As I come to the end of my Presidency, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and encouragement during what has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging times for the St Patrick’s Society.
When Covid-19 took hold in March, the committee were determined to do everything in their power to host the 2020 Ball. We closely watched the government’s response, consulted with other societies, had numerous meetings with the Shangri La Hotel, wrote a set of SOPs for the night, but alas it was not meant to be. Although we were immensely looking forward to the ball, the safety of our members, their families and our communities was paramount, and we ultimately decided that we had no choice but to cancel.
Cancelling an event such as this, so close to ball night, was an incredibly brave decision from the committee and I want to thank them for their support and commitment through this time. To host a ball of this size is a mammoth task, and to cancel it involves a huge amount of additional and unforeseen work. The committee were instantly called upon to spring into action: contacting all our guests, calling our vendors to try and minimise the financial hit to the society, meeting with the band (who had already arrived in KL ready to play), liaising with the Shangri La – the list goes on. But spring into action they did. They pulled together, shared the responsibilities and worked tirelessly to ensure that the financial impact to our guests was minimal. To the 2020 committee, my heartfelt thanks.
To our valued sponsors – we especially thank you for your support at this time. Your reassurances, patience and trust in us meant a great deal. When we made the difficult decision to cancel the ball, you all stood with us, and fully supported our decision. We are thoroughly fortunate to have your dedicated support and are incredibly appreciative of the long-standing relationships that have been developed over the years.
This month the Society was delighted to be able to refund 90% of the ball ticket price to our guests. As you can imagine this was an immense task and I am sure you will join me in congratulating Barry Skinner, our Honorary Treasurer, for a job well done. I personally would like to thank Barry for the professionalism he showed and for his guidance in leading the Society through this arduous and complicated process.
Looking ahead, the Society hopes to have their AGM, as normal, in September, where we will welcome in a new President for 2021 and a new committee. The St Patrick’s Society will continue to support the Irish community here in KL and we hope that the 2021 ball will be bigger and better than ever and that we can continue to count on your unwavering support.
2020 has certainly had its challenges, but it has been my absolute pleasure and privilege to have been your President this year.
Go raibh míle maith agat,