Weekend Pre Convention Dinner
Friday 2nd March

Defying the urge to cancel the weekend altogether after the demise of the show on the Saturday, over one hundred and twenty members attended what was now the pre convention dinner rather than the pre show dinner, and what an event it was!!!

There was a determined effort by all the revellers to make the most of the weekend. The reception before dinner was warm with amicale along with a glittering array of evening wear. Many old acquaintances met again and new friends made in what was a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Impromptu stands sprung up and there was a flurry of lively activity at the tables dispensing badges, convention programmes and year books (even a day early!!!)

A candlelit delicious dinner, much improved on last year, followed and without any dogs to walk and groom, liberal amounts of wine flowed throughout the dining suite.

Our Chairman, Mrs. Virginia Barwell welcomed all to the Awards Dinner and Mr. Paul Follows, the master of ceremonies, (criticised for only wearing a discreet midnight blue waistcoat with his dinner suit, instead of the sequinned stars and striped number he wore the previous year), hosted the event.

Announcing changes (surprise surprise) to the programme, which included a cancellation of the parade of stud dogs, our MC mentioned the committee had (tongue in cheek it was hoped) thought about getting the stud dog owners (the males amongst them) to parade on all fours wearing only a collar and lead. This went down well with the audience although the owners were relieved the idea was not adopted.

So a raffle very kindly organised by our overseas guests, who also donated the prizes, was held over the weekend culminating in a prize draw during the convention.

The yearly awards were made following dinner and it was nice to see the owners getting their due recognition and some limelight after a years hard work campaigning.

The formalities over, members relaxed and chatted over coffee, whilst many adjourned to the hotels bars. I gather the hotel refreshment service was still at it at 4am the next morning.

Breakfast was started earlier to allow delegates time before the prompt conference start at 9am. Maybe it should have been extended later as well to allow the late revellers to make breakfast as well.

It was a super night, great bonhomie and from what was the jaws of disappointment sprang forth a night to remember.

Paul Follows
Master of Ceremonies

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