London, 28 July 2012. “Faith in Sport” Royal Gala Dinner to celebrate 2012 London Olympics was held at the historic Stationers’ Hall, close to St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London.
It was hosted by the Delegate for Great Britain and Ireland, HE Mr Anthony Bailey, and held in the presence of the Grand Master of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George, HRH Prince Carlo of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro, and his wife, HRH Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Castro.
Over 250 knights, dames and medalists attended including nine senior statesmen from Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean who had earlier been invested into the Order by the Grand Master.
Among them were HE Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, President of the Republic of Panama, HE Dr Nicholas Liverpool, President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, HE Mr Filip Vujanović, President of Montenegro, HRH Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala and HRH Crown Princess Sinaitakala Tuku’aho Fakafanua of the Kingdom of Tonga, HRH The Princess Elena of Romania and HE Mr Alexander Nixon and The Hon Dr Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia.
HSH Prince Peter von Hohenberg of Austria and HSH Princess Marie-Therese von Hohenberg, Mrs Anthony Bailey, HE Ambassador Giuseppe Balboni Acqua, Secretary General of the Royal House of Naples and past Lord Mayor of London Sir Gavyn Arthur attended.
The Sub Prior of the Order’s Delegation, The Most Reverend George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff, opened the evening with prayers for the Pope, Queen and the Order.
The Delegate for Great Britain and Ireland and host, HE Mr Anthony Bailey, delivered a welcome address which included an overview of the activities of the Order and its relevance to the Olympic Games.
The Delegate read messages which had been sent to the Delegation Council by HM The Queen, HE The President of Ireland and the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman David Wootton. Messages from other world leaders were received including from HE The President of the Republic of Bulgaria, HMEH Fra Matthew Festing, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, HRH The Duke of York, HRH The Duke of Gloucester and HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan.
The Guest Speaker was His Grace The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, eleventh Archbishop of Westminster and Chaplain of the British and Irish Delegation. Archbishop Nichols delivered a thought provoking insight entitled ‘Faith in Sport’.
The Loyal Toast to The Queen was proposed by the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Castro. The Loyal Toast to The President of Ireland was proposed by the Vice Delegate for Ireland, Professor Richard Conroy. HE Ambassador Balboni Acqua, Secretary General of the Royal House of Naples proposed the Toast to other Sovereigns and Heads of State present at the dinner and represented through Ambassadors at the dinner. A Vote of Thanks was offered by the Order’s Delegate Emeritus for Great Britain and Ireland, Lord Brennan of Bibury.
Among the faith leaders attending were His Grace The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, His Grace The Most Rev George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff, HE Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Apostolic Nuncio to the Court of St James’s, His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, Head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Great Britain, His Eminence The Most Rev Zenon, Archbishop of Dmanisi, Agara Tashiri, and Great Britain and Ireland, Head of the Georgian Orthodox Church in Great Britain, His Eminence Archbishop Athanasius Toma Dawod of the Syrian Orthodox Church, His Eminence Elisey, Archbishop of Sourozh, Head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain, The Rt Rev Thomas Burns, Bishop of Menevia and The Rt Rev Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston.
Among the Ministers and Heads of Olympic Delegations attending were: Prof Rose Marie Antoine-Anthony, wife of the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Mrs Liliam Kechichian, Minister for Sports and Tourism of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, HE Mr Jaime Ford, Vice Minister of Housing of the Republic of Panama, The Hon Thesele Maseribane, Minister of Gender, Sports and Recreation of the Kingdom of Lesotho, HE Mr Memli Krasniqi, Minister of Culture & Sport of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr Besim Hassani, Head of National Olympic Committee of Kosovo, Ms Victoria S Wolf, Department of State, United States of America, Mrs Irene de Delgado, Presidential Delegation of the Republic of Panama, Mr Rusland Obiang Nsue, Secretary of State of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, HE Mr Aldo Bumci, Minister of Culture, Tourism, Youth and Sports of the Republic of Albania, Mr Tsiliso Mokela, Principal Secretary of Gender, Sports and Recreation, Head of Olympic Committee of Lesotho, HE Saad Al Saadi, Minister of Sport of the Sultanate of Oman, Mr Baltazar Medina, President of the Colombian Olympic Committee, HE Sheikh Talal Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Head of National Olympic Committee of the State of Kuwait, Mr Eduardo Palomo, President of El Salvador Olympic Committee, HE Mr Vath Chamroeun, Secretary General of the Cambodian Olympic Committee, Kingdom of Cambodia, Commissioner Abdissa Yadeta, Head of Ethiopian Olympic Delegation. Mr Manuel Asumu Cawan, President of Olympic Committee of the Republic of
Equatorial Guinea, Mr Felix Wilson, Head of Olympic Committee of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Mr Thomas Dorsett, Secretary General of the Olympic Committee of the Commonwealth of Dominica and Senator The Honourable E P Chet Greene, President of the Antigua & Barbuda Olympic Committee.
Also attending were the Ambassadors and High Commissioners and Heads of Missions of Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, the Holy See, Italy, Spain, Albania, Colombia, Panama, Ireland, Paraguay, USA, Italy, Argentina, Lesotho, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Kuwait, Uruguay, El Salvador, Dominica, Tonga, Ethiopia, Kosovo, Romania, Montenegro, Equatorial Guinea, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ghana, and The Philippines.
Mr and Mrs Leo Hopley representing HE The Lieutenant for England and Wales of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, Sir John Wheeler, DL, The Rev Father John O’Leary, Lady Brennan of Bibury, Judge Patrick Clyne, Dr Colin Smythe, Mr Richard Model, The Hon Alexander Brennan, Miss Barbara Newman, Mr John Barber, DL, Deputy and Mrs William Fraser, Mr John McIntosh, Mr Timothy George, Mr John Kennedy CBE, DL, and Mr Rory More-O’Farrell, attended together with other members of the Delegation Council and Knights, Dames and Medalists of the worldwide Order.
A Guard of Honour by the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers of the Honourable Artillery Company, Body Guards to the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of the city of London were on parade by permission of the Captain Commanding.
The London Banqueting Ensemble under the direction of Steven Fletcher performed the evening’s music programme.