.00pm. Carvery Lunch at the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club. Speaker: Dame Mary Richardson DIALOGUE 55
Tuesday 24 April 2.30pm at Devonshire Club, Westdown House, Hartington Place Eastbourne. Mrs Heather Woodward, National Trust Speaker on Lady Arabella Stuart, ‘The Lost Queen and Hardwick Hall’ Followed by Tea
West Sussex Contact: Branch Secretary Elizabeth Brooks, 01243 378900 Friday 25 November 12.30 for 1.00pm Thanksgiving Lunch. The Chichester Yacht Club Tuesday 17 January 1.30pm. The Barley Mow, Walderton. Talk on the ‘2012 Olympics’ by Duncan Green, Head of the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy service for the 2012 Olympics Organising Committee. Wednesday 8 February 2 pm the Annual Public Speaking Competition. Committee Room No 3, County Hall, Chichester. Monday 12 March 1.30pm The Barley Mow, Walderton. A talk on the St. John’s Ambulance Museum, by The Hon Lady Fiona Barttelot Thursday 22 March 12.30 for 1pm. The Walkers’ Annual Lunch. The Time Machine, Funtington.
SOUTH WEST REGION
Exeter and District
Meetings with a speaker and lunch are held monthly from October to April at the Rose and Crown in Harnham. Contact the Luncheon Secretary, Mrs Louise Jeffreys on 01722 336118 for bookings. New members are always welcome.
Meetings are held in the Apostle Room at Clifton Cathedral unless otherwise stated.
Wednesday 18 January
Monday 16 January
Tuesday 17 January
Lindsay Gray ‘The Royal School of Church Music’ Wednesday 15 January Ven. John Duncan ‘John Constable – Painting, Politics and Piety’ Monday 19 March Joyce Bowden ‘100 years of the Salisbury Operatic Society’ Wednesday 18 April Arne Zettersten, ex International President of the ESU
Evening meetings in the Apostle Room commence at 7.15 pm - wine, soft drinks, coffee and biscuits are available. The talk starts at 7.45 pm
Lunch Meeting: 12.30 for 1.00 pm Speaker: Stanley Johnson. Subject: ‘Stanley, I presume’ Wednesday 15 February Lunch Meeting: 12.30 for 1.00 pm
ESU Bristol Public Speaking Competition for Schools
Speaker: Nicholas Somers. Subject: ‘So you think it’s genuine? A brief look at fakes in the Antiques and Arts Markets’
Finals - 5.30 for 6.00 pm.
Sunday 4 March
Tuesday 31 January
Schools Public Speaking Competition. Regional Final: 1.30 for 2.00 pm
Bristol Grammar School -
Apostle Room ‘52 Days at Sea in a 24ft Rowing Boat - a unique view of Britain’s coast’. An illustrated talk. Speaker: Belinda Kirk, Expedition Manager and Adventure TV Director. Tuesday 28 February Apostle Room. ‘Radio Bristol’ - Speaker: Mr Tim Pemberton, Managing Editor at BBC Bristol.
Blundell’s School, Tiverton Wednesday 14 March Supper Meeting: 6.30 for 7.00 pm Speaker: Dr Paul Atterbury. Subject: ‘The Great Exhibition - Myth, Muddle or Masterpiece?’ Wednesday 18 April
Tuesday 27 March
Annual Dinner (Black tie): 6.30 for 7.00 pm
Apostle Room. Speaker: Dame Mary Richardson, recently appointed ESU Chairman.
Speaker: Sir Richard Dearlove. Subject: ‘British Intelligence in Fact and in Fiction’
Cold Buffet inc.1st glass of wine and entry: £12.50. (Cheques to Tig Jarratt by Tuesday 13 March.)
January – May 2012
JANUARY Welcome to another year of ESU Dartmouth House events. Your attendance at these events is an essential part of our fundraising initiative and I am very grateful to all of you who supported us last year. Not only did we raise a significant amount for our charitable activities, we attracted new members and even a new sponsor for the London Debate Challenge! The profit made from each event goes directly to the charitable activities of the ESU, enabling young people in the UK and internationally to benefit from public speaking and debate training, exchange scholarships and career development opportunities. ESU alumni and nonmembers are very welcome at our events; however, we would be very grateful if you could make an additional voluntary donation to the member ticket price. Thank you for your support. I look forward to seeing you at Dartmouth House.
