50 years of entertainment
Fifty Years of continual activity— “a wonderful thing to boast about,” said the Mayor of Barnet—were celebrated by Finchley and Friern Barnet Operatic Society at their Golden Jubilee dinner and dance at Selborne Hall, Southgate, on Friday.
About 175 members and friends were present, including Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, MP for Finchley and Minister of Education and the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor and Mrs Ken Hughes.
Mrs Thatcher, who is a member of the society, said she had “turned down a visit to 10 Downing Street to come here tonight.”
She praised the society for the quality of their work, and said that the Government supported opera at Covent Garden and the London Coliseum to the tune of £2m. a year. “May there be many, many more productions, and may the next 50 years roll on,” she said.
Mrs Thatcher ended with a quotation from the Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan:
But the privilege and pleasure
That we treasure beyond measure
Is to run on little errands
For the Ministers of State.
Major Harry Marley, the president, described the history the society since the formation in 1922. The first production in 1923, was The Mikado, and since then the society have “gone merrily on outliving all the storms and stresses, and outliving other old operatic societies who came and went.”
Major Marley said the production of The Gypsy Baron at Hornsey Town Hall on February 1–5 would be a “high-water work” in their history, and would bring pleasure to thousands of people.
He thanked the society's committee for organising the dinner dance, which had a record turnout.