Installation Dinner 22nd March 2024

May 2, 2024 | Event Reports

The Installation Dinner is a red-letter event in the club’s calendar and this year’s was as special as any, with a tone and style all of its own. A large company of over 100 gathered at Guildhall’s splendid Livery Hall on the evening of Friday 22 March 2024 to welcome Dhruv Patel OBE as the new club President. Dhruv comes to his role with a glittering career in the City behind him: a former Common Councillor and Chairman of the City Bridge Trust, he was the founder in 2005 of the City Hindus Network. To those present it came as no surprise that he was as keen as any Past President in the club’s 144-year history to put his own stamp on the evening.

After processing in to the ever-popular March from Handel’s Scipio (with a carpet guard provided by cadets from the Metropolitan Police North East branch), the evening then parted from tradition as Pandit Madhava Kumar Tutumella, installed just an hour earlier as Honorary Chaplain, recited a Hindu prayer by way of grace. A sumptuous dinner, with a main course of quail and sage stuffing (or sultana and chick pea cous cous as the vegetarian alternative) and superb accompanying wines, was then greatly enjoyed. We were fortunate indeed with the musicians for the evening: Praveen Prathapan, one of Europe’s leading exponents of the bansuri (the keyless, Indian bamboo flute) joined forces with pianist and composer Rekesh Chauhan BEM for an after-dinner recital that held the audience spellbound with its virtuosic improvisatory dialogue.

A very happy occasion indeed! We were left with no doubt that a very exciting year lies ahead for the club and wish Dhruv Patel every success for his year at the helm. (Stephen Willis)