It is often said that lingering deep within our psychology there lies some hidden neurosis. Fears and phobias are undoubtedly commonplace, if unspoken, although often betrayed by their covering veneer of joviality. Of course, there are experts who study these things; anonymous lab-coated psychologists who ooze delight when presented with such phenomena, licking their pencils as they tick their clipboard boxes.
But in truth, our thirty-three members and guests — if perhaps a little ostentatious — suffer none of these afflictions and were just pleased to see each other, comparing notes after the summer break, as we gathered for our September Buffet Supper. Our President, Roger Gentry, had kindly arranged a new venue and caterers for us at St Nicholas’ Church Hall, Allington, Maidstone where Roger is Organist and Choirmaster.
The architecture of St Nicholas’ Hall, built in 1938 — interestingly the same year as Germany’s grandiose new Reich Chancellery in Berlin — reflects something of the period, although with sensitive internal modernisation it provided an ambience of comfort and convenience.
The caterers had laid on an impressive spread of cold meats, quiches, salmon and salads; the sweets of chocolate cake, cheesecake and Pavlova were deliciously tempting, with second helpings for those with the capacity. Fruit juices were provided for those who might be driving, although many brought their own wine. The evening was unhurried and there was time between courses for catching up on summer activities and ensuring new members and guests were made welcome.
While coffee was served, one was led to ponder the history of St Nicholas’ Church Hall, a silent witness to wars and austerity. Although it had served as both church and hall before the present church was built, its curtained stage still seemed to harbour ghosts of past entertainment with echoes of Boy Scouts singing “We’re riding along on the crest of a wave” and theatre groups in plays like Noel Coward’s “Private Lives”.
But on this occasion our evening’s entertainment was to be provided by Rosemary and Christopher Clemence, with a slide show of pictures dating from 1968 to almost the present day, all taken during our KCOA meetings and coach trips. It presented a cavalcade of organs, churches, cathedrals and memories of members, many sadly no longer with us, as well as current members in more youthful years. Rosemary gave a detailed commentary of dates and locations while Christopher worked the projector with expert precision. We must thank them both for such in interesting presentation.
Rosemary and Christopher Clemence
No KCOA Buffet Supper would have been complete without a raffle and, with his hallmark gentle persuasion, Kevin Grafton organised and sold the tickets; Joan Howard, from Gravesend, was the lucky winner of a bottle of champagne.
We must thank Roger Gentry for arranging this most enjoyable evening for us, marking the beginning of our new 2008-2009 season.
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