Wednesday Night #1700

Written by  //  October 7, 2014  //  Reports, Special Wednesdays  //  1 Comment


Almost a week later, the ceiling is still festooned with balloons, the beautiful flowers are even more beautiful as they reach full bloom, and as furniture has assumed its rightful position, we can bask in the memory of a spectacular evening.

Living room  post 1700

We had decided that this celebration would be a relatively modest affair as nothing could top the amazing 1500th in 2010 and the spaciousness of 33 Rosemount that accommodated the 1,000th  is no longer available. Furthermore,  there are, after all, only so many times we can call on friends to organize an extravaganza. However, as our  lease for the new apartment took effect on October 1st, celebrating #1700 “at home” seemed like a good way to warm the house, especially if we extended the hours to make it more convenient for guests to come in waves, rather than all at once.

The modest invitation promised: There will be wine, a variety of tasty treats, and above all – conversation – which will not be limited to one-at-a-time. 
Very few people responded, and most who did so sent regrets because they would be away – the two most exotic excuses involved trips to Palau (look it up) and North Korea via China. So, it would be a gathering principally of ‘regulars’.  This was borne out by the rather subdued arrival of a small group of regulars at the appointed time.

balloons on the ceilingWe did not realize that there had been an immense amount of behind-the-scenes activity spearheaded by Katherine & Dave Waters, Gerald Ratzer and Brian Morel.  The latter arrived earlier in the day bringing 17 balloons inscribed with 100 in various sizes and fonts- they floated on the ceiling, with one large red one in the foyer opposite the door.

Soon guests began to pour in the door, a number bearing bottles of champagne, others with exotic “tasty treats”, so that soon the dining table was literally a groaning board. Judith Patterson commandeered a round silver tray – her specifications – and circulated with glasses of champagne. Animated small groups huddled around the dining room table tasting the goodies. Amateur and professional photographers scurried to take shots of everyone and everything. A sampling of Rob Galbraith’s is here – more to follow.

And, with each arrival, the level of the many conversations at-one-time increased a decibel or two.

So, the bell had to be rung several times to obtain the necessary silence for the only speech – and public toast – of the evening. John Jonas OWN ably represented the members of the Order of Wednesday Night,  present and absent, delivering the following clever adaptation:

Dearly beloved,
We are gathered here today, in the sight of Peter Trent and this company, to witness and celebrate one of Wednesday Night’s greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of friendship, and to add our best wishes and blessings to the continuation of this union.
Wednesday Night is an institution ordained of Westmount , and has not been entered into lightly or unadvisedly, but reverently, deliberately, and only after much consideration, for in coming together once a week we have committed ourselves, the one to the other, for as long as we can tolerate each other’s company.
Knowing this, I ask of you this question:
Do we choose to continue this association for all the days of our life?
If so, please answer: WE DO  [A suitably loud response was forthcoming]
Then, if you would, please turn to face David and Diana and join hands as we take the following vow:
Do we, Wednesday Nighters, undertake to be faithful to the goals of Wednesday Night, to cherish them from this day forward, for better, or for worse, for richer, or for poorer, in sickness, and in health? With respect to its integrity and faith in our union, do you promise to unfailingly seek out the best we can in each other every week, in every way, until the end of days?
If so, please answer: I DO.
And now, at this point in the ceremony, I ask you to raise your glasses and join me in wishing David and Diana many happy days of Wednesday Nighthood.
To David and Diana.

As any further words were deemed unnecessary, this delightful – and, judging by the applause, much appreciated – intervention, gave way to more conversation and conviviality as later arrivals brought new interest and topics with them.

While we missed a number of the usual suspects, we were delighted to see so many Wednesday Nighters who had been absent for some time and to be able to make some introductions to some who had never met one another. On a final note, in the tradition of Wednesday Night’s encouragement of a wide range of ages as well as interests among its participants, we note with delight that our eldest guest was the indomitable 92 year-old Dr. Peter Roper, while the youngest was John Curtin’s son Sean who had wanted to meet what he had already termed the Wednesday Night Illuminati. We hope that he appreciated them as much as we do!

Dining room looking North The morning after

One Comment on "Wednesday Night #1700"

  1. Diana Thebaud Nicholson October 24, 2014 at 9:20 am ·

    What a wonderful opportunity you have provided for hundreds, perhaps thousands, to learn, to meet new friends and to share ideas and information over these many years!
    As one who spent many a stimulating and thought-provoking evening in your salon and who dearly would love to be close enough to join you regularly, I salute you on the occasion of the 1700th Wednesday Night. Excelsior.
    David (Mitchell)

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