Prince Philip + Newzroom Afrika

From Our Own Correspondent

Friday 5pm phone call from Trisha Pillay-Singh, Newzroom Afrika Producer. “You’re going live in Pretoria 7.30pm UK time.” We’re ready to capture the mood of the British nation as it mourns the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh. Afterwards, John Barber, who acts as a Deputy Lieutenant for the Lord Lieutenant and Her Majesty The Queen, will call, “His Royal Highness was always fun. Just like Her Majesty who has a wonderful wit!”

Bongiwe Zwane, Newzroom Afrika’s Managing Editor and Anchor, introduces, “London based Features Writer and Reporter Stuart Blakley joins us now with more reaction on the passing of Prince Philip. Good evening and thank you so much for your time Stuart and I know it’s during the day where you are – certainly this is a huge loss to the Royal Family…” The distinguished journalist Bongiwe is well known for commenting, “I’m God’s daughter before anything else. My King’s Queen.”

Newzroom Afrika is the African Continent’s premier 24 hour digital satellite television news channel. It is broadcast from Pretoria in South Africa across southern, east and west Africa. It is 100 percent black owned and 50 percent female owned. The Z in its name is of significance. It’s the initial of ‘Zenith’: this channel reaches the height of broadcasting and the breadth geographically.

Eight days later, Saturday 6.15am phone call from South Africa’s leading television Producer. “You’re going live in Pretoria 8.15am UK time.” We’re ready to capture the mood of the nation as it celebrates the life of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh even as things get grittier and questions tougher. Ayanda Nyathi, Newzroom Afrika Anchor, introduces, “Tributes are still pouring in all over the world following the passing of Prince Philip last week. Many have described the Duke of Edinburgh as a reliable man… others have remembered him as a complicated individual… Let’s bring in Stuart Blakley as a Features Writer and Reporter…” And so the newsreel moves onto the next story.

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Irish Georgian Society London + Forman + Field

St Patrick’s Celebration

It’s never held on the actual day to avoid clashes with myriad other invites. So this year once again the night after St Patrick’s Day the Irish Georgian Society celebrated in style with well delivered talks over well delivered dinner. Best known for seafood, Forman + Field came up trumps with the evening meal. Proving how diversified the company has become, the vegetarian option was Peter’s Yard crispbreads with field mushroom and tarragon pâté; vegetarian shepherd’s pie with courgette and pea salad; and apricot tarte tatin. Artisanal; traditional; delightful. As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would say, “Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!”

Lance Forman explained, “Forman + Field is a family business. We scour the British Isles for small scale producers and farmers who share our passion for doing things properly, with integrity and respect for natural ingredients. We’ve been around for almost 120 years so we know how to cure and smoke. We’re the original salmon smokers and the only smokehouse left from the generation that invented smoked salmon as a culinary luxury. Yes, here in London, not in Scotland or Scandinavia.”

Irish Georgian Society London Trustee Robert Jennings gave a lecture on the Society’s 2019 events. The first event discussed was a walking tour of the “reassuringly the same” Jermyn Street, St James’s. “Shops like Floris have been here for centuries,” he remarked. “Arriving in 1885, Turnbull and Asser is quite a newcomer. Made to measure shirts there start at £275. Next door, Paxton and Whitfield fromagerie is Irish Georgian Society heaven!” The annual 20 Ghost Club Tour (to the west of Ireland in 2019), combining vintage architecture with vintage cars and vintage wine, included a visit to a tin tabernacle. “We don’t just do grand houses.” There were of course still plenty of grand houses on the agenda including Lissadell in County Sligo. “It’s either bleak or pure depending on your point of view.”

Donough Cahill, Executive Director of the Irish Georgian Society, spoke next about education, scholarship, buildings at risk and conservation projects. He expressed dismay at the closure of the Georgian House Museum on Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Street. “Will Dublin be the only Georgian city without its own Georgian house museum? Bath and Edinburgh both have their own.” A success story was the campaign to halt the demolition of the 18th century former Kildare Street Hotel. Irish Georgian Society London Chairman John Barber, Deputy Lieutenant of the London Borough of Newham, concluded the evening. He declared, “We’re all going to have another great year!” As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge might say, “Bíodh bliain iontach agaibh gach duine!”