Ospiti d’onore il console britannico a Venezia, Ray Jacques con signora. Fuori del ristorante era stata spiegata una enorme bandiera inglese: l’Union Jack. All’interno prima gli aperitivi poi la cena a cinquanta invitati.
Il discorso l’ha fatto il console Ray Jacques il quale “con profonda venerazione — sono parole di uno degli invitati David Akenhead che ci ha fatto da reporter — ha meso in luce come la Sovrana nei suoi 25 anni di regno abbia infatigabilmente sequito l’esempio del nonno Georgio V, capostipite della casa di Windsor, e rinverdito dal padre Giorgio VI. Il popolo di Gran Bretagna, independentemente dalle opinioni politiche, non dimentica l’insostitubile contributo dato da questo ramo della casa di Windsor alle glorie della monarchia britannica. Il console ha terminato mettendo in evidenza come la Regina ha rappresentato le fulgide qualità del carattere e del temperamento britannico che è esempio da seguire per tutti i suoi sudditi”.
Al termine della cena i calici, colmi di Cartizze, si sono levati in un brindisi finale ai canto dell’inno nazionale “Dio salvi la Regina”.
Saturday, 18th June 1977 TREVISO — As with all Her Britannic Majesty’s loyal subjects worldwide, as well as the English community in the Veneto, all celebrated with great pomp the twenty five years, the Silver Jubilee, since the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of England. The same happened all over the island of Britain, especially the Londoners.
The British contingent in the Veneto celebrated the occasion not just in the traditional ‘pub’ but also in a restaurant in Col San Martino, in the Trevigiano foothills. People came from all the surrounding towns in the Trevigiano: Venice, Udine, Treviso, of course, and Asolo.
Guests of Honour were Venice’s British Consul, Ray Jacques and his wife. Outside the restaurant was displayed an enormous British flag: the Union Jack. Inside awaited the aperitifs followed by the supper for the fifty invited guests.
The speech given by Ray Jacques on the occasion, quote “with profound respect and gratitude” – these are the words of one of the guests, David Akenhead who acted as our reporter – “brought to light how the Sovereign in the 25 years of her reign, had tirelessly followed the example of her grandfather George V, head of the House of Windsor, and subsequently her own father George VI. The people of Great Britain, regardless of their political leanings, will never forget the irreplaceable contribution that this branch of the House of Windsor has made to the upholding of the British monarchy. The Consul concluded how the Queen had represented the very best qualities of the British character and temperament, and an example to be followed by all her people.”
At the end of the supper the throng, and a handful of Press rose to a final toast with a singing of the national anthem. “God save the Queen”.
Note: A little poetic licence in that last paragraph, I fear (and not my words either!) but the sentiment was the same! What really happened was, Ray Jacques rose at the end, as we all did, with a toast “The Queen” and we all responded in like manner with a few ‘God bless hers’ thrown in for good measure! – David Akenhead
Further note: There was a certain synchronization between this article and another by my father, shortly afterwards.