The Oxford University and Cambridge University Societies in Luxembourg organised a successful reunion weekend in Luxembourg for alumni of the Universities in the Benelux and Rhineland where there are active alumni societies for the two Universities.
Events kicked off on the evening of Friday 6th May with a wildly successful Brazilian party at Maria Bonita in the Rives de Clausen. The following morning a somewhat more sober conference on the EU Luxembourg–based institutions was held at the Cercle Cité. 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. All speakers were informative and entertaining and provided exceptional insight into their respective institutions. The conference was sponsored by Clifford Chance.
Tours were arranged around the historic centre of Luxembourg and its fortifications as well as to the Mudam and Dräi Eechelen museums. There was a marvellous exhibition of paintings by black British artist Lynette Yiadom Boakye which runs till September. Dr Dan Schmit (MPhil, Oxon) a staffer at the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies gave a tour of the Chamber and a talk on the Luxembourg political institutions. Professor Alan Wirth gave a superb concert of baroque organ music at the Church of St Michel. 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 ended with a black-tie Gala Dinner for 88 people at the Cercle Munster which was 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. David Clark, Chair of the Oxford Society proposed a toast to His Royal Highness the Grand Duke and to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Martin Curwen, President of the Cambridge Society toasted the two Universities. All guests enjoyed an exceptionally convivial evening laid on by the Cercle Munster’s superb staff.
The weekend was rounded off with a tour of one of Luxembourg’s premier vineyards, Château Pauqué, understandably limited to 30 participants. Cambridge Secretary and 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.
Below a photo impression. Here is a link to an elaborate photo album, compiled by John Speed.