41 International presidents report: London Old Tablers Society (LOTS) 80th anniversary

41 International presidents report

The 80th anniversary of the LOTS was definitely something to celebrate. As the newly elected 41 International president it was my duty, but also an honour to attend the evening that commemorated the foundation of the second ex-Tablers club in the world (at the time, they believed they were the first) in 1939. The LOTS was directly involved in the creation of the national association of 41 Clubs of GB&I in 1946 and thus could be considered as the ancestor of all the 41 clubs and old Tablers clubs in the world.

The event was carefully planned ahead by the team of organisers lead by their chairman, Ralph Preston who came to pick us up personally at the station.  After dropping our luggage at the hotel, we decided to take a look  at London from the 31st floor of The Shard, the tallest building in London. Than we had lunch in Town and made our way to the National Royal Lifeboat Institution, a charity that saves hundreds of lives every year, on rivers and on the coasts of Britain and Ireland. There, in their Thames heaquarters, the tower station, we were briefed about their action.

The men-only black tie dinner was served at the National Liberal Club, White Hall Place 1, in the heart of Westminster. The truly impressive, Victorian building was the perfect set for the evening. Many GB&I clubs were represented with members of the national board and past national presidents also attending. Also present were Andrew Mackereth, national president of 41 clubs GB&I, the national president of RTBI, Paul Agnes, the vice president of 41clubs Belgium, Roland Wolf and Jason Thomson, past president of RTI, and the Italian 41club IRO, Martin Hartl. 41 clubs Berlin 1 and Brussels 33 was also represented.

Many speeches were made while an excellent dinner was served. Ralph Preston delighted us with a brilliant and humorous speech.

I left London the next morning feeling proud I could attend the event.