150th Gala Ball.

Unbelievable. Out of this world. Amazing. Top Class. Perfect.
> Each and every person found their own superlatives to describe one of
> the great Wanderers nights – the 150th Gala Ball. For the
> last 2 years it has been pencilled into all the members diaries but few
> had imagined the night that Michael McLoughlin and his committee had
> planned for the club.
> From 6pm a stream of well-dressed Chaps and their guest streamed into
> the Clayton Burlington. They were welcomed to a bustling drinks
> reception with a variety of whiskey and gin cocktails (courtesy of our
> sponsors) in addition to wine. The buzz in the bar was palpable as old
> friends reunited and current teams came together.
> The dinner ball gradually dragged all the ball-goers to the main dining
> room – and when they entered all were impressed. Wanderers colours were
> everywhere. Each dinner table had Wanderers wine, a Wanderers Christmas
> decoration for each guest and Blue, Black and White centrepiece
> balloons with the Wanderers logo. On big screens, films showing some of
> the rugby exploits of the Wanderers greats reminded us all of what we
> were here for. The sheer scale took the breath away too – almost a
> thousand here to celebrate the proud history of Ireland’s second oldest
> club.
> Ahead of the dinner, introductions from Micheal McLoughlin and Club
> President John FitzPatrick set the tone for the evening and the
> introduction and presentation of gifts to former internationals,
> international coaches and referees brought cheers from all corners of
> the room.
> After a superb dinner, complete with a Wanderers themed dessert
> naturally, our guest speaker took to the stage. Joe Schmidt has brought
> some of the best days to Leinster and Ireland and the crowd rose as one
> to their feet to welcome him. He reminded us all of the strength in
> rugby friendships.
> An entertaining auction, notable for the exuberance of the bidding from
> some tables, brought the last of the formal activities to close. The
> Chaps had been wined & dined – now it was time to dance.
> On came a 16 piece band (mini-orchestra?) to fill the dance floor with
> tunes new and old. Everywhere you looked craic was being had. Group
> photos being organised – old war stories being told.
> When they eventually managed to clear the main ballroom a group
> returned to the front bar where the singing had started. Some of the
> songs were even recognisable! Apparently they closed the bar at 4 but
> some irrepressible members had moved on into the city to keep the party
> going. Why not – it was that kind of night.
> A huge congratulations must go out to all the 150th anniversary
> organising committee for their work. This night was special. We proudly
> celebrated the past but there was a sense of a club on the move into
> the future too and events like this could be the catalyst. To the next
> big celebration in 2079!

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