Dear Zia Haider Rahman, dear Frederik Schodt, dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great honor for me to open this first award ceremony of the foundation Friends of MacDonald • The Dutch Connection, as its president. My name is Ernst Homburg.
The foundation, created at the end of 2015, wants to promote a deeper understanding of the relations between Asia, Europe, and North America, in particular by stimulating and honoring the work of young people in this field.
Therefore, each year a writer or artist is granted the Ranald MacDonald Award for his or her first ’true, good and beautiful’ work in the public domain.
The foundation might, exceptionally, decide to honor an individual who substantially contributed to shedding new light on the relations mentioned above. This first year the board decided to make such an exception.
As we are having this ceremony today for the very first time, this day is very special for me.
Without my friend Fred Dijs this award would not have existed. For more than twenty years he is already fascinated by the relations between Europe, Asia and North America, and especially by looking to Asia from the east to the west. It was at his initiative that a year ago the foundation was created.
Therefore, with great pleasure, I now give the floor to our secretary…