Thanks to Oliver Wise as host, the Campaign for Real Gin met at Boodle’s to close its fortieth year with its annual dinner.
A convivial gathering enjoyed pre-prandial gins in the Billiard Room, before being summoned to a beautifully presented dinner.
Grace, delivered by Steve Marriott, was the harbinger of a delicious meal. Afterwards the customary toasts were made. Nick gave us ‘The Queen’. Bob reviewed the main events of the Fortieth Year, before toasting twin Fountainheads, Foxdenton and RealGin. Charles Penney went through an A to Z of Absent Friends, before Oliver reviewed the cricket club season, leading a rendition of the CRG Calypso, including the new verse to commemorate the strange ending of the Helmes Vagabonds match in 2018.
The CRG’s Founder, Marvin Faure, led the CRG in a chorus of ‘Nevers’, and Dead Ants made a welcome reappearance.
Magnus led us in the favourite Swedish drinking song of King Carl Gustav (forget which one!). A stirring ‘Music Man’ was then followed by performances of AA Milne’s ‘Disobedience’ (“James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree…”) by Alex Hunt, who definitely WAS present, and Oliver’s The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God. All agreed that this may have been Oliver’s finest performance, doubtless assisted by being on home turf.
Finally, we repaired to Boodles’s ‘Ladies’ Side’ for a final post-prandial.
A fitting end to our Fortieth Year, and momentum set for our Forty-first…