50 years of dinner debates

50 years of dinner debates

The School marked half a century of dinner debates with an evening that included a stimulating speech about OE Joe Sheffer’s experience as a war journalist.

The 50th Annual Dinner Debate brought together current Year 12 boys and Old Elizabethans to debate the motion ‘This House Believes that prosperity is the best measure of success’. The special anniversary was mentioned several times by the chairman, Pranesh Varadarajan, in his introductory and concluding remarks.

“The school was wonderfully represented by Omar Haider and Zaheer Badat,” said Nisha Mayer, teacher in charge of debating. However, it was the OEs opposing the motion, Arjun Sajip (2004-2011) and Joseph Masters (2004-2011), who carried the day.

“The chairman, Pranesh, noted that the vote at the beginning of proceedings was heavily in favour of the visiting OE opposition and then swung at the end of a fascinating debate and floor discussion more in favour of the proposition, but with the opposition still winning overall,” Mrs Mayer said.

The event began around 6pm with a drinks reception for guests and VIPs, including several OEs, and “concluded around 10pm after a very enjoyable evening”, reports Mrs Mayer.

There were the traditional toasts to ‘Her Majesty, the Queen’ and ‘The Pious Memory of Queen Elizabeth I’. School Captain Norbert Sobolak proposed the toast to ‘The Visitors’, while the toast to ‘The Elizabethan Union’ was proposed by the after-dinner speaker, Joe Sheffer (2000-2007).

The diners enjoyed a starter of houmous with olives and pitta bread. The main course comprised Cajun butterfly chicken supremes with savoury saffron rice and coleslaw pot, or a vegetarian alternative of Mediterranean vegetable & butter bean ragout. The desserts of chocolate gateau with cream, or lemon tart with raspberry coulis, were followed by coffee or tea with petits fours.