On 23rd July 2014 the Club celebrated its 150th anniversary at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, by invitation of The Queen and in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal. Just before Festival season this was all the more exciting in a year in which Scotland was hosting the Commonwealth Games and indeed the Referendum on Scottish Independence.
The dinner was attended by both EUCL and Graduates’ Association members and their guests. The photographs attest to the magnificent splendour of the dining room that evening, full of candelabra, bouquets of flowers and a royal red carpet. The Club had a small display of its silver collection in the coffee room including the elegant Sieveking ram’s head snuff mull and ‘loving cup’ engraved with an image of Old College. There was also a display of some of the original menu cards from dinners held in the early days of the Club.
In her speech during dinner The Princess Royal noted some of the famous and distinguished members the Club has counted over the years and commented that she was pleased to see such a good attendance of both London Club and Graduates’ Association members. She went on to reflect upon the benefits of such Clubs as these to their members; how they act as excellent networks not only for social interests but also as a ready-made environment in which potential employers facing a demand for skilled workers can potentially find them. This is a very current issue in today’s business climate.
She went on to say that she hoped the London Club and the Graduates Association would become more closely engaged following the occasion and also that we continue to build links with other networks of Edinburgh graduates across the world, though she was also keen to recognize that our commonality is the wonderful city of Edinburgh and that we should all be encouraged to return there more often.