Monday 8 December 2014

Brussels Brontë Group’s annual Christmas lunch

Hard to capture,
always on the go!
The Brussels Brontë Group’s annual Christmas lunch took place on Saturday 6 December, at the restaurant ‘Carpe Diem’. It was attended by 38 enthusiastic lovers of the Brontës and 19th century literature. As usual Jones Hayden was the Master of Ceremonies and he made sure that we were properly entertained.

The entertainment was varied and interesting. Jones and Paul Gretton had produced a Quiz about the Brontës which was not that easy to get right (although we think we know almost everything about them!). Graham Andrews read the poem ‘Transvestism in Brontë novels’ by Patricia Beer.

Our theatre company
'Branwell in action'

Our actors’ team, that is, Daniel Mangano, Myriam Campinaire, Robyn Colwell, Kate Healy and Brian Holland performed ‘Christmas Dinner at the Parsonage’ which was first published in ‘Punch’ magazine in 1935. They all gave engaging portraits of (in order of actors) Mr Bronte, Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell.

Patrick Weldon from
Luxembourg entertained
us with a musical tune
One of our members had come all the way from Luxembourg to perform two songs from ‘Oh what a lovely war’. I am totally impressed by Patrick Weldon who could sing these songs a capella! You can see he is a member of an amateur theatre company.

The Raffle saw some happy people receiving Brontë gifts of various kinds. Then it was the turn of Jose Miguel Arranz from Spain. Being married to Helen MacEwan, you can
Jose Miguel Arranze
our Spanish tenor!
not stay ignorant about the Brontës for long. He confessed he didn’t know anything about them at the start. We were therefore quite impressed by his own poem ‘Oh Haworth’ dedicated to the Brontës, which he sang to the tune of the Spanish song ‘Granada’. This is a very difficult song to sing, even more so a capella.  But we got a good idea of his musical talents.

Last but not least Paul Gretton led us in the carol ‘While shepherd watch’ to the tune of the popular Yorkshire song ‘Ilkley Moor’. We all sang with him and it was a nice end to the entertainment part.
Paul Gretton leading the psalm!

Helen ended by thanking everybody for this year and hoping that we will have another exciting year in 2015. The group is hoping for an exhibition in 2016 to celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte’s birth. Guided walks and events will as usual be held in spring and autumn. The reading groups, led by Jones, will continue in 2015.

In between we managed to eat the three course lunch that was served. Here is one of the desserts.

We also would like you to visit our various web-sites. Please also go into Facebook to become a friend of the Brussels Brontë Group. We will post more informal posts there on a regular basis. If you are reading this you are already on our blog (http://brusselsbronte.blogspot.be/). You can also look at our website where there is more background information about the group. We also post here a program of our events. (http://www.thebrusselsbrontegroup.org/).

Helen MacEwan our dedicated
'leader of the group'
We are happy to receive feedback from you. What kind of events would you like to attend? Any idea how we can spread our information to more people?

Lisbeth Ekelof

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