On Saturday 28th March, the High School’s assembly hall was the venue for the biennial expedition fundraising dinner, this year in aid of 16 senior students heading off to Peru in June for four weeks.
It was a tremendous night with a fabulous atmosphere and it successfully raised over £4500. There was a fantastic team of people who gave up their time to make it all possible. Robert McKim, former chef of the Machrie, and Katherine Urquhart, hospitality tutor in the High School, led in the kitchen and produced a wonderful and well-received three course meal. Glen Roberts led a team of students front of house who delivered a very professional service. We also had a team of former and present students of the Hospitality course, together with more students going on the expedition, helping with the food preparation and dishes.
The hall was filled with candle-lit tables seating over 90 people and it was a real pleasure to see the hall being used this way and to experience such a wonderful atmosphere. There was a presentation by the expedition team on their forthcoming trip to Peru and Ashley Harrison, who went on the previous expedition to Ethiopia, delivered the key-note presentation of her experience of one of these expeditions. It was funny, emotional and included some very thoughtful and powerful quotes from other team members on the impact the expedition experience has had on them. A copy of this presentation is on the website.
The night finished with Jim McEwan auctioning off some excellent bottles of whisky and other items. His patter was brilliant, entertaining everyone and fleecing bidders for serious amounts of money. What a great night!
All the team would like to thank everyone who helped, made donations and/or attended the fundraising dinner. Particular thanks to Robert McKim and Katherine Urquhart (the chefs), Robert Glen (front of house), Alice Stewart (kitchen), Jim McEwan for doing the auction, Ashley Harrison for her presentation, Jean Grant who donated the salmon, Ian and Margaret McKerrell, who donated all the dairy produce, Catriona McGillivray who donated the bread and oatcakes, Mr and Mrs Harrison who donated the wine, Russell Pollock for the tablet and Maggie harrison for the shortbread, Forteith’s, Breckenridge and the Co-op for discounted rates on their produce and from everyone who donated items to the auction including Bruachladdich, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Kilchoman, Bowmore, and Lagavulin Distilleries and Dunlossit Estate, Port Charlotte and Islay Hotels and Dave Protherough (Wild Islay Kayaking). Many, many thanks to everyone!