The penultimate function during the 80th anniversary year of the London Taxidrivers’ Charity for Children took place on Saturday 18th October, 2008 in the Palace of Westminster, when a Gala Dinner and Dance was held to celebrate 80 years of assisting disadvantaged children in Greater London and what a fabulous and memorable evening it was. Guests started arriving from 5pm and, after passing through stringent security, made their way to the Grand Hall, from where they were taken on a guided tour of both chambers of the Houses of Parliament. This most informative and enlightening tour led to a Champagne Reception on the terrace overlooking the Thames and Westminster Bridge and here the Fund’s Honorary President, Bill Tyzack, BEM, Honorary Chairman, David Lessman, and members of the Committee welcomed all their guests.”
Just before 7.30pm, dinner was announced by our Toastmaster for the evening, Ashley Powell and the assembled company made their way to the Members Dining Room for Dinner. After ‘Grace’ led by The Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Louise Hyams, a sumptuous meal of Traditional oak smoked Scottish Salmon, Roast rump of Dorset Lamb with sherry sauce and a delicious L’Arlequin dessert was enjoyed by all, followed by Coffee, Petit Fours and after dinner liqueurs and wines.
Our Host for the evening was Mr Lee Scott, MP, who made a speech welcoming the guests and this was followed by a toast to The Queen by the Chief Superintendent of the City of London Police, Mr Alex Robertson, ATPO, who we were delighted to have with us. The next toast to the Guests came from the fund’s Hon. Life President, Bill Tyzack, BEM and he humorously enlightened everyone with a brief history of the Fund and also thanked his wife Grace, the Committee and their partners for all their loyal support. The last toast came from Mr Brian Rice, Chairman of Dial-a-Cab, and this was made to the London Taxidrivers’ Charity for Children Committee, Drivers, Helpers and the Children.
A response was then made by the Fund’s Hon. Chairman, David Lessman, who welcomed all the guests and congratulated Hon. Life Member, Bill Tyzack, BEM, who had also celebrated his 80th birthday earlier this year. He also acknowledged and thanked our many sponsors over the last 80 years and the following for their sponsorship of this event: Mr Brian Rice and Dial-a-Cab for the Champagne Reception; Mr Peter DaCosta and KPM Taxis & Mercedes-Benz for the table wine; Mr Doug Sherry, MBE and Mrs Audrey Sherry for the Entertainment; Mr Alan Fisher, Editor of Call Sign Magazine for the photography and Mr Michael Holland and Mrs Cheryl Holland for the printing. David said he was particularly pleased that Doug Sherry was present and congratulated him on his birthday.
David went on to point out that within the fund’s title are the words ‘Drivers’ and ‘Children’ and that utmost importance should be placed on the first of these, the countless Drivers who have served this fund so well since 1928 giving their time freely when taking part in the events for which the fund has become legendary. He paid a special tribute to them, as without the drivers there would be no outings and we are deeply grateful to them all. He then referred to the thousands of children whose lives have been enriched by the Fund over the last 80 years in so many ways. He also extended grateful thanks to the taxi trade press for their support in giving the Fund space in their publications when required.
During his speech, David also recognised the valuable, unstinting and genuine support and loyalty of his fellow trustees and appreciated the time given to organise this event by committee member Michael Son. The motto of the LTFUC is ‘None Walks to Tall as he who stoops to help a Child’. This has been ably demonstrated many times since 1928 and with continued support, many more children will continue to benefit for many years to come.
At the conclusion of the dinner, guests were invited to make their way to the Strangers Dining Room where they could dance to the first rate music of 5 piece Band, Belissima, or go to the Pugin Room for quieter conversation.
The LTFUC is sincerely grateful to Mr Lee Scott MP for hosting this event and to his wife Estelle for all the kind assistance given in the planning stages of this brilliant and memorable function, a first for the London taxi trade.