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Scottish Music Hall & Variety Theatre Society30th Anniversary Celebration.


By Bill Green

Saturday 7th November 2009, saw Society Members, Friends, Associates and Guests assemble at the magnificent Brasserie Restaurant of the Millennium Hotel, George Square Glasgow. Once everyone was in place, our Chairman Mr Derek Green welcomed the company and the proceedings began with the cutting of the 30th Anniversary Cake. This was ably performed by our two Special Guests, Mr Johnny Beattie M.B.E and Mr Wyn Calvin M.B.E. O.StJ., who were joined at this point by the Committee and photographs were taken. A truly excellent 4 course meal was then served and accompanied throughout by a wonderful piano medley from our very own Moira Hepburn. Moira's large and varied selection of melodies were second to none as always and kept the ensemble entertained magnificently. It was greatly appreciated by all and many many thanks go to Moira for her excellent playing.

When the meal had ended, Derek then introduced the first of our two Special Guest Speakers for the evening. First to speak was our Hon President Mr Johnny Beattie M.B.E., who took the podium and regaled us, assisted on occasion by Ms Anne Fields, with some very funny anecdotes from his experiences in Showbusiness over the last 50 or so years. Everyone was very entertained by Johnny who then introduced the second of our Special Guests, Mr Wyn Calvin M.B.E. O.StJ. Wyn is a Past President of the Grand Order of Water Rats, a wonderful, well known Charitable Organisation throughout Britain. Countless Stars of Stage, both past and present, have been and are members, constantly contributing their time to work for this excellent charity. Wyn was accompanied by his most charming wife Mrs Carole Calvin J.P. and we discovered that at one time, Carole had danced in the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris. It was a delight to meet them both and their presence was greatly appreciated by the Society as they had indeed travelled all the way up from Wales to be with us on this very special occasion. Wyn is a highly amusing and very funny man with a charming personality. A Doyen of the British Variety Theatre, a Past President of the British Music Hall Society, Wyn is certainly one of the best known Pantomime Dames ever. His speech was very entertaining and centred around "political correctness" and as he was telling us jokes, he kept saying "nowadays, you are not allowed to say that"! Our thanks are extended to Johnny and Wyn for their excellent contribution to the evening.

After a short break, the evening then moved on to the Cabaret, and what a performance it was. Our very own Chris de Rosa presented his "Art of Illusion", accompanied by his glamorous and delectable assistant Claire. After doing some Hand Magic, Chris then mystified everyone with a series of Illusions involving various Cabinets, Disappearances and Reappearances. Chris concluded his Illusions with a highly dangerous performance in which he was locked in a large box, and then at least twenty sharp looking swords were thrust through the Sword Box till it looked like a porcupine. Chris was eventually released and to everyone's amazement he was still his own charming and handsome self, with not a sticking plaster in sight! From the evening's performance, it is easy to see why he is classed as one of Scotland's foremost Illusionists. Chris has performed in Casinos, Cruise Ships, Adventure Parks and Pantos and we thank Chris and Claire for their enjoyable contribution to the evening. Well Done!

Next part of the evening was the Prize Draw. Derek took charge of this and was aided by Ms Anne Fields who kindly agreed to draw the winning Tickets. Our kindest and sincerest thanks must go on the evening to the Companies who donated our excellent prizes. I will list them as follows, our thanks go to Slaters Mens and Womenswear for two vouchers. To Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd for two separate family tickets for 2010 Season. To the King's Theatre Glasgow for panto tickets from Glasgow Ambassadors Theatre Group. To Mr Iain Gordon of the Pavilion Theatre, 4 panto tickets for Christmas. To King's Theatre Edinburgh, panto tickets for Christmas. To the Playhouse Theatre Edinburgh, tickets for "We Will Rock You". To Tunnocks for two separate "goodie bags" for the evening. To M&D'S for a donated Family Pass unlimited wristbands for the Theme Park. To Asda Cumbernauld for a donated IPOD Shuffle. To the Millennium Hotel for a meal for two in the Brasserie, George Square. Finally, a cash prize of £50.00 donated by the SMHVTS itself. Once more, a big thank you to all the companies who kindly donated to our evening and helped to make it so special.

The evening was concluded with dancing to the excellent music of Scallywag who performed brilliantly. Many many thanks to Bobby and Jackie of Scallywag, whose music and vocals greatly added to the Cabaret style of the evening and it was much enjoyed by all.

Our final thanks must go to the Staff of the Millennium Hotel, to Assistant Revenue Manager, Louise Barr, to Maitre d' Derek and his staff and to the Chef and his staff, a special thank you for a truly excellent meal. 

It was a very special Anniversary Evening and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. It seems fitting on behalf of all who were there, to extend our sincere thanks to Mr Derek Green our Chairman, thanks for all the hard work he put into organising and supervising the Event. Derek, it was all worthwhile and everyone had a fabulous time Thank You! 

Hon. Guest Wyn Calvin OBE O.StJ, Hon President Johnny Beattie & Vice Chair Nancy MacKay at the cutting of the cake.

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