Appreciation Dinner – 22 November 2012
The invitations had been sent more than 3 months before, ensuring that guest s had plenty of notice. The dress code was an indication that something special was planned and RSVP’s rolled in thick and fast – no one wanted to miss out. The day dawned clear and the air was thick with excitement as all the plans started to come together. Tablecloths and overlays were ironed, napkins had been washed and pressed, vases gleamed, the caterer was on speed dial for any last minute confirmations and questions.
Centrepieces were assembled, candles readied, seating plans consulted and consulted again. Soon, all would be ready for the arrival of our guests. The event – an Appreciation Dinner – had been planned by House Managers Deon and Chris Huysamen as a way of thanking the various committees, groups and individuals who have made such a wonderful difference over the past year through their continued support of the Villa and IPA. First on the list were the guests of honour, Western Cape Region Treasurer, Martin Margolius and Western Cape Region Secretary, Piet Zaayman, both of whom were to receive Honorary Life Membership for their many years of dedicated service to IPA.
These were followed by invitations to the visiting National Executive Committee, the rest of the Western Cape Regional Committee, the Committee of the British South African Police Regiment who regularly make use of the venue and the Committee of the newly formed local branch of the League of Former Police Officials. Next, invitations were extended to IPA members who regularly support and volunteer at Regional events and also to members of the local community who are an active and enthusiastic support system.
Guests were greeted with complimentary sherry in the Sherry Room while they waited to be allowed into the hall and conversation buzzed as groups examined the seating chart to see who they would be dining with while event co-ordinator Jo Huysamen put the finishing touches to the hall. Upon entry, guests quickly found their seats, acquainting themselves with old friends and being introduced to new ones. The menu included salmon panacotta as a ststarter, followed by beef fillet with vegetables and a delicious chocolate orange ricotta tart to end with.
Chris Huysamen welcomed all present and explained the reason behind the dinner before inviting everyone to relax and enjoy themselves after all the hard work of the year. After the starter, IPA President Pilot Loots took a few minutes to thank everyone for all their hard work and expressed his gratitude towards the younger members who are the future of IPA in South Africa before beginning the formalities of the evening. First, he filled us in on the Honorary Life Membership recipients, explaining how they had both joined in 1983 and had both served on Committees since then – Martin as Treasurer and Piet as Secretary (possibly the longest serving secretary in IPA SA history). Then he called upon Martin to step forward and receive not only his Honorary Membership, but also his 30 year service pin and certificate before repeating the process with Piet.
A further award was made to Western Cape Chairman and House Manager, Deon Huysamen who received his 20 year Certificate and Pin.