My headline may suggest that I am about to discuss a little-known Rock N’ Roll band, but no such thing.

Bill Perkins is an affable, energetic guy who enjoys good company as well as fine libations.  Discovering that there were insufficient occasions for him to be his expansive self in Almaty, he invented the Conclave.  It was an institution for a number of years, held at the Regent Hotel (now the Inter-Continental Hotel).

If you have wondered if one person, acting alone, can create an institution, look no further than Bill Perkins.

You might want to know what a conclave is.  Perhaps you already are aware, correctly, that it has a sense of being a gathering.  Generally, it means a private gathering, and if you look further, such as in a good dictionary, you will see that it has to do with a special assembly, one with special authority or influence. The most notable conclave is the assembly of cardinals to elect a pope.

The word Conclave was well chosen by Bill to describe his long series of events.  He certainly has a worshipful attitude toward fine drink.  Just as a reminder of what Conclaves were all about, I have reproduced a copy of the notice of the convening of Conclave XXX on February 2, 2004.  It was a treat for all who imbibed that night as were all the other Conclaves.

(Does anyone else remember Palm Pilots?)

Lots of people – predominantly but by no means exclusively men – rose to these occasions.  Many cheerfully made their contributions to the hoard of fine liquors often after a visit to an airport Tax Free shop before returning to Almaty.

This may be a bit late in coming but a big thanks to you, Bill, for adding so much to life so often while you were in Almaty. 


Book Sales:  Find more stories about Kazakhstan from the 1990s and later in my book, West Meets East in Kazakhstan.  It’s available online in softcover or e-book format from AuthorHouse (the publisher), or Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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