This year’s AGM and dinner were held on Saturday 23rd March at Oxford University’s Officer Training Corps, a regular and notably popular venue amongst the Cryptics due principally to the outstanding menu and MOD subsidised bar! Early on in the afternoon, with a warm sun still shining, club officers and committee members began proceedings. Fortified by coffee and a pleasing selection of biscuits, those gathered discussed fixtures, safeguarding, membership and the obligatory treasurer’s report, all the while longing for the dinner guests to arrive and the evening’s frivolities to commence.
Finally, with the sun long having disappeared below the horizon, the President’s gavel brought proceedings to an end with a welcome ‘thwack’. Bow ties were done up and dinner jackets scrambled on as we adjourned upstairs to greet our friends and guests for dinner. Understandably, those present had chosen not to stand on ceremony having already helped themselves to a round of drinks at under two-pounds-a-pint from the cheapest bar in Oxford! No doubt a typically hearty meal served up by the outstanding catering team would very shortly ensue.
As we sat down and poured the first glasses of table wine our mellifluous chit-chat was soon interrupted by three loud bangs from the gavel on the top table. An imposing man stood up and solemnly begged for silence. The fellow in question was none other than John Hamilton, who had been invited by the Club to make an opening speech on it’s behalf before deferring to our evening’s Guest of Honour. John spoke eloquently, drawing on all his life and cricketing experiences to paint a picture of how the game ought to be played and of the dangerous corruption the cricketing youth of today are exposed to. His cautionary tale was followed by the main speech, delivered by the Club’s guest, Mr Paul Bedford. We were absolutely thrilled that Paul accepted the invitation to speak at our dinner and were enthralled as we listened to his tales and anecdotes, all delivered with a dry humour.
The customary Royal Toast was impeccably observed and the only blemish on the evening came when one hapless Cryptic, who had better remain nameless, attempted to pass the port to the right. The quizzical eyebrows, disapproving glances and sharp intakes of breath swiftly shamed him into embarrassment, however. No harm done in the end!
The AGM and dinner was, as usual, a wonderful opportunity to catch up with friends and guests and welcome in yet another season, which is very nearly upon us at the time of writing. Let’s hope it’s a successful one both on and off the field.
4th April 2019,
To see photos from the dinner click here.