HENLEY@Saint Kentigern Spring Ball
September 21, 2015 at 8:43 AM
Striped blazers, boaters and ball gowns were the attire of the night when a touch of Henley-on-Thames came to Elliot Hall on Saturday! High on the social calendar in England, the Henley Regatta is not only an internationally competitive rowing competition but also a highly anticipated social occasion along the banks of the River Thames.
The organising committee did an absolutely fantastic job of transforming the hall into a spring-like English venue bursting with fresh flowers. As Elliot Hall is not quite so close to the water as the Henley marquees, the boats were brought up to the Hall, to nestle on a river of quivering blue balloons! Although probably not on their list of 'things to arrange,' the weather also played its English part by raining as the guests arrived!
Over 150 Rowing Club members, coaches, Old Collegians, family and friends arrived dressed in style and there was much chatter and laughter as the evening unfolded. Drinks were served from a summer gazebo and delicious food was served non-stop throughout the evening by our own College rowers. Dancing eventually got underway to big band, Tuxedo Swing, once MC for the night, Head of Middle School, Mr Duncan McQueen 'encouraged' guests to take to the dance floor!
It is a costly exercise to keep our rowers on the water and to keep the Rowing Club assets in tip top condition. Maintenance is an annual on-going requirement and whilst each year, part of the income comes from rowing fees, a significant additional amount is also raised by the parents.
Year 12 student, Ed Barry is now in his fourth year of rowing and spoke to the guests on behalf of all rowers. He said he really appreciated all the effort the rowing families make to support the rowing programme at the College and that the students are truly grateful for the fantastic facilities and equipment available to them.
Through the generosity of a number of sponsors, there were some great items donated for auction. Mr McQueen took on the role of auctioneer with aplomb, encouraging guests to shake out their wallets. The Club is delighted that over $10,000 was raised during the course of the evening for new skiffs, oars, coach boats and safety equipment.
The summer rowing season is now underway, with all members of the club training before and after school, and on Saturdays. The Club Opening Day will be held on Saturday 17th October in the rowing sheds, and will include the naming of new boats purchased last season. The first regatta is the following Saturday with the Waitemata Takapuna Regatta on Lake Pupuke. The rowers would love your support!
A special thanks to the generosity of the main sponsors Air New Zealand, Top Catch & Pak N Save Glenn Innes, and the organising committee of Greg & Kerry Pool, Christine Johnston, Debbie Swiatek, Kim Church, Gee King, Hiromi Chang & Geoff Strang.
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