Christmas Clachan: December 14th – The Cow, Westfield
The year was ended in style, at our Christmas Clachan at The Cow, Westfield. The event was a sell out with 50 people booked, and though there were some last-minute cancellations over 40 members and guests attended, which included Leaders of the Future. Our President was certainly in the festive spirit, wearing a colourful Christmas themed jacket and even a matching tie!
The Clachan followed the last committee meeting of the year, at which plans for next year’s program were progressed. In addition, six applicants were approved to become members of the Society. They are:
Jade Wilson – Highlands
Charlie Wallis – Acco
Peter Humble – Victorinox
Tony Ash – Go Pak
Tim Percival – Antalis
Kelvin Bell – VPress
The President thanked everyone for coming and said that 2017 had been an excellent year for the Old Friends. He reflected on the previous events, successful clachans in London and Birmingham, the Thames Cruise and the Autumn dinner with David Baddiel and The Eastcoast Boys. There was a new logo, a new website, an e-newsletter and active social media coverage. With the addition of the six new members, membership was once again almost back to capacity having dropped to 112 earlier in the year.
Despite all of this and the Christmas festivities, this was still a time of sadness and reflection. Tributes were made to Catherine Nelsey and Past President Kate Bank’s daughter, Vicki, who had both suffered with cancer and sadly passed away in the last few weeks. Condolences were expressed to their family and friends.
Also in the thoughts of the Old Friends was the Treasurer, John Logan. The President gave an update on John’s son, George, who was violently stabbed in November. Having undergone 17 operations, he is still in a very bad way and remains sedated in hospital. George’s condition is stable, but he has a very long road to recovery and this is a very difficult time for John, Janie and Lydia. John had sent an email to the President in which he asked him to thank Old Friends for all their thoughts and support which were very welcome and deeply appreciated.
Reminders of next year’s events were given, and members were advised that the Brummie Clachan originally planned for February had been postponed so that it can be combined with a factory tour of Triumph Motorcycles. Further details will be issued in the New Year.
The Spring Dinner takes place at Stationers’ Hall on 14th March 2018 and Theo Paphitis will be our Honoured Guest. Invitations and booking forms will be sent out in January and members were advised to book early as this looks like it is going to be a very popular event.
In all the noise and excitement, the President forgot to announce that the Clachan raffle was won by Liz Whyte of the Boss Federation – the prize being a bottle of Single Malt Scotch. This will be passed on to Liz in due course.
The food certainly went down well and was a HUGE success, in no small part because of the scotch eggs and sausage rolls which were the largest anyone present had ever seen. There were no complaints on lack of food at this event! By the end, there was so much left we managed to feed quite a number of new friends who were downstairs at other functions.
The evening also saw the unveiling of the newly designed membership pin badges, featuring our new modernised logo. Members could purchase these for the bargain price of just £5. For those not in attendance, these will be available to purchase at future events.
A sample design for a new tie for those who still like to wear one was shown, and it was felt that further work was needed on this.
On behalf of the committee, a very Merry Christmas to all Old Friends, and here’s to a happy and healthy 2018.