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#177 3 Exclusive Clubs
Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Philadelphia, PA
Thursday, January 12, 2023




#177 BlogPost - Thursday, January 12, 2023


Posted byDenny Hatch


The World's Three Most
Exclusive Private Clubs


Beretta .25Automatic Pistol. Manufactured by the privately held Pietro Beretta WeaponsFactory in Italy, the oldest firearms company in the world, founded in 1526.


Dialog from the Movie of Ian Fleming's Dr. No (1963)


(toM, referring to Bond's Beretta)

"Nice andlight... in a lady's handbag."


M (Bernard Lee)
(to James Bond)

"Any comment,007?"


                 JAMES BOND (Sean Connery)
 "I disagree, sir. I've carried theBeretta
  for ten years, and I've never missed with

"No, but it jammed on you last job, andyou spent six months in hospital in consequence. When you carry a 00 number,you have a license to kill, not get killed. Furthermore, since I've been headof MI6 there's been a forty percent drop in casualties,and I want to keep it that way. From now on you carry the Walther... unlessyou'd rather return to standard intelligence duties."


"No sir, I wouldnot."


(to Boothroyd)

"Show him,Armourer."



(Showing Bond the Waltherpistol)

"Walther PPK, 7.65 millimeter, with a deliverylike a brick through a plate-glass window. American CIA agents swear by them."

——Richard Maibaum, JohannaHarwood, Berkely Mather, Screenwriters Dr. No. 


When President John F. Kennedy told areporter that he was reading "From Russia With Love," the James Bondnovels of Ian Fleming took off like a rocket. Young Sean Connery wannabessidled up to bars all over the world and ordered a "vodka martini, verycold, shaken not stirred, served straight up."


Straightdope.com surmised, "JamesBond has probably created more martini drinkers than all the gin joints in theworld."


Over 60 years the Bond franchise hasspawned 27 movies with a combined worldwide gross of $7.8 billion. Bond'sBeretta .25 automatic pistol also took on mythic status among firearms cognoscente. Itis a terrific weapon. After all, Beretta has been making guns since 1526, so itshould know what it is doing.


What is remarkable about the Beretta company is that it isnot only a family-owned business but has been in the same family since itsfounding 496 years ago.


In researching Beretta, I stumbled across a truly extraordinaryexclusive club—the Henokiens. These are 51 family-owned businesses that arestill going strong and in the hands of the same family for over 200 years!


Two Other—Much Smaller Exclusive PrivateClubs… 

Club #1.   Living American ex-Presidents.

 Club #2.    The Grand Masters of the 8 RoyalPalaces of  Europe.


The 51 Unpublicized, Fascinating Henokiens

I stumbled upon the Henokiens in 2005 when I was president,publisher editor and reporter at the now-deceased Target Marketing Magazine.Somebody mentioned the most exclusive club in the world was livingex-Presidents of the United states.


The roster of U.S.ex-Prexies 2005 was a group of four: Ford,Carter, Bush 41 and Clinton.


In 2023 the number is up to 5: Carter, Clinton, Bush 43,Obama, Trump.


What might be other exclusive clubs in this world Iwanted  to know?


Exclusive Club #2: The Grand Masters

In the 1953 class at the Andover prep school was a low-key,wonderfully likeable, smart as hell Dutch exchange student named Floor (FlorentiusWillem) Kist. Over the years we kept in touch. On graduation from universityFloor went into the Netherlands diplomatic service, kept his head down and hiswork ethic up. At some point Floor was assigned to work in The Hague at theRoyal Palace. Still on the upward trajectory, Floor became "Grand Masterof the Household of Her Majesty the Queen."


His job: running the show for Queen Beatrix at home andhonchoing all her foreign travel. At some point I asked him if he would tell lme a little about royal palace grand masters.


Noordeinde Palace, one of the three official palaces 
 of the Dutch royal family, The Hague, Netherlands.


Floor Kist's email to me of August 5, 2005:

Yes, you told me you were starting a newsletter. I remember Peggytelling us that work behind the computer seemed to make you happy. So even ifyou don't get rich, you already bagged the happiness. 



