Luncheon Club told history of the Guild

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At the most recent meeting, members of the Methodist Ladies’ Luncheon Club met at the Golf Club, Mount Murray, and were entertained by Dr Jacqueline Yates, secretary of the Manx Competitive Speech and Drama Festival – The Guild.

She shared with members the enthusiasm they have all felt in our thousands every year for the valuable singing classes for adults, boys, girls and mixed choirs; the keen competitors in dance, speech and drama and the well qualified and trusted adjudicators from off the island.

About 4,000 people contribute each year and attract large audiences.

The year 2017 will be The Guild’s 125th year. It is the largest and one of the oldest festivals in the British Isles, dating from 1892.

Members were reminded of Lady Raglan’s memorable speech of appreciation given in one of the terrible First World War years, saying that sharing in the musical festival made for happy bonding and gave us renewed hopes for the future.

A total of 290 classes are now in the festival. More than 250 trophies are given out each year.

It is now planned that an exhibition will be held with memorabilia being donated (medals, certificates, stories told) and there will be a commemorative stamp issued.

Dr Yates stressed that the strong element of competition results in the best possible standard of performance. The Villa Marina is such a special spiritual home, though it is an expensive venue. We heard that Dandara is the main sponsor.

The festival chairman Sarah Kelly then shared some anecdotes of past years of the Guild.

Annette Hooton, the previous president gave avote of thanks to the speakers.

The club’s Christmas meeting on Wednesday, December 14, will welcome the Laxey Hand Bell Ringers.

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