On 17th December, members met for lunch to celebrate both Jane Austen‘s birthday and ten years of JASA meetings in the ACT. One of the founding members, Jessie Terry was present, as were two other members who joined the group in 2001, Mary Collins and Sue Terry. Jessie brought the minutes of the meetings of the first year, which were read with considerable interest and much reminiscing.
The lunch was ‘progressive’ with the main course at 11 Elsey Street, Hawker, followed by dessert at 5 Dungowan Street, Hawker.
Members were entertained before lunch by a performance of a selection of piano pieces from ‘A Carriage Ride in Queen Square’ original compositions by Gwen Bevan, great-great-granddaughter of Jane Austen’s niece Fanny Knight. This was possibly the Australian premiere?
Jane Austen was toasted, as was Jessie Terry, and we lunched on oysters, fish, fowl, Martha Lloyd‘s chicken curry, herby suet pudding and potato and broccoli salads. A small journey down the road led to more toasts and desserts, cranberry jelly, trifle, lemon tarts and a splendid, beautifully decorated celebratory cake made by member Jenny.
It was a memorable event and not just because of the food. As Jane Austen said (through Anne Elliot),
My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.