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2010 Winners

The Rawabi Holding Awards were this year awarded to Col. Nigel Bromage and Prof. Nigel Heaton. The event was held on 20th January 2010, as usual combined with the Society’s Annual Dinner, at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall.

The donor, Mr. Abdulaziz al Turki, presented the awards and the winners made acceptance speeches. Nominations for this year’s winners were submitted by Dr. al–Dakheel and Brig. Nicholas Cocking. Their proposals are given below.


Professor Nigel Heaton, proposed by Dr. Fawaz al–Dakheel, as follows:
I would like to nominate Prof. Dr Nigel Heaton, a well known Liver Transplant Surgeon who is also the Head of the Transplant Unit at Kings University Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, for the Rawabi Award in recognition of his contribution to promoting exchange in the field of cancer research, liver and pancreas transplant through Abdul Aziz Al–Turki Charity Foundation in Saudi Arabia.

Prof. Heaton has, over the last few years, led many serious operations of Saudi patients and has taken a keen personal interest in their health which has been beyond the call of duty.

He is currently in discussions for organising a Liver and Pancreas Research Group in Saudi Arabia where he and Mr. Al–Turki have agreed to develop and enhance pancreas and liver transplants and to help and develop medical research. Professor Heaton has already participated in Mr. Al–Turki’s conference on health and a lecture programme at Mr. Al–Turki’s charitable Foundation in Saudi Arabia, at which he gave talks and lectures to a group of Saudi doctors in the Eastern Province about new medical methods in the field of children’s cancer and liver diseases which have provided the group with of a lot of knowledge and opened up more understanding of the subject.

In conclusion, I strongly recommend him for the nomination of the Al Rawabi Award.

Colonel Nigel Bromage, proposed by Brig. Nicholas Cocking, as follows:
Nigel was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards in 1945 at the age of 18. A year later he found himself training the Palestine Police in Ramle for which he was made MBE. In 1947 he was seconded to the Arab Legion and fought with them at the Battle of Latroun in 1948, where he was wounded. He was decorated for gallantry by King Abdullah ibn Husain of Jordan in 1952. He stayed with the Arab Legion until 1955 and then became Assistant Military Attache in the British Embassy in Amman until 1961. In 1963 Nigel, together with Lt Col Kenneth Timbrell RHG, was sent to Saudi Arabia to set up the British Military Mission to the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), under the newly appointed commander, Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. The British Team was very largely instrumental in turning a force of tribal irregulars into a functioning army. He had daily contact with Prince Abdullah in those early days, who welcomed his advice and considered him a personal friend, a relationship that has endured. It is worth mentioning here that Nigel and his wife Pamela ran an unofficial ‘soup kitchen’ for any impoverished bedu who visited them at their house in Riyadh. His knowledge of the Arabic language is extensive, especially the various bedouin dialects. He was often able to confound his Saudi hosts with this knowledge, much to their amusement. Using his links in the former Arab Legion he recruited a number of Jordanian officers, who initially formed the bedrock of SANG. Nigel was advanced to OBE for his work with SANG.

Nigel stayed in the Arabian Peninsula for most of the rest of his service, first as an adviser to the Kuwait Liaison Team and finally as Military Adviser to the British Embassy in the UAE. He retired in 1979.

After his miltary service Nigel was retained by Prince Abdullah as a loyal friend of the Kingdom. His official position was adviser to the SANG office in London but his advice and assistance extended well beyond this, in that he became a trusted and respected condfidant of Prince Abdullah’s family. Many senior British politicians have sought his discreet advice over the years, as have diplomats, the military and businessmen. He has massaged, in a typically understated way, Saudi–British relations over many years, in such a way that both have profited.

Nigel Bromage’s high standing with HM King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has many origins. First is his gallantry at Latroun, his service to SANG, his deep knowledge of Arabic and the Arabs and his service to the King and his family in the latter years.

At 82, after a lifetime of service to Arabia as a whole and the Kingdom in particular, I commend Nigel Bromage to the Selection Committee.

Past Events

Travels with Maridadi by Bizzie Frost

The talk, Travels with Maridadi took place on Thursday 25 April in which former long-time resident in Saudi Arabia, Bizzie Frost, shared her remarkable adventures travelling across the deserts and mountains of the Kingdom and its neighbours on a Harley Davidson with her husband.
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