Real meet-ups, with real people
You and me, and me and you. Participate …. These lines from our Jaarlied still stand 25 years after the fact. What a feast of recognition at our IDP-4 homecoming!
Saturday, September 18, was finally here (after a year's delay). Getting together on a sun-drenched estate with 115 fellow yearlings; what a party. The committee consisting of Stella de Jager, Imelda Jansen, Rik Nijkamp, Remco Wieffering, Fieke Steenhoek and Steven Jongeneel had come up with a wonderful concept. Sixteen tables spread across the estate, including in the Old Coach House, the Zolderbar, the Rostrum and in various rooms of the Castle. These tables were ‘hosted’ by Table Masters. Each Table Master had been instructed to make a list of year mates that he/she would like to have at the table. And after some coordination, everyone got to work. Calling, emailing, messaging…. Through this personal way we got a lot of year mates to join us. Of course the yearclubs and disputes were well represented. Also special to see that year mates who actually had never been back, were present. Even from abroad! The personal invitation, the small-scale tables and honest conversations about life … it really made a difference.
After an aperitif and appetizer at the first tables, there was a change. The Table Masters remained seated and were joined by new guests. With that, the main course was consumed. And then we all went to the Mensa for the Grand Dessert. No Main Table, but a lot of fun. Unfortunately we had to leave early because of the Corona rules. Fortunately, the bar at Het Rostrum was open!
Some of the responses afterwards;
“We have created another wonderful memory together. How well we have all ended up”, “What a party it was. Only enormously happy faces and heard several times; I have not been for a long time, but next time I will be there again”, “Impressive stories”, “What a super event”.
This homecoming had really meaning for many. It brought us closer together and led to renewed connections. And the genuineness of everyone is perhaps most appreciated. We all have a story to tell; divorce, illness, loss of loved ones, bankruptcy, botched career, traumatic childhood or feeling like you are alone. By sharing these stories, without embellishment, more connection has been created.
Really a wonderful concept with plenty of room for input and participation. Our Jaarlied to the max!