We are introducing the members of International Czech Club, coworkers of the editorial board and well wishersLady Milena Grenfell-Baines

10 2003 Ostatní česky
obálka čísla

She is probably the only Czech woman in our history with the title Lady. When we became acquainted when she received the award "Gratis Agit" in 1998, she asked me to call her simply Milena. She subscribed to Czech Dialogue and offered to represent the magazine free of charge in Great Britain. Since then we see each other on different occasions and I can only add to the following official list of her activities which could fill a book, and that it is due to her that Czech "remosky" became a hit year before last year in Britain, that she wrote a Czech cookbook in English, and that she is a very nice, smiling woman bubbling with ideas and positive energy. I am glad to know her and to have this opportunity to introduce her.


She was born on November 11, 1929 in Prague. In 1939 she left Czechoslovakia as one of the last Jewish children saved before the nazi genocide. (The departure of 644 Jewish children into exile in Great Britain was organized by Nicholas Winton, who has been an honorary citizen of Prague since 1991, since 1998 a bearer of the T.G. Masaryk award, and this year was knighted by the Queen.

Although Lady Milena grew up abroad, her love for her native country, for Czech culture, language, history and its people has not changed, but has actually grown. In Britain she attended a Czechoslovak high school. Then she became a pedriatic nurse. From 1950 to 1952 she worked in France. In 1954 she married the architect George Grenfell-Baines, whose professional achievements have been recognized by the Queen with a title of nobility.

From 1959 on Milena began to visit Czechoslovakia, her fellow students and friends. From 1965 until 1969 she worked as an interpreter for the London Chamber of Commerce during exhibitions held in Prague. She sponsored and organized a number of visits of Czech architects to Northern England. During the time when Libor Pesek conducted the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra, she was a member of its board of directors. She brought the Merseyside Youth Orchestra to this country. It performed in Prague, Marianske Lazne, and Karlovy Vary.

Lady Grenfell-Baines enthusiastically helps to deepen the interest of British citizens in the Czech Republic, our people, our culture, our sports, and our economiy. During the many years as a member of the board of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO), she supported Czech artists, and encouraged the inclusion of a Czech repertory into programs and thus contributed to the great success of RLPO during their appearances in the Czech Republic.

With her many contacts in the world of business, she helps students and performers from the Czech Republic find sponsors in England. She is also a patron of the newly created Foundation of Emma Destinova. She took care of the financial support of the first concert of this foundation in London. Lady Grenfell-Baines was active or many years in the "Preston Twinning" commission, which helped establish city partnerships in the Czech Republic Republic and worked closely with "Halton College" in its program of annual exchanges of Czech and British students of hotel schools. Since 1998 she is the chair person of the most important and most numerous association of Czechs and Slovaks in the United Kingdom: The British-Czech-Slovak Association.

From MZV materials.
Translated by Helen Vavrecka

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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