Annual Dinner 2021
Friday, 8th October 2021
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The 108th Annual Dinner took place at the Club on Friday, 8th October 2021 and was attended by over 40 members and guests.
It was an excellent opportunity to experience the newly laid out Edwardian Lounge with its new carpet, tables, chairs, tableware and utensils.
6 of the new tables were prepared with up to 8 diners on each.
This provided a well spaced out layout, assisting both serving of the meals and offering comfort for social distancing.
President Robin Morrison and his wife Jenny welcomed our VIP guests. This time we were delighted to receive Mrs Remley Mann (College Principal) and her husband Eamon; Professor David Walker (President of Old Foleyans); James Jackson and Sofia Dantas (immediate past and current Chair of the Students Union at the College); and Steven Bruce (after dinner speaker). Our Hon. Treasurer David Burrows was also a guest in his role as Chair of College Trustees.
David Trewin was Master of Ceremonies and the diners were called into the Edwardian Lounge at 7.30 pm prompt. President Robin Morrison welcomed the attendees and then Clive Bowen-Davies said Grace prior to the meal.
On the menu were Mushroom and Madeira Soup; Roast Welsh Black Beef and all the trimmings; then Sherry Trifle followed by the Cheeseboard and Coffee. Tracey and her staff duly served the courses with accustomed efficiency. All courses were of the usual high standard and prepared personally by Tim (how does he do it?).
The traditional toasts were proposed: the Queen; In Piam Memoriam Edwardi Sexti; The Club; The School, College, Governors and Trustees; and to our Guests.
The VIP Guest responses were very well received and full of interesting content.
Firstly, we were delighted to receive College Principal Mrs Remley Mann - our most valued key link with the College and with whom we have most positive relationships and discussions. She described the impact of the pandemic on the College and the dedication of staff and students alike to deliver the excellent results (both A-level and College experience). She went on to inform of us of the future direction of the College in view of historical reduced Government funding and in securing a very satisfactory future as part of a wider group of like-minded establishments.
Finally, Remley gave us a real and unexpected treat. She provided an 8-minute video compilation of the 1961 Charter Day parade from the previous KEVI Grammar School to OldSwinford Church. This was shown on the new giant TV to much enthusiasm from "the assembled audience" many of whom would have been in that video! Cheers rang out as many of our familiar teachers were identified including the then headmaster RL Chambers, Deputy "WAK" Kitson, legends such as Wally Parsons, misses Wicks and Druller, Derek Cotton, Howard Shotton and others - happy memories indeed.
Secondly, it was the turn of Auctioneer and Valuer Steven Bruce who gave a most entertaining insight into his profession. He exemplified the importance of seeking different opinions when valuing by quoting cases when items initially valued as worthless by one source were sold for thousands of pounds. He passed round various interesting artefacts - some quite valuable - with an indication of how provenance and true source dramatically changes value (we hope all were returned to him safely!). Steven went on to talk about various strange objects he had come across such as a stuffed human and discoveries ranging from forks used by cannibals to unexpectdly valuable items discovered in house clearances.
In summary, it was a great night, excellent food, interesting and entertaining talks, and a pleasure to be in the new lounge area. President Robin gave his thanks to all who had made the event possible - the speakers, VIP guests, Tim and Tracey, the Social Committee, and of course the attendees - and wished everyone a safe journey home.