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British Association of Seoul adds to expat profile

This is a series introducing associations and clubs for expats. This week, Expat Living spoke to Jennifer McIntosh, incoming president of BASS ― Ed.

Who is it for? British passport-holders can become full members. We encourage those with a strong British interest or connection to join as associate members.

What goes on? BASS is a voluntary organization which brings together different talents to raise money for selected Korean charities (over 150 million won in 2010). This is done mainly through our flagship event, the Queen’s Birthday Ball, for which we have many big-name sponsors. BASS is also very much a social association, providing an excellent forum for exchanging experiences, forming friendships and self-enrichment.

BASS meets at the Seoul Club on the fourth Tuesday morning of the month from August to May. A speaker or company is usually invited, for example a cosmetics company for makeovers or a coffee manufacturer to learn about coffee. At the end of November we hold a Christmas fair where vendors come to display and sell seasonal goods and foods.

Apart from the regular events which are open to everyone, we have some member-only events, which are usually held at the British Embassy Residence. In addition, we have special visits to museums, markets, etc.

Plans for the future? We plan to hold more evening and weekend events so that working spouses and their families can join in the fun and get to know people.

How to join? Via www.britishseoul.com or at any events open to non-members.

Membership fees? 50,000 per year, covers the whole family.

What is the highlight of the year for your club? The highlight is the Queen’s Birthday Ball. In 2010 we welcomed more than 500 guests in the Grand Hyatt Ballroom. The singularity of the QBB is that the theme is only revealed as guests enter the ballroom; in 2010 the theme was the great era of cruise liners (see photograph). Past themes, all having a British flavor, have included the Chelsea Flower Show, the Great British Seaside, Harry Potter and Phantom of the Opera.
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