August 7, 1998

A REPORT by Ed Yaghdjian

Human relations. Fragile at best of times. After the passing of forty to sixty years, Can they survive? Can they be resumed ? Can people truly reconnect? These are some of the questions that we were asking ourselves, with some apprehension, as we drove, to Connecticut.

During the afternoon of Thursday, August 6th, people began trickling into the Litchfield Inn in Litchfield and others into Hopkins Inn in neighbouring New Preston, overlooking Lake Waramaug. Rested and refreshed, by seven o'clock, twenty five OG's, OB's and spouses had gathered at the Hopkins Inn for dinner. Everybody looked wonderful! Grey hairs, bald heads, and somewhat more generous waistlines, notwithstanding, attendees quickly recognised each other and the intervening years simply faded away.

Following drinks in the charming colonial decor of the cocktail lounge, the company repaired to the cozy upstairs dining room reserved for the occasion, where two tables had been set, and, under its low, oak beamed ceiling, sat down to a wonderful dinner. The atmosphere could only be described as that of a family gathering. Good natured banter and merriment prevailed. Memories of school days were revived and early childhood secrets were revealed, amidst peels of laughter. Tired by the long distances many had travelled, the party dispersed and retired soon after dinner.

The following morning, driving along shady paths skirted here and there by low stone walls, huge trees, gently sloping hills, quaint villages, houses and country stores, it was evident how New England got its name. Around eleven o'clock, people began trickling into the English park like setting of the country estate of our hostess, a very gracious OG. It was a John Constable painting come to life. The rolling lawns interspersed with perfectly manicured flower beds, dotted with massive trees, this beautiful Connecticut country estate together with perfect weather, provided the ideal setting for the occasion.

By lunch time, those coming for the day from relatively closer surrounding areas had arrived and the group numbered a grand total of thirty four. The conversation and exchanges remained lively and continued unabated throughout the superb buffet lunch at tables set out on the lawn, in the shade of its majestic trees. It is noteworthy that, among those present, there were some who had come for the occasion all the way from places as far away as Texas, California and Canada, and all the way from the U.K.

After lunch, our two coordinators welcomed the attendees, thanked them for their lively and warm participation, and, on behalf of everyone, thanked our hostess for her generous gesture in offering her home as the site for our first reunion.

A brief discussion regarding the direction the association might take and the format and location of future reunions, followed. It was felt that these should be held annually, and that date and location would be decided in the coming months, based on input from members. It was nearing four o'clock in the afternoon when fond farewells were exchanged and people began making their way home.

Finally, with reference to the questions at the beginning of this report, the answer is an unequivocal YES! Owing to the drive and tireless efforts of our two coordinators, and the enthusiastic response of those who were able to attend, the improbable became reality. This event, this very first reunion of English School Cairo Graduates in North America, was a resounding success, surpassing all expectations!

Three cheers to one and all. Hip! hip! hip!....Hurrah!

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