OCTOBER - DINNER IN MAIDSTONE

This meeting was arranged at short notice by Tony.  He did a great job.

He got the name of the pub where we were meant to meet wrong, that threw a few people.  Even better he got the location of the restaurant wrong, that threw some more, And to top it off he even gave us the wrong name of the restaurant, oh, and it was Spanish, not Italian!

But we survived all that to crowd our way up the stairs to what was, thankfully, a private room, where we proceeded to have a hilariously funny and very noisy and very expensive meeting.

The guest of honour was Doctor Ollie Else.  Ollie was a member from 1994-2002 and only quit when the commute became too long - from Perth.  The other guest was our ex-chairman John Brice.   Both guests were made welcome and introduced to everyone around the table.

There was a bit of confusion when the meeting started, for some reason one of the guests tried to pass himself off as our Chairman.  Luckily there was Nick on hand to to point out that the miscreant was not only NOT our Chairman, but that he was not even a flipping member.  Well put Boutros (or should it be Brutus? Et Tu!).

Bugger me, but that only bloody tempted the other guest (another illustrious past Chairman) to pipe up and give a 20 minute off-the-cuff speech that had the meeting rolling in the aisles.  To a loud chant of Ollie! Ollie! Ollie! Ollie! the said guest was almost voted in as Chairman on the spot.

Unfortunately Ollie could not step into the breach as he had to head back to Oz to tidy up his affairs after the very sudden and sad loss of his wife Liz, a great loss to him and his family and all the members send their commiserations.  We hope to see Ollie back as a member on his return to the UK.  We will also bank him as a possible future Chairman.  

Will the real Chairman please stand up!!!  Graham!!!   Yes you, stand up.  No you can't change your mind.  Yes, I know you never wanted to be Chairman.  No we don't give a flying fuck.  You're Chairman!!!  Yes we all know you don't know how to do it, come over and let me show you.  

At this point the Obergruppenfuhrer inserts a hand up Graham's arse, the better to work his inner ventriloquists dummy. 

Graham relaxes immediately (Karen, is this a tried and tested trick you use?) and does a very good impression of a Chairman, albeit with a bit of a squeakier voice than his normal mellifluous baritone.

The meeting then continued in true GASS form to disintegrate into chaos and when we were chucked out by the restaurant (who were magnificent by the way, if only we could remember the name), we went on into Maidstone town centre for a nightcap, the late night social centre of Kent - to find it locked and barred.  Nothing open at 11.15.  Dead as a dodo  -  so we all went home to bed .......................

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But on a more serious note........

A massive thank you has to go out to John.  He has done an amazing job as GASS Chairman for goodness knows how many years now.

 

Nobody will ever know if he really meant to resign in BREXIT but nothing can take away from his magnificent reign and his booming vocals,  a true Chairman in the honourable pantheon of GASS Chairs.

It is a thankless task trying to keep some form of order among such a group of strong, independent and loud characters and JB did an amazing job.  Thanks John from all of us!!!!

However, the Chairman is dead!  Long live the Chairman!

And welcome to Graham.

Another man with a booming voice and an organisational flair.  Graham spans the 'two tribes' and so can be a force for better balance and hopefully budgetary good sense.  He was already a regular meetings organiser so GASS is in good hands - as long as at least one of those hands is jammed up his arse and working his jaw.