The messenger logo

English-Speaking Union of Georgia and Bristol sign friendship deal

By Mariam Chanishvili
Monday, September 12
The Bristol Branch of the English-Speaking Union signed a friendship memorandum with the Tbilisi Branch.

35 English-Speaking Union (ESU) representatives from 20 countries gathered together on September 8-9. The Council Meeting was held in the Writer’s House in Tbilisi.

The reception to welcome 51 ESU representatives from different countries took place on September 9. The President of the Georgian Branch of the English Speaking Union, Marina Tsitsishvili welcomed the guests and delivered a speech.

The event was held in the British Corner, Vake Park in Tbilisi. Government officials, political figures, international guests were attending the event. The United Kingdom (UK)'s new ambassador to Georgia Justin McKenzie Smith was also there. Among the international guests were the Chairman of the English-Speaking Union, Lord Boateng, the Director General of the ESU, Jane Easton.

The Mayor of Tbilisi, David Narmania was also there and he delivered a speech noting that Tbilisi City Hall supports the British Georgian Society and encourages its activities.

The Chairman of the English-Speaking Union, the Rt Hon the Lord Boateng of Akyem, whowas attending the event also delivered the speech mentioning the ‘challenges that Georgia had to overcome in order to provide a safe atmosphere for the freedom of expression’.

The Mayor and the Chairman of the Bristol ESU signed the memorandum - Bristol ESU twinning with the Tbilisi Branch. In honor of this event, 21 penguins were gifted to Tbilisi Zoo from Bristol Zoo.

The ESU’s Council meeting is held once a year. This year, Georgia was honored to hold a conference here, in Tbilisi.

The ESU was established in 1918 through the efforts of Sir Evelyn Wrench. In 1957 it received a Royal Charter, with Queen Elizabeth II as the royal patron. Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, has been President since 2013, having taken over from her father Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh who served from 1952 to 2012.

The ESU is an international educational charity aims to bring together and empower people of different languages and cultures, by building skills and confidence in communication, such that individuals realise their potential. It has more than 50 international branches, including the one in Georgia.

The ESU holds Public Speaking Competition every year, where different representatives of the countries around the world participate. In the beginning of the 2000s, the Georgian participant Sopo Gogodze won the competition in London. Our newspaper is proud to mention that she worked for the "Messenger" for a while.