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City of Banjul
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Ex-UK ambassador says still committed to Gambia’s dev’t

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In an interview with The Standard following his voting onto the board of Marlborough Brandt Group in the UK last week, he said: “My main objective in joining MBG is to do something for people other than myself, specifically Gambians.    As a Trustee this means supporting the organisation in the best way I can, using my experience and contacts in the most productive and effective way possible.  When I left The Gambia in February this year I wasn’t just changing jobs – after 40-odd years in the British Diplomatic Service I had decided to call it a day and retire.   But while I was happy to no longer be a wage slave I still needed something to keep the brain functioning.  Nor did Jacki (my wife) or I want to lose touch with The Gambia.  Just while I was chewing over my options, I was very pleased to be offered the opportunity to stand as a trustee for MBG.  I was delighted to be confirmed at last month’s AGM.  So the chance to join MBG as a trustee means I can keep an eye on The Smiling Coast, and perhaps one day even visit, for all the best reasons.

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“It is great to be part of MBG and very interesting to see how everything works as an insider, rather than as an observer and partner, as I was.  The dedication and commitment of Dr Nick and his team is even clearer to me now than it was before.  They work hard regularly chasing opportunities on behalf of the Gunjur community, be they commercial or developmental. It is quite a challenge not to interfere in the day to day operations of MBG, so mostly I just support Nick when he asks me to help with something.  I’m conscious that I am still learning and look forward to completing my induction course later this month”. 

In a riposte to Amir Khan’s comments in the British media of seeing “starving orphans” in The Gambia, the retired career diplomat said: “MBG is always ready to defend both its relationship with the community and indeed the community itself.  The most recent example of this was that very strange story about starving orphans. Dr Nick moved very quickly to sort that out. I never saw anyone starving in Gunjur, or anywhere else in the country”.

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