Wednesday Night #1500 – Diana’s Report

How to do this special evening justice? Words do not suffice. Rob Galbraith’s wonderful photos and the captured videos – all to be found on Wednesday-night.com certainly help to convey the great ambiance, emotion and conviviality of the celebration.

It was a grand, festive occasion, albeit very different from previous celebrations because we were not surrounded by the hustle and bustle of organizing to meet the sometimes mystifying requirements of highly determined and determinedly secretive organizers (see WN #1305). All the preparatory buzz was at the University Club – a beautiful and congenial venue for the event.

Instead, we enjoyed a leisurely and delightful dinner with Martin Barnes, just returned from Asia. We had the Club dining room to ourselves and when we finished, simply walked downstairs and into the party where intense socializing was already under way, growing in intensity with each new arrival and interrupted for the ‘entertainment’ only with great insistence by the organizing committee and friends.

The star-studded cast was headlined by our very own diva, Susanna Eyton-Jones, accompanied by Donald Patriquin, and she/they was/were magnificent! Roslyn Takeishi  doubled – or more accurately tripled – as impresario, M.C. and performer of two original songs of her own composition, ably backed by Réal Desfossés and Christopher van Soest.  A great many very kind, and highly exaggerated things were said by speakers ranging from Wanda Potrykus to Hans Black, Julius Grey, Sam Stein, Beryl Wajsman and Ron Meisels, and we were very touched.
Roslyn read messages from the Governor General, Premier Jean Charest and Jacques Chagnon, along with one from David Beigie and one from Fiona.
Beryl happily distributed copies of The Suburban with its op-ed page on Wednesday Night 1500 and they were snapped up by the guests. We eagerly await the special MetropolitaIn issue, due next week (delayed by the need for photos from the evening, some of which are already posted).

Brian Morel skilfully edited 100 tapes of David’s down to 9 highly entertaining minutes of retrospective montage of memorable moments, and even managed to capture Marc Garneau’s congratulatory message delivered in the House on Tuesday.

All in all, it was a very special evening, with our only regret being that we did not have the opportunity to speak with everyone as we were sat firmly in front and center seats and told to Sit. Stay! However, judging by the difficulty in keeping the noise level down, all seemed to have a wonderful time without our personal intervention.

There were many faces from the past, including Terry & David Jones who drove from Washington for the night and headed back the next morning, and Frank and Yolanda Kinnelly who drove in for the evening from their home in Peru, New York. The most notable absence (for personal reasons) was that of Herb Bercovitz, Wednesday Night’s faithful scribe, to whom Diana paid special tribute in her words of thanks.

And then it was again time, in the words of our Chair, to drink, flirt and exchange cards. Not sure about the last, but the former activities were certainly in evidence!

We only wish that all Wednesday Nighters – near and far – could have been with us.

We thank the organizing committee, Allan Mass, Brian Morel, Margarets Guest and Lefebvre and especially the ever-tenacious Roslyn, convener par excellence; plus all the helpers and contributors; along with the many, many guests, some of whom we only glimpsed across the crowded room (theme for Susanna’s next rendition?) for the wonderful evening and magnificent memories you have given us. Wednesday Night belongs to all of you. The evening was a celebration of you and your part in the Wednesday Night family.

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