Wherever two or more Reuters people gather together they are sure to have a preferred neighbourhood watering hole.
It may have been the redoubtable Mrs Moon’s, a grubby, nondescript bar in a draughty Fleet Street cellar whose strange mystique lay in its grim and charmless scruffiness and famously iron rule of its fierce, eponymous landlady; or Mulligan’s on a busy mid-town Manhattan corner of Seventh Avenue, New York where weekly paychecks were cashed by the jovial Irish bartenders more promptly and with far more grace than at any bank; or the legendary colonial-style FCC - the Foreign Correspondents’ Club - on Lower Albert Road in Central, Hong Kong, a second home for journalists in Asia to this day. Many are the unsung haunts in quieter, far-flung spots where correspondents swapped tales about the privations of assignments in hardship posts: the heat, the flies, the warm champagne.
Brian Williams*, former correspondent, editor and much-travelled bon vivant, was one of many who knew a few refuges from the rigours of the job. “One of the joys of working for Reuters was going to foreign lands and knowing that if you called the bureau they'd (in most cases) know the best little secret restaurant or beach or hang-out or bar or some such,” he recalled.
* Brian Williams died on 7 February 2015 aged 69. ■