Rotarians and their friends and family had a superb evening's entertainment at President Margaret Griffin's first Guest Evening of the year on the 31 July, held at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge.
The delightful summer evening started with reception drinks in the Campanile Gardens adjacent to the Cathedral. Having the Cathedral as the backdrop always gives a great sense of beauty, with its magnificent architecture and the link to centuries of Christendom.
The meal was served in the Clagget Auditorium; this is the octangular-roofed venue where many events and recitals take place; it's also used regularly for talks and recitals during the Canterbury Festival.
Entertainment was provided by Emily Renshaw (mezzo soprano) and Tony Eldridge (bass baritone), accompanied by Judy Eldridge on keyboard. Both highly accomplished soloists are well established in Canterbury, Kent and wider afield and have brought their choirs to Top Choir Kent. Their programme varied in style from classical to modern day items, from Handel to 'Songs from the Shows', all presented with impeccable musicianship, salted with good humour and with a finale in which they were joined lustily by the audience in singing Flanders and Swann's "Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud"!
President Margaret remarked: "I'm delighted that so many people came along to join us for a splendid evening with lovely food and entertainment; the glorious summer weather was an added bonus. I'm very happy that this first Guest Evening of my Presidential year went so well and look forward to hosting other events during the year. I'm also pleased to announce that we raised over £300 for my three selected charities: Porchlight, Canterbury Food Bank and Juba Diocesan Secondary School in South Sudan, so thank you all involved."
In addition to Rotarians there were many invited personal guests, including Assistant Governor for our District (1120). Hilary Brian.
We are indebted to Rotarian Wendy Jones for her meticulous organisation of the evening and to Past President John Harris for recruiting the entertainers from the annals of Top Choir Kent.
The evening, as John summarised, "was a lovely mix of Rotary fellowship and music in unique surroundings".
Picture: The gardens, guests, and Emily Renshaw and Tony Eldridge. Picture credit: Sue & David Pratt.
With thanks to John Harris for his input into the article.