Our September lunch was the first of the autumn season, and we enjoyed a pleasant lunch back in our usual surroundings of the terrace room. Our speaker Millicent Odongo gave us an interesting introduction to the FOR organisation which has set up ‘one stop shops’ for IT services in Kenya and Uganda – initially using recycled computers from The Netherlands, and now engaging in some computer recycling activity of its own, locally in Africa. FOR encourages members of the African diaspora to return to invest in small businesses there, and provides the IT support that enables them to set up easily. And she manages this from Wassenaar!  A dynamic business woman showing that a not-for-profit enterprise is a highly worthwhile activity.

Last week I was privileged to attend a lunch at the UK ambassador’s residence, where a number of Dutch-English business organisations were represented. We are asked by the ambassador to come with plans to support stimulation of trade between the two countries, and particularly also to help celebrate a number of the activities taking place in 2012, including the Queen’s 60th Jubilee, and the UK Olympics. For the former activity, three members have already volunteered their businesses to be involved (please drop me a note if you would also like to be involved), and for the latter, please let the committee have your ideas. Possibilities include an evening event together with other business groups. We may also host a special lunch at some point. The ambassador intends to address us at one of the Spring lunches to talk directly about this.

Please accept my apologies in advance for being absent from the October lunch next Friday. Mike Carn has kindly volunteered for a ‘rave from the grave’, including a speaker from the British Legion and the opportunity to purchase poppies before Remembrance Day. I will be celebrating my own 30th anniversary of married bliss with Mrs. Waters by exploring Cairo before we cruise down the Nile from Aswan to Luxor together.

I will raise a glass of arak to you all from the pool deck of the MS Alexandria!

On Saturday 12th November at 1030 John Richardson will again lay a wreath from CADS members at the Remembrance Day event at the Nieuwe Oosterbegraafplaats in Amsterdam. All members are cordially invited to attend and pay respect to the young people who gave their lives to liberate The Netherlands during WWII. Afterwards we will repair to the refreshment centre at the cemetery for a warming cup of something or other…

Our November lunch on Friday 25th will be addressed by Tim Cooke on the subject of micro-finance. Tim has chaired a number of businesses to success during his career, and is now using the same talents to supervise a number of invested businesses in Africa around Nairobi and Lake Victoria. It will be an interesting and eye-opening story. CADS has supported some of these businesses with a micro-finance donation, and Tim will report on those.

At the end of the month, on the 29th November, we will be visiting Gary and Ilse’s wine bar in Naarden for a CADS dinner and wine tasting. The story behind this is that Gary and Ilse liked the bar in their village so much, that when it was announced it would be closing they decided to forestall that dread event by buying and running it themselves. Following some staff changes and renovations, they have invited us to go and sample its delights. So reserve the evening of 29th November in your diaries, for a great night out in Naarden!