There was a good turnout of 75 rowers and supporters at the annual Lady Victoria Boat Club Winter Dinner, which this year occurred slightly later than usual. The event was held in the top floor Old Billiard Room at the Ulster Reform Club in Belfast. With its high ceiling and wood panelling, with various legendary 19th century gentlemen portraits hanging on the walls, it brought an appropriate atmosphere to the evening's gathering.
After an enjoyable meal of gateau of salmon, Parma Ham wrapped chicken, and chocolate and whiskey tart, washed down with decent house wine, it was time for the speeches.
David Russell did a fine job serving as emcee -- he's becoming a regular professional at this! Grace for the meal was made by Andy Wells. The Toast to the Queen was made by Ricky Caruth, President LVBC. The Toast to the University was made by David Storrs, Captain LVBC.
The Guest Speaker was Queen's Head Coach, Mark Fangen-Hall, who expressed his gratitude for support by Lady Victorians, not only financially for his job, but also the generosity of hospitality shown to him and his family here. (Speech full text below.)
In addition to tributes by David Storrs and Mark Fangen-Hall, Dusty Anderson gave a formal tribute to the late Donall Murphy. Dusty's words evoked laughter and reflection, epitomising the great character and joie de vivre of our friend Donall.
As Donall would have wanted, the merriment continued after the speeches, and a very enjoyable evening was had by all.