Benelux-Rhineland Réunion, 6-8 May 2022
The Oxford University and Cambridge University Societies in Luxembourg organised a highly successful reunion weekend in Luxembourg for alumni of the Universities in the Benelux and Rhineland.
The Oxford University and Cambridge University Societies in Luxembourg organised a highly successful reunion weekend in Luxembourg for alumni of the Universities in the Benelux and Rhineland. Altogether 119 alumni and their partners/spouses took part in the weekend’s activities.
Events kicked off on the evening of Friday 6 May with a lively Brazilian party at Maria Bonita in the Rives de Clausen.
The following morning a somewhat more sober conference, kindly sponsored by Clifford Chance, on the Luxembourg EU-based institutions was held at the Cercle Cité in the centre of Luxembourg. Speakers included Ian Forrester, former Judge of the General Court, Geoffrey Simpson, Director of Audit Quality and Audit Methodology at the European Court of Auditors and Francis Carpenter, former Secretary-General of the European Investment Bank and CEO of the European Investment Fund. Our speakers were both informative and entertaining and provided exceptional insight into their respective institutions. Several participants said afterwards that they had never thought that public sector audit could be so stimulating!
Tours were arranged to the historic centre of Luxembourg and its fortifications as well as to the Museum of Modern Art (Mudam) and Dräi Eechelen museum of the fortress of Luxembourg. Professor Alan Wirth gave a superb concert of baroque and renaissance organ music at the Church of St Michel, Luxembourg’s oldest church dating back to 987. The ancient cities of Oxford and Cambridge would have been hard-pressed to match the beauty and serenity of the surroundings and the music.
The day was rounded off with a black-tie Gala Dinner for 88 people at the Cercle Munster opened by a Latin grace spoken by Oxford graduate David Weis. Special guest Martine Reicherts, president of Luxembourg’s Fonds National de Recherche, gave an address on Innovation in Luxembourg. We were also honoured by the presence of the Deputy Ambassador of the United States, Casey Mace and his wife Anne. Mr Mace proposed a toast to the Transatlantic Alliance and spoke briefly of how the Ukrainian crisis has reinforced the need for transatlantic friendship. Toasts were proposed to His Royal Highness the Grand Duke and to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and to the two Universities. All guests enjoyed an exceptionally convivial evening with excellent food and fine wines laid on by the Cercle Munster’s superb staff.
The weekend was rounded off with a winetasting at one of Luxembourg’s premier vineyards, Château Pauqué, understandably limited to 30 participants. Abi Duhr, probably the most interesting winemaker in Luxembourg presented a selection of his white wines. Cambridge Society Secretary and amateur oenophile John Speed rated the event one of the very best he has attended.
In conclusion, the Oxford and Cambridge Luxembourg Societies have achieved their objectives of promoting friendship amongst the alumni of the two universities and displaying the best that Luxembourg can provide.