Wednesday 11 January, 6.30 – 8 pm
Tuesday 24 January, 6.30 – 8.00 pm
Meet the Author
Meet the Author
Herta Von Stiegel: The Mountain Within
Roger Rosewell: Medieval Wall Paintings in English and Welsh Churches
In July 2008, international business executive Herta Von Stiegel led a group of disabled people to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for charity. The story was captured in the award-winning documentary The Mountain Within and now the expedition has inspired this remarkable work, which blends the gripping tale with powerful leadership lessons and conversations with many of the world’s most influential business leaders including, Kay Unger, Sung-Joo Kim, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, Hon Al Gore and David Blood. Tickets: £15 to include one glass of wine and a selection of nibbles. Copies of The Mountain Within will be on sale at the event.
Wall paintings are a unique art form, complementing and yet distinctly separate from other religious imagery in churches. Unlike carvings or stained glass windows, their support was the structure itself, with the artist’s ‘canvas’ the very stone and plaster of the church. Notwithstanding their dissimilarity from other religious art, wall paintings were also an integral part of church interiors, enhancing devotional imagery and inspiring faith and commitment in their own right, and providing an artistic setting for the church’s sacred rituals and public ceremonies. Join the ESU for a fascinating talk by Roger Rosewell, former journalist, director of a private European art foundation and the news editor of the online stained glass magazine, VIDIMUS, as he journeys through many of the best surviving examples of medieval church wall paintings today, bringing the imagery and iconography of the medieval church vividly to life.
Tickets: £15 to include a glass of wine and selection of nibbles.
Director of Fundraising and Development
Copies of Medieval Wall Paintings in English and Welsh Churches will be on sale at the event.
Tickets to all events can be booked via: Susan Conway Events Manager Dartmouth House 37 Charles Street London W1J 5ED T: 020 7529 1582 email@example.com
Wednesday 25 January, 6.30 – 9.00 pm Burns’ Night supper Come and help us celebrate the birthday of Scotland’s bard with a reception and traditional bill o’ fare buffet in the Revelstoke Restaurant. Don your tartan and enjoy Burns’ poetry recitals, the “Immortal Memory” and of course, the famous toast to the haggis! Tickets: £25 Dress code: lounge suit (tartan optional)
The dress code for all ESU events is smart casual, unless otherwise specified.
The buffet will be served at 7 pm.
FEBRUARY Wednesday 8 February, 10.30 am – 1.00 pm International At Home and Lunchtime Concert Enjoy a mid-morning coffee at February’s International At Home, an event that brings together members of the ESU and the international community, to be hosted by a special guest of honour (details to be confirmed nearer the time). The event will also provide the opportunity to tour ESU Dartmouth House, a Grade II* listed building. At 12 noon, there will be a concert in the Long Drawing Room by pianist and ESU alumna Yulia Chaplina. Yulia, a recipient of an ESU scholarship to Prussia Cove in April 2011, has given concerts at St Martin in the Fields as part of the Royal College of Music Series and has won first prize in competitions in Paris, Andorra, Kiev, Kharkov and St Petersburg since her debut performance aged seven. Recently, she has undertaken concert tours in Italy, France, Poland and Japan. Her lunchtime performance will feature music by composers including Bach, Chopin and Haydn. Tickets to both events are complimentary, but please register your attendance with Susan Conway by no later than Friday 3 February. A donation of £5 is suggested for those guests attending the lunchtime concert.
Thursday 9 February, 6.30 – 8.00 pm Meet the Author William Curley: Couture Chocolate William Curley is ‘Britain’s Best Chocolatier’, a title he has held for five consecutive years by the Academy of Chocolate. Brought up in Fife, William’s career began with an apprenticeship at Gleneagles, followed by six years at numerous Michelin-starred establishments, working with respected chefs including Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Marco Pierre White at The Restaurant. Following the release of his first UK book in October 2011 entitled Couture Chocolate; William will give a fascinating talk on the evolution of chocolate from bean to bar, the recent revolution in the high-end chocolate industry and his thoughts on the future of this highly lucrative market. There will be chance to taste some of his couverture chocolate as well as the opportunity to purchase copies of Couture Chocolate. Tickets: £15 to include a glass of wine and a selection of nibbles.
