The College's much anticipated Valedictory Dinner took place on Sunday evening, 6 October.
The evening began with a pre-dinner function at 5 pm in the Valentine Common Room for Council Members, College Leaders, the Executive Committee and staff and included wonderful background music provided by Rose Wu (College Leader) playing piano. At 5.40 pm, guests, staff and Members were piped in to the Norris Dining Hall by Murray Tannock, a bagpiper and Otago PhD candidate.
In his opening welcome, the Master noted that a Valedictory Dinner was a farewell dinner – the final formal dinner for 2019 - where we reminisce about the events of the year gone by, reflect on what we have achieved and learnt, and bid goodbye to fellow College Members. It is also a time of celebration where we recognise our many contributions to the community of St Margaret’s College and beyond.
Our guest speaker was Sophie Morris, an accomplished New Zealand-based (Dunedin) singer, actor and presenter. who performs both within New Zealand and internationally. She holds a Bachelor of Music (First-Class Honours) in Classical Voice Performance and a Master of Music (Distinction) in Contemporary Voice Performance, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce from Otago University. Sophie’s interesting and thoughtful talk concluded with her singing a wonderful rendition of “Let it be”.
Capably led by Head Chef Bede Beaumont, the kitchen staff at St Margaret's provided a top quality three-course meal (see below) and Members enjoyed being waited on. It's no easy task serving a restaurant-style meal to around 200 people but the staff did a magnificent job. By way of thanks, the choir, Executive Committee and College Leaders sang a wonderful waiata (Nanea Ana - Nā Pānia Papa) to the Kitchen Staff towards the end of the evening.
During the course of the Valedictory Dinner, special presentations were made to the Executive Committee (11) and College Leaders (13) in appreciation of their exemplary service to the College during the course of the year.
Members were also treated to a haggis ceremony performed in the traditional Scottish manner, assisted very ably by Members Erfan Shamshirgaran, Tori Goodwin and Samuel Rodgers-Foran.
The College’s 49 trophies, each engraved with the winner’s name and accompanied by a certificate, were awarded towards the end of the evening. The guest speaker, Sophie Morris, kindly presented the trophies to the winning Members after which they each posed for a photo with her.
The musical performances during the evening were amazing and included singing, guitar, piano, and saxophone plus of course the fantastic choir who sang so beautifully the song The Four Chords. Our grateful thanks goes to Tessa Dalgety-Evans for so ably arranging the evening's musical entertainment.
With the excitement of the Valedictory Dinner behind us, Members' attentions now turn to the upcoming examinations which begin on 16 October.
(Story by the Master, Dr Charles Tustin)