Mini-Reunion in London 2003
The Short Account
July 28, 2003
Blessed with warm, sunny June weather, sixty members of the class with spouses, children, and friends gathered for the London mini-reunion kicking off the evening of Wednesday, June 11th, with a cocktail reception in the courtyard of the event hotel a couple of blocks from Buckingham Palace.
People travelled from California, Utah, Argentina, St Petersburg [Russia], Paris, and Tennessee, as well as the East Coast, to attend, including no fewer than eleven members of our Whiffenpoofs, plus "the locals" from the UK.
Thursday began with a visit to the British Museum where we were welcomed by Sir John Boyd, a retired diplomat, chairman of the museums' board of Trustees. Following guided tours and luncheon, we gathered again at Westminster Abbey for Evensong and a private tour of the Abbey concluding with a reception in Cheyneygates, a medieval portion of the Dean's residence. During the tour, having been assured of the Abbey's wonderful acoustics, the Gentlemen Songsters required little encouragement to form up beneath the lantern, in front of the High Altar where, three days earlier, the Queen had been celebrated for the fiftieth anniversary of her coronation on the very spot. Pitchpipe Al Rossiter chose The Whiffenpoof Song as the most appropriate number, which the group sang with no small emotion and delight, given the venue. It was a special and memorable moment as was having the Dean, an eminent churchman, drop in at our reception. It almost seemed dinner would be an anti-climax but everyone rallied and pitched up at the Cavalry & Guards Club overlooking Green Park for an evening of dining, stories, and more songs. Mark Sullivan, recently appointed to head the US Desk of the EBRD [European Bank for Reconstruction and Development], described the role and its challenges as well as his advent to the UK.
On Friday, the group split, with one portion attending a luncheon and tour at the House of Lords, the other, dinner. It was the day after Tony Blair had abolished the centuries-old post of Lord Chancellor so seeing the Woolsack in the House was particularly poignant … the Woolsack is the place from which the Lord Chancellor was accustomed to conduct the business of the Lords assembled.
Saturday featured one of the annual bits of pageant for which Britain is so renowned, Trooping the Colour, which is the celebration of the Queen's official birthday each year. People accompanied by our guide for the week were shown along the route of procession from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards' Parade where the troops of the Household Division were drawn up in ceremonial array for the monarch's inspection. The day also offered opportunities for people to enjoy other aspects of London and its attractions before gathering for an evening of dining and dancing [and more singing] on a Thames river boat which travelled downstream towards the Tower of London and Greenwich, our guide pointing out the sights of interest, including St Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge.
Sunday the group travelled to Cambridge where Nick Baskey, Bursar of Pembroke College, had arranged a fine program starting with a tour of the Fitzwilliam Museum, hosted by Duncan Robinson 68MA, the curator, followed by Evensong at King's College Chapel, and High Tea and a tour at Pembroke. All in all, a fine conclusion to what those who attended agreed met or exceeded their expectations, which greatly relieved the chief organisers, Blaine Krickl and Nick Baskey.
Those attending: Nick & Jocelyn Baskey, Jim Baxter, Steve Clay, Nick Danforth & Robin Jones, Richard & Susan Dauphine, Bill Dorsey, Will Elting & Celina Hodge, Jon & Dottie Evans, Sam & Bobbie Francis, Frank & Cindy Franklin, Bill Galvin, Peter & Maritza Giblin, Don Haggerty, Tom & Amber Harter, Doug Hershey & Bronwyn Bateman, Neil & Nancy Hoffman, Keith Huffman, Blaine & Jane Krickl, Tony & Margie Lee, Mike & Hannah Mazer, Jon & Mimi McBride, Mike & Adriana Nagel, Jack & Mary Ostrich and their daughter Katie, Al & Selina Rossiter, Gerry Shea, Mark & Susan Sullivan, Roger & Colleen Thompson and several of their children with their spouses, Boris Troyan ['63], Richard & Rosemary Vietor, Robert & Kathleen Whitby, Perry & Pam Wilson, John Witherspoon, and Karl Ziegler & Jane Fuller.