Friday 10 February, 7 pm SSE Reunion The ESU is cordially inviting all alumni of the SSE (formerly BASS) scholarship for a drinks and canapés reception at ESU Dartmouth House. Tickets: £25; Dress code: smart casual Contact: Kate Bond, 0207 5291571 firstname.lastname@example.org Wednesday 15 February Lindemann Trust Fellowship applications deadline Thursday 16 February, 6.30 – 8.00 pm Book launch Lord Ian Strathcarron: Innocence and War - Mark Twain’s Holy Land Revisited In 1867 the Daily Alta California commissioned Mark Twain to cover the story of the world’s first luxury cruise, a six-month round tour to the Holy Land from New York on board the Quaker City, an ex-Civil War Mississippi side-wheel paddle steamer. The captain, crew and passengers were highly respectable Presbyterian Christians on a mission; the Islamic Holy Land was under loosening Ottoman control. The interchangeable infidels saw Mark Twain as a distracting influence, and he saw them as wonderful source material: “manna from heaven” for comments on the folly of the human condition. The resultant The Innocents Abroad was Twain’s bestselling book in his lifetime and is still regarded as a classic of travel writing and a masterpiece of satire on political and religious excess. Join us at ESU Dartmouth House for an exciting book launch as ESU member Ian Strathcarron gives a talk on his journey to retrace Twain’s famous steps across the Holy Land in Innocence and War, a place where ‘the religious is political and the political is religious, where natural beauty meets man-made squalor and where hope and despair hang from the same tree’. Tickets: £15 to include a glass of wine and selection of nibbles. Copies of Innocence and War will be on sale at the event.
FEBRUARY Wednesday 22 February, 12.30 – 2.30 pm Dartmouth House Lunch David Marquand: Where Next for the Euro? 2012 sees the 10 year anniversary since the introduction of the Euro as the official currency of Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. To mark the occasion, the ESU invites you to a Dartmouth House Lunch with academic, author, former politician and member of the European Commission, David Marquand as he asks “Where Next for the Euro?” Tickets: £40 members, £45 alumni*, £50 guests* (two-course lunch with wine) *to include an optional voluntary donation of £5 and £10 respectively to support the charitable work of the ESU Copies of The End of the West – The Once and Future Europe by David Marquand, will be on sale at the event.
MARCH Thursday 23 February, 10.00 – 11.00 am and 1.30 - 2.30 pm ESU Great Dickens Debate – Public Lectures To celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, we have arranged two public lectures at Dartmouth House as part of the ‘ESU Great Dickens Debate’. A morning lecture from 10 – 11 am will be given by Professor Malcolm Andrews, Professor of Victorian and Visual Studies in the School of English at the University of Kent until 2009, editor of The Dickensian and author of Dickens on England and the English, Dickens and the Grown-up Child and Charles Dickens and His Performing Selves. Professor Andrews will discuss ‘Dickens and the Education of the Imagination’ – an exploration of Dickens’s aspirations to enrich the imaginative lives of his readers and how he developed what we might today call the ‘emotional literacy’ of the Victorians. An afternoon lecture from 1.30 – 2.30 pm will follow by novelist Lynn Shepherd, author of Tom- All- Alone’s, a compelling new Victorian murder mystery that interweaves with the people, places, and foreboding secrets of Dickens’ masterpiece, Bleak House. Lynn will give an interactive talk entitled ‘Building a new Bleak House’ during which she will discuss her journey to create a new and darker Dickens for the bicentenary and how new characters and plot lines led her to ‘lay down buried treasure for the modern Dickens fan to find’. Tickets: £8 per lecture, £15 for both The Revelstoke Restaurant will be open for lunch bookings from 12 pm. For reservations, please contact Dartmouth House reception on 020 7529 1550. Wednesday 29 February Secondary School Exchange applications deadline
Wednesday 7 March, 6.30 – 8.00 pm Meet the Author Alex Preston: The Revelations Alex Preston is a former City banker turned author of the critically acclaimed This Bleeding City, the first ‘credit crunch novel’ that told the familiar tale of a generation of young people caught up in a cycle of unchecked greed in the pursuit of money. Chosen as one of Waterstone’s ‘New Voices’ of 2010 as well as the winner of the Edinburgh festival Readers’ First Book Award and the Spear’s Best First Book Prize, Alex Preston presents his second release, The Revelations, a gripping novel of ideas which explores The City from a new angle and the idea of searching for meaning and fulfilment beyond the realm of financial gain.. Tickets: £15 guests to include one glass of wine and a selection of nibbles. Alex’s talk will begin at 6.45 pm. Copies of The Revelations and This Bleeding City will be on sale at the event.
