Duke of Edinburgh Cup World Finals 2018 Dinner Windsor Castle Chairman’s speech

Here is a transcript of Brigadier John Smedley’s Chairman’s speech from the World Finals 2018 dinner at Windsor Castle:

“Your Royal Highness, fellow trustees, golfers, ladies and gentlemen. What a fantastic week we have had, with some excellent weather and some great golf. And now here we are having dinner in this splendid setting at Windsor Castle, the home of Her Majesty The Queen, in support of this wonderful enterprise, The International Golf Charity.

When I welcomed you at Beaumont Estate in Old Windsor on Sunday I told you that in 2017 we granted in excess of £321,000 to charities supporting young people in your home countries, often the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in its various guises, the International Award Foundation based here in London, and many other charities supporting young people.

This year for the first time we had an event in Mainland China. Regretfully the qualifiers are unable to attend the World Finals, but we have the CEO of ATFX in the Middle East, Ryan Tsui, who sponsored the event, and Jean Dong, Founder and Chief Executive of Zespa Media, who did so much to make the event happen. Jean, thank you for all your tremendous work, dedication and perseverance, despite the many difficulties you had to overcome. Next year, in 2019, I am hoping there will be new golf events in Canada, Turkey, and South Carolina, and perhaps in Nigeria and Ghana, and we will be able to return to South Africa after an absence this year. In addition, I hope very much that again we will see golfers from all the countries here represented this evening at next year’s World Finals. So please, after this glorious week, go back and spread the word so that we can all do even better next year to support this charity, and support young people in your countries and around the world.

This week and tonight’s dinner would not have been possible without the support we have received from many people and organisations, and I would like to pay particular tribute to a few of them:

  • Freddie Bickmore and Explore Charleston for sponsoring the Royal Household Golf Day;
  • Simon Warr for sponsoring the fabulous welcome dinner on Sunday, and being a really good friend to the charity;
  • Level 4 Golf for supplying all the competitors with their official Duke of Edinburgh Cup merchandise, and also for providing an auction prize of 4 tickets for this year’s Ryder Cup in Paris which raised over £2,000;
  • Worldwide Entertainment and Toby Cruse for coordinating the entertainment;
  • Peter Coles of Index Golf for tournament assistance this week;
  • Chateau du Seuil, on the left bank of the Garonne south of Bordeaux, for supplying the wine tonight, and
  • Edible Foods who for the second year running have provided our splendid dinner and the flowers this evening.

And last but not least, John Casserley, our new Consultant Director of Operations, for his untiring efforts to organise and manage all the arrangements for this hugely successful week, and John’s wife, Heather, who has done so much in the background to help.

While I am up here I must also, on behalf of my fellow trustees and you all, thank Her Majesty The Queen for allowing us to be here in Windsor Castle, The Duke of Edinburgh for his encouragement and for allowing us to use his name, and The Earl of Wessex for being our Royal Patron and attending tonight’s dinner and presenting the prizes.

Before I ask His Royal Highness to present the prizes I have one very pleasurable task. I mentioned when I welcomed you all on Sunday that the trustees had instituted a Terry Regan Memorial Scholarship, in memory of the charity’s founder who died suddenly last December. Tonight his widow, Shirley, is here and I would like to ask her to join me on the stage to present the cheque for £1,000.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2018 Terry Regan Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Haberdashers Abraham Darby Academy to support a group of young people from deprived backgrounds realise their potential by completing their Duke of Edinburgh Award. Sir, as a Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the United Kingdom and as a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, please would you accept this award on behalf of Abraham Darby Academy.

Your Royal Highness, if I promise to shut up, please may I now ask you to present the prizes for the Duke of Edinburgh Cup 2018.”