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These are usually called for on the death of an executive of another firm;

they are always difficult letters to write and much depends on how well the sympathisers know the people they are writing to. Again, such letters can be written from the angle of business rather than personal associa­tion.

It is not the custom in Britain to send out long announcements of deaths. A notice is put in the appropriate column of such papers as The Times, and in the case of companies the Chairman, in his report for the annual general meeting of shareholders, mentions the death or retire­ment of any members of the Board of Directors. However, letters would be written to regular business associates and especially to any who knew the director personally.

Something on the following lines would be written by the Secretary of the company:


[21] Letter announcing the death of a Chairman

You will, I know, be very sorry to hear of the sudden death of Sir James Brown, for thirty years Chairman of this company and a son of the founder of the business . . .


The following phrases would be suitable for the reply expressing sym­pathy:

10. We were deeply grieved (to hear) (to learn) of the sudden death of the Chairman of your company...

11. It was a great shock to hear the sad news of Sir James Brown's sudden death.

12. We are writing immediately to express our sincere sympathy.

13. We want to express our heartfelt sympathy...

14. All who knew him well remember his many kindnesses and his helpful advice.

15. Please (convey) (express) our sympathy also to his family.

A rather formal phrase is:

16. Please accept the expression of our deepest sympathy.




There are many occasions on which firms issue invitations, as do societies of various kinds. There are social gatherings for the members of the staff, especially during the Christmas and New Year season, and there are also official banquets as well as other activities.

The invitation is a formal one and printed cards are sent, usually with the following wording:



The Chairman and Directors of Marjoy Ltd.request the pleasure of your company at a Banquet to be held at the Great Hall, Western Avenue, Bournemouth at 8.30p.m. on Friday, 20th October, 1978.


Evening Dress to the Secretary.


R.S.V.P. (= 'Repondez s'il vous plait') is always printed on such formal invitations; the wording on the left ensures that full 'evening dress' is worn by everyone. Sometimes wording on the left indicates the type of 'entertainment' provided for the guests; when this is done the wording such as at a Banquet to be held would be omitted. As an example, meetings are frequently organised for the early evening, between 6 and 8 o'clock, and in the bottom left-hand comer the word 'Cocktails' is printed.

The name of the company may be left out and printed at the top, or the bottom of the card.

The answer to such formal invitations is in the third person; the guest uses notepaper with the address already die-stamped at the head, or writes in his address, but no name and address of the firm appears, neither is the salutation 'Dear Sirs' used nor the ending 'Yours faithfully'. In fact the reply would look like this:




(There is no signature to this letter.)

If Mr John Smith is obliged to refuse the invitation, the wording of the last two lines would be: '. . . but regrets that he is unable to accept owing to a prior engagement on that (day) (evening).

Informal, personal invitations are, of course, written and answered in the same way as other private correspondence.


[24] A letter from an overseascustomer, announcing a visit. (Note that the letter is written in the American style.)


We have the pleasure to announce that our Technical Director, Mr Daly, is planning to visit you early in October next, the purpose of which visit will be to study on the spot, with your valuable assistance and co-operation, various questions of importance, including of course our joint program for research.

It will be very helpful for him to exchange ideas about the promotion of the business, and meetings could perhaps be arranged with various authorities who may be interested in the constructional projects we have in view. Yourkind suggestions will be highly appreci­ated.

You will be informed in advance of the exact day on which Mr Daly will arrive in England. Meanwhile, with kind regards to your Directors, we are

Very truly yours


When he returns to his own country, after the visit proposed in the above letter, Mr Daly will write a letter of thanks for the hospitality received. This can be an official letter from his firm but a much more personal and friendly letter can be written, on the following


[25] A letter of thanks for hospitality (See letter no. 24)

(Private address of the American writer,

or the address of his office but without the firm's name.)

8 June 1978

Sir Walter Drake K.C.M.G.


The Drake & Sons Engineering Co. Ltd.



Dear Sir Walter

Back now in my own country I wish to thank you most warmly for your very excellent hospitality extended to me. The opportunity to meet yourself and your directors is something I had long looked forward to, and I can only hope now that one day I may be able to receive a visit here from you.

I very much appreciated your kindness and that of Mr James Frobisher in showing me round the new plant.

I thank you once again, and am,




(A more formal letter of thanks could be addressed to the Secretary of the company, asking him 'to convey' the thanks of the writer to the Chairman and directors.)


Date: 2016-03-03; view: 827

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