BDC Handbook

Dinner Report

An account of the First Annual Dinner of the Benemy Dining Club
Well what a night ! There were several times over the past few years when I never thought it would happen. But the key was when Peter Rowbrey-Evans wrested direct administrative control away (he didn't have to wrest very hard)leaving me in my preferred and well practised role as frontman...and did all the work himself.

His tour de force was convincing the Rifles London Club that he would be a suitable person to be granted membership. Once he had pulled the wool over their eyes he was able to bribe or at least cajole the Mess Serjeant into providing the venue.

The website also played a role as many of us were obviously casually googling for 'WESCCF' or 'Benemy' between 'Bangkok Nights' and 'Naughty Night Nurses'. The website eventually came about (once I had the time with the expiry of my 'night nurse's' subscription)and bit by bit old names started to surface and I don't mean Fiona Richmond or that girl who was in all the joint school plays with LSU...

However it was Peter's long term attachment to esoteric publications - The London Gazette and the Army List - which really bore fruit and one person led on to another.

Altogether we now have about 70 members or semi-detached 'mates'. Of this more than half came to the dinner which was a real result.

Enough blathering....the food was good, the drink plentiful, the service fast and unobtrusive, the Guest of Honour was interesting, amusing and brief - unlike the chairman. It was a very fine non-PC night out in a brilliant location.

I was particularly pleased to see some people I hadn't seen for nearly 35 years and one whom I hadn't seen for 50 years at least of which more perhaps on another occasions.

We ought to run a prize for the most expanded waistline, the least hair, the most grey bits, and perhaps the oddest moustache. Unfortunately we also need prizes for the least changed, the youngest looking, the richest and the biggest berk. I have names in mind for all of these but my lips are sealed...or at least need bribery..

Anyway it was great, we didn't have enough time - even though Dave Sontag and myself didn't leave Col. Watson's hotel bar till after 3am and Phil Puddefoot ended up on a bench at Liverpool Street ! We'll have to do it or something like it again and perhaps slightly more than annually. But above all else it was a night to celebrate comradeship and as I said during the welcome remarks - to celebrate that we're still bloody well here.

Jim Corbett