Jesus College Gaudy

June 30, 2007 at 3:47 pm | Posted in Gaudy, Jesus College, Oxford University | Leave a comment

Gaudeamus is Latin for ‘Let us be joyful’

and we were!

Jesus College drawing

‘My First Gaudy’ was fun: I have not been able to attend previous Gaudies, so this was a real treat.

Pink doorOn arrival, I was handed the keys to my room for the night in Ship Street—where I had spent my first college year. It is pretty amazing returning to your old college house after a quarter of a century later. There are more fire doors and washbasins now, which means students are both safer and cleaner, I guess, but that’s about it. (Sarah, did we really have those gaudy pink doors? I must have blanked that colour out from my memories.)

Bethan, Kath, Owain, Jerry, Sarah, Richard & Co., David, Alison, Pete, Geraint, Gordon and many more who matriculated (became members of college) in the years 1978 through 1980—it was great to see you again!

Lord Krebs Principal of Jesus CollegeIt was my pleasure to meet The Principal, Lord Krebs (photo right) at tea in the Principal’s Lodgings. Hearing Old Members’ intriguing tales from 1941, 1947 and 1957 was cool. How times have changed (though some things never do …)

After tea, we split up in groups for drinks in various well-known pubs, then walked back to college in time (or not) for a joyful service of Evening Prayer in Jesus College Chapel. The singing for our first hymn ‘O Praise Ye the Lord!’, followed by Psalm 100 ‘O Be Joyful in the Lord, All Ye Lands’, gave an indication of the power of Welsh male voice choirs. We nearly raised the roof with our closing hymn ‘Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer’. By all accounts, the unique nature of our Welsh college was clear to all who participated, singing joyfully in the heart of Oxford before dinner.

Peter Mirfield of Jesus CollegeAnd so to Hall for good company. Perhaps the two asterisks to my name on the seating chart identified me (to kichen staff or others?) as a trouble-maker; being a marked man with ‘special dietary requirements’ at college is more amusing than being handed ‘Asian Vegetarian’ meal in-transatlantic-flight. My vegetarian meal was good—I told you looks can be deceiving—and the wines, chosen by the Estates Bursar Peter Mirfield (photo left), tasted superb.

Then on to the JCR bar, where a good (and pretty civilised) time was had by all. Breakfast this morning was entertaining, even if I unwittingly broke with tradition by joining a the middle table rather than the corner seat I had been assigned for dinner the night before. Pengelly wisely advised me not to dip my fancy cuff in my fried egg a second time as I reached across the table for coffee 😎

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