House of Lords Reception, 28 October 2015

Written by: Mark Baumfield  |  Posted on: November 12th, 2015

Over 100 members and guests attended the BKS Networking Reception in the historic Cholmondeley Room and Terrace in the House of Lords on 28th October. Some 40 attendees also took advantage of the pre Reception guided tours of the Palace of Westminster.

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Baroness Perry welcomes members and guests of the Society to the House of Lords

The event was kindly hosted once more by Baroness Perry of Southwark, who has been instrumental in developing the bilateral educational relationship. She extended a warm welcome to all and spoke of the importance of people to people ties, praising the BKS for its efforts in this regard.

Chairman Warwick Morris explained that Ambassador Sungnam Lim, our Joint President, had been recalled to Seoul in mid October, following a reshuffle, on promotion to First Vice Minister at the Foreign Ministry. Although he would be much missed in the UK, not least by the BKS of which he and his wife had been most supportive, he was to be congratulated. There was a warm round of applause. The welcome presence of our other Joint President Dr Robert Hawley was acknowledged. Embassy Minister Changmo Kim, in charge in the interim, spoke of a remarkable year in bilateral relations. This had included the Korean Festival in Trafalgar Square in August, a Korean Film Festival, the dedication of the new Korean War Memorial along Embankment to mark the role of British forces in the Korean War, the visit to Korea by the Foreign Secretary, and the way in which both countries had worked together in the recent Ebola crisis in Africa.

Thanking Baroness Perry and Minister Kim, Warwick Morris said how pleased he was by the turnout. Among many familiar faces, including at least three veterans and two other former British Ambassadors to the ROK, he was pleased to see many new faces, especially younger ones, and a good presence from the business community. This included senior representatives from Doosan Power Systems, Shinhan Bank and KOTRA. He was also delighted that Baroness Amos, the new Director of SOAS, could join us, along with James Berry, MP for Kingston and Surbiton, home to the largest Korean community in Europe.

The Chairman said he hoped many non-members present would join the Society. While thanking Samsung Electronics UK for their current sponsorship, he said the Committee would welcome a further sponsor or two, in order both to keep up the Society’s current activities, including the successful bursaries and Outreach programmes, and to enable the BKS to mark in a suitable way its 60th Anniversary in 2016.

The balmy night meant that guests were able to step outside to enjoy the splendid views across the Thames, fortified by fine wines and a tasty selection of bowl food.

Pictures from the evening:

Photographs supplied by Gianni Raineri and Cathy Kim

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