Words by Paul Hollingworth.
Christmas comes but once a year, and so does Mary. Which is quite impressive given her age! For something new, this Christmas we held our gathering on a Saturday afternoon rather than a Sunday and it gave us the opportunity to meet friends that find it difficult to attend on Sundays.
For me, the event started on Wednesday when we schlepped over to Doncaster to collect some items needed for the party and then dropped them off at Gordon’s house. Gordon, being on a diet, neglected to suggest Daniel and I stop for dinner and I was unable to eat until 9pm! When I returned on Friday night to help put up the tents, I made sure I ate first!
Bright and early, on the Saturday, I was picked up by President Bennadetti and his old-boy, Lars. It was the first time I travelled in Lars, and I was quite impressed by the ride and fascinated by his story. We arrived first to the party and helped finishing the set-up – being early meant we bagged the prime parking spot right outside! This made Lars the centre-of-attention during our guided garage talk.
Throughout the morning the guests arrived and set up their picnics then headed out for the guided garage talk. I wasn’t able to follow along (Presidential duties and all), but it looked like in interesting affair. The group travelled up and down the leafy streets of Hawthorn looking at all the precious old-boys and old-girls parked on the street. The discussions seemed robust and engaging.
Once back inside (inside the yard, not the house) we all settled down for a bite to eat. Unlike previous years, but similar to 2020, we all bought our own food in the interest of public hygiene – mostly picnics, but some barbecued.
And then…. wait….. what’s that I hear…? Is that Mary and her elves delivering some Christmas cheer and traumatising the posh neighbours? Of course it is! For those who may not have been to a Motafrenz Christmas, Mary Christmas is a Club institution (or we get her from the institution, I can never quite remember).
She has been central to our Christmas and Christmas-in-July events for almost two decades! Ably assisted by her elves, Scarlett and Leigh, she gave goodies to all the good girls and boys and others, and ensured each was filled with Mary’s joy. I hear that next year we might even meet Mary’s Latina cousin Felice – Felice Navidad, direct from Havana!
The remainder of the afternoon was spent relaxing with friends, old and new; chewing the fat, and wondering what the future holds. We had forty-two attendees, making this one of our most attended events is the past few years. I know that I certainly had a ball!
Have a great 2022 everyone!