The Ross Park Hotel in Ballymena was chosen for the 2014 bash and a very good one it turned out to be.
A bus was laid on to transport us to and from the do so our evening started at the club for a couple of warmers into the bank. Amazingly enough there was no problem getting the group of some 50+ embarked on time. Or maybe they were just scared of Anne Clarke!
There was champagne, or non alcoholic punch if you like that kind of thing, served on arrival and a photographer to record proceedings – Well the early parts anyway. One does not really want a photographer recording all one’s antics!!
The service and meal, a proper vegetable soup followed by roast beef and a dessert, could not be faulted and the bar prices were reasonable. What more could one ask for a start to the main proceedings.
The group proved to be a great success so, by the time the bus arrived to ferry us home, we had danced our feet off.
Thanks to George Boyd, Anne Clarke and the organizers for producing a great evening all round.
Saturday 17 November brought another year nearer to it’s end with the GIGC Formal complete with a Masked Ball theme. Starting with champagne cocktails to get everybody in the mood we then moved in to dine.
David Alexander’s starters were a definite hit, Antipasti with a difference; Parma ham, salami, peppers, crusty bread and not a fork in sight! Main courses offered were Steak, Cod with a herb crust or Supreme of Chicken with root vegetables and potatoes to accompany. The sweet was a tiramisu. No complaints from our table! Rosie Hunter provided the music and before anybody knew it it was time to close the bar. As usual and excellent night out.
Saturday 19 November brought the GIGC annual Formal Dinner Dance. One the shrinking number of occasions at which one can break out the black tie and drink too much in an orderly fashion.
As is usual the maximum number of participants had been reached within hours of the booking sheet going on the board. The reason is simple, guaranteed excellent food and Rosie Hunter providing the dance music.
We dully arrived at 7pm for the sherry reception and were fortunate to get a table in the corner before the bulk of the members arrived. There was a photographer from, I assume, the Carrickfergus Times to capture us for posterity, or something of that ilk.
We were called in to dinner at 7.30 and following a welcome from John Lecky, the Club Captain, Norman Walker said grace and dinner commenced.
As one would expect from David Alexander the meal was outstanding and finished with a selection of cheeses, of which to my mind the Stilton was away the best, and a glass of port. Memories of Sergeants Mess Dinners popped into my mind.
This left the Club Captain and Lady Captain, to take to the floor for the first dance. The great strength of Rosie Hunter is that she knows the music that will get the members on the floor, and keep them there. This is exactly what happened and the floor was fully occupied for the rest the night.
Due to licencing laws the bar closed at 1am and the company duly dispersed in various levels of euphoria. A great evening having been had by all.
Thanks to Margaret McKeen and Derek Cosby for the photographs