In February we reconvened the Special General Meeting which had been intended to be held at the Finnish Church in December 2021. The purpose of the meeting, which was held by Zoom, was to approve changes to our Rules to allow Council Members to serve for more than six years, provided that each subsequent year of service would be approved by the members at the AGM. The changes to the Rules were approved by a vote of 47-0.
In March Tapani Pahkasalo of Dasos Capital in Helsinki spoke via Zoom on the subject ”Wood: the Material of the Future.” Dasos is a private equity firm specialising in investments in forests and more recently in modern methods of timber construction. The event was advertised to members of the Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce and about 40% of those attending came through the FBCC.
At the end of March Paulus Thomson and Lyn Litchfield represented the Society at the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of The Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey.
The AGM was held on 28 April and the Ambassador, H.E. Mr Jukka Siukosaari, welcomed 41 members of the Society to the Residence. Paulus Thomson announced that he had received a letter from Clarence House to confirm that The Prince of Wales had agreed to take on the Patronage of the Society in succession to his late father, The Duke of Edinburgh.
After the formal business of the AGM the Ambassador told us something of his diplomatic career and the current activities of the Embassy striving to continue cooperation between Finland and the UK in areas of culture, education and business in the face of difficulties brought about by Brexit and the war in Ukraine. The evening concluded with the Ambassador generously hosting an excellent buffet dinner.
In June we supported a concert arranged by the UK Sibelius Society at Burgh House, Hampstead, by purchasing a block of 20 tickets. This was the rescheduling of the concert proposed to have been held in 2021 which had to be cancelled because of Covid restrictions.
In September Professor Danny Dorling of Oxford University gave a talk based on his book (co-written with Annika Koljonen) Finntopia – what we can learn from the world’s happiest country. It was a very interesting and thought-provoking talk which prompted a lively discussion afterwards.
Council Members Clive Suckling and Antti de Ruano represented the Society at a Reception of the Confederation of Scandinavian Societies (CoScan) at the Savile Club on 29 November.
Our Christmas lunch at Lincoln’s Inn was disrupted by snow which affected not just some who had planned to attend, but also those who were due to cook the lunch. The venue had to be changed from the Members’ Common Room to the Great Hall. What was lost in intimacy was more than compensated for by grandeur.