MIDLANDS HIKING CLUB CHRISTMAS PARTY
Held at EAGLE RIDGE ESTATE, Howick
6th December 2015

Report and photos by Rod Hart
(Extremely annoying snowflakes courtesy of the Webmaster)

[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]


EAGLE RIDGE ESTATE Clubhouse

Now for the third year Carolee arranged for the Hiking Club Christmas party to be held at the EAGLE RIDGE ESTATE Clubhouse. In addition Carolee and Keith Ashton led the pre-party hike around the Beacon Hill conservancy.

Following the hike, back at Eagle Ridge Estates, Brigitta once again filled the roll of Master-of-ceremonies, or rather "Evil Queen", as she was so dressed to go along with the party theme of Fairytale characters. So the "Evil Queen" led us in singing of Christmas carols followed by a quiz on the topic of Fairytales - some rather difficult questions sorted out the problem of people shouting out the answers and had the majority of members scratching their memories for answers - nice little chocolates for those who did get the correct answers in first.



Judging the "Best Dressed Character" was carried out by Chris Dobson's family who on a visit from the UK had joined us for the day. The characters lined up and each explained their character, though some i.e. the Ogres, required very little explaining! Chairman Neville decribes the characters as "We had all types - Little Red Ridinghood, vicious ugly frightening ogres, sweet innocent Gretel with her somewhat retarded brother Hansel, the wicked (muslim) witch, the evil Queen, Puss in Boots, a lovely lady with Christmas tree earings, many reindeer and elves, and of course Father Christmas himself with his delicate, petite sidekick, the gorgeous Christmas Fairy who gracefully handed out desperately sought-after blessings with a tap to the forehead". Congratulations to the winning Ogres 1 & 2 (1st), and to Little Red Riding Hood (2nd).



Following the more frivolous festivities we got down to the serious matter of announcing the winner of "2015 Report of the Year" - announced by Brigitta as Deon Small, who unfortunately was not with us at the Xmas Party to receive his winner's gift voucher. Brigitta explained that predominently the judging panel were looking for a report which was technically well structured, gramatically correct, informative and interesting - a report that takes you on an adventure and makes it exciting, and this Deon did with his report. Well done Deon!
19-20th September - MARBLE BATHS[Click link to open report].

A change introduced by the committee this year saw a number of others who had contributed reports rewarded for their efforts with the gift of a bottle of wine - thank you committee!

The 2015 Photo of the year was announced through a slide presentation of the top twenty photographs culminating in the winning photo as judged by our independant photography judge Leon Heyes (thank you once again Leon for your impartial judging). Congratulations once again to Deon Small in sweeping the board not only with 2015 Report of the year but also the 2015 Photo of the year, runners up were Katy Hart (2nd) and Dave Sclanders (3rd). Deon's winning photo - the "2015 Photo of the Year" is shown below, the top six photos can be viewed at the following link:
2015 Photo of the Year Winners[Click link to open page]


2015 - PHOTO OF THE YEAR


After the Photo of the Year slideshow and prize presentation it was onto the serious business of braaing and settling down to eat

SECRET SANTA

It was then that "Father Christmas" and her "Fairy" (resplendant in his new Hawaiian Marshmallow fairy outfit) pranced into the room to hand out presents to all the good boys & girls of the Hiking Club who had brought presents to share. A change in the way the present giving/taking washandled this year caused some confusion at first however the members were soon into the swing of keeping their eye on their favorite present.

The way it now works: The Fairy draws a number, the holder of that number is read out and may (1) elect to select any gift that has already been opened and is being held by a member (the member relieved of their original gift goes to the Christmas sack and selects a new present) or (2) select an unopened gift from the Christmas sack of presents.

If the number holder chooses to take your gift from you, you may not (unless you are Brigitta...) refuse to surrender it, in this way the top gifts (other than Brigitta's torch) may change hands quite a few times.



With the gift giving having been done, the party was over for another year - great thanks to Carolee, Cathy and Brigitta especially and all those who contributed to making the day so entertaining and enjoyable.

Happy hiking for next year!



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