2003 Iringa.Ourfamily Reunion - South Africa
Well, the great occasion has both come and gone, and it was, in my eyes, a resounding success. I am sure that Nadia will report back at some stage. She is currently on holiday, is back to organise things and then in a months time will be of to London, so time is against her at the moment. So at the moment you will have to do with my comments complimented by bad grammar and vague (at best spelling). They are naturally based around my time at the reunion (and before), so will miss out things that others might find important.
On the wednesday, while trying to get things organised mother decided to remodel the front of her car. Then, when fetching Sheila Markham from the airport, the car returned the favour by overheating a little. Sheila to her credit only commented that being from the Seychelles she was quite used to the heat when I kept the water cool by turning the heaters onto high! Mad scramble to find a replacement car for the weekend resulted in success, and mother was mobile again.
Thursday passes with less excitement for the Stevens' cars thankfully, and the early birds started streaming in. When traveling across as many time zones as the Aussies and the North Americans needed to, it was probably a good thing that they gave themselves more time to acclimatise than the other attendees. That afternoon, I took Alan Clube through to the first school he ever taught at (St Johns in Johannesburg). He seemed to enjoy it, and I must say that if all the teachers at Iringa were to his standard you people certainly were extremely fortunate.
Thursday night we started out with drinks and then off to a local place for dinner. Linde (Baker) and Clover (Moss) are quite as bossy as my mother is (I say that in a positive way - they are both lovely people). Food was nice, but service was shocking. Was surprised to hear so many people saying that South Africa has high levels of service in general, as we all complain about them.
For those of you who don't know - that is Nadia doing what she always does - talk. And talk. And talk. Then talk some more. Then glare at those trying to talk around her till the quieten down and she can talk again...
Friday started out with Nadia at the airport trying desperately to find the errant busses and with myself at Heia Safari talking to the local cat while the busses didn't arrive! Later, they started arriving in full force, and everyone seemed rather pleased to be there after the years of build up to the occasion. Nazir was actually bouncing up and down. Was ever so impressed with his enthusiasm!
Friday night was a spit braai, and later a cake for Nadia, who was celebrating her 28th birthday again. Which makes her younger than me. Things went very nicely, and people didn't complain to much about the camera forever being stuck in there faces for a photo.
Saturday was quite warm, and people lazed around the pool looking at photos during the day, gathering strength for the evening dance. People went out on game drives, went shopping at the curio shop and generally relaxed.
The evening function started off on time (with me getting in with a few minutes to spare and after way to many beers from my club AGM) but the Iringans would not go into the hall in the order they were expected to. After photos were taken, the evening started.
Nadia made a speech. I had a few words. Alan made a brilliant speech. Various people gave some magnificent gifts to Nadia. Linde, the Mediterranean contingent and the Brits were kind enough to give me gifts! Thanks people! I am easily bribed!
Awards given out during the evening by Nadia were as follows:
David Moss for the Moss family contributions to the site.
Here we see Dave and Clover Moss.
Vicar Ron Debenham - Honorary Iringan for general enthusiasm and help for Daphne.
Daphne King-Smith - Reunion queen. Well she was until Nadia hosted this one!
The Debenham's. Thanks to Daphne for making the reunion despite family problems.
Mike Paterson - for finding the most Iringans for the site.
The Pattersons. Mike was not posing nicely.
Nick Croft - for the mirror site.
The Crofts. Nick looks way to young to be an Iringan I might add.
Mike Whitman - for organising the Europeans and the trip to East Africa.
Mike - he is trying to forget about the splitting headache in this photo, after seeing the sun rise the night before.
Linde Baker - for bravery in trying to get me to correct my spelling.
Much fun and dancing finished at 5AM the next morning.
Sunday was a far more subdued occasion as people were suffering from the night before. Lunch and dancing passed in a bit of an alcoholic haze for many Iringans. In the evening an presentation of the Iringa movie (thanks to the Moss family) and Mike Whiteman's presentation. Ali Moss then did the slide show presentation.
On Monday - Iringans left.
I really must thank all those people who flew out for the reunion. For most of us in SA it is very easy to just get in the car and drive out to Heia Safari. Many of you planned your life around the reunion and spent the rather substantial amount to fly yourselves here. Without you the reunion would not have been possible. Thanks again.
And that it from the unfriendly Webmaster folks (and folkettes). I had a grand time and from what I hear, so did many of you. Now everyone waits to see who organises the next one.