For our 55th OSA London Dinner we returned, by popular demand, to The East India Club, St. James’ Square for our third visit. As is becoming a habit, we are again greatly indebted to our host, President and self appointed, unofficial Benelux representative, Ken Holmes (Athens, 1945–1950) for enabling us to have access to this unique venue.
Pre-dinner drinks, including a much appreciated barrel of real ale, were held in the club’s Rugby Room, possibly to the annoyance of the exponents of The Beautiful Game present. The room, resplendent in historical photos, regalia etc. is one of only two International Rugby Halls of Fame in the world, the other being in New Zealand and was once the formal meeting room of both the RFU and IRB before both organisations moved to their present homes.
We descended to the Luncheon Room where we dined in style on a menu of goat’s cheese, green leaves and artichoke starter, a main course comprising Angus steak, kidney and mushroom pie with seasonal vegetables and new potatoes, followed by a very comforting Golden Syrup suet pudding with orange custard. All being washed down by the very pleasant House wines.
The full house of 80 members was once again frequently interrupted by our MC, Chris Sorrell (Sparta, 1975-1982) for the obligatory round of toasts including oldest member present, Phil Hopkins (Tuscany, 1939-1941) and youngest, Dave Masson, (Tuscany, 2004-2011) who’s father even recognised his son’s date of birth when it was announced by Chris.
A particularly poignant toast was made to Past President, Peter Hardwick (Athens, 1944-1952) on the eve of his 80th birthday.
Also during the meal, President Ken was able to present Jonathan Ralph (Troy, 1965-1972) with his Past President's badge.
Once formal proceedings concluded we were able to retire to The American Bar to continue reminiscing before leaving for home or to further explore London’s West End.
The list of members attending the Dinner can be found here.