In recognition of the hard work undertaken over a period of several years that Will contributed to our website, we have recently given Will Honorary Life Membership of the British Sake Association. Around 2012, Will took over working on our website and social media accounts and, most notably, helped set up our twitter account, increasing our number of followers to over a thousand. All this was done with no remuneration, fitted in between his (very demanding) job as Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sussex: all because Will is passionate about sake, and about the culture from which it comes – Japan. (Will and I cheerfully compare notes each year about our attempts at making umeboshi, his being so successful that his family demolish them before the next batch are even underway!)
But no one can do undertake such a mammoth task for ever: with a growing young family, and pressing work commitments, Will reluctantly handed over to Harriet Furze last year, and Harriet has taken to the task with gusto. We are grateful to both of them. Especially though, we wish Will all the best in his future endeavours, and look forward to seeing him at future BSA events. Thank you Will for all you have done. It is deeply appreciated, and your understanding of, and love for, Japanese culture and sake is much missed.
In the very early days of the BSA – around 2005 if my memory serves me right – I assisted in the tricky business of technology by another Japan enthusiast, chef Paul Hughes. I was introduced to Paul by our mutual friend, the late Professor Richard Hosking (author of the bestselling Dictionary of Japanese Food). Paul was at that time working as a charcutier at Ginger Pig, but his enthusiasm for food is wide ranging. Paul too is obsessive about Japan and blogs about his frequent visits on blog Cheffromhell.com and Instagram (@bellytimber).
Paul worked with us for a few years, attending many of our events, but then he also had to retire because of work pressures. Happily though, Paul has remained as enthusiastic about sake as ever and, with his Japanese wife Mina, wants to continue to support what we are doing at the BSA. So we have also offered Honorary Life Membership to Paul, with our thanks and gratitude. We look forward to welcoming Paul and Mina to future events.