I am delighted to write to you as the new President of The Bengal Club. I am honoured by the enormous responsibility which you have entrusted to me. I am certain that with the support and guidance of our newly elected Vice President, Mr. Kunal Sen, and the rest of the General Committee, we will continue to preserve and promote the legacy and aristocracy of the club, while offering it as a repose to you and your families at this unprecedented time of worldwide despondency.
As a first order of business, let me introduce you to the members of the General Committee who will be handling the various Sub-Committee portfolios for the year.
Administration: Mr. Rudra Chatterjee, Chairperson
Bar & Staff Welfare: Mr. JP Khaitan, Chairperson
Chambers: Dr Nandini Ray, Chairperson, Ms Afroze Randerian, Co-Chairperson
Communications: Mr. Sumit Ray, Chairperson, Dr Sandip Chatterjee, Co-Chairperson
Entertainment: Mr. Sumit Ray, Chairperson, Mr. Avijit Mukerji, Co-Chairperson
Environment & Sustainability: Mr. Partha Ranjan Das, Chairperson
Finance, Systems, Research & Analysis: Mr. Avijit Mukerji, Chairperson
Food: Ms Afroze Randerian, Chairperson, Dr Nandini Ray, Co-Chairperson
Information Technology: Mr. Sumit Ray, Chairperson
Library: Dr Sandip Chatterjee, Chairperson
Legal: Mr. Ratnanko Banerji, Chairperson
Projects, Maintenance, Heritage; Sports: Mr. Partha Ranjan Das, Chairperson
During this term, our immediate priority is to restore a sense of normalcy that the pandemic has disrupted in our lives for the past year and a half. It is but natural that as the despair of an endless pandemic consumes us, we should turn to our beloved club for respite. We are already elated to see this return as we find the Reynolds Room, the Oriental Room, and the Nagraj Bar welcoming members and their guests on Friday evenings. Therefore, even as the state imposed restrictions on social gatherings continue, we will endeavor our best to maintain our sense of community through virtual events, take away food and drink services, and occasional socially distanced in-person activities if possible. Within the past few weeks, we have reintroduced our old breakfast menus, continental buffet lunches and diverse food festivals, re-opened the Oriental Room, and resumed live music at the Nagraj Bar—all with the aim of restoring the pre-pandemic charm and gaiety of the club. To this end we are taking cautious healthcare and sanitation measures within the club, incentivizing staff vaccinations and strictly enforcing the mask mandate wherever possible to ensure your safety against the pandemic.
Some of our other targeted objectives this year will include membership development and experience management, enhancing the Club’s public image, fundraising, and organising events for young members. More generally, we seek to implement a balance of tradition and modernity in the club—through events that celebrate our roots, heritage and culture while employing the advancements of modern technology to connect new and old members and garner a broader club community.
Our various Sub Committees are now in the process of working out their plans and soon they will communicate to you the progress they have made. Separately, we also plan to collect and collate feedback from each of you about the club and its various services, as well as your suggestions on our goals for the year. I hope to communicate with you through these letters regularly to encourage your engagement with the Club leadership.
As I look forward to the many months of work that lies ahead of me, I would like to take this opportunity to express my immense gratitude to those whose shoes I attempt to fill. I applaud the perseverance and tenacity of Mr. S.N. Mookherjee, the club’s former president for the 2020-21 term, who has taught me to navigate the highs and lows of this position with confidence and good humour. Despite serving during a term of absolute unpredictability, Mr. Mookherjee was able to hugely enhance the finances of the club and expand our exclusive member list. I would also like to thank the ten former Presidents of the club with whom I have served on their General Committee — the late Mr. Ram Ray, Mr. Biswadip Gupta, Mr. Avijit Deb, Mr. Jishnu Pratap Ray, Mr. Subir Bose, Mr. S.S. Mukherji, Dr Tapas Raychaudhury and Mr. Sumit Mazumder. I approach my present role armed with all the lessons I have learnt from each of these inimitable gentlemen, with the quiet trepidation of being compared to them. I must also extend my heartfelt regards to former Presidents Mr. Anjan Ghosh and Mr. Roopen Roy who inducted me into this community and jump started my two-decade long journey through the club.
I know that my duty as an elected President is merely to ensure that the Bengal Club remains the palimpsest of its membership as it has through its century-long existence. Therefore, during my presidency I will strive to keep up with the changing times and tastes of our current members. I hope that you shall continue your patronage of the club without hesitating to register any advice or criticism you might have. I look forward to working for and with you through the rest of the term.
I pray for the health and well-being of you and your loved ones.