Saturday, 22 October 2011

Dinner with the Guv

Jason and I were invited to a black-tie dinner. I was so very excited, until Jason told me it was to celebrate the 206th anniversary of the victory at the battle of Trafalgar.

I told him straight, "We never ever go out together. And the one night we do, you want to take me to celebrate some old fogey battle."

"Bob invited us. Some navy thing. Ray and Leanne are going too. Do you want to come or not?"

"A battle of Trafalgar dinner?Where will it be held?"

"I'm not sure. A services league club...somewhere in Spring Hill."

"What? You mean an RSL? Black tie for an RSL?'re not selling it to me, Jason."

Anyway, I reluctantly agreed. A night out is a night out after all. Who cares if it involves jaunty sea shanties? Jason had his heart set on wearing a spiffy dinner suit too.

United Services Club image courtesy of here
Last night we picked up Ray and Leanne and drove to the event. Ray had more information about the dinner and filled us in on the way.

It turns out the dinner was not at an RSL but rather the United Services Club Queensland in Wickham Terrace. The club is housed in two turn-of-the-20th century buildings Montpelier and The Greenhouse. They are both listed on the Heritage Register.  (There was not one pokie machine to be seen!)

Monogrammed dinner plates. I'm so easily impressed

Jason said I was very gauche to be taking photos.
You can see me in the silverware.

The dinner was an incredibly traditional affair hosted by the Naval Officers Club and the guest of honour at the dinner was Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC, Governor of Queensland. We were to shake her hand and call her, Her Excellency.

It is a very different world to the Sow's Ear.

Jason and I are certain we were the youngest people in the room apart from the waitresses.
There was a lot of table thumping before and after the speeches and toasts.
The toast to Lord Nelson got the biggest thump.

There's the Governor leaving for the evening. She gave an excellent well-researched speech about the Battle, but gave a French perspective, given her previous role as Australian Ambassador to France. She was sympathetic to French Vice Admiral Villneuve.

All in all, it was a terrific night far exceeding my original expectations - it was like being extras in a Hornblower episode. Cheers Lord Nelson!


  1. We had our wedding reception at the USC about 11 years ago. I didn't like the place at the time ... parents suggested it. I can distinctly remember not being able to get my hands on any champagne prior to the wedding mass ... but now you make it sound very posh!

    I'm glad you had a lovely evening there.

    I've been told the Bardon RSL is a great place for dinner. We should all bring life back into military places of fine dining.

    You should be a shoe-in to see the Queen.

  2. Remember, I had RSL pokie expectations MMMC...I'm sure I wouldn't have been fond of the place either if no champagne came my way. Luckily it did! xx

  3. How spiffing and frankly any chance to get all gussied up and out on the town is worth grabbing. melx

  4. It was a lot of fun. The men looked very dashing in their dinner jackets and full dress uniform. Much better than painting clothes!

  5. Sounds like a grand time. I love Horatio.

  6. There's something about a bank of pokies which lower the tone isn't there - I'm glad you were spared!

    Nelson was a hottie.

  7. You can see an old gent looking over at you in the silverware right enough, probably thinking to himself "her husband will think she's gauche" or "what a stunning young lady, better looking than that Penelope one any day". Surely 206 will only be eclipsed by 207.


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