My dear CADS,

How are you all? Walking back from the gym this morning in the winter sunshine, I had a little more zing in my step with the feeling that spring might be near. I know in this part of Europe it can all change in a heartbeat, but I loved that feeling of anticipation all the same!

Our January lunch was very well attended, and the guest speaker was our member, Abel Rasterhoff, with a very informative and humorous talk about the history of the Dutch Stock Exchange. Many of the attendees commented that Abel was one of our best presenters to date – thank you Abel!

CADS links to other organisationsp

CADS is making good progress with its strategy to forge links with other organisations, to expand the CADS membership and resultant networking opportunities. This Burns night (January 25th), Peter Valentine and I were invited to represent CADS at the Burns Supper hosted by the UK Ambassador, Joanne Roper C a fun night despite me making a hash of reading out a Burns poem while wearing the wrong contact lens, (you had to be there!). The guests came from a high-quality pool of senior international diplomatic, military, and judicial folks (the new Dutch Ambassador to the UK, and the President of the ICC to name a few) and me and Peter! On the way
home we were remarking that CADS is certainly ‘punching’ above its weight in these circles!! But we are very happy to do so!

Mike Hayes

December brought us the very sad news of the death of Mike Hayes, a previous chair of CADS. Mike Waters (also a previous chair), has written this lovely tribute to him.

‘Mike Hayes ( was the joker in our pack, and the most talented and creative of all of us. His career started as an RAF radio technician, through working as a DJ on the infamous ‘pirate radio’ ship Radio 270, moored just outside national territorial limits, and then on to working in the IT and entertainment industry in Amsterdam, as a singer, promoter, stand-up comedian, IT trader, and other enterprises over the years. His marriage to Géke was a long and happy one, although marred by the tragic death  of their daughter after she suffered from cancer. In recent years Mike gained something of a following among the artistic community for his paintings (see Amongst others, he wrote lyrics for Focus (Happy Nightmare), and was famed for his Elvis renditions.

We spent many happy hours together over the years, both in Amsterdam and more recently in Champagne, before his last stay in Amsterdam at the hospice. He had much to offer to CADS and took the helm as Chairman for several years before relinquishing it to Russell Evans. After winning the Jokathon 3 years in succession, he lifted the Bernard Garside Jokathon trophy permanently, and replaced it with the famous ‘Mike Hayes wedgie’. We send our heartfelt condolences to Géke. Goodbye, Mike, it was a privilege to know you.”

Several of you wrote in reply to the news of Mike’s death and here are some of your comments.

“He was talented in so many ways and always fun to be with. A true CAD!”

“Terrible news about Mike, he seemed immortal to me. He and I became even more friendly when we discovered that he and I shared the same Birthday (9 Feb) and he was 1 year older than I”.

“Very sad news about Mike – he was such a charismatic person”.

“Best way to describe him as a larger-than-life character, great jokes, a real after dinner raconter. So sad to hear this sort of news”.

“Unbelievable. Knowing Mike goes back a long time. Strange to mention but he always made an impression of not being able to pass away. Such a rock. Such energy and humor. What a loss for both his wife and CADS”.

We will host a Mike Hayes Lunch later in the year when we can invite his widow, Géke, to help us recount all the many stories of Mike and truly celebrate his life.

Voting in the UK

The long-awaited reinstatement of voting rights for UK citizens who have been out of the UK for 15 years is now a thing. Once you submit your application via the below website, you get an instant response that the application has been submitted to the relevant council for processing and, if approved, adding to the electoral register.
Your UK passport details, and NI number are needed, but apart from that it’s mainly who you are and where you were last registered to vote in the UK. Please note it looks like this will only entitle you to vote in parliamentary elections and referendums, not council elections.

I look forward to seeing you at one of your upcoming events.