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February - March 2007
An Evening of "Afro-Asian" Splendour
The luxurious Orchard Suite at the Millenium Gloucester Hotel, Kensington, was decked with flags of various countries showing the names of towns and cities in Africa and South Asia, depicting the typical geographical areas from where the business activities of “Afro-Asian” emanate. The guests present also reflected these geographical regions.
Afro-Asian Insurance Services (UK and India), the well-known international
insurance and reinsurance brokers, hosted some 300 guests from the UK, Europe,
Africa and South Asia to a memorable evening of entertainment and dinner. The “Afro-Asian” team,
and its Managing Director, Udai Patel, also took the opportunity of celebrating
the 70th Birthday of their Executive Chairman, Rasik H. Patel, in the presence
of a number of notable dignitaries. Among them was former Vice-President and
Prime Minister of Tanzania, Hon. John Malecela MP, who is currently Vice Chairman
of the Ruling Party (CCM) and a member of the Central Committee of the Party.
He was accompanied by his wife, Hon. (Mrs.) Anne Malecela MP, Hon. Martha Mlata
MP, among others, who had travelled with him from Tanzania.
Among the numerous friends and relatives who made a special effort to be there for this occasion were Mr. C.B. Patel, Editor and Publisher of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar; Mr. Krishen Ralleigh, Editor of India Link and his wife Vijay; Mr. Rajan Sehgal & Mrs. Karthik Sehgal of Skylord Plc; Dr. & Mrs. S. P. Sharma; Mr & Mrs George Jatania of Lornamead fame; Mr. K.G. Arora, Chief Executive of the New India Assurance Co. (U.K.) & his family; Dr. I.P. Patel, MBE and Mrs. Sarojben Patel; and many others.
The unique intelligent lighting system of the Orchard Suite coupled with the presence of an excellent band which played English, Hindi and Swahili numbers throughout the night, and the mock gaming Casino that had been set up outside the Orchard Suite, added to the enjoyment of this well-planned and well-thought out function. One of the most attractive aspects was, of course, the spectacular dance presentations choreographed by Ruby of “Indiadances”.
In his address Mr Udai Patel, Managing Director of “Afro-Asian” (UK and India), expressed his appreciation and thanks to the numerous friends who had travelled from abroad and to friends and family for their presence at the function. He then called upon his father, the Executive Chairman of “Afro-Asian” Group, to cut his 70th Birthday cake with a ceremonial sword.
In his response, Mr. Rasik Patel acknowledged the unflinching support he had always had in the past 46 years from his wife, Kunj, who he said had been a pillar of strength for him and had sacrificed so much to achieve the happiness in his family. He added “She brought our only offspring, Udai, into this world, and brought him up with little or no help from me.” Rasik Patel also expressed his appreciation for an intelligent and diligent son like Udai, who with the support and clever guidance of Priti, his wife, have successfully built up the business. Rasik added that both Udai and Priti had “given us two wonderful grandchildren, Tanya and Anushka.” “ What more could a man ask for on his 70th birthday?” he asked.
Mr. Lubasi and Hon. John Malecela also addressed the august gathering. Mr. Lubasi praised Mr. Patel’s long and committed work for the development of insurance in Africa over the past 30 years or so and wished him many more years of active life.
Hon. John Malecela compared Rasik Patel’s travels in Africa and Asia
to those of the historical traveller, Ibn Batutah. He ended by proudly emphasising
that although Rasik was now in the United Kingdom “to us in Tanzania
he will always be, and is a product of Tanzania.”