A Salute to the English-Speaking Union of the United States on its 100th Anniversary. Prayers for Future Centuries of Good Works.

It has been a privilege and pleasure to have shared 40 of these years as a Member and a 6-year term on the National Board of Directors.

Memories include AGMs with fine speakers and gracious local hospitality. In California, the Los Angeles Branch co-hosted a garden party graced by the presence of the Duke of Edinburgh. Over the years, Members of Parliament presented lectures on the United Kingdom and its

challenges in a changing world. An advisor to Winston Churchill spoke before a group of university students and ESU Members.

Internationally, Dartmouth House has been welcoming American and other international Members for nearly a century. Dining, afternoon tea, evening drinks, and enjoyable conversation are remembered as literary events and concerts. Special events have included speeches by President Ronald Reagan and Dr. Henry Kissinger.

There have always been important international ties and shared activities between the ESUs of the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, etc. This was

enhanced and expanded after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia were among the new Members. Many have a very active program of international cooperation, teaching and encouraging English, scholar exchanges, lectures, speaking and writing contests, etc.

A special event, sometimes nearly a week, is "The Launch" of a new country in recognition of joining the International Council. Government leaders, as well as students, give speeches. A musical ensemble or chamber orchestra may perform. Usually, there are several days of local tours to places of interest, sometimes a dinner banquet and luncheon. My memories include launches of Georgia, Romania, the Czech Republic, and the Republic of Moldova. In Romania,  instead of tour buses, ESU Members went on tours with vintage London black taxis previously retired to Bucharest. In Georgia, monasteries on hilltops with panoramic views are remembered.

Sometimes British ambassadors graciously opened embassies for events. At times, this allowed the special privilege to view fine arts collections.

Of course, extra special are the friendships and cordial acquaintanceships made with people from different countries and walks of life.