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BI events

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New New date for Engineers' reunion in Glasgow, September 2014
New Details of the October 2014 reunion in Liverpool, UK are are now available.

See reviews and pictures of recent reunions:
    Southampton October 2012
    London (Runnymede) UK, October 2008
    Fremantle, Australia, October 2008
    Glasgow, Scotland, September 2006, BI 150th anniversary
    Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 2006, BI 150th anniversary
    Portsmouth, UK, October 2004
    Bristol, UK, October 2002
    York, UK, October 2000

Regular reunions of former BI staff are held in the UK and, most recently, the first of what could be a series of international events has been held in Penang. The Australasia region had its first event in October 2001, in Brisbane. BI engineers hold annual events in the UK, at which all engineers and electrical enguineers are welcome.

A reunion with an international flavour was organised for the first time in 2000 and heldBI reunion rasa sayang in Penang, Malaysia. Attended by more than 300 people from Australia, New Zealand, various parts of Asia, Africa and North America, as well as a large contingent from Europe, the so-called Spellard 2000 reunion lasted five days, during which there were three formal and many informal groups and gatherings. These included Aussie Cs & Bs, Gulf Ds, east Africans, cruiseships and cadetships Chindwara and Chantala. The event was a ringing success which has led directly to the idea of an international BI 150th Anniversary Reunion. This was held in May 2006 in Colombo, Sri Lanka and turned out to be another great success. In this area of the site, you can see the reunion schedule, a review by the organisers and pictures taken during the five-day event. A huge amount of work went into organising the reunion and despite a recent increase in Tamil Tiger activity, the event went ahead in style at the newly refurbished Mount Lavinia Hotel.

The first of what has turned out to be a whole series of big reunions was held in Brisbane in October 2001. With Brisbane the reunion centre, three 'official' events took place during the weekend as well as many other informal gatherings. The programme included a Welcome barbecue, river cruise with lunch and a Sunday BI curry lunch. The second BI Australasia reunion was in April 2003. The third Australasia reunion in October 2008 in Fremantle, Western Australia attracted more than 160 guests for five days of formal and informal events. Some photos of the reunion can be viewed here.

Reunions in the UK started in 1990 with a party at a hotel in the New Forest, near Southampton. It was an immediate success. The idea was that of Tony Kerins, John and Linda Simkins and Sue Spence. Since the first event, there have been reunions every two years in various places in the UK - Southampton, Stratford, Bristol, Glasgow and London among others. The format was originally confined to an evening dinner but at the millennium reunion in October 2000 in the ancient city of York, there was an afternoon boat trip, dinner in the evening and a curry lunch the following day, a pattern which has been followed ever since.

Like all others before it, the most recent UK reunion in Newcastle in October 2010 was a resounding success, thanks very largely to the amazing efforts of Sue and John Spence. Newcastle and the River Tyne gave birth to a large number of BI's ships, and for this and other reasons it proved to be an excellent choice for a reunion in the northeast of England. In recent years we have been in York, Bristol, Portsmouth, Glasgow and Runnymede (London).The most recent and 12th UK reunion was held on the weekend of Oct 12-14, 2012. It was in Southampton, a port well known to BI, especially those in the company who sailed in the troopships, passengerships and educational cruise ships.

Southampton was sadly the last reunion Sue and John Spence will organise. They have worked tirelessly over more than 20 years to bring us a series of terrific events enjoyed by thousands of guests, and they now feel it is time to hang up their hats. [See a note from Sue and John].

Liverpool 2014 reunionNevertheless, taking up where Sue and John left off, Mike Feltham is arranging a northern BI Reunion on the weekend of Oct 10 - 12, 2014, in Liverpool. The hotel chosen by Mike and co-organisers James Slater and David Mitchell, is the famous Britannia Adelphi just a few minutes' walk from Lime Street Station. The hotel can accommodate the Friday evening buffet supper, also dinner on the Saturday evening, and curry lunch on the Sunday. Mike is asking those interested in attending to register with him at

Every autumn the BI Retired Engineer Officers Association holds an annual luncheon and reunion in Glasgow. All engineers, including electrical engineers are welcome at association events. This year's event will be held at the usual place, Mercure Glasgow City Hotel, Ingram Street, Glasgow on Thursday, September 11. Any former BI engineer or electrical officer who is not a member of the association can contact the association's secretary James Slater email: or phone 01706 351190 or 07702 124840 for information.


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