London Charities Evening 2009
London Charities Evening
4 November 2009
Cradling a temperamental microphone, Fellowship Chairman Jason Chaffer looked poised to break into song as he welcomed Trustees, charities, Foundation staff and Fellows to our 4th Rank Charities Evening on 4 November.
He didn't: but his words were nonetheless music to our ears. So too were those of Natalie Bell, representative of SE1 United who spoke on behalf of all the assembled charities. She highlighted the benefits that the Rank Foundation's backing brings to her charity. "They listen, nurture, encourage, support and understand," she said. Highlighting the "energy, time and effort" committed by the Foundation, she praised the way "they 'parent' their [chosen] organisations."
That theme of parenthood ran through the evening. For it was, in effect, a gathering of the extended Rank family around its spiritual hearth. We were joined by Trustees and senior executives from the Rank Foundation in a fantastic show of support for the Fellowship at its flagship annual event. We were joined by 17 of the charities whose association with the Foundation and Fellowship continues to provide such great mutual benefits. And we had the privilege to be joined by Dulce, Tessa and Antonia Packard, whose indomitable presence inspired us to continue striving in Fred's memory.
We Fellows ourselves turned out in record numbers. Over one hundred, both young and not-so-young, contributed to the fantastic atmosphere. It proved that the charities agenda, far from distracting from the sociability of the evening, in fact helps foster fellowship. And who could fail to enjoy the convivial surroundings of the Inner Temple Hall - the first time we have used it but not, I feel sure, the last.
It was a splendid evening - a testament to the ongoing hard work of Rank charities, to the organisational prowess of Tim Young, James Williams, Gill Zammett and of Jason Chaffer, our chairman. By turning out in record numbers, each of us proved that bigger is indeed better - and confirmed the sustainability and potential of Fred's vision. Charities Evening 2010 - put it in your diaries now...