Christmas meal and Brad’s roast

The Star was decked out with Christmas decorations and it was so packed in the pub with office Christmas parties that it was difficult to see the stairs. Luckily, the atmosphere upstairs was more pleasant. As a special Christmas party treat the upstairs bar was open and the tables were arranged in a U-shape, Boardroom style.

The evening had a relaxed beginning with plenty of time for drinks and socialising at the bar. Isabel set the scene with a helpful overview of the evening, opening of our Christmas crackers and then we tucked in to some lovely starters. Everyone donned their paper hat and then Jamie kicked the evening off with an inventive take on table topics – Brad’s life story. People were picked to add their tales to the story. We heard of Brad’s springbok hunting toddler days, his unusual ideas to attract tourists to his hometown and his special trip to Brazil. As a special challenge, each person had to talk until they hit the red light!

Then we were treated to Erin’s number 10 speech titled “My Only Wish for Christmas this year”. In true Erin style, it was a mix of lovely prose, humorous insights and engaging content. We were reminded that everyone has their own hopes and dreams and although that might not be what we aspire to, we should be understanding of other people’s decisions. Before we tucked into the main course, Isabel carried out several rounds of pulling two names out of a hat and then having people swap seats. This kept the conversations fresh and the evening merry. Or maybe that was the free wine provided by the club!

Suddenly it was time for the main event, Brad’s roast. There were humorous reflections, and reminders of Brad’s life and time as president of Phoenix Speakers. Atul had everyone laughing with his slide show of photos, Kate delighted with a Limerick written for the event and Isabel challenged Brad to actually embrace the Phoenix spirit in his speeches.

The evening wound down with a rejoinder by Brad, presentation of Erin’s competent communicator award and surprise carol singing at the end. It was a fitting end to the last meeting of 2013.

We look forward to seeing you for some more great memories in 2014!

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