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THE GALA DINNER

By all accounts The Runnymede on Thames Hotel was a fantastic venue for our Annual Dinner. There were several reports from those who had checked in for an overnight stay expressing how pleasant the rooms and facilities were.
 
However, even this was surpassed by the extravaganza of entertainment which flourished throughout the evening. During the pre-dinner drinks in the bar there were several close-up magicians displaying their astonishing skills.
 
When the main function suite was opened, the party revelers paraded in to a fanfare of The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour." Before dinner was served it was announced that the captain had not yet arrived but in the anticipation of his arrival there was to be a performance by magical illusionist Sean Heydon. Sean performed his version of the classic illusion "The Cups and Balls" (this is probably the oldest recorded illusion in history, as there are Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics in The Pyramids portraying this magical effect).
 
However, instead of using Cups and Balls he used three large buckets, on top of a cabinet and the pretty face of his beautiful blonde assistant Hannah. Much to the delight and merriment of the audience Hannah mysteriously appeared from under different buckets in various positions. Finally, the master illusionist Sean Heydon whipped away the cloth that encased the cabinet. Amazingly the beautiful blonde Hannah had been completely transformed to a short-arsed almost bald, grey-haired 2010 outgoing CGS Captain.
 
I have to say I felt ten feet tall as I walked passed so many great friends to finally take my seat at the table. My girlfriend Elena was surprised as anyone when I appeared from that cabinet, as somehow I'd managed to keep the idea completely secret from her.
 
Our Poet Laureate Peter Trayling read out the Grace with several comical references to King John and The Magna Carta which was signed at nearby Runnymede. This was greeted with many hearty chuckles as we sat down to feast. During the meal there were dozens of fantastic photographs displayed on large screens of not just of the past year with pictures of The Ryderless Cup and The Spanish Trip but also of some absent friends Mike Haslam, Tim Pope, Stan Taylor and Al Benson. Thanks to photographer John Mellows for putting this most enjoyable feature together.
 
Chairman Miki Travis did a sterling job as the compere by perpetuating the humour throughout the evening.The fundraising part of the evening was run at a fast and entertaining pace and yet proved highly effective.
 
Handicap Secretary Alan Hancock fairly and squarely won £200 by playing Heads and Tails but most generously insisted that his winnings be donated back to the charity fund. A lady called Michelle won the 32 inch digital TV set in the raffle but requested that her prize be auctioned off. Step forward top comedian and Britain's best Charity Auctioneer Adger Brown. Adger kept up the high octane entertainment value with laughs aplenty. Good friend of The CGS John Burgess was the highest bidder by bidding several hundred pounds and then called for Adger to give an encore performance from which the TV set raised a few more hundred pounds.
 
Much of the funds raised by this event will go to a 5 year old sufferer of Cystic Fibrosis called Ellice and to the charity group Midas Plus who helped facilitate a most fantastic deal with The Runnymede on Thames Hotel.
 
Between the main course and dessert we were treated to the young talented Shane Hampsheir who enchanted the audience with his golden vocal tones. He finished his set with the audience Twisting and Shouting for more.
 
Several members came forward to receive their certificates for winning the various golf days from throughout the year. Unfortunately, when the most prestigious Owen Wooldridge trophy winner was announced publicly to the unsuspecting recipient, his wife came forward to say that he had gone to the toilet. Judging by the length of time that he was absent I assume he was also doing some paperwork. However, when Tony St James finally returned and was announced the winner of The Owen Wooldridge Trophy he was completely shocked and virtually moved to tears. Well done Tony a true and loyal servant to the society.
 
Comedian Micky Zany took to the floor and got many a guffaw from fellow pro comics and the audience at large with some fresh new lines. His self-effacing humour portrayed as a down-trodden character has a uniquely endearing comical quality that Leonard Cohen might describe him as a "Beautiful Loser". It was a great spot so well done Micky Zany.
 
Triple Cream were in their usual charismatic form with their mesmeric vocal harmonies, quick wit and virtuoso multi-instrumental performances. Lionel Richie's "Hot! Hot! Hot!" was parodied with the government's "Cut! Cut! Cuts!" and Lionel Richie's "Hello" reduced everybody to tears of laughter as Donald Duck sang the classic ballard. Dedicating their final number "The Impossible Dream" to The CGS Ryderless Cup Team they received a richly deserved standing ovation.
 
Paul Kaye was a master of disguise as he appeared as a reincarnation of Roy Orbison. He filled the floor as we danced and sang to "Baby You Got It" and "Pretty Woman".
 
Jay Rawlings appeared as Neil Diamond. I don't recall "Song Sung Blue" but I remembered we sang and danced to "Red, Red Wine" and "Sweet Caroline" with much gusto.
 
Triple Cream reappeared again to play live and fill the dance floor with several disco hits.
 
At the stroke of Midnight I stepped into the realm of irrelevance by presenting the chain of office to our new CGS Captain Jester Dave Lewin. I'm sure we all offer Dave our congratulations and support for the forthcoming year.
 
The dancing continued to 1am with DJ Gavin. He did a great job by playing the right sort of music for his audience throughout the evening at the right volume. Mind you, as opposed to irrelevant I might have rendered deceased having danced at high speed to The Specials 1980's hit, "You're Much Too Young" as my brain didn't engage to tell me that I was far too old.
 
I would like to thank all the members who attended and brought their family and friends along to support The CGS. I can appreciate first hand that it is not easy to sell tickets for such an event in these austere times. A special thank you also to The WEDGES who made the long journey from Wales and to Tom Anderson and Kaplan Kay who postponed their Water Rats Lodge Meeting so that they and their members could support us on the night. We were also supported by our very own CGS member but Captain of The Vaudeville Golfing Society Cyril Davey and several other VGS members.
 
Last but certainly not least a huge thanks goes to Ian"Ding" Davis and his wife Ann. As I was kept strictly at bay from any of the organisation of this event I can only begin to imagine the tireless, endeavours and effort to putting on such a superb evening's entertainment that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. So well done Ding you have done this captain and the Comedians Golfing Society very proud.
 
Chris Hare CGS Captain Jester 2010 and officially irrelevant.

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