Well, what a great night we all had. Lots of happy emotions as people got their awards and some sad emotions as we remembered Eric Garnett, and then we saw his magnificent memorial trophy, his first Olympus SLR mounted on a lovely wooden mount. This was presented to Paddy Donnelly, one of our new members, by Heather, Eric’s wife. That was a nice moment to be part of.
We started late as our main guest for the evening, Mr Ken Dodd OBE was flirting with some of our lady members for quite a while outside the main entrance, I don’t think they were objecting though, possibly rather tickled! We had a full house and the whole evening went wonderfully smoothly. Most of this has to do with the amazing introductory address by Barbara Green, the introduction by Martin Reece MBE for the Eric Garnett award presentation, the lovely ‘nibbles’ by Anne Cresswell and her super chefs for the evening. Irene Drummond had done a fantastic amount of behind the scenes organizing, advertising and promoting the event. Sean O’Brien, our photographer for the evening also set up the chairs and the PA system, which he wasn’t expecting to do. Oh, there are so many people to thank and so little space!!
But it has to be said that the highlight of the evening was the address and presentation of the awards by none other than the legendary Mr Ken Dodd. He didn’t have to do or say anything to have the giggles starting, especially by KT Allen. His knowledge of photography in show business circles, and of course some photographic humour as well, went down brilliantly. His expressions were priceless and when the presentations were finished and we started mingling with friends from near and far, a rather large queue started to form around Ken, with comments like “could you sign this for my Mum?”, “Could you just do these three catalogues please”, “Do you remember me?” It was like looking at the queue for kiddies waiting to see Father Christmas at Lewis’s Grotto! Any way we finished up at about 1.30 am. No, I’m only joking but it was indeed late. What a man, he had time for a chat with every one, having photographs taken with people, and not just giving a signature and “away you go now”. It is a good job his wife was there to keep him under control or we would certainly have been there until the early hours of the morning. Below are a couple of pictures from the evening, there are more here.