On Saturday, February 7, (Dickens’s actual birthday!), I attended the Toronto Dickens Fellowship’s Dickens birthday luncheon at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. I joined ~ 57 other loyal devotees of Dickens in the library on the hotel’s mezzanine.
It was great to meet old friends and make new ones as we enjoyed a sumptuous meal of carrot soup, pot roast with Yorkshire pudding, and English trifle. Terry Sleighton did a great job as host.
After toasting the Queen, we were treated to a humorous, musical, mathematical calculation by Jean Paton and Martha McKinnon as to Dickens’s age had he been born on Feb. 29 1812, as it was a leap year. It was concluded that we would have enjoyed many more novels!
Stephan Sierakowski, in his toast to the Immortal Memory, reviewed Dickens’s usage of funny and character-appropriate names. Speaker, Lars Thompson of Queens University, gave a lively presentation on “Obscure Dickens”.
Many prizes were raffled off in support of the Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehab centre. Dan Calinescu had a fantastic display of original playbills from his impressive collection.
Many thanks to all of you who worked so hard to make everyone feel so welcome and to make this event such a success!