The Harbour Commissioners was the setting for stories of dehumanising conflict in a lively talk from Robert Fisk.
The Independent's Middle East correspondent was always informative but never anything less than entertaining, despite the horrific violence he's seen.
It is from Syria that his most recent gut-wrenching pieces have been written. He discussed the Arab Spring but said he disliked the word 'spring,' preferring 'reawakening'. Arab people can't pronounce 'spring', he said, one of many instances when Fisk sought to open his listeners' eyes to what he regards as lazy journalism.
But humour abounded. Describing the high concentration of Shiite Muslims in the Middle East's most oil-rich countries, Fisk observed drily: "The lucky Shiites have all the oil."