Christmas started early as usual (6 December) for Leamington Spa Circle with their Ladies Formal dinner at Chesford Grange Hotel near Kenilworth, meeting as they do on the first Thursday of the month.

About one hundred Brothers, wives, widows and visiting gentlemen attended this lovely festive occasion. Brother President Alfonso Pacitti welcomed the assembly with his usual aplomb and humour and Brother Jack Byrne, President of Coventry Circle, replied on behalf of the guests.

There is quite a wealth of musical talent in Leamington Circle and this year, following the excellent meal, we were all entertained; firstly, by Margaret Burleigh, wife of Brother Chris, who gave us a medley of jazz tunes played on her saxophone, followed by The Leamington Clangers: handbell ringers Brothers Alfonso Pacitti, Jim Insley, Martin O’Reilly and Paul Mayman, who rang out several carols. Finally, Brother Brian Malone of The Reel Note Band fame, lead everybody in a carol sing-along and a very animated Twelve Days of Christmas, table by table, which gave everyone a lot of fun and quite a bit of exercise after a hearty meal, sending us all home smiling and some a little breathless, full of Christmas cheer, albeit a little early.

The excellent evening was rounded off with a raffle that raised a princely sum for Brother President Alfonso’s chosen charity, The Jesuit Refugee Service, a very worthwhile and much needed charity just now.

Thanks go to the hotel for the excellent service and the beautifully set-out rooms and tables, and to all those who worked to make this a memorable evening.

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