March 2015 - The Friends held a lecture 'HAVEL, A LIFE' by Mr Michael Žantovský, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the UK and biographer of Havel, on 5th March 2015 at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, London. Václav Havel, an intellectual, playwright, philosopher and President, was a key figure of the 20th century and Michael Žantovský was one of his closest friends. The main theme of the talk was that Havel was always essentially the same person and did not substantially differ according to which of his various roles he was playing.
The event was organised with the cooperation of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic. Among those who attended were two former UK ambassadors to the Czech Republic and to the Slovak Republic, respectively Sir Michael Burton and Mr Michael Roberts (chairman of the BCSA); Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines; Sir Anthony Colman QC, who has been involved in advice concerning the judiciary in the Czech Republic; both patrons of The Friends, Eva Jiřičná MBE and Mr Greg Hands MP.
Photo, from left to right: Sir Michael Roberts, Greg Hands MP (Patron of The Friends), Michael Žantovský and Michael Roberts, Chairman of the BCSA
It was a full house, the questions numerous, a deeply satisfying and interesting evening, during which we enjoyed wines, and beer donated by Krušovice Brewery.
“Thanks to Žantovský’s truthfulness, Havel emerges from this account as a great national leader whose greatness was inseparable from real humility and grace.” Roger Scruton, The Times.
All photos courtesy of Ian Kennaway