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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

The Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Cup reception at RCTC was a curtain-raiser to the race itself

In his speech, British deputy high commissioner Andrew Fleming referred to the visit to the club by the departed monarch in February 1961, and his own arrival and settling down

The Telegraph Published 01.03.24, 07:38 AM
Andrew Fleming, the British deputy high commissioner

Andrew Fleming, the British deputy high commissioner

The Cup does not come from the UK any more. So there was no official handover this year ahead of the race named after it. But the reception for the Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Cup on the lawns of the Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) was grand enough to provide a suitable curtain-raiser to the marquee event that had hooves scorching the turf the day after, on February 10.

In his speech, British deputy high commissioner Andrew Fleming referred to the visit to the club by the departed monarch in February 1961, and his own arrival and settling down. “In these three months, I have begun to fall in love with city, though not so much its air,” he said.

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The British Council’s regional director Debanjan Chakrabarti spoke of the UK and India celebrating ties sporting, cultural and educational. He spoke of the 144,000 Indian students studying in the UK and also brought up his recent trip to Odisha for the Premier League Primary Stars. “It is a partnership between Premier League and British Council that uses the power of football to improve learning outcomes and student engagement at the primary level. In India, we are working with state governments of Odisha, Goa and Delhi and it is set to be extended to partners in West Bengal,” he said.

Debanjan Chakrabarti, director, British Council, east and northeast

Debanjan Chakrabarti, director, British Council, east and northeast

RCTC chairman Sudipto Sarkar thanked the deputy high commission for continuing the tradition with the memorial cup.

Sudipto Sarkar of Royal Calcutta Turf Club and his wife educationist Malabika Sarkar

Sudipto Sarkar of Royal Calcutta Turf Club and his wife educationist Malabika Sarkar

Guests also bade farewell to Yemi Odanye, the deputy head of mission who is leaving at the end of the month on completing his four-year term.

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