I was invited to attend and participate in the Eastern Himalayan Forum in Guwahati on 1 and 2 November. Approximately 150 delegates from 25 countries took part in the forum to share their knowledge and expertise in landscape scale conservation, both of natural and cultural capital.
I had the opportunity to talk about ROSL as well as to take part in three press conferences and panel discussions on various topics, that were watched by up to two and a half million people across four Indian TV channels on each occasion. I also presented the award for lifetime achievement to scientist Usha Lachungpa from Sikkim.
On 5 November, I travelled to Kolkata and met the Chairman and Secretary of the Royal Calcutta Turf Club, one of our reciprocal clubs. I was surprised to discover that they had ‘forgotten’ that they had a connection with ROSL and were keen to extend reciprocal membership benefits. In the evening, I was a guest at the Calcutta Club and toured their extensive facilities and learnt about their programme of cultural events from members of their Governing Committee and their CEO. This is the only one of our reciprocal clubs in Kolkata which has overnight accommodation for members.
On 6 November, after a brief tour of the main tourist sights, I was hosted by a Kolkata fine art collector at a lunch which included British expats and former members of the UK High Commission. We discussed the possibility of exhibiting the work of contemporary Indian artists in London and the possibility for extending our visual arts scholarships to Indian artists.
On 7 November, (which was Divali) I met the Chairman, the CEO and other members of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club for breakfast and a tour of their excellent facilities (pictured top). Membership of this club is highly-prized and it is a great benefit for ROSL members in that they are entitled to play on their 18 hole course – and at their bowling club. This is the second oldest golf course in the world, after St Andrew's in Scotland.
To find out more about ROSL’s more than 100 reciprocal clubs throughout the world, visit www.rosl.org.uk/reciprocal-clubs.