Now for thequestion. Yes, in the meantime the Grandmasters of the Courts of Europehave decided to meet once a year, every year in a different capital. Thecountries are: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburgthe family of the Grand-Duke is considered a Royal Family), Great Britain andSpain. 


Notes are compared everytime. Maybe now they have even dared to embark on the question what theintegration of Europe is going to do to the Royal Heads of State of theparticipating countries.


(The answer to this one is probably that the RoyalHouses will be here for a long time to come. Why? Integration is slowing, thestates are not likely to melt together and even if integration were more successfulwould probably lead to more need of expressing the various national identities,which is exactly what Royal Houses do).  


Let me end by presenting you and Peggywith three Scandinavian anecdotes I told a few years ago in a dinner speech. Iquote:


To conclude I want to tell you about threeexperiences in my work for the Queen. When I had become Grandmaster of theHouse of the Queen, I had annual meetings with the eight colleagues working forthe other crowned heads of Europe. In these meetings we exchanged experiencesand compared notes. In 1992 we were meeting in Stockholm and the Swedish Kingand Queen received the group for a drink. When we were ushered in the room,wearing a simple grey suit, we saw the Royal couple standing there in fullattire, the Queen in a striking evening gown and the King in the gala uniformof the Swedish Royal Navy, wearing all his decorations. After we had shakenhands there was a small silence. It was broken by my British counterpart, theprivate secretary of Queen Elisabeth, who said to the King and Queen: you makeus feel slightly underdressed. The King hastened to explain that they weregoing to a very formal officers dinner that evening and were already dressedfor it because there would be no time to dress after meeting with us."Ah,"  my British colleaguesaid, "I thought it might not be for us." 


 We realizedthe King and Queen were in for a long dinner with many toasts. That is onething you have to know about Sweden: during dinners they do an awful lot oftoasting to each other. The hostess is supposed to drink to the health of allthe guests, who after a little while have to return the compliment to her. Atthe same time all the guests at the dinner are supposed to drink to the healthof all the other guests one by one, who one by one also have to return thetoast. To remember who has already toasted you and who hasn't, is a fullevening's work. One thing is certain: in Sweden there is no such thing as arelaxed dinner. On the other hand in no other country can one enjoy health thatis so often drunk to. 


Toasting isnot only a Swedish custom, we find it in all Scandinavian countries. During ourQueen's state visit to Norway in 1986 I sat at the gala dinner in the royalpalace on the first evening of the visit. King Olav the Fifth was still alivethen and was our host. It was a very formal affair. The men were in white tiewith decorations, the ladies wore long evening gowns, also with decorations ifthey had them. Early in the main course there was a tap on my shoulder. Istiffened and looked behind me. A waiter, also in full formal dress, had amessage for me. Now it was clear to me that no one would interrupt theformality of the occasion without having a very good reason. This had to be anemergency. Probably someone had died or something else terrible had happenedwar had broken out somewhere). The waiter bent over and whispered to me: HisMajesty wishes to toast you. I bent forward to get a view of the King, who wasa certain distance away, and indeed, His Majesty was looking at me, gave me akind nod, smiled and lifted his glass, drinking my health. I smiled back andfrom far away also drank his health. We were both happy. But let me tell you:up to this day that tap on my shoulder is the most frightening moment I havehad in my professional life. 


 All the best, 





 (Left) Floor Kist, Peggy Hatch. (Right)Lyda Kist, Denny Hatch


Takeaways to Consider

• To be continuednext week… The Henokiens.

The saga of 51family-owned business—all over 250 years old—still profitable… and still run bythe same family.

•The oldest… family-ownedbusiness in the world:

Hoshi Hotel inIshikawa, Japan, which first opened its doors in 717—a whopping 1305 years ago. Yep, it’s still beingrun by the same family!

And yep, you can book a room. Phone: +81 761-65-1111


Stay Tuned…


Word count: 1531 





The Most Fun You Can Have
In the English Language
At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press.He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business. He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletterand archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 yearshe has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing.



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