A Chairman's Farewell | July 2018

A Chairman's Farewell | July 2018

July 23, 2018

Dear Members, Friends, Sponsors and Website Visitors

May I wish a very warm welcome to the British Business Club Düsseldorf (BBCD) website. You can find out a lot about our club by exploring our website, viewing our club brochure and seeing what events we are planning and those that we have already held. Nearly all of our events are open to non-members. If you are a non-member and wish to go on our mailing list for news and events, just drop us a line on the enquiry form at the bottom of our website.

Since my last welcome message, we have had a lot of interesting events. On 27 May, we had a very interesting tour behind the scenes at the Duisburg Opera. This was followed by watching a performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in Italian with German subtitles, in the renowned Rolando Villazón production.

On 8 June we had a dinner at Chateauform, a fabulous new venue in Düsseldorf on the site of the old Amtsgericht and Landgericht building. Our speaker for the evening was Dr Sarah Fakih, Director Global Investor Relations, at the medical diagnostics company, Qiagen, which is the biggest spin-off company from Düsseldorf University and also the biggest employer in Hilden. The talk sparked a lot of interest from our members and the discussions continued late into the night. We learnt a lot about new technology, in particular methods for the diagnosis of tuberculosis.

The highlight of our calendar this year was the BBCD’s 60th Birthday Anniversary Party, held at Haus Deichgraf, overlooking a lovely lake in Südpark. Over 80 of us had a great time, enjoying splendid weather, music and food, as well as good company click here for programme. Although Oberbürgermeister Geisel, the club’s new vice-president, had to cancel coming and giving the main speech due to urgent commitments elsewhere, he provided two replacements for us. His wife, Dr Vera Geisel, kindly stepped in to give us a speech, as did Jessica Breitkopf from the Department of International and European Co-operation at Stadt Düsseldorf (click here for 60th birthday party photos).

We had a great time at our annual cricket match on Saturday 7 July. Although we lost once again to Christ Church, a great time was had by all, sipping Pimm’s, Altbier and Pils, eating delicious home-made sandwiches and eating suckling pig in the evening whilst watching an English victory in the World Cup. To read a report from our club captain, Ian Mackenzie, click here.

I regret to inform you that I am standing down as chairman with effect from 25 July, for a mixture of personal, family and work reasons. These mean that I do not have the time available to do this job properly and effectively any longer and will have to spend a lot of my time in the UK and elsewhere in Europe over the coming year.

I have also had a few medical problems recently, which have been a cause for concern. The one of perhaps most concern is related to the aftermath of an eye injury I suffered at an Andrea Berg concert four years ago, caused by a firework. I will now need surgery to remove an epiretinal membrane, which has developed as a consequence of the fireworks injury. I am sorely tempted to sue Andrea Berg Tournee und Promotion GmbH a second time, but I am not sure that I want to wait three years again for any compensation and I am not sure that I want any further publicity.

Ian MacKenzie, a long-standing club member, former chairman, and also the club's cricket and squash captain, has very kindly agreed to step into the breech and take over as chairman from me for the rest of the club's 61st year, or at least until the next AGM. I hope that you will give Ian your full support, as you have done for me. Ian's email address is: [email protected]

Ian has been co-opted as the new chairman according to paragraph 8.2 of the club constitution, which allows the club vice-chairman, Vincent McCue, and the club secretary, Avril Peters, to co-opt him for this role part way through the club year.

I have very much enjoyed being both club chairman and vice-chairman and I would like to thank you all, committee, members, friends and sponsors alike, for your friendship, camaraderie and support over the years that I have been on the committee. I think we have a great club and I am sure it will continue to go on from strength to strength under Ian's leadership. I will continue to help and support the club, but from now on from the "back benches".

Best regards from Benrath

Brian R Hicks

Honorary Chairman

British Business Club Düsseldorf

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