- Posted by British Spanish Society
- On July 1, 2016
From the Chairman of The BritishSpanish Society
Dear Friend, I am aware that for many of our members and supporters, not least Spaniards living in the UK and British living in Spain , are living through a period of uncertainty as a result of the Brexit vote, including many who have communicated with me personally in recent days expressing a heartfelt sadness and worry.
As a British/European passport holder, born in Madrid from a Spanish mother and a British father, I share personally and professionally in this sadness, while at the same time retain hope in the future . I have an enduring belief that there is much more that unites our peoples, and we can learn from each other, and that a consensus will be forged that serves the best interests of both the UK and the rest of Europe.
For now it is worth reminding ourselves that The British Spanish Society was formed in the midst of The First World War by British and Spanish people extending a hand of cultural social and commercial friendship to each other. The Society not only survived the war and subsequent periodical crises but went on to develop its charitable mission, with the core values of its foundation remaining constant.
Our successful Centenary programme this year led by our flagship Royal Gala dinner has been marking a significant mile milestone on the Society’s history. It has demonstrated the huge affection and loyalty the Society generates among British and Spanish of all ages and professions, with donations and a rise in membership a huge source of encouragement for the future. And for all the upset and uncertainty created in recent days, the current political and economic situation, while unsettling, provides an opportunity and a challenge to heal division and misunderstanding through strengthening the work we do in forging cultural and social bonds, and promoting creativity and learning.
Which is why, with the memory of the recent well attended summer party at the residence of the Spanish ambassador in London still warm in our hearts, we look forward to an ongoing programme of events in the autumn including a Centenary reception at the British ambassador’s residence in Madrid in September, followed by the annual awards of British Spanish Society scholarships to British and Spanish postgraduate students in London in October.
Meanwhile the Trustees and Executive Council, the British Spanish Society will use all its efforts through its links with the British and Spanish ambassadors, its partnerships with other institutions and businesses to explore further ways that any damage to the enduring relationship between the peoples of our countries is minimised.
Please continue to support us in every way you can so we can get through this challenging period together, for our identity and mission remains as it has always been: outward looking, creative, and collaborative.
Jimmy Burns Marañon, July Ist 2016
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