Our last reunion in 2017 at Gleneagles seems a long time ago – perhaps more so with the current complicated national issues and, for some of us, the personal difficulties that have occurred since then. However, what a joy there has been in the renewal of old friendships and the development of new ones in the last 3 years.
The most obvious example of a group that has flourished since the 2017 reunion is the DocSoc77 golf group. After the reunion several of the year started to meet up more regularly to play golf together and in 2018 a group of 30 of the year stayed at Dalmahoy in May for one night with golf on 2 days and walking and art gallery/Britannia visiting/shopping for the non-golfers. We all met for lunch and dinner and had such a good time that it was agreed that it should become an annual event. In May 2019 the group met again in North Berwick with 3 days of golf and activities for non-golfers including swimming/walking/day spa. We all met for lunch and dinner on 2 nights and again had such a good time that a 2020 May annual golf tournament was planned for Ballater. On both previous occasions, Gordon and Naomi have joined us from Australia and Gordon had also planned to join the group in Ballater. Sadly, COVID-19 has intervened and plans are on hold, but the intention is to consider Ballater on 18-20 May 2021. Watch this space!
Between the annual event many members of the golf group meet on an ad hoc basis to play, and share their adventures golfing and otherwise on the “DocSoc77 Golf” WhatsApp site ………. sometimes too much sharing, but men will be boys!!
Other members of DocSoc77 have been sailing together across the Irish Sea, gone on theatre trips, brought in the New Year together , met up for meals, taken part in quiz’s and visited new homes. Most of these activities were initiated after the 2017 reunion and have taken members outside of their existing smaller friendship groups. All of the activities have resulted in stronger bonds and friendship when needed.
Many of us are now well established in retirement or retirement planning. Some of us have had to deal with personal and health difficulties. Families, whether elderly or young, have increased their demands on time and finances. A few of us have dealt with personal loss or are facing serious illness ourselves. We all have shared experiences and one of the strongest, and most enduring, was our time together as students in Edinburgh. It is amazingly liberating to meet with friends from the past who can cut through all of the intervening time and see us as we really are.
An awareness of recent deaths of some members of our DocSoc77 year has made us consider that 2022 may be a long way off for our next reunion. Perhaps some members of the year who are not part of the successful DocSoc77 Golf group would welcome an opportunity to meet up informally and renew contact with old friends and colleagues? Perhaps there are other groups who are meeting and would like to keep the year updated about their activities? Perhaps we need a way of keeping the year group informed of life events that are affecting members and their families?
We have facilitates by revitalising the DocSoc77 website,www.docsoc77.com, and inviting people who are not already on it to join the DocSoc77 WhatsApp group. The WhatsApp ‘chat’ group would be a simple way of communicating information, but would be moderated to avoid unnecessary activity which can easily irritate members.
With regards to facilitating increased contact a suggestion has been made that we put the weekend of the 29th/30th August 2020 in diaries and that some (very) informal events are arranged for that weekend in Edinburgh. We appreciate that global pandemic may yet intervene on our best laid plans but some suggestions might be: walking in the Botanics, visiting a gallery, attending theatre or cinema, going to a pub, and/or arranging a meal for a small group. Please let us know if you are interested, email replies to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Very best wishes
James, Dermot, Jenny and Alison