It is a great honour to be your President this year, however, I have a very hard act to follow! I must congratulate Mark Cronin for the wonderful programme and refreshing “youthful” vitally and energy he brought to his year as President. No-one, whether new visitor or well-established Proprietor, has been immune to his enthusiastic welcome. The past twelve months has too many highlights to mention, but any year that features a past PM, a musical maestro, the “constitutional” founding of our modern nation, a touching personal introduction to our Burns Supper – and the list goes on— accompanied by wonderful food and company is one to remember. Thanks in no small part to Mark’s hard work and dedication, we really feel that the Institution is heading in the right direction.
In congratulating Mark for his Presidential Year, I must also give him an enormous vote of thanks for how he has supported me and included me in so many ways. Added to the support of Past Presidents and the Committee, great teams at front of house and behind the scenes, I already feel established in the position and ready to get going. We all know the Athenaeum is evolving and we must keep the carefully managed process of evolution going. At the heart of this is ensuring that the Athenaeum is viable financially whilst maintaining our ethos and traditions, as well as remembering each individual’s original reasons for joining. The efforts of all our Committees have been pushing us in the right direction and I will continue to support them to bring about the necessary changes to improve our Institution – I ask for your continued understanding, cooperation and support to ensure we are all successful. One obvious sign of change is our continuing development of the IT systems and the members’ pages on the web-site. Please watch out for the latest developments!
During the next year my wife, Indira, and I look forward to renewing acquaintances amongst the membership as well as meeting those of you, along with your friends, visitors and family, we have yet to meet.
Sir David Maddison, President 2017-2018