Date: Saturday, 25th November 2000
Place: Artemis' Village Greek Restaurant, 374 Darling Street, Balmain
Guest Speaker: Kerry Chikarovski, NSW Liberal Party Leader
The Restaurant where we dined was named after the Greek goddess Artemis who, in Roman mythology, is called Diana.
Our Guest Speaker, Kerry Chikarovski, Leader of the New South Wales Opposition Liberal Party invited an old family friend to accompany her to the Dinner. Little did she realise that Steve Panozzo, as a valued Member, was coming anyway.
And recently, one of our new Members, Barry Edmunds, invited a new neighbour to drinks thus discovering he lived next door to Jim Shepherd's brother. Whether that is significant in any way I don't know, but make of it what you will.
The owner of the Restaurant was excited by the prospect of having such a large party but obviously found the Lee Falk Memorial Bengali Explorers Club and the dropping of Kerry Chikarovski's name a bit hard to swallow in one mental gulp and so made regular phone calls in the week preceding the Dinner to make sure that we really existed.
A hard core of regular members and a sprinkling of newer ones made for a fresh and vibrant demographic mix. A splendid gastronomic offering of Hellenic fare made for satisfied tummies, and a charming speech by Kerry on the topic "How Reading the Phantom Helps Me Cope with Politics" made for another memorable Dinner.
Kerry's presence was doubly appreciated owing to her post speech visitation to every table for a casual chat about this and that. As Tony indicated in his welcome to Kerry, in keeping with all our Guests she came for the fun, some fine wine, a good meal, interesting company and the pleasure of speaking to a captive audience about whatever she wanted for as long as she liked.
There were some moments of tension and excitement. Our Guest arrived fashionably late. Tony had been in Brisbane for the Cricket Test against the West Indies and as the Dinner began he was airborne and heading South but he made it, falling out of his taxi and dragging his suitcase into the restaurant in time to perform his auctioneering function.
And here was the real excitement! Due to a mixup and / or misunderstanding, we had no Lee Falk Tribute to award and no artwork to auction. Enter Dietmar Lederwasch! Through Dietmar's overwhelming generosity Tony was able to raise money for the Children's Hospital by auctioning a Brazilian Fantasma sticker set, an original Gone With The Wind postcard and a first colour proof of one of Dietmar's prints. And of course we raised a couple of hundred dollars raffling Dietmar's print of the 6th Phantom by Sy Barry.
René White dominated the auction successfully AND won the raffle. (See coincidences at the top!)
It was fun and that is what it's all about!