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Review News

Photos from the Glasgow Reunion: Album 1 - Album 2
Complete Glasgow Guest List

This was by far the largest of our reunions with more events than ever taking place, all of them very well attended. The Clyde cruise was a great success; the weather was perfect, right down to the lovely sunset as we turned for home. For those of the 200 on board who had sailed in ships built on the Clyde, it was an especially nostalgic journey, as we passed the sites where great shipyards once stood. Clyde Marine provided a commentary written especially for BI which reflected the company's long association with the river. An arduous tour of Glengoyne distillery was undertaken by 96 people and 126 attended a talk by Professor Forbes Munro, concluding with a lively question and answer session which I understand was much enjoyed by speaker and audience alike. Showings of the video devoted to BI, 'The Great Liners: East of Suez', used rare film of ships, including Dunera, Rajula, Chantala, Nevasa, Kenya and Uganda among others, to portray aspects of BI's fascinating story. Many people were watching it for the first time and some were, I suspect, moved to shed a surreptitious tear. A magnificent piper conducted us into the celebration dinner which was attended by 275 guests and on Sunday 200 of us enjoyed a hearty curry lunch.

At the Dinner Capt David Colley gave the toast to "Absent Friends" in response to Capt Cess Smylie's toast to "BI, her ships and all who sailed in them, coupled with the name of the founder, Sir William Mackinnon". On behalf of everyone at the reunion David sent best wishes for his forthcoming voyage to Robin Knox Johnston. In the concluding paragraph of his speech he said: "One name though - the BI's Sir Robin Knox Johnston - is away again on October 22nd from Bilbao in his boat Grey Power to take 200 days off his original single handed record. We wish him well."

Judging by the feedback we've received, it was altogether a memorable occasion. Some, including visitors from overseas, were attending their first reunion and were clearly relishing meeting up with long lost friends, and making new ones, which after all is what these reunions are all about. I've attached the guest list for those who couldn't make it but are maybe thinking about coming to the next one.

John and I were kept pretty busy throughout the weekend but with our dedicated little band of helpers we just about managed to keep things running smoothly. It's a pity we didn't have more time to sit down and chat with people. At this point it seems appropriate to say how much John and I appreciated your generous gifts presented to us at the curry lunch. We now have a beautiful Schatz Royal Mariner ship's clock which is chiming the bells of the watch in the hallway of our new house. And the BI tumblers have been christened with generous measures of Pimms.

After the accounts were settled the auction produced a net profit of £916.00 of which we donated £616 to our main charity, the Missions to Seafarers with an additional £300 going to the ss Uganda Trust.
We do indeed all wish you every success in your endeavour and hope to see you at the next UK reunion - wherever it will be - in 2008.

Sue Spence

(Since the Glasgow reunion, we have had the sad news that David Colley died in August 2007)

Main Glasgow reunion page