The Old Boys’ Annual Dinner.
The Belfast Royal Academy Old Boys’ Dinner has been held annually since 1931. It is the highlight of the year for the Association and an important fundraising event for the School. Currently being held at The Europa Hotel in late November, the Dinner provides former pupils the opportunity not merely to gather with old friends, but also to arrange reunions for their senior year at the school.
The dinner is a black-tie affair whose tradition of civility and formality underlines that, above and beyond its camaraderie, the occasion provides an important moment to remember distinguished alumni who are no longer with us and to recognise the achievements, of sporting and other kinds, of Old Boys who remain in their prime.
In addition, the Dinner allows the Association to maintain its educational, sporting and cultural links with other voluntary grammar schools in all parts of Ireland and it gives the Principal an opportunity to deliver a keynote address on the state of the School and its students.
Although there is no rule about the number of speeches, in recent years it has been the custom to avoid burdening the audience with an excess of verbiage. The President acts as Master of Ceremonies. Other principal speeches comprise a toast to the school usually by an Old Boy, a Response on behalf of The School by the Principal, a toast to the guests sometimes delivered by the President and a Response on behalf of the guests. Experience suggest that it is reasonable to expect some gentle wit from the speakers as well as generous recognition for the immediate past President who receives a medal in appreciation of his sacrifices during the previous year.
There is time both before the Dinner and after its conclusion for old friends to share memories over a libation of their choice and to make sure that the Association has acquired all of the latest contact information for absent former pupils to ensure the continuing growth and vitality of the organization.
Please contact Iain Knox at IainKnox@cd-group.com for dinner information and reservations.