The Rotary Morningside Chinese New Year Bash

(The Censored Version)

On the evening of Saturday, 5 February 2002, the Rotary Morningside Club members and a few of their (presumably closest) friends and associates gathered at the Foodsion Restaurant in Rivonia, Johannesburg to celebrate the Chinese New Year – not just any new year because this is the Year of the Tiger – and not just any tiger – but the WATER Tiger. People born in this year are purported to be very loyal to family and to have strong relationships with others. The actual New Year was on 1 February, but perhaps the good Rotarians needed a few days to bolster their admirable personality attributes for the occasion…

Once again the event was ably organised by Rotarian Jack Chen who spent very little time at the tables. However, he did watch keenly over his invitees from behind the garden window – he is a keen smoker among his other activities! There were three big tables for the party and very few other patrons. Perhaps they were frightened away by the raucous laughter emanating from the table led by Felix Ndlovu? Thank goodness the restaurant has an upstairs section to which the startled diners could flee.

Table 1 caught multitasking: eating, chatting and smiling - it's a hard life being a Rotarian!
Felix Ndlovu leads the laughter at table 2 - it's a pity our photographer missed the in-action shot
Two for Tea: guests Bernard Lunga [left] and Michelle Mackey [right] toast Linda's cry for tea

There were a number of incidents worthy of the esteemed club record:

Linda Thornhill attempted to cause a riot by uncharacteristically banging her tea cup on the table stating very loudly “We want food. We want food!” Needless to say that the first of many laden and delicious plates were served very soon after this startling protest.

A guest (they don’t make guests like they used to) by the name of Craig Smith reminded all at his table that Jack had given all the assurance early in the evening that our little tea cups would be constantly filled. Now he made the astonishing observation out that the said cups were still empty. The problem was quickly solved before Craig could emulate Linda and cry, “we want tea!”

There were complaints too:

Honourable Rotarian Paul Runge (who normally never whinges) complained of a sore back and knees when he posed for a photo taken by the ever-persistent photographer Terry Milne of himself with Deni Cruickshank, Amy Chen and Linda Thornhill. All of these lovely ladies are of short stature and Paul was only trying to be considerate and gentlemanly when he crouched. He managed to regain his normal upright position with great difficulty!

President Les Hudson and (hundred times) ex-president John Thornhill tried to steer the table conversations to normal subjects such as the glorious run of victories by the Blitsbokke. However, other table occupants showed little interest – and even less interest as the night wore on.

Left to right: Linda Thornhill, Deni Cruickshank and Amy Chen bring poor Paul Runge to his knees

Anyway, this anonymous author was given strict instructions to accompany the photos (and evidence) of the party with a short report. If anyone desires the uncensored version, they will have to identify the anonymous Rotarian who authored it and make a small donation to our club account.

Host Jack Chen and his wife, Amy... after this photo Jack wasn't indoors much
Linda Thornhill, instigator of the "we want food" riot next to Deni Cruikshank and Kristi Hansen
Left to right: Ian Cruickshank, Terry Milne [our legendary photographer] and Jack Chen
Guests Lucy Gachogu, Craig and Jennifer Smith and Terry Milne - Rotarians in the making

Keen to join our next Chinese New Year celebration?

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