Reunion dinner – class of 1995

Jason Wong did the words, Lynda Steele did the Photos

Quite a few of the year had met up earlier in the afternoon but the black tie evening began at 6.30pm.  Drinks and photographs till 7.30pm.  A projector with a slide show containing combination of photographs of the year from our early time in DH, post results, graduation and photos from 10 & 15 year reunions. Of particular interest were our mugshots from DH.  Lovely 3 course dinner was had by all and a real warmth catching up with each other.   There was a challenging attempt at the group photo between the main course and dessert.   A prize was offered up for each table to put together words attributed to each graduate from 20 years ago and their mug shots.

Table 5 & 6 both managed 10 out of 10 but my own table 6 was disqualified as I had recently read our comments in the year book in preparation for the speech I was forced to make.

So I had the dubious pleasure of making the speech

 The speech by Jason Wong

 I am not sure why I am doing this.  A month ago I got a call between patients on my mobile

It went “Jason Wong?”
“Oh hello Ranj.  I am between patients. Whats up everything ok?”
“I need you to say a few words well actually make a speech for the reunion dinner”
“Iain Chapple is making a speech and it is only right that we reply and you should do this on behalf of the students.”
“I am not too happy about this but I really must go and see patients.”
Ranj: “Thanks Jasonfor agreeing to do it”

I then got home and got this reaction from Mandy.  “Do you know how to say the word no?”  Hoping that it would go away I thought I would conveniently forget it.  I then got a chase up from Zahra regarding Sean Paul’s contact details and at the bottom of said email Ranj says how is the speech coming along?  Sarcastically I said fantastic.  Still hoping it was not going to happen but resigned to the fact that Ranj rarely takes no for an answer I thought I would speak to Iain and confirm what was going on.  I contacted Iain and was initially relived to find out he was not doing a speech which I had assumed meant I was off the hook only to receive an email from Zahra saying no Ranj says you have to because some one has to speak and you have to do it.

So here we are I promise I will not be long. Professor Iain Chapple, Lynda Steel, Phil Murphy, Friends and family of the class of 1995 and colleagues.  It is a great to have all of you join us tonight to celebrate 20 years since qualification.  It was good to see another white gloved year this year at the School of Dentistry in Birmingham on social media recently. The joy on the faces of the 2015 graduates.  I re-read recently the really amazing comments from John Rippin in our year book which I had not appreciated how amazing it was until recently.  I do often get asked about this phase of Birmingham graduates in the work that i do with people like Tom Norfolk & JIm Lafferty etc of the years around us whether there is something special about this time for Birmingham graduates?  Time goes fast and there must have been something special about this time and I conclude that it was was probably the effects of people around us.  I have friends locally who lament that their Dental school and I won’t name it tonight don’t have any real names of national and international stature like we did with the Chapple, Lumley and of course Walmsley and many others teaching us back in the day.  And it must be the people and our interactions that make a difference to us all as just this year bumped into quite a few of you at BDA conference and had really good chats and real warmth in the conversations.

So 20 years looking back to 1995 films released Toy story, Braveheart, apollo 13, the usual suspects, Die hard with a vengeance and golden eye. Blackburn rovers won the premier league. Michael Schumacher defended his first Formula one driver championship.  The UKs oldest investment banking firm Barings bank collapses.

Looking through the year book and picking out a few of the gems include

Oral Exudate  –  For those of you that don’t know it is where as we know every year has its stupid people who always manage to say something which in the light of day they wish they hadn’t.

“I’d like to thank Dr Chapple for always being there for me. Sometimes, I’d lie awake in bed at night crying and he was always there to reassure me”
Chris Mannion
“In my surgery viva I got asked on genital ear defects!”
Emma Nicholson
“it is a well circumcised lesion”
– Ranj in a children’s viva
From the worst memory category
Anil Chand “Says having one glass of wine too many at the May ball 1993
I can only assume this was an editors note – We say that’s the understatement of the year”
From the section of where you see yourself twenty years from now
Kav Bamrah – “Cruising around the polynesian islands in my sixty foot yacht”
Richard Tierney – “As a drunken tramp under the palisades ramp”
Rob Stone – With Tierney under the Palisades ramp after my endo practice has failed or on a beach studying turtles”
Claire Wilson – “A long term patient of the Betty Ford clinic for alcoholics”
Amanda Bassford – “Still engaged with No kids”
Also special mention of
Chris Garde – “living off the interest on my earnings”
Sean Paul – “Back in Malaysia, still waiting patiently for one of you guys to come and visit me”

I did get apologies from Damien Walmsley and Kate Warwick who both wanted to say hi to everyone. Damien says make sure we get a group picture and Kate says don’t organise it when the British Grand prix is on

Ladies and Gentleman I must end by thanking everyone for coming but in particular Ranj and Zahra for organising this whole event. Claire has kindly bought these flowers for them both on our behalf so when you see her please give her a few quid

End of the Speech

AfterwardsWe danced and chatted the rest of the night away and everyone really enjoyed the great evening to the extent that a group of around 10 of us were still at the hotel at 2pm the following day.

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Reunion in 2010
Reunion in 2010
The year of 1995
The year of 1995