Once again the NSW Dickens Society and the Australian Brontë Association joined forces in organising one of Australia’s premier literary luncheon parties. There was a huge crowd gathered at Cellos restaurant, and within minutes of starting the background noise level was at its highest pitch as friends met and chatted and took a look over the stellar prizes on offer for the legendary raffle.
The NSW Dickens society was well represented, and we also had an opportunity to set up, for only the second time, our brand new retail concept, The Old Curiosity Shop. It proved to be hugely successful, and many left with a treasured purchase from our carefully curated pop-up shop.
NSWDS President Louise Owens and ABA President Sarah Burns welcomed us all to this unique event. Louise read out the Christmas message from our patron Miriam Margolyes who was not able to join the festivities and we also heard from Professor Christine Alexander, patron of the Australian Brontë Association, who had much to report from what has been a very important bicentenary year for Charlotte Brontë enthusiasts.
We delighted in two performances on the harp by Georgia Lowe who is in demand as a harp soloist, musician and teacher. Georgia had spent a great deal of time researching pieces which had some significance for readers of Dickens and Brontë.
Altogether we enjoyed ourselves incredibly, and anybody in the room would have been impressed by just how lively and energetic is the literary society scene in Sydney. It was heartening to see so many like-minded friends gathered in celebration of such important figures in the English literary canon, and Christmas spirit, of a distinctly Dickensian type, was much in evidence. Our grand finale came as Michael Links played We Wish You a Merry Christmas on the piano to which we all gave voice!