We can, of course, never forget the wrongs of the past, which must always inform the choices we make about the future. But they cannot be allowed to limit our horizons or to constrain the opportunity to which future generations aspire.

In coming here today, I can only say that my wife and I are most impressed with what we have seen of the enterprise and activity taking place on both sides of the River Severn.  

Charities like the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust are at the backbone of our society and can only continue their good work through the generosity of people like yourselves – so thank you again for supporting us.

It is a matter of the greatest pride that my School brings people together from all over the world and this can be seen in the immense variety of artwork from different traditions that are on display here today

I am no wordsmith, either as writer or a speaker, but I am a reader – and a passionate and a grateful one. And I take on this new role as your patron with great pleasure – conscious of the Society’s illustrious past, aware of the range of awards and prizes you give out each year to honour and support writers, and excited by all that I have heard about your plans for the future.

I have always had the greatest admiration for the Ismaili community's emphasis on intellectual and cultural exploration as a means of integration, and your determination to discharge your obligations as citizens of this country while maintaining your own special and distinctive traditions.

I know, and coming here for the last four years has confirmed to me, just how important we are to each other, at the end of the day.

Coming to Cork, with its proud history as a great maritime and trading city, gives us an opportunity to celebrate the strength of the economic and commercial relationship between our two countries which makes such a profound difference to us both. 

All you talented young writers understand the thrill of choosing just the right words, and the lasting pleasure of creating a brilliant story. And what brilliant stories you all sent in to this competition!

Expressions such as ‘going with the flow’ and ‘trying to push water uphill’ were coined with good reason.  That may seem trite, but to me it sums up why effective water management is both local and organised around the natural catchments which have been shaped by a combination of natural forces and human activity over millennia.