Friday, November 22, 2013

Dancing and Dining

 "Losing one manager in the course of a season might be regarded as unlucky,” said the Chairman last weekend.   "Losing both of them looks like carelessness. We also seem to have mislaid Jemma the physio . It is as bad as it could be:it’s got to be the nightmare scenario.”
It was difficult to know what to say to the Chairman since he clearly was feeling upset and was blaming himself for the fact that the Courier back page had the Glen in the headlines once again.
“Don’t blame yourself, sir” said Mr Reid. “Drew needs some more time with his family. I’m surprised his good lady has put up with his absence three nights of the week for as long as she has. And he’s done a power of work with the side - and it’s not like he’s going to be a stranger to the Club. He just hasn’t the time to do it properly- which is hardly news since Johnstone Gill has stepped down at Shiel and Norman MacArthur gave up ‘More the year before for similar reasons.”
“That’s as may be-but it might not have happened if only I had refused to let the Treasurer serve on that Camanachd Committee which ended up reducing the number of Premier sides. It’s made the managers life much harder and there will be no opportunity for him to bring in young players because each game will be too important in terms of League survival. The Treasurer was always going to try to reduce the fixtures to save money but I should have stopped him. I blame the Treasurer’s obsession with saving money for this whole business. He definitely thought there would be one or two fewer buses to pay.”
“It is what it is, “said Mr Reid. “Let’s go and have a party” 

And that’s what they did two days later going off to the Clansman Hotel for the clubs annual dinner where they spent a happy night eating top class grub, presenting prizes and dancing to the jazzy accordion of goalkeeper Stuart Mackintosh and his Newtonmore vocalist sidekick, Davy Holt.
The only hitch on the way was the fact that the bus to transport the troops to the Clansman did not turn up at the Loch Ness Inn –perhaps the Treasurer had cancelled the booking on the fly-and it was down to Di Fraser to drive the minibus. This she did with aplomb and good humour so the event got under way on time.
What a do! The tables were decked out in true Glen fashion with the individual table settings laid out in the form of shinty jerseys and black and red balloons were hanging from every fitting. 

Just look at this menu:
Lentil Soup, Pate or Prawn Cocktail
Roast Beef & Trimmings, Chicken with Smoked Bacon or Salmon with a white wine and leek sauce
Chocolate Truffle, Pavlova or Sticky Toffee Pudding
When the Wing Centre saw this menu, he was very clear in his own mind that Mr Reid had chosen it and that he, Mr Reid, had in mind at the time he chose it a desire for the menu to be nominated for the Marine Harvest Shinty Dance Menu of the Year. Indeed, he admitted as much to the Wing Centre in the downstairs foyer of the Clansman on the very night of the do.
“We got nothing off the Camanachd this season except a £100 fine, “he said,   “Things will be different next year.  I hope  to see them widening the categories to include prizes for “Best Dinner Dance Menu”, “Best View from a Pitch”  or even “Best Pitch-side Electronic Signboard” though I do admit we have a little work to do on that one and unless we get it working we cannot hope for a prize.”
As everyone knows Dinner Dance night is also the evening when all sorts of awards are given and thank-yous are offered made to all of those who deserve them and there were plenty of those including Club Secretary Hazel Stewart, Youth organiser/Minutes secretary/strip washer Helen Maclennan, coaches Laura Stoddart and Laura Quinn, Fund raising committee member Louisa Urquhart and Janet Emery who manages the pavilion on behalf of the club. One of the biggest cheers of the night went to Donald Fraser who received a special award for personally raising the largest amount of money collected by an individual as sponsorship for the successful tractor–push event organised by second team Boss Iain Macleod and his wife Julie. Well done to them and all the players who raised the cash.

Then came the players’ awards:
Players Player of the season for the first team was Ally Mackintosh and well deserved the award was too. Ally has had an excellent season, is always focused and gives everything in training and on the field.
Second team player of the season was Bradley Sneddon. Brad had a very good season and especially when he played at buckshee back showed good pace and sound hitting. He is a popular member of the squad and his award was well deserved.
Young player of the year was Euan Lloyd. Euan follows on from last year’s winner Fraser Heath and having started out in the second team at the start of the season by the end of the year’s action he found himself settling in to regular life in the top squad and there he acquitted himself admirably. With any luck Euan should go on to establish himself as a top player in the side over the next few seasons.

Presentations were also made to former managers Drew McNeil and Fraser Mackenzie

while Bobo Morrison, Ron Fraser and Mr. Reid also entertained the company with an amusing sketch which cemented the club’s growing reputation for amateur dramatics.

The evening drew to a close with the traditional last dance before the company joined hands in a rousing rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” before making their way sadly down the front steps of the Clansman into their preferred mode of transport and back to Drum.

“Did the dance take place on Friday 15th November 1913?” asked Mrs. Wing Centre when she read the last part of this intended post before ‘Yours Truly’ hit the up-load button. “At least that is what I deduce from the tone of the last few paragraphs. It sounds so old fashioned.”
“And what is more. You are beginning to sound like the Camanachd Association’s very own Director of Communications. You are only interested in good news apparently. The people don’t want to read that. They want to know the real story. Who is going to be the new manager? Why did Drew actually leave? What did Fraser do that was so bad? People don’t want to be told about guys winning prizes or the fact that everyone sung ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at the end of the dance. That is boring”
“Why is it that the truth sounds boring to some people and they look for fiction to explain the world and how it works. But then again If only Lovat’s Stuart Macdonald had not made these wonder saves back in June, none of this might have happened,” said the Wing Centre to himself in his head and pressed the upload button anyway.
The pictures were taken on the night and tell a happy story. Great to see former club secretary Mary Macdonald at the dance to present the player of the year trophy to All Mac. Then there is the snap of the two Fraser Mackenzies-unique though why the original did not wear his club tie is a mystery even to him. Bobo and Fraser (Official) are also featured as are Euan Lloyd and Brad Sneddon and the three Amigos. Second team Boss Iain Macleod is also pictured. Thanks to those who took the pictures-you know who you are!. tumblr hit counter
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