Finchley features over the world
Ambassadors at the Civic Banquet
Finchley's civic dinner and dance, held on Saturday evening at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, took on an international aspect with the presence, among the Mayor's guests, of the Ambassadors of Tunisia, Iceland and Indonesia, all of whom reside in the Borough. The Deputy Mayor of Le Raincy, M. Pierre Brossel, was among those who responded to the toast to the guests.
Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, M.P. for Finchley, proposing the toast of Finchley Corporation, spoke of questions brought to her by her constituents of local, national and international interest, and a matter concerning outer space.
“I took on Finchley,” said Mrs. Thatcher, “and found I had responsibility for Great Britain! The world is my parish and the universe my catchment area.”
Mrs. Thatcher, present with her husband, Mr. Denis Thatcher, said that what made a good community was the aim of service within it. In Finchley there were a large number of people willing to work in voluntary organisations. The Rotary Club, Women's Voluntary Service, the Red Cross, led by Miss Rochat, the Friends of Finchley Memorial Hospital, and the Guild of Social Service, were but a few of the local bodies. They were not prepared to let their reputations rest on good intentions.
Mrs. Thatcher quoted some of the queries with which, as joint parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, she has had to deal.
She said she received a lot of letters about parking meters, although there were no parking meters in Finchley. An appeal for help this summer, which came from a Finchley resident who had strayed into the Lebanon when on holiday in Israel and was assumed to be a spy, took her into the international sphere. And her intervention on behalf of a constituent who wished to receive messages from outer space, widened her scope of activities still further.
“As Great Britain has retained her position by being in the centre of things, so Finchley features in events which take place all over Britain and all over the world,” she said.
To the Mayor and Mayoress of Finchley, Councillor and Mrs. N. J. Sapsted, Mrs. Thatcher said everyone had come to admire them for the dignified way in which they carried out their duties.
“All Town Clerks know and respect Mr. Franklin, our Town Clerk, ” said Mrs. Thatcher. She coupled with the toast his name and the aldermen and councillors, and she concluded: “Local government is a wonderful invention. The essence of government is decision and the more who take responsibility for making decisions, the better.”
The Mayor said his illustrious guests, the Ambassadors and their wives, were not present by chance. He had sought them out because they lived in the Borough of Finchley.
“They want to find out all that is best in Great Britain. To our splendid organisations in Finchley, I say invite them to your events, get to know them,” he said.
The Mayor welcomed the Tunisian Ambassador, Monsieur H. Chatty and Madame Chatty; the Icelandic Ambassador, Monsieur H. Sv. Bjornsson and Madame Bjornsson; the Indonesian Ambassador, Monsieur B. M. Diah and Madame Diah, present with their son and daughter.
The Mayor also welcomed the Bishop of Willesden, the Rt. Rev. G. E. Ingle; the Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex, General Sir John Crocker; with Mrs. Crocker, the chairman of Middlesex County Council, County Alderman J. H. Knaggs, with Mrs. Knaggs, the Mayors and Mayoresses of Hendon, Hampstead, Hornsey and St. Albans, and the Chairmen and their ladies of Friern Barnet, Barnet and East Barnet Councils.
Also present were Mr. G. E. Liardet, chairman and managing director of Simms Motor and Electronics Corporation; Mr. L. Farrer Brown, chairman of High gate Court, with Mrs. Brown; County Alderman and Mrs. A. N. H. Baines, Alderman H. H. and Mrs. Wilmot, Alderman A. T. Pike and Mrs. Pike, Mr. John W. Pardoe, Liberal parliamentary candidate for Finchley, and Mrs. Pardoe.
The Deputy Mayor of finchley, Councillor C. Harcourt Kitchin, and Mrs. Kitchin; members of Finchley Council and their ladies; chief officers of the Council and their ladies; Mr. W. A. Stokes, president of the Finchley branch of the National Association of Local Government Officers, and Mrs. Stokes.
Grace was said by the Mayor's chaplain, the Rev. E. G. H. Saunders, who was present with Mrs. Saunders.
The toast of the guests was proposed by Councillor Frank Davis, leader of the Liberal Group on Finchley Council, and responses were made by the Bishop of Willesden, Mr. John Pardoe and M. Pierre Brossel, who brought greetings to Finchley from Le Raincy.
The Common Market was one of the great problems of our time, said M. Brossel. Perhaps one day, we should see the marriage of the children of Finchley and Le Raincy, and the bonds of friendship would be even stronger.
After dinner the guests danced until midnight.