Society Annual Dinner Saturday 22 November 2014

The venue for this year’s Society Dinner, organised by Debbie Bersey, was Howfield Manor, last used in the 1990s. It was congenial and convivial and over thirty members of the St Edmund’s Society, old and new, gathered to enjoy a menu of varied delights.  Halloumi and terrine as starters, ever popular steak for the main meal, lubricated by fine wines, and finished off with pannacotta or cheese, were examples of good if not original cuisine. The company was the main ingredient, of course, and it was delightful to welcome new diners such as the ladies from the 1990s as well as the stalwarts of these events such as the omnipresent Hawkins family, this year enhanced by Ian Hawkins (‘78) as our guest speaker, flying in from the USA. Ian spoke of the need for generosity and he acknowledged the way the school had been developing.

Louise Moelwyn-Hughes, the Head, replied to the customary toast by adding that the school was in the finest of health with a waiting list and even Ancient Greek on the occasional menu – a fitting example on an evening when Jock Asbury Bailey (unavoidably absent himself) had his recent booklet for sale, detailing classicist Walter Stephen Jones’s unique contribution to St Edmund’s (1923-1959) and its very survival in the 1940s. The Society Committee – with Chairman, Kris de Pledge – was thanked for its work. Ed Vant (‘85), in taking over the mantle of President from David Knight (2012-14), paid him a handsome tribute as former pupil in his house, now himself a St Edmund’s parent, in having encouraged him to think of everything in business and in life from more than one point of view.

Jon Dagley