L-R: Daniel Eischen, BCC Chairman; Ambassador Fleur Thomas; Credit: Chronicle.lu

On Friday 9 December 2022, the British Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg (BCC) held its annual Christmas Lunch at the Hémicycle in Luxembourg-Kirchberg.

More than 200 members, friends and guests attended this year's event which commenced with an aperitif in the venue's foyer before moving inside for the main event, a traditional Christmas three-course meal, accompanied by Christmas crackers and traditional speeches. Many of those attending had already started to attend networking events (since the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions earlier in the year) but, for others, this was their first one since pre-COVID.

Daniel Eischen, BCC Chairman, welcomed the 200+ attendees to the chamber's traditional end-of-year event, referencing the Easter lunch that was held in the same venue as the Christmas lunch events over the past few years had been cancelled / postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He referred to this year being a special year, with the BCC celebrating its 30th anniversary. He explained that, in addition to organising special events during the year, the chamber has been looking ahead to see how to do things going forward. He mentioned a number of special events held during the year, including a cricket match against the Optimists Cricket Club and the recent LIBS event. The Leadership Forum involved an international speaker for the first time; the British Ambassador hosted the Leadership Forum Breakfast Briefings which addressed topics including the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis.

After the meal, the British Ambassador to Luxembourg, Fleur Thomas, addressed the event as guest speaker. She reflected on the past year and the activities of the British Embassy, including representing British interests, finding new ways of cooperation in Fintech and finance, and the economic sector. She also mentioned climate change and education, referencing St George's International School and British universities, as well as law enforcement and defence. She referenced the Jubilee year and the visit of the Grand Duke to the embassy, as well as the commemoration events following the death of the Queen. She talked about social mobility as well as cultural occasions including the British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg, and referenced the FIFA World Cup. She also addressed the war in Ukraine, stressing the support given to the myriad of support initiatives in Luxembourg, including one she would be attending nearby straight after this event.

Looking ahead to 2023, she mentioned a series of visits of dignitaries and officials to Luxembourg during the year ahead. She held to the end a special mention to organisations in Luxembourg that promoted cooperation in various forms, specifically mentioning the British Luxembourg Society, the British Ladies Club and the British Chamber of Commerce. Ending on a fun note, she shared alternative words to the Christmas Carol "The 12 Days of Christmas" which was heartily sung by all, before dessert was served.

Although the time had now reached 15:00, those attending could stay on and avail of the gin bar, by now a traditional fixture of this (now revived) annual event.