Our 21st annual garden party on Sunday 21 June 2018 was memorable in so many ways and the perfect weather just added to the huge success of the occasion. The Marquee was so tastefully decorated by Helen Pitman who was able to join us this year and all the ladies were presented with a small box of chocolates to mark the Anniversary.

Photos are available under the “Fellowship Gallery” tag above

Arrivals were greeted to a pre-lunch Pimms or whatever else they chose to get into the party spirit.

Lunch was called at 1pm and as MC, I welcomed parties from seven areas of the Fellowship Trust. Recalling the early days when we used to have the function on the Sunday following the Company AGM in November and credited Dick Side for moving the event to June so we enjoyed better weather. Table centres were for the person with the greatest number of grandchildren. Grace was said by Mark Dady, Managing Director of Kier Eastern.

Lunch was salad with sides fitting for the weather and I did not hear any tales of guest going hungry. During lunch there was a table quiz which I thought was more difficult than ever but did not stop at three tables getting 29 out of a possible 30 points. The only problem is that for the tie breaker, none of them knew the length of the river Thames!

Hayden Mursell CEO of Kier Group PLC opened the formal part of the proceedings concentrating on three points The Performance of the Company, Brexit, and the share price and an update on the Pension Fund!

Responding our Chairman Neil Meixner said he was very pleased to welcome so many of the Company’s Executive Directors including Bev Dew KG Finance Director, Hugh Raven KG Company Secretary, Claudio Veritiero, Group Strategy and Corporate Development and Nigel Turner, Executive Director – Development, Property and Business Services.

Neil thanked all his fellow Board Directors and presented Helen Pitman and Viv Chesterfield with bouquets for organising the Annual garden party. He also express his regrets that Dick Side had resigned from the Board and thanked him for his 21 years as a Director and for his 6 ½ years as chairman.

Harold Thompson and the Tempsford Area won the Champagne award for the most improved areas and David Priddis of Bristol/Newport for the best performing area.

Neil closed by proposing the Toast of “Friendship and Fellowship”

As a special event to mark the 21st Anniversary, John and Carol Abbot performed a demonstration of an American Smooth Foxtrot (our version of Strictly) Not only did they have a great applause but were presented with a bouquet to show our appreciation. You can download the Dance Demo video here https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgC0LhK3pKvghxYLif_aRYf8lbyI

It was then the turn of the band Jenny and the Mantas to take over and to keep the party going . It just so happened that Deirdre and I celebrated our golden wedding and we were joined by  two other couples for the Anniversary Waltz. Next year we hope to celebrate a Diamond Wedding and another big Golden Wedding .

Mid way in the afternoon we drew the Raffle with the big value prizes Nobody had mislaid their tickets and it was good to see the big prizes being taken away.

The second half drew more dancers on the floor in spite of the heat. With some delightful songs and tunes the event drew to a rapid and successful close at 5.30 when there were still many who did not want to go home!

What a wonderful celebration and what a great day

John Stamford.