(from "Chairman's Report of the Fifty-Second Annual Meeting")

The only item under any other business was the retirement of Dr Ray Gambell OBE after 24 years as Secretary to the IWC. Fer von der Assen, Commissioner for the Netherlands, spoke on behalf of the other Commissioners, in recognising Ray's huge contribution to the organisation. He commented that Ray had the scientific expertise needed in a science-based organisation, recognised his administrative and financial ability to run both an efficient Secretariat and month-long Annual Meetings under very different circumstances and praised his ability to enunciate clearly the rules and procedures of the Commission. And regarding personal characteristics, he drew attention to Ray's sensitivity to the needs of all participants, and his ability to walk the tight rope between the often opposing factions within the Commission. He wished Ray all the best in his retirement.

The Chairman added his own personal thanks to Ray and on behalf of the Commission presented Ray with a Huggins South-Sea Whale Fishery print from the 1820s.

Dr Gambell thanked the Commission, spoke of the changes he had experienced during his 37-year involvement with the IWC, and the pleasure he has gained in working with the many Commissioners, delegates and NGOs over the years. He paid a special tribute to his colleagues in the Secretariat and thanked them for their support and friendship and wished Nicky Grandy well in her new endeavour.

As a special tribute to Dr Gambell, full texts of these speeches are provided in Appendix 6.

Finally, after thanking the Government of Australia for hosting the meeting and providing tremendous support, the Chairman closed the meeting.