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The British Benevolent Society of California provides financial aid and compassionate relief to British Citizens in need throughout the Western United States.

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February 2019 Newsletter

light-filled meeting space

Mark your calendar for the upcoming AGM on 3 April! We hope that all members are able to attend. Join us as we reflect on 2018 accomplishments and prepare for 2019.We are thrilled that our special guest, HMCG Andrew Whittaker, is able to again attend the AGM. Further details and registration for the event can be found by visiting our website.

New BBS Board Members

The BBS is very pleased to formally announce our new board members, Kelly Ducourty and Kay-Firth Butterfield.

Kelly Ducourty

Kelly is a transformative leader heading the WW Sales Excellence Organization for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In her current role she works Packard Enterprise. In her current role she works across the global sales environment managing presales, inside sales, product/service categories, consumption sales, and new acquisition incubation. Kelly performs this across the full HPE business ($23B+). Kelly joined the Board of the BBS in order to become involved with a society who seek to improve the lives of British national in California and beyond-especially those in need. She also looks forward to meeting new people and having fun while making a difference.

Kay is head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the World Economic Forum. She has worked as a barrister, mediator, arbitrator, business owner, professor and judge in the UK.

Kay Firth-Butterfield

In the United States, she taught at underrate and law school levels and worked as a professional lecturer. She is a humanitarian with a strong sense of social justice and has advanced degrees in Law and International Relations. In her role as Chief Officer of an Ethics Advisory Panel for an AI company, she advised governments, think tanks and non-profits about artificial intelligence. She is co founder of the Consortium for Law and Policy of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the Robert E. Strauss Center, University of Texas and taught a course at the UT Law School for the Consortium. “Artificial Intelligence and emerging technologies: Law and Policy”. She has often been named amongst the foremost ‘women in tech’, particularly in AI and Robotics.

For more on Kelly and Kay, and any of our other directors please visit the BBS website.


As our readers are aware, every month we are introduced to Brits in need of assistance and a helping hand; and February was no different. We have been providing shelter and basic necessities to a man who has been living in poverty, and held against his will. The case is delicate, private and quite desperate. The authorities are involved and this individual is now
receiving medical assistance and compassionate relief from the BBS.

Thank you to all of our loyal members who continue to support the BBS. Your membership dues directly provided shelter, safety and independence for this individual. This recipient of your compassion and financial assistance will face some difficult days and months ahead, but he will have a much better chance of surviving knowing that there is an organization that cares about his well-being.

Mostly British Film Festival

Thank you to everyone who joined us for a meet up and night at the cinema to watch Swimming with Men. The film was so much fun.

It was great to see new faces and reconnect with old friends. Thank you for supporting the Mostly British Film Festival and we hope to see everyone again next year!

The Brits Are Coming
Friday 22 March

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC)-under the leadership of Mr. Timothy Seelig, Artistic Director and Christopher Verdugo, Executive Director continues Season 41 with The Brits are Coming! A one-night-only salute to legendary British musicians and the wonderful music they have shared with the world.

Accompanied by a five-piece band, SFGMC will take audiences on a journey through the colorful and varied British songbook-from Handel and Sir William Walton to The Beatles and Adele to Sir Elton John and, of course, Queen! Grab your mates for a smashing evening of memorable music, cheeky humor, and the posh stylings of 300 queens (minus Elizabeth).


The Brits are Coming! will take placeat Davies Symphony Hall(201 Van Ness

Avenue, San Francisco) on Friday, March 22 at 8 p.m.Tickets range in price from $25 -$125and are available now by visiting or by calling City Box Office at 415-392-4400

Read More of the February 2019 Newsletter Here

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