The Apex Hotel in the Grassmarket was the setting again for the Gentleman’s Dinner and 85 members and guests gathered for this year’s event. Honorary Vice President, Past President and Life Member, Graham Burden chaired the evening which he did with good humour and aplomb.
The Apex staff did an excellent job in providing us with a meal consisting of Cream of Cullen Skink, followed by Breast of Chicken Balmoral and then a delicious sweet of Frangipane Tartlet or a large platter of cheese and biscuits. This was followed by coffee, mints and liqueurs. The service was slick and we were all soon very satisfied.
The evening’s entertainment started with “The Presidential Oath” which was given by Keith Johnston in a very amusing way , as usual, and received by the Chairman. Keith had only returned that morning from a holiday in Cuba, which had been marred by a terrible cycle accident which resulted in Alison, Keith’s wife, receiving a broken femur and collar bone. We all wished her a speedy recovery.
Robert Heatly then toasted Scottish Swimming with an interesting address and Eddie Wilmot the President responded with a few stories on some of the past characters in Scottish Swimming. We then, were richly entertained by the Quartet consisting this year of Duncan and Ally MacGregor, Connor Mollison and Ali Ramm. As usual, many attendees got their legs pulled and an encore was essential and “then they really had to go”. It is hoped that Ali Ramm can be persuaded not to go into retirement!!
Ian Wright then entertained us richly with his Toast to “ Warrender Baths Club” and it was interesting to hear that the enlarged History of the Club, covering 125 years which Ian is writing, will be available early next year. Graham then responded by thanking those who had made the evening a success and two plaques were awarded to two long standing contributors of many Dinners, Malcolm Mathieson and Dennis Seatter. Malcolm has organised the Dinner for a long number of years and Dennis has played the piano and regaled us with his stories for over 30 years. Their contribution to the Dinners over the years cannot be measured.
Craig McNally then offered a toast to the Chairman and it was interesting to see that instead of a piece of paper, Craig used his IPhone! That was a first for the Warrender Dinner. Finally Dennis led us in “Auld Lang Syne” and the formal part of the evening came to a close, followed by everyone adjourning to the bar for a night cap.
It was a most enjoyable evening and good to have support from all sections of the Club, including the swimmers and as they were called “The Swim Dads”!! The “Warrender Square” was in operation and was won by Lionel Wilson, who very kindly donated his winnings back to the Club.
Roll on Next Year’s Dinner