June 4, 2013 Victorian Afternoon Tea



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Our  tea was a huge success despite a lively, cool wind which played havoc with our table linen and parasols!  Thirty of us met in the lovely, storytelling garden of the Westmount Library to share a delightful Victorian afternoon.

The table was set with fine china and decorated with potted red geraniums each bearing a picture of Dickens and named for one of his works (these were later raffled off). Thank-you Louise for providing these perfect table adornments! Classical music wafted over the sunshine dappled courtyard. Many of us wore colourful ribbon and feather-laden hats and period clothing. Pictures of Queen Victoria, a framed portrait of Dickens and a sampling of his works were displayed on a side table bearing other raffle prizes.

Our repast, lovingly put together by a selection of our members, consisted of mixed berry salad, cucumber sandwiches, egg and tuna pinwheel sandwiches, mini stuffed potatoes, chocolate cake, a variety of cookies and chocolates and maple squares. Buttery scones were served with individual servings of cream and jam. Plenty of iced tea was on hand to quench our thirst. After singing God Save the Queen as a shout out to Queen Victoria, we listened to a review of our past year and preview of next year by Ellie (President). Louise (Secretary) then gave a toast to our branch.

The Golden Stagers, complete with props and costumes, then entertained us with three wonderful tableaux from “Our Mutual Friend”, “Oliver Twist” and “Martin Chuzzlewit”. These scenes were excellently acted and the performers had us in stitches. A special thank-you to our “corpse” played by Isadore Greenbaum who assured us he had spent many hours practising the day before!  Jean Carriere (director) and Richard Lock  (who wrote the adaptations) did a fantastic job. We really enjoyed your efforts and hope your group will continue to participate in our Dickensian events!

Margaret Nicolai entertained us with her reading of “Ode to an Expiring Frog”, as did Toby Clarke with her reading from “A Tale of Two Cities”.  Sylvia (Vice-President) made a final toast to our fellowship, praised our various presenters and our special events such as our John Huston performance of “A Christmas Carol” and our Birthday Luncheon where  the Golden Stagers regaled us with the trial scene from “Pickwick”. Her comments about the special camaraderie we all feel as we learn about our favourite author were heartfelt and very well received.

Our afternoon ended with the raffle. Many, many thanks to everyone who helped in  bringing food, setting up and clearing away. It was truly a group effort! Thanks also to Donna Lach, Catherine Swift and Louie (superintendent) for all their help in providing and setting up our venue!  Proceeds from donations and our raffle will be added to the $300.00 our branch has already raised for the Tiny Tim Fund of the Montreal Children’s Hospital. 

Thank-you everyone for helping to make the first of our annual, year-end teas such a wonderful success!