Boisdale of Canary Wharf hosted the seventh annual star-studded Cigar Smoker of The Year Awards Dinner celebrating the world’s finest cigars, producers, writers, terraces and icons. Thirty-seven year cigar veteran Daniel Marshall received the “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Previous winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award include: Academy Award Winner Jeremy Irons; Legendary Hollywood actor and director, Burt Reynolds; British Conservative member of the House of Lords and once a code-breaker at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, Baroness Trumpington; Edward Sahakian of Davidoff London, and celebrated British broadcaster and journalist, Andrew Neil. Historical winners of the Cigar Smoker of the Year Award, nominees and guests also include Simon Le Bön, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jonathan Ross, Kelsey Grammer, Tamar Hassan, Charlie Sheen, James Cosmo, and Chris Noth.
London holds a special place in Marshall’s heart as he reflected upon his beginnings during his acceptance speech. “Thirty-eight years ago, a 19-year-old California surfer landed in this amazing beautiful city of London with a dream and a challenge. The dream was to obtain Alfred Dunhill of London‘s approval of quality and trust for the humidors I was making in California.”
Marshall told two stories from his 37-year journey on the cigar trail. At age 12, He was in an oratorical contest and up against the most popular boy in school at the time – 14 year old actor Sean Penn. Marshall would go on to win the contest. “With Sean’s massive popularity and with me being an overweight, insecure, least popular kid at school, I was terrified to go onto the playground and possibly meet him or any of his friends for fear of being beat up. I very happy that this never occurred!” Marshall continued, “Two years ago I met Sean at President Macron’s environmental summit and told him this story. He remembered the contest and laughed. Hardly the reaction I was so scared of. I learned an important life lesson on this day that most of our fears never come to pass.”
His acceptance speech included an example of the “power of the cigar” and whom one can meet thru a cigar. “One of my most memorable moments was when Mr. Marlon Brando called me to build two large humidors for him. He told me when he visits his island off the coast of Tahiti, all his scripts get moldy and destroyed by the humidity and he wanted to use our humidors to keep the humidity out!”
Marshall expressed his deepest admiration for all nominees and congratulations for the winners including “Cigar Smoker of the Year”. This top award recognizes a high-profile individual that possesses a passion for the pure enjoyment of the cigar. This year’s honor went to actor, filmmaker and martial artist Dolph Lundgren best known for his roles in Rocky IV, The Expendables, The Punisher, and Universal Soldier.
In concluding his speech, Marshall left the esteemed audience with a final thought, “I truly believe it’s all about dreams. Dreams cost nothing. The hard part is keeping them going and never giving up. As Sir Winston Churchill said so famously, ‘No matter the challenge, we must never, never, never give up.’”
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