Event date: 10 February 2016
Arguably the highlight of the British High Commission’s event programme for the year, the Eve of Parliament reception, hosted by British Chamber patron, High Commissioner Dame Judith Macgregor, took place in the gardens of her Bishopscourt residence. Sponsors and Chamber members British Airways and Jaguar Land Rover were to the fore and guests included Thuli Madonsela, Patricia de Lille, Christo Wiese, and of course many of our Cape Town Chamber members.
The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to South Africa, Baroness Scotland, spoke of her close and fruitful relationship with this country and reassured guests that this would continue with her appointment as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.
As well as celebrating UK-SA partnerships, Shakespeare was the theme in this, the 400th anniversary year of his death. There were powerful performances of verses from Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets by local learners. The guest of honour, Sonny Venkatrathnam, spoke about his so-called ‘Robben Island Bible’ – a clandestine copy of Shakespeare’s Complete Works with notes and passages highlighted by his fellow prisoners on the Island, including Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada.