On 14th March, Theo was invited to be the Guest of Honour at The Society of Old Friends Spring Dinner which took place at the historic Stationers’ Hall in London. It was an evening steeped in tradition and as Henry J Ryman had been Master of the Stationers’ Company and, in 1946-7, also President of the Society of Old Friends it was fitting for Theo to attend as Guest of Honour.
Other Guests of Honour over the years have included H.G. Wells, J.B. Priestley, Dame Barbara Cartland, Jeffrey Archer, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Enoch Powell, Ken Livingstone, David Mellor, Ronnie Corbett, Al Murray, Jack Charlton, Alex Stewart and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
Theo joined the Society’s President, David Langdown, in welcoming over 100 Old Friends and their guests; a tradition which saw him shake all of their hands on the way into the dinner hall. After the presidential welcome, Theo gave a toast to the dinners where it is custom to replace “Ladies and Gentlemen” with the phrase “Old Friends, Your Friends.”
After dinner, Theo was invited to do an an interview on the stage with David. Theo was quizzed on his childhood, education, career and entrepreneurialism. There were many anecdotes from his days on Dragons’ Den, Millwall Football Club and his business successes. It was a trip down memory lane for Theo and insightful for all of the attendees. The President finished the evening by inviting Theo to be an honorary member of the society.