International Reunion at Mt Lavinia Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka
May 2-7, 2006
reunion pictures - Album
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The International Reunion to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of
BI took place at Mt. Lavinia Hotel in Sri Lanka during the first
week of May 2006 and was a great success. The reunion was attended
by 140 including wives/partners. It covered 7 days and there were
4 formal functions during that period. It was organised by a committee
consisting of Graham Goodanew (Hotel and Events) Tony Gates and
Warwick Harwood (Bookings, Administrations and Events) ably assisted
by James Slater, Nick Edwards, Mark Kenyon and Martin Speller.
Despite undergoing renovations, Mt. Lavinia Hotel proved to be
an excellent venue for our
with all rooms having extensive sea and beach views. The food
was of a very high standard. The local Three Coins Beer was a
tasty drop, as was the Nimbu (Lime) Pani served from the various
There were three main restaurants, The Governor's Room (air conditioned),
The Terrace Restaurant and, on the beach, The Seafood Cove. All
providing excellent food.
The BI desk was located in the Marble Lounge Bar adjacent to the
reception area. This desk was manned
by Kuoni staff each day who proved very helpful in organising
trips, transfers, etc. Photos of various Company ships, the Certificates
of Registration and Incorporation of the Company, and the House
Flag were on display at the desk. One table was set aside to
carry the memorabilia. Ties, caps, calendars, BI Sunday photos,
Dwarka and Chantala cards all sold out very quickly. Other memorabilia
included an almost complete set of BI Magazines, a set of The
Chantalian, crew lists and the Chindwara officer and cadet register.
This register recorded details of where the cadets came from,
when they joined/left and what they did after
barbecue: always good eaters in BI
Although several members came to Mt. Lavinia early, the bulk started
arriving from 30th April.
found their friends and disappeared to the various bars, to catch
The first of
the formal functions was the Welcome cocktail party, held on
the Tuesday evening (2nd May) on a large balcony facing seaward.
The hors d'oeuvres were tasty and plentiful, and a light meal
was also unexpectedly provided courtesy of the Hotel.
The BBQ was
held the following night at the Hotel's private Beach Bar. A
dinghy was rigged on the beach,
with the sail carrying the BI funnel, house flag and 150th. Reunion.
During a very good meal, there was a colourful fireworks display
which was further enhanced by a short sharp electrical thunderstorm.
However we were sheltered from the elements and it all added to
no formal functions on the Thursday or Saturday, various tours
were organised to Kandy, Pinnewela, Botanical Gardens, Nuwara
Eliya (Neuralia) and Galle. Others visited Colombo for shopping
and checking out the GOH and Galle Face Hotel.
superb reunion dinner was served on the Friday
Dinner was held in the Regency Room on the Friday night. The
tables were decorated with centre pieces consisting of a hull
and BI funnel with two small BI flags. We met on the balcony
of the restaurant at 1830 hrs, for pre-dinner drinks before taking
our seats in the dining room. Warwick Harwood read the Cadets'
Lament and then proposed the Loyal Toast. James Slater briefly
recorded the names of those members who had cancelled their trip
due to ill health or circumstances beyond their control and,
in the case of Roger Dunn, who had recently crossed the bar,
he then proposed a Toast to those who had "Crossed the Bar
and Absent Friends". Anne Gates (nee Waddell) said Grace
and we were then served a superb dinner, beautifully presented
by the hotel staff. Following the dinner, Chris Hare presented
Ian Marr's Ode To The BI. David Mitchell followed with a brief
and light-hearted review of the Company's history and then proposed
the toast to the BI. It was, all
in all, an impressive and very enjoyable evening.
The final function, the curry lunch, was held on the Sunday. This
took place in the Fontaine
event: the curry lunch. The reunion was not all
about eating but the food was excellent!
Room, as it
was felt it would be too hot down on the beach. As we entered
we were each given an open coconut with straw to drink the coconut
milk, as an aperitif. The flower arrangements on each table were
most unusual and attractive - a small posy bowl with curry leaves
and various spices, e.g, red chillies, cinnamon quills, etc,
to add colour. It again emphasised the efforts of the hotel management
and staff to provide something extra and appropriate for the
occasion. We sat down to an excellent curry luncheon which included
a very tasty Mulligatawny Soup
Certainly a memorable week, with warm weather, and as predicted,
not a monsoon cloud in sight, excellent food, cold drinks, and
fine service at Mt. Lavinia. Hotel. However, the main purpose of
getting together was to catch up with old friends/shipmates and
making new friends amongst 'the old'. This we achieved in a great
reunion pictures - Album
1 | Album
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5 | Album 6