- New Year's Eve 2015
- The Elixir of Freedom by Michael Moran
- Magia Ogniska, czyli 75 lat minęło
- Talk: Napoleon The Great
- Impresje Podlaskie
- New Year's Eve 2014
- Ognisko's Christmas Party 2014
- Hemar Theatre: The Misanthrope
Jamaican Party 'Golden Eye'
- Basia Trzetrzelewska
- 'Chopin in Vienna' exhibition
- Monthly Members' Evening 4
- The Ognisko Masquerade Ball
- Stars of Solidarity
Jamaican Party 'Golden Eye'
Titled Goldeneye, after the James Bond movie, the Jamaican style private party of 250 guests was organised to raise money for several charities: The Mary Obolensky Leukaemia Foundation; the Chain of Hope, and the Sir John Golding Centre.
Lady Gabriella Windsor, performing under the name of Ella, by which she is known amongst family and friends, made her singing debut at the Polish Hearth Club, South Kensington, on Wednesday evening 26th June 2014. Showing no signs of first night nerves or shyness, Ella swayed in time to the band on the stage with female reggae singer, Alexis Mercedes. Ella sang two popular reggae numbers Darling and Here I Am, accompanied by reggae band The Allstars, a group of top musicians who gathered especially for the occasion, under the direction of jazz musician Ciyo Brown, and fronted by lead singer Matt Henry. The band was sponsored by Kirsten Rausing who breeds race horses and has a well known stud farm at New Market, Suffolk, and who on the night looked stunning in a floor length jade green gown and matching jewellery.
Titled Goldeneye, after the James Bond movie, the Jamaican style private party of 250 guests was organised to raise money for several charities: The Mary Obolensky Leukaemia Foundation; the Chain of Hope, and the Sir John Golding Centre. Mr Anthony Underwood founded M.O.U.F in 1987, in his wife's Mary's name following her death from leukaemia the previous year. Mary Obolensky was born Princess Mary, and Anthony formed the foundation to finance a research programme at the London Clinic which still continues today and is sponsored by Anglo American Foundation. They help people go through treatment and buy pieces of medical equipment for various hospitals and clinics.
The Jamaican High Commissioner Her Excellency Aloun Assamba addressing the guests.
The charity event was put on by Ella's uncle and aunt, George, The Earl of St Andrews (elder son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent) and his wife the Countess Sylvana; Her Excellency Aloun Ndombet-Assamba the High Commissioner of Jamaica; and society portrait painter Barbara (Basia) Kaczmarowska Hamilton and her husband Ian, all of who were in attendance. There was a variety of dress, including black tie and fancy dress, and Jamaican green was much in evidence.
Left to right: Henry Morton Jack; Lady Ella Windsor and her brother Lord Frederick (Freddy) Windsor.
Ella, who is the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, was accompanied to the party by her brother Lord Frederick (Freddy) Windsor, and her cousins Lord Downpatrick (Edward) Windsor and his sisters, Lady Marina Windsor and Lady Amelia Windsor, who are the children of George and Sylvana. The young royals congregated at times under the canopy on the balcony on the roof of the club overlooking Exhibition Road, South Kensington, directly opposite Imperial College. The sound of the reggae band and singing could be heard several yards down the road.
Other VIPs who attended the party were the Countess Kristina von Merveldt, Ziggy Golding, Sir Benjamin Slade, Caroline St George, Heini Al Fayed, the wife of Mohamed Al Fayed, former owner of Harrods, Paula Kerr-Jarrett, Lady Colin Campbell (the Queen Mother's biographer), the Honourable Alex Foley, Ziggi Golding, Eugenie van Harinxma, Sir Benjamin Slade and many others.
"The Allstars" reggae band fronted by lead singer Matt Henry put together by jazz musician Ciyo Brown. They accompanied Lady Gabriella (Ella) Windsor and Alexis Mercedes.
The band played reggae adaptations of 1950s, 60s and 70s, music, and Jamaican rum punch was served across the bar throughout the evening. After a fine supper of traditional Jamaican spiced chicken, laid on by the new Polish Hearth Club restaurant manager, Count Jan Woroniecki, and his staff, guests danced the hours away from 7 pm until midnight to such tunes as I Fell Into A Burning Ring of Fire that was recorded in the late 1960s by Country n Western singer Johnny Cash.
Caroline St. George, Kristen Rausing, the Jamaican High Commissioner, Her Excellency Aloun Assamba-Ndombet; Barbara Kaczmarowska Hamilton and Ziggi Golding.
James Bond, the Hamiltons and Jamaica are all intimately interwoven. Ian Fleming who wrote the James Bond novels lived in Jamaica. General Sir Ian Hamilton who lived at No.1 Hyde Park Gardens London, and who led the failed attack at Gallipoli during the First World War in 1915, was Fleming's godfather, Fleming's father having served with the general. General Sir Ian's nephew, the present Ian Hamilton, owns a sugar plantation in Spanish Town, Jamaica, and his brother Alexander and wife Erica own Cymanas House in Spanish town, where the Hamilton family have spent many summer holidays and Christmas and New Year breaks. Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, visited Cymanas House and the letter she wrote is today treasured by the Hamiltons.
Lady Belhaven & Stenton and Mrs Kristina Matson receiving guests at the front desk.
Much of the hard work to make the event a success was carried out by the Chairman of the Polish Hearth Club, retired British Army Colonel Nicholas Kelsey, Lady Belhaven & Stenton (Malgosia) who is the wif of Robert (Robin), Hamilton, 13th Baron Belhaven & Stenton, and Mr Kristina Matson, these two ladies having spent the evening on the reception desk, greeting guests for five and a half hours. Military historian Mr John Lee volunteered to tag arriving guests with wrist bands that showed that the 250 who attended were paying guests.
The event was covered by a variety of press: Mr Piotr Gulbicki for the Polish Daily and Mr George Ruddock, Managing Director, GV MEDIA LIMITED, Publishers of The VOICE and The WEEKLY GLEANER newspapers to who we are much indebted for generously granting copyright for photographs for this news letter; journalist, Mr James Hughes Onslow and photographer Mr Damien McFadden both representing the Daily Mail; and royal photographer Edward Lloyd.
Date: 24 June 2014