The Annual Dinner (described earlier) has been held in November
in recent years at the Williams Club, Women's National Republican
Club, the former Netherlands Club, Princeton Club, etc. we
have been fortunate to have secured a number of most interesting
To honor the British Commonwealth in the Centennial Year
1995, a reception was held in The Princeton Club on May 24,
the anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria in 1819. A
large number of Consuls-General of the Commonwealth were
present at the reception, which was well attended by members
and guests. It was truly a distinguished and enjoyable evening,
for which many thanks were extended to Thomas M. Noone and the members of the Centennial Committee.
The Centennial Year was further celebrated on November 3
by a dinner and dance held at The Westbury Hotel, New York
City. The guest speaker was the British Consul General, Sir
Alistair Hunter K.C.M.G. and, in accordance with tradition,
guests of honor were invited from the St. David's, St. George's
and St. Andrew's Societies, King Edward VII Chapter of the
D.B.E., the BS & UC Foundation. Thanks were extended
to Eve B. Shirreff for the fine arrangements.
There is something magical about the figure one hundred!
The turn of the century, the ambition of every batsman to
score one hundred runs, the congratulations still sent from
Buckingham Palace to those celebrating their one hundredth
Certainly the Centennial Year of 1995 was important to the
BS & UC. Plannning started in 1985 when a Centennial
Committee was formed under the leadership of Thomas Noone. A fine reception was held at the Princeton Club in
May, attended by a number of Consuls-General of the Commonwealth.
The major event was, of course, the dinner and dance held
on November 3, 1995, at the Westbury Hotel. This was a distinguished
and enjoyable evening, of which all members could be proud.
There is no doubt that a dais for the Guest of Honor – with
the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack at each end and
the BS & UC banner in the middle – provides a focal
point, and turns a club or hotel dining room into a special
The main event since the Centennial has been the End-of-the-Century
dinner and dance held on November 12, 1999 at the Racquet & Tennis
Club. With the tremendous enthusiasm of president Margaret Meyer and
the Board of Directors, the extensive arrangements were handled
by member Pauline Pastore with imagination, skill and a lot
of hard work! Pauline put together a marvelous evening with
a buffet supper, exhibition dancers, cabaret act, music of
the Century, etc., and it is not too late to say yet another ‘thank
you’ to Pauline.
The traditional events of the year remain popular.
In January there is normally a Bangers and Mash dinner,
held at the Pig and Whistle Restaurant in recent years and always
well attended. This is true also of the Indian Brunch, recently
held at the Diwan Grill. A Sunday Brunch is held in the Spring
at the lovely Knickerbocker Country Club in Tenafly, especially
popular to our New Jersey members.
We are privileged to be able to hold the Commonwealth Day
reception, Annual Dinner and Christmas party at the Racquet & Tennis
Club or at the Union Club – both old and distinguished
addresses in New York City.
The annual Cricket Match against Staten Island Cricket Club
goes back to the early 50’s with such stalwarts as Arthur Grundy, Sir David Hardy, Peter Hussey, et
al. The afternoon has been organized for many years by Clarence Modeste, who has captained the BS & UC XI with Andrew
Waud serving as Vice Captain. The match has been named in
honor of the late Alan Kitchener, a staunch member of both
the S.I.C.C. and BS & UC.
The opening event of the season has been held in recent
years in the magnificent penthouse of member Marguerite Yates
on Central Park West. The Tuesday Evening program, held the
first Tuesday of the month at O’Casey’s Restaurant
under the chairmanship of Geoffrey Kerr, remains an important
and popular part of the Club.
Other events include a Day at the Races, originally organised
by Wilfred Greenway and more recently by member Jane Owens.
Special events have included a tour of the Museum of Modern
Art, and quite recently a tour of the backstage of the Metropolitan
Opera organised by member Lily Eszterag.
The BS & UC has members to-day not only from Great Britain
and the United States but from a number of Commonwealth countries including Australia,
Canada, the Caribbean, Guyana, India, Malaya, New Zealand,
South Africa, etc.
The BS & UC was established in 1895 “to foster
friendship among persons of British education” and
let us hope that the Founders would be proud of
the Club to-day.
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