On Friday the 23rd of June we, the British Chamber of Commerce Southwest China, had the honour of both celebrating our anniversary and the Queen’s Birthday Party at the same time! The event is the British Chamber Southwest China’s biggest event of the year and it certainly lived up to expectations this time around. Whilst the event started slightly earlier at two o’clock for our members who attended the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting, the vast majority of our friends and partners arrived at 6 in the evening for the much livelier section of the event, which eventually went on late into the night!
This year we were also immensely happy to say that the event was being hosted as a part of the larger British Festival, which aims to improve cooperation and relations between China and Britain on a multitude of levels. Considering that both the Chamber and our event held this same philosophy of improving cooperation, albeit from a slightly more business-oriented viewpoint, we were more than happy to be a part of this noble venture!
We in the Chamber were also especially happy to be celebrating, as the event marked the twentieth anniversary of our foundation. However, as we were surrounded by so many of our cherished members and friends who undertook this twenty-year long journey alongside us, this made us incredibly grateful for both all that we have come from and those who brought us here. Whilst the Chamber has truly advanced in leaps and bounds from the glorified social society to the professional organisation it is today, rather than talking of this history, it would undoubtedly be better to now talk of the future. To that extent, during the aforementioned Annual General Meeting, there was a mildly serious election (pending referendum) when our members voted for our new board of directors, who we have every confidence shall continue the momentum that previous boards have established.
However, this event was not only held to commemorate our 20th anniversary but also to celebrate the official Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II! This event proved an especially refreshing time for many expats, as there are not many opportunities to celebrate something so quintessentially British as a Queens birthday party in a place so far from home.
At the event, we were graced by the presence of many of our member companies, valued friends and partners, such as the British Consulate General Chongqing, the British Council and Sichuan regional government officials. When everyone was presented by so many old friends and new it was night impossible for anyone to stop talking!
There were a few things however that could stop this chatting, the most effective undoubtedly being the food and drinks! Our guests, asides from having a few refreshing Pimms and G&Ts on the balcony, indulged in a wide selection of British Foods, such as fish and chips, quiche Lorraine and chicken tikka masala! To accompany these staples of British food, there was a fine selection of single malts periodically manned by a member of our team, a Scotsman in a kilt!
This was not all the drinks on offer however as there was a wide range of wines available for wine tasting at the event, all provided by the Wine Shop. This was not however the only generous contribution to the event that further improved the night, as many of our valued friends such as Huaying and Malvern College displayed their companies and activities at the event. Two of the displays which received very many photos however were a display of elegant formal British clothing from Gieves & Hawkes and two Morgan Classic Cars! Such displays by our members and friends undoubtedly made the night much more memorable for all in attendance!
The event also featured a delightful dance routine from students of to start the night!
Interestingly enough, the event itself had all the key elements of a British summer; blue skies and rays of sunshine with intermittent grey clouds and drizzle. Yet as soon as our guests exited into this outdoor Palais where they could appreciate this British summer, they were regaled by both a singer and a band, covering classic British rock anthems from the Beatles, Queen and the Rolling Stones to the great Amy Winehouse.
Various impressive prizes were given out throughout the night, such as a multitude of stays in luxury hotels, a round business class trip to the UK with British Airways and even a week of driving a stunning Morgan classic car! These prizes are certain to provide a great deal of enjoyment to the lucky winners and we congratulate them once again.
Towards the end of the night, after the raffle and speeches were over and music had been played, the night took a slightly livelier turn as the aforementioned whisky-serving Scotsman rounded up a fair few brave souls to dance some of the easier Scottish group dances! Whilst some of the willing dancers were originally mildly befuddled by the swinging and jumping around them, everyone quickly found their dancing feet to the sound of the band!
Although at this late point in the evening people were starting to trickle off back to bed, very many took back with them something that was one of the largest changes from years prior. This was the new special edition FACE magazine that was made especially for our 20th anniversary. We feel that this magazine is both our way of cherishing all individuals who have been key to the Chamber’s success and of promoting new opportunities in Southwest China and Britain.
Yet all in all, after national anthems had been played, drinks had been drunk and dances danced, it is safe to say that this was an event few would forget quickly. As such we look forward to being able to welcome all of our friends back yet again next year!
Finally, we would like to give a massive thank you to our partner and sponsors, the British Consulate General Chongqing, Huaying, British Airways and of course our host Grand Hyatt. We again extend our sincere gratitude to our valued friends and partners who provided the amazing raffle prizes along with the special exhibits, including Malvern College Chengdu, Geives & Hawkes, Morgan Motor Company, Diageo and Andaman Village, Niccolo Hotel Chengdu, Fairmont Chengdu, Wanda Reign Chengdu, 9 Wine Shop, Hi Bake, Senmo International, Crowne Plaza City Centre, St Regis Chengdu, Asia World Consultancy, Seven Goods and Soong Ching Ling International Kindergarten.
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