Putting their foot down: sixth-formers vote to bar non-electric transport in dinner debate

Putting their foot down: sixth-formers vote to bar non-electric transport in dinner debate

Year 13 debaters Ciaran Price and Christan Emmanuel successfully convinced their classmates to keep petrol and diesel-engined vehicles off the roads in the 55th Elizabethan Union Annual Dinner Debate.

The pair took on Old Elizabethan challengers Ravi Karia and Jathieesan Umaasuthan (both OE 2011–2018), who argued against the motion, This House would ban all non-electric vehicles.

The weekend event is tailored to give senior boys experience of the type of formal occasions they are likely to participate in at university and later in life.

Head of Academic Enrichment Nisha Mayer said: “This was a welcome return for our dinner debate after the disruption of the past two years. It was a relaxed, pleasantly lively evening, with an engaging debate that saw effective arguments made on both sides.”

A three-course meal, including vegan options, was served in the Dining Hall before the debate in the Main School Hall.

“Not only was it the first time some had worn black-tie, but I understand that one boy’s clip-on bow tie had been manufactured only that morning using a 3D printer!” added Mrs Mayer.

Lawyer Izzet Hassan (OE 2005–2021), the after-dinner speaker, “gave a very heartfelt speech, with recollections from his days at QE and really solid advice for Year 13 to take away”, Mrs Mayer added.

The evening included the traditional toasts to Queen Elizabeth II and to “the pious memory of Queen Elizabeth I”.

The visitors were formally proposed by the 2021 School Captain, Siddhant Kansal, of Year 13, while the Elizabethan Union was proposed by Izzet, who last month took up a new post with international law firm Kirkland & Ellis.

Accompanying Izzet was his contemporary, Oli Palmer, who is now a teacher. The pair plan to return for this November’s Old Elizabethan Association Dinner, along with others from their year group, who will make up this year’s ten-year leavers cohort at the event.

Other roles during the evening were undertaken by Year 13 pupils, with Utsav Atri the chairman and Jash Nanavati the designated photographer.

Votes were taken before and after the debate, both of which were in favour of the motion.