I am delighted to report on our Inaugural Ball. Being in the first batch, we had held a Ball in the UK in 1987, 25 years after passing out. But as no one else took up the baton nothing happened till….
A group of younger Peradeniya medics, enthused after attending the 13th PeMSAA Congress in Peradeniya in January 2017, decided it was time to reinvigorate the Alumni residents in the U.K. What better way to start than organise a Ball!!
The same juniors headed by Dr Krish Radhakrishnan (1976 batch) now elected President of PEMSSA UK started the ball rolling. Members were contacted by email with a date for a Ball on 17th June 2017 and invited to attend the committee meeting. Just three committee meetings were held in member’s homes.
The first on 25th March 2017, elected an Interim Committee, already a date had been agreed and a provisional venue ‘Hilton Watford’ was reserved. As time was short the caterers and also a popular band, were agreed at the meeting.
By the 2nd meeting Tickets were printed and the committee members entrusted with the task of selling. The members volunteered for the various jobs to make sure the event is delivered at the highest standard.
Though initially there was concern the 270 tickets would be sold, but wonder of wonders, at the end we had to turn away members, as the function was sold out.
The day of the Ball was bright, dry and warm, a good omen!
Alumni and guests rolled in with spouses in tow for the Canapés and Champaign welcome reception.
Dr Krish Radhakrishnan the PeMSAA-UK President escorted the chief guests Prof & Mrs Varagunam.
The band started with fairly quiet music whilst the members tucked into the starters. The master of ceremonies Dr W.T. Maheswaran (1968 batch) the Social Secretary welcomed the guests and introduced the speakers.
The newly elected president Dr Radhakrishnan outlined the purpose of the PeMSAA-UK and the hopes for the future of an International Scientific Conference in 2018. He also highlighted the expectation of setting up an educational charitable arm to PeMSAA-U.K.
Prof Varagunam though frailer than he was previously, was warmly received as he took to the floor. He gave an enthusiastic greeting to his former students and recalled some anecdotes from the early years.
A “To Sir With Love” framed photograph of Westminster Palace was presented to Prof Varagunam by Dr Edmund Ranasinghe (1962 batch) the photographer of the Palace and a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Varagunam by Dr Thiru Jesudason (1962 batch). The Secretary Mr. Abey Abeyasekara delivered a hearty vote of thanks.
The dancing started in earnest after the main course, interrupted by the raffle. Mrs Varagunam presented the prizes to the winners; appropriately a medic from the first batch won the 1st prize.
The music by "Breeze" with their lead singer Suresh was much appreciated. Everyone joined in the dancing and finally as we closed at midnight, the opinion was "A most enjoyable time had been had by all"
So well done the Executive Committee. Keep up the enthusiasm for the future of the organisation!
Dr Thiru Jesudason (1962 batch)
Reminiscing the Inaugural Ball 2017