IMarEST promotes excellence and inspires at Guildhall Annual Dinner, By Jean Winfield, Jeanius Consulting
Guests old and new recently joined IMarEST for a fabulous 111th Annual Dinner at the Guildhall, City of London to celebrate another successful year and to mark the 125 years since the institute was formally founded back in 1889.
IMarEST members and guests enjoyed networking at a pre-dinner reception before being lead into the formal dinner being held in the Guildhall’s medieval Great Hall. With its imposing monuments and stunning stained glass windows, guests were seated at beautifully decorated candlelit tables and welcomed VIPs including the much anticipated after dinner speaker Sir Ranulph Fiennes Bt OBE.
Richard Vie, President, IMarEST, gave a warm welcome and talked of IMarEST’s mission to promote the development of marine engineering, science and technology and to uphold the standards of marine professionals worldwide. “With the enthusiasm and support of its membership and the hard work of our headquarters staff, I am sure we can look forward to expanding our global reach to be the natural choice of professional body and learned society for all marine professionals. We are committed to supply the support and services necessary for our members to maintain their professional development throughout their careers.”
He also highlighted the institute’s activity in producing a report on ‘Mitigating the skills gap in the maritime and offshore oil and gas market. “One of my main aims during my presidential year is to inspire as many of our young people as possible, including girls, to look at the opportunities available to them in the world of engineering and marine engineering and science in particular. I believe this isn’t just the job of the institute but of all of us in the marine industry.”
After dinner, the much awaited Sir Ranulph Fiennes gave a highly entertaining hour long speech and presentation about his life and many adventures. Photographs and images of his travels accompanied his amusing recollections of life as an explorer, most of us very pleased to have already eaten when the frostbitten feet photos appeared on screen. Having led 22 major expeditions all over the world, including both poles, his amazing travels pushed his physical and mental endurance to the limit and earned him ten expeditionary world records. If that isn’t enough, Sir Ranulph to date has raised £14.2 million for charity from his expedition, holding the record as the UK’s top celebrity fundraiser by Justgiving. At the end of the speech there was nothing but complete admiration for the man from the entire room – inspiring or just plain crazy? After all this is the man who ten years ago completed the first 7x7x7 (seven marathons in seven consecutive days on all seven continents) only months after a heart attack and double bypass. I think a mixture of both!
To find out more on the skills gap report please see http://www.imarest.org/policy-news/representing-members/skills-gap