Dinner at the House of Lords 16 May 2007
On a mild evening in mid-may, nearly eighty Members of the Company and their guests dined in the Cholmondely room at the House of Lords, having first partaken of a champagne reception on the famous terrace overlooking the Thames. As soon as we retreated to the dining room, the heavens opened and an English spring commenced.
The evening was all made possible by The Lord Alton of Liverpool kindly acting as our host for the evening.
Having been in the debating chamber all day, he only had time to take a party of ten to the Visitors' Gallery to observe the House in action which they seemed to find most interesting.
We were then served with a most adequate meal and some excellent wines. The advertised puddings ran out, but a nice alternative was quickly found and all seemed to enjoy themselves. The conversation flowed with the wine and a delightful atmosphere was engendered.
After the meal we had the Loyal toast followed by some excellent speeches. The Master thanked Lord Alton for his kind hospitality and paid tribute to his many achievements both domestically in such areas as pro Life and citizenship and on the international scene in the many areas of unrest and injustice throughout the world, along with some light amusing stories
The main thrust of Lord Alton's reply was on the necessity for all people to participate in public affairs, emphasizing the responsibility each of us have in being involved and told an humorous and yet salutary tale to make his point. He had the audience listening with rapt attention to what he was saying, many coming up afterwards to congratulate him and ask further questions. Lord Alton was extremely charming and generous with his time.
The Upper Warden rounded off the evening with a speech thanking Lord Alton on behalf of all those attending and stating that this was his second occasion to speak in the House, the first resulting in an embarrassing fall from the dais, much to the amusement of those present. On this occasion he stayed in full command of his faculties and bought the evening to a close in great style.