"You want to know whether this picture is of Egypt?'"
"No. I was simply commenting that the person holding the picture is an Eejit!"
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the March TSS Lunch at the Hong Kong Yacht Club ascended to the predicted heights of organised japery, polite farce and friendly abuse customarily reserved for the Thursday before the Rugby Sevens.
But this was no ordinary Annual event. Perhaps alerted by the Convenor Mr Chris Pooley's own perplexed reference to both genders – ladies and gentlemen – only the uninitiated would have been under an illusion that this was an ordinary gathering before the festival of rugby.
Happy Birthday TSS!
There may be some contention regarding the date of inception, and there may be no corporate memory as to what the initials actually stand for, but everyone in attendance saw to it that the official 40th anniversary of the lunch club for professionals in the maritime industries was an unmitigated success.
The members expressed their appreciation to Mr Colin Dawson for the hard work he invested in bringing the anniversary celebrations to fruition in the form of a bottle of unreasonably priced plonk. In spite of the nay-sayers, who were understandably skeptical of the logistics, Mr Dawson came through to ensure the event was not only well attended but over-subscribed.
Long overdue recognition was earnestly bestowed upon W. E. Cox's own Ms Alice Cheung who has been the sober and steadying influence behind organising and administering all TSS Hong Kong events since 1995. You can serve less time for murder, so the membership owes much gratitude for the continuity and efficiency Ms Cheung brings to this role.
And, for what can only be described as the membership’s own homage to the "lifetime achievement award", acknowledgement was given and (contrary to general expectation) graciously received by the stalwart; the perennial; Mr James Wort. Thankfully, Mr Pooley did not yield the floor and the gathering was gratifyingly delivered from a tearful acceptance speech.
Attendees displayed their own individual gratitude for the hard work and personal commitment employed by our small band of committee members by donating generously to the TSS charity of choice, the Mission to Seafarers.
Providing his services in exchange for a lunch, the gavel this year was admirably administered by a professional auctioneer boasting a CV that includes the prestigious Sotherby's auction house in London. Members and guests alike were skillfully persuaded to dig deep and compete for some interesting and unique lots: all kindly donated by members and loyal supporters.
Our own Chairman, Mr David Cox, in town during one of his scheduled twice-annual tours of the Asia Pacific region, was more than happy to bid a grossly disproportionate figure for a book containing photographs of Hong Kong through the ages. The writer is reliably informed that this book is on display and available to all visitors to our Head Office in Gravesend, Uk. Just ask at reception.
An undisclosed sum was paid for the Eejit…sorry, EGYPT picture.
The total sum raised this year is a thoroughly respectable HKD137,800.00.
Should you have any queries regarding TSS events, please feel free to contact our own Mr Gordon Blyth Snr, Treasurer and committee member of TSS Hong Kong branch. TSS has branches in Hong Kong, Singapore and London.
W. E. Cox is proud of our proactive involvement in this maritime club and its committed dedication to its associated charity, the Mission to seafarers.