The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. has long reached out to the world. Now that is more true than ever. A gala inauguration party was held Saturday night for Myron Belkind, the l07th President. He serves for this year.
Myron has long worked with the Associated Press, where he headed bureaus in Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, London, and Tokyo. He was the President of Foreign Correspondents Clubs in Japan, New Delhi, and London, and has worked tirelessly for the Washington National Press Club - one of the largest in the world.
Myron's wonderful wife, Rachel, is originally from India, and much of the evenings events were in her honor and celebrated the culture of India. Some of the food was Indian, some men and women dressed in handsome Indian clothes, and the dinner started with a parade by Chinese lion dancers and musicians of the George Washington University Bhangra troupe (Myron now teaches journalism courses at GW). At the end of the evening, some in the audience tried to dance with the group in an Indian form of zumba, but tougher!
During the dinner, a congratulatory message was read from President Obama. There were various video tape messages and speeches, including ones from the South African Ambassador and from Jan Du Plain, who organized and chaired the event. But the best video of all was a humble, sarcastic one from Pat Buchanan, who went to Columbia Journalism School with Myron. Pat joked about his failures in politics and journalism.
There was a stellar international turnout at the dinner, with 25 Ambassadors and representatives from a total of 37 countries. There was also sponsorship from a number of international companies.
Myron was sworn in on a globe, joined by some of his family, including a five year old grandson. There was humor in the oath, but Myron then turned serious. He said the vast changes in the news industry have brought opportunity as well as challenges. More people can now enter and direct news outlets. But he urged all to keep high standards, be accurate, and convey optimism and hope. These are messages he also brings as President of the National Press Club.
Good luck, Myron! -- Connie Lawn