Last night we celebrated our 60th anniversary with some of our core supporters at a reception generously hosted by Pearson. Our founder’s granddaughter Rose Tomalin joined us.
We were delighted to have John Fallon, CEO of Pearson, speaking. He talked about visiting a small school in Uganda and how the reverence with which the headmaster treated the tiny school library really brought home to him the value of each and every book in Africa.
The actor Neil Pearson spoke of his love of books and libraries, which began at a young age and saw him queuing up at his local library as an act of veneration as much as necessity, given he doesn’t remember there ever being anyone else in the queue.
The evening included an awards ceremony presented by Neil Pearson, to symbolise our appreciation for all that our supporters have done to enable our work over the past 60 years.
Emma House from the Publisher’s Association accepted an award on behalf of the UK publishing sector.
Major General Angus Ramsay of The Beit Trust received an award on behalf of all the organisations that support Book Aid International financially.
Virginia Berkeley, one of Book Aid International’s earliest volunteers and Fergus Cass, our longest-serving Trustee were also given awards to recognise our appreciation of those people who donate their time and expertise to us.
Deputy High Commissioner of Cameroon, Mr Denis Nyuydzewira, accepted an award on behalf of Education Information Services International in Cameroon representing our many partner organisations.
Finally, Joanna Lumley, a great friend and ally of Book Aid International, asked Neil Pearson to read a few words out on her behalf.
“I wish I were there with you to tell you how fervently I support Book Aid International:
I wish I could tell you how incredibly grateful the charity is to all the individual donors who have given again and again, sometimes small sums, sometimes large amounts, and all as precious as gold to us.
Every single pound is treasured and spent wisely, and my personal thanks fly out to all those who give so generously enabling our work to continue and grow.”