2004 Reunion a BIG success ! Photo Album No. 1 ! (May 2004)
|Over 150 staff from all disciplines reunited on Friday night 30th April 2004 at the St Francis Social and Sports Club to celebrate a lifetime of work and friendship.The buzz was almost edible as the Club filled to capacity with current and ex staff from the British Isles and around the world. The hospital was always known for its international mix of staff of all disciplines and the Reunion certainly showed this to be true as staff from Canada, Ireland, West Indies, Mauritius and many more countries shook hands again with their United Kingdom colleagues and friends.|
Stories were exchanged and lives caught up on as the evening commenced with complimentary wine designed to oil the thoughts and bring memories flowing back. St Francis staff have always seen themselves as one big family temporarily parted by the the hospital's closure in 1995.
Later, a quick quiz on the history of the hospital saw the quizmaster dispense with the rules by not announcing the correct answers and giving a prize for the latest and not the most senior attendee on the night and in the event the winner was neither! Prizes of bottles of wine were dispensed liberally by the committee. An exhibition of the history of the hospital and latest news of staff added interest as the hours rolled by much too quickly.
The Club provided an excellent buffet whilst the disco lulled the gathering crowd into a state of relaxation and later gave it the chance to dance. A raffle and ticket derby saw further great prizes awarded as the funds for the Friends grew greater to pay for forthcoming expenses in the coming years.
The chat was the big draw, however, on a night which saw no one lonely. Everyone had a tale to tell and some had not seen each other for twenty years. Some staff had planned holidays to tie in with the date and were rewarded with memories of a great night marked by friendliness, laughter, an occasional tear for lost colleagues and a closeness that few hospital staff groups could emulate.
Thank you to all the staff and friends who supported the night and also to my fellow committee members - Jessica Appleford, Gill Harrison, Peter Towner, Paul and Cathy Barnett, Paddy Henry, Sheila Curran and Fancesca Eade. Thanks also to Dane Billings and the Executive Committee for the use of the Club. Particular thanks to James , the Assistant Club Steward, who catered beautifully, efficiently and with an excellent manner. What a regular gentleman he is - the epitomy of good manners and taste!
We are currently thinking of 2006 May Bank Holiday as the next big bash so keep those diaries free and keep in touch via the Website!
Hope you like the photos - I've given the humour a rest for now but keep watching this space for further Reunion photo albums in the months to come ! Joe Hughes