The Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) organised a luncheon recently to welcome the new Irish Ambassador – Dr Ray Bassett. Representatives of the various Irish organisations were in attendance to meet the new Ambassador and learn about his background and hear his plans for the new post.
The Ambassador gave a very amicable speech outlining; his education and early career, his past posts in Belfast and Copenhagen and how Canada and in particularly Canadians have had a large part to play in the Northern Ireland Peace Process, listing John de Chastelain (Decommissioning), Al Hutchinson (Police Ombudsman) as notable examples.
Dr Bassett then went on to talk about his experiences in Canada to date, followed by a detailed question and answer session in which, he outlined his commitment to listening and understanding the needs of the various Irish organisations in Quebec.
It was fairly evident that the Ambassador was a genuine sports fan and was particularly knowledgeable on the subject of rugby. The lunch concluded with a rousing cheer for the recent cup winning successes of the Montreal Irish RFC and Mark Gallagher (MIRFC – President) presented Dr Basssett with a Montreal Irish tie to wear at next year’s finals.
As a side note Dr Bassett listed ornithology as an interest, so Andy P, in the words of the late-great Michael Jackson………. “You are not alone”