Annual Dinner

Monday January 21st from 19hrs

The Cambridge Society annual dinner will be held on the evening of Monday 21st January, from 19hrs.

We are delighted to welcome Lord Watson of Richmond CBE as our guest speaker. An alumnus of Jesus College, Lord Watson is thoroughly engaged with contemporary European politics, education and media. He is British Chairman of the Königswinter Anglo-German Conference and in 2007 received the German Knights Grand Cross for his "significant and enduring contribution" to understanding between Germany and Britain. A former President of the Liberal Party, he is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union. As a distinguished communicator, Lord Watson was responsible - from 1976-1980 - for Media at the European Commission, served as chairman of the Royal Television Society and as European chairman of Burson Marsteller. He is currently chairman of CTN Communications, and holds a variety of visiting and honorary positions at a variety of Universities. In 2005 he was appointed Chairman of The Cambridge Foundation and his theme for our annual dinner will be:

"Cambridge: A future as golden as its past?"

His full biography is attached.

We are most pleased that the dinner will again be held at the Club des Officers du Premier Regiment de Guides (32, rue d'Arlon - close to the Bruxelles Luxembourg station).

We would like all members to feel they can attend. Accordingly, whilst the full ticket price is €60/head,  we would like to offer two special concessions. Firstly a special price for the Under 30's of €40/head and secondly the possibility of attendance subsidised by society funds if anyone should be in a position of genuine need (please apply accordingly).

Please confirm your attendance to Luis Cuervo-Spottorno on the following e-mail address:

and make your payment to the Cambridge Society bank account (776-5978534-36) mentioning "annual dinner".

Dinner jackets or smart evening dress.

Biography of Alan Watson

Alan Watson is Chairman of CTN Communications and for over 10 years was European Chairman of Burson Marsteller.  He advises many major UK and international companies on their communication strategies.  He is also Non‑Executive Chairman of the Wine Importer, Raisin Social, and of the official Commonwealth publisher, Nexus.  His business career began with four years as CEO of the advertising agency, Charles Barker City.

In broadcasting Alan became a BBC General Trainee after Cambridge, and later a regular presenter with “The Money Programme” on BBC2 and “Panorama” on BBC1.  He also reported on LWTV, Radio 4 and the BBC World Service, and wrote and presented award winning documentaries over many years.  He is a Fellow and former Chairman of the Royal Television Society.  From 1976 to 1980 he was responsible for Media at the European Commission.

Chairman of the English Speaking Union for six years, he is now International Chairman Emeritus.  In 2005 he was awarded The Churchill Medal.  He is Chairman of the Council of Commonwealth Societies and a member of the Executive Committee of the Pilgrims.  He is Co‑‑Chair of the Jamestown 1607–2007 British Committee.  Additionally he is a member of the Prince of Wales Business Leaders’ Forum.

Internationally, he has served on the Executive Board of UNICEF (UK) and as a member of the European Parliament’s High Level Group on Romania.  In 2004 he was awarded the Commander’s Grand Cross of the Romanian Order of Merit.

Alan holds a range of visiting and honorary posts at Universities in Britain and abroad.  For six years Chairman of Governors at Westminster College Oxford, today he is a Visiting Fellow at Oriel College Oxford and an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge.  He chairs the Cambridge University Chemistry Advisory Board and is a Life Patron of The Churchill Archives held at Churchill College Cambridge.  In 2005 he was appointed Chairman of The Cambridge Foundation.  He has been awarded honorary doctorates and professorships in a number of Universities in the UK and abroad.  He is President of The British Accreditation Council. 

His publications include “Europe at Risk”, “The Germans: who are they now?”, “Thatcher and Kohl: Old Rivalries Revisited” and “Jamestown: The Voyage of English”. 

A former President of the Liberal Party, he was appointed CBE in 1985 and created a Life Peer in 1999.  He is a Member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union.

In 1995 he received the German Order of Merit for his “significant and enduring contribution” to understanding between Germany and Britain.  In 2001 he was promoted to the Grand Cross of the Order and in 2007 the Knights Grand Cross. He is British Chairman of the Königswinter Anglo-German Conference and President of the British German Association.

He is a Patron of The Richmond Society, The Richmond Museum, and The Richmond in Europe Association, Chairman of the Father Thames Trust and Chairman of the Arcadia Advisory Board.

Lord Watson is married and has two sons.  He was educated at Diocesan College Preparatory School Cape Town, Kingswood School Bath and Jesus College Cambridge.  He lives in Richmond and Somerset.

Cambridge Society Annual Dinner 2008

The society was delighted to hold its 2008 annual dinner in the magnificent surroundings of the Regiment des Guides. Over 80 members braved a cold January evening to sip aperitifs downstairs before heading up to the dining room to enjoy speeches, toasts, and fine food.

This year's guest speaker, Lord Watson of Richmond CBE, gave an excellent after dinner speech entitled 'Cambridge: A future as golden as its past?'. Having previously lived and worked here his remarks struck a chord with many members and his description of Brussels diplomacy being like 'swimming in glue' was much appreciated. Subjects discussed included the transatlantic divide in higher education, the future of Cambridge's funding and the collegiate system - both in Cambridge and at the European Commission.

With a menu centred around Poulet a la Brabanconne and a fine selection of wine and port the society saw in the New Year in style. Toasts were given by the Society's President, Treasurer and Membership Secretary. It was particularly good to see such a broad spectrum  of ages at the dinner - the growing number of young members mean the society is set to go from strength to strength in 2008.