MARCH Monday 12 March, 2.15 pm onwards Commonwealth Day Observance Westminster Abbey Commonwealth Day Observance is celebrated annually on the second Monday in March across the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth and in other parts of the world where Commonwealth citizens gather together. In the UK, this special day is celebrated by a unique event at Westminster Abbey attended by Her Majesty The Queen, the Prime Minister, High Commissioners, up to 200 other VIPs and more than 1,000 schoolchildren. The theme for the 2012 celebration is ‘Connecting Cultures’; threads that tie people together from every continent, faith and ethnicity. A selected number of complimentary tickets to this event are available for ESU members only, on a first come first served basis. Dress code: lounge suit Thursday 15/Friday 16 March (to be confirmed) W H Page and Chautauqua Teachers scholarships interviews Thursday 22 March Secondary School Exchange scholarships interviews
APRIL Thursday 22 March, 12.30 – 2.30 pm Dartmouth House Lunch Martin Bell: For WhomThe Bell Tolls Martin Bell has been many things – an icon of BBC war reporting, Britain’s first independent MP for 50 years, a UNICEF ambassador, a staunch supporter of rights for the armed forces, and ‘the man in the white suit’ – a tireless campaigner for honesty and accountability in politics. But as his new book reveals, he’s also a talented poet of light verse, and here Bell’s poems continue his war by other means on duplicitous politicians, our all-consuming media, the venality of celebrity culture and much more. Oscillating between trenchant satire and touching honesty, often poignant autobiography spiced with gentle humour, Bell presents poems on Tony Blair and Iraq; on Radovan Karadzic, the Serbian war criminal whom he met on trial in The Hague; and on his hero, Reuter’s reporter Kurt Schork, killed on assignment in Sierra Leone. Join the ESU for a literary Dartmouth House Lunch where Martin will discuss how colourful episodes from his work and life helped shaped the content of For Whom The Bell Tolls - from the chart-topping calypso written about him in St Lucia to his being a guest at Idi Amin’s wedding. Tickets: £40 members, £45 alumni*, £50 guests* (two-course lunch with wine) *to include an optional voluntary donation of £5 and £10 respectively to support the charitable work of the ESU Copies of For Whom The Bell Tolls will be on sale at the event. Friday 30 March Schools Mace England Final – 30 March 2012, at Dartmouth House
Wednesday 11 April, 6.30 – 8.00 pm Meet the Author Sally Nilsson: The Man Who Sank Titanic? The Troubled Life of Quartermaster Robert Hitchens To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the British liner RMS Titanic, the ESU has a very special Meet the Author event with Sally Nilsson, great-granddaughter of Quartermaster Robert Hitchens, the man given the order to steer Titanic away from the fatal iceberg. Following an appearance on Channel 4 News and with previously unpublished research and photographs from the Hitchens family archives, Sally presents the truth behind a much-maligned figure; a man branded a “coward” by the Unsinkable Molly Brown, considered a curse by fellow crewmen and whose life was personified by survival, betrayal and determination. Tickets: £15 to include a glass of wine and a selection of nibbles. Copies of The Man Who Sank Titanic will be on sale at the event. Tuesday 17 April Lindemann Trust Fellowship interviews Wednesday 25 April, 12.30 – 2.30 pm ESU and Mid-Atlantic Club Lunch Dame Mary Richardson – Chairman of the English-Speaking Union At a special joint luncheon event for members of the English-Speaking Union and MidAtlantic Clubs, Dame Mary Richardson will discuss the causes and effects of youth alienation. Following the summer riots of 2011 where the vast majority of defendants sat before the magistrates’ courts were found to be young men and women under the age of 25, Dame Mary will explore how society can help combat social exclusion amongst an apparent lost generation of young people who continue to be angry with the police and government. Tickets: £40 members, £45 alumni*, £50 guests* (two-course lunch with wine) *to include an optional voluntary donation of £5 and £10 respectively to support the charitable work of the ESU Saturday 28 April Schools Mace International Final – 28 April 2012 at ESU Dartmouth House
Saturday 12 May Public Speaking Competition for Schools UK Final at Goodenough College Monday 14 May â€“ Friday 18 May International Public Speaking Competition - at various locations Thursday 17 May International Public Speaking Competition first round heats at ESU Dartmouth House Friday 18 May International Public Speaking Competition semi-finals and grand final at ESU Dartmouth House and one other venue to be confirmed
ESU Dartmouth House would like to thank the following individuals, branches and organisations who have supported our charitable activities since the last edition of dialogue:
The Marsh Christian Trust
Decisions Express Ltd.
ESU Hertfordshire Branch
ESU London Region
ESU North West Region
ESU Salisbury and South Wilts
Carole Anne Trangmar-Palmer
ESU South Wales Branch
ESU West Sussex Branch
ESU York Branch
Essex Court Chambers Sheila Evans
and to all the members, alumni
and guests who have attended
our fundraising events.
If you would like to contribute to the charitable activities of the ESU, please contact Jo Wedderspoon, Director of Fundraising and Development T: 020 7529 1576 email@example.com DIALOGUE 61
SAVE THE DATE The English-Speaking Union World Membersâ€™ Conference 2012 Istanbul, Turkey 18 - 22 September 2012 Members and friends of the ESU are invited to a week-long programme of seminars, cultural visits and networking More information will appear in due course - please check
ANNUAL FUNDRAISING APPEAL – PUBLIC SPEAKING COMPETITION FOR SCHOOLS Help school children develop their confidence, speech writing, speaking and presentation skills and their ability to think analytically on their feet. Dear Members and Alumni I am appealing to you to support our Public Speaking Competition for Schools. The ESU at Dartmouth House is extremely grateful to the many members in our branches who already support this competition but we urgently need more funding. I feel confident writing to our members and alumni because I know how important this competition is to all of you and the school children we support.
How will your donation help? It will:
The cost of this competition annually is £20,000.
Provide prizes to recognise the achievement of the children who take part. The prizes are simple book tokens in the early rounds but we would like to be able to offer more significant prizes in the regional and national finals. Again we cannot do this without funding.
The Public Speaking Competition for Schools was started in 1960 by the Brighton and Hove branch of the ESU. It has evolved to become a highly respected national competition, which provides a forum for the promotion of effective spoken English. Today the competition is organised by the National Public Speaking Coordinator at Dartmouth House and by ESU branches across England and Wales. It is open to teams of three students in Key Stage 4 (10 and11 year-olds) and each team member takes one of three roles – chairperson, speaker or questioner. Unlike the ESU Schools Mace, this is not a debating competition. The format of the Public Speaking Competition is nonconfrontational in nature. In addition to being an exciting experience for the team, the model achieves targets set by the Personal Learning and Thinking Skills framework as well as a wide range of National Curriculum key concepts across the subject areas. Participation in this competition often leads to great things – alumni include prominent journalists, politicians and business leaders.
Provide necessary printed copies of the (training) handbook for the children to use at the competition. This year we have been able to produce a digital copy of the handbook only but there is a balance to strike between expensive distribution of hard copies and printed copies that are needed to help the students at the competition. We cannot do this without funding.
Increase the reimbursement we give to branch and regional organisers to support the cost of organising the local and regional competitions. This reimbursement has not increased for a number of years. Funds would cover printing/photocopying costs and all costs associated with organising a regional final that reflects the occasion and professionalism of the ESU. Cover the expenses of the national final, which is one of the most prestigious events in the ESU’s calendar. We need to pay for venue hire, refreshments, programmes and prizes, video recording and photography.
Most importantly funding will make public speaking training and competitions accessible to children/ schools which wouldn’t otherwise be able to access them. We would like to offer bursaries for schools to enter the competition by waiving the registration fee and offer a free session of the ESU’s ‘Discover Your Voice’ programme. Please give whatever you can – all gifts are gratefully received. With best wishes Jo Wedderspoon Director of Fundraising and Development You can donate by sending a cheque to: Jo Wedderspoon Director of Fundraising and Development “Public Speaking Competition Appeal” The English-Speaking Union Dartmouth House 37 Charles Street London W1J 5ED Or you can make a credit card donation by telephoning Jo on 020 7529 1576. Are you registered for Gift Aid with the ESU? Most members are but if you are not sure please contact Jo.
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