A sparkling reception in the stunning library at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh started our St Andrew’s Night celebrations in style as friends old and new gathered. Before the dinner of finest Scottish cuisine in the Great Hall, CEO James Wells welcomed guests and Professor Gordon Mackay shared his vision and infectious enthusiasm for the work of Duncan Hospital in Bihar, Northern India.
During dinner, a testing St Andrew’s Night table quiz identified the seriously competitive among our midst. James Wells made it to the final of the pop quiz, losing out to a knowledgeable winner. Guests were the subject of charming and cheeky caricature portraits, deftly drawn by Neil Kempsell. A couple of lucky diners held the key to a safe containing two pairs of diamond earrings.
We were honoured and very grateful that Chris Moon, international speaker, volunteered his time to speak at our dinner. A kidnap survivor and, later, of a landmine explosion, Chris Moon challenged us all
to celebrate the joy of being alive. You could have heard a pin drop as he recalled his terrifying ordeal at the hands of the Khmer Rouge and his near-death experience in Mozambique.
Our flamboyant auctioneer Willie Paterson in his silver sequinned jacket coaxed and cajoled guests to give generously. His efforts paid off in raising £26,280 for our work to improve the health and life chances of people who live on £2 per person a day. As a direct result of the generosity of 12 guests at the St Andrew’s Night Dinner, 12 young women living in extreme poverty in Bihar will now be able to train as nurses and midwives. This will have a huge positive impact on a young woman’s life in this poor area, bringing her hope for a better future for her and her family. What joyful news for 12 young women this Christmas!
The icing on the cake was a show stopping performance by award winning A Cappella group, Tone Up, from the University of Edinburgh. Their stunning harmonies, beats and syncopation thrilled the audience who rose to a standing ovation as the group left the hall. So much to be thankful for, a joyful evening indeed!