The balmy, sunny weather stayed with us on the evening of 27 June despite some threatening clouds on the horizon. We could enjoy the beautiful gardens of the Restaurant Belvoir Park in Zurich with its soft grass (although not good for high heels), herbacious borders and the backdrop of the elegant 19th century villa.
Deputy Ambassador Richard Ridout proposed the Loyal Toast and shared some wonderful words of wisdom about Brexit which helped us come to terms with whatever the future might hold. We had an opportunity to see some British talents in the Zurich area – the newly opened office of Save the Children and the Children First Daycare, Pre-School and Kindergarten with its British trained founder and principal, Monica Shah.
For me the icing on the cake was the musical interlude given by British born and bred Conductor, Kevin Griffiths, who with his two soloists. Violinist, A. Ronghua Griffiths and the Kusnacht pianist, Martin Wettstein, played Boccherini and Elgar and finished by asking us to join in a rousing rendering of the Sailors Hornpipe. Live music in a beautiful garden setting with Kevin’s enthusiastic introduction contributed to making it a memorable evening.
We welcomed around 60 people of many nationalities, including members of the British educationally based Hull School, the Consular Corps, representatives of different organizations in the region and others from around the Lake of Zurich, Zug, Schaffhausen and St. Gallen. Many stayed on after the closing time and enjoyed dinner under the terrace awning.
We are very grateful to Schroder & Co Bank AG for their generous sponsoring which enabled us to plan and provide the beautiful music interlude. The bank is a subsidiary of Schroders plc, a world-class British asset manager with over 210 years history. The bank focuses on servicing private clients, family offices, charities and independent asset managers and been operating in Switzerland since 1967, combining a long-standing British banking tradition and expertise with the qualities of Swiss Wealth Management.
The evening brought together many who had lost touch or enabled new friendships to form. It was a truly happy birthday event, not just honouring our Queen but upholding her principles and values of community and togetherness in a simple setting. Thank you to all who came, to those who helped and to the Restaurant Belvoir Park for its warm welcome. The organizing team looks forward to greeting you all again at next year’s celebration of Her Majesty’s birthday.