2014 Conveners Report

 April 26 2014

Assam Reunion Hydro Hotel Eastbourne 15th April 2014

We had 66 guests at the Assam Reunion in Eastbourne this year and for the first time this included those from the Dooars and Darjeeling. Over 30 sent their apologