Out & About: Happy Birthday Mr President … ready for your close-up?
Before you accuse International Club Copenhagen president Hasse Ferrold, our esteemed About Town columnist, of overdoing it on the occasion of his advancement into the septuagenarians club, let it be said that having two parties is perfectly normal in Denmark, where birthday festivities are often known to last a whole week. Among the well-wishers bearing gifts at the premises of Vin Hjornet in Herlev on January 22 were Bulgarian ambassador Roussi Ivanov (pictured above).
In attendance at both parties in a display of the stamina that has been required to keep up with their patriarch all these years were Hasse’s family (above).
Nobody found out whether Hasse paid the piper for his excesses, but there was no denying the impact of KUKS president Kaj Larssen (top), who graced both parties with his enchanting, ear-splitting chimes. Party Number 2 also included a ICC Copenhagen Wine Trade event hosted by Vin Hjornet (centre) and a performance by musicians from the Royal Academy of Music (bottom).
As a well-known face within the diplomatic corps, it was touching to see so many of the city’s ambassadors turn out to salute Hasse, including (top) Toshiro Suzuki (Japan) and Mina Balde Laurent (Ivory Coast), the dean of the diplomatic corps; (centre: left-right) Amadou Tcheko (Niger), Muhammad Abdul Muhit (Bangladesh), Fahad Alruwaily (Saudi Arabia) and Gigi Gigiadze (Georgia); and (bottom) Tone Kajzer (Slovenia).
Hasse’s February 20 party at Ankara Restaurant on Vesterbrogade was a more Danish affair, although the speeches did get increasingly international as the evening progressed. Among those addressing the president were (top-bottom) Tom McEwan and Ian Burns via a medley of hits from Hasse’s childhood; Barry McKenna and Sue Hansen Styles with some superb Shakespearean sonnets reflecting on the wonders of adulthood; and old friend Bertel Harder, the former minister, with a witty poem about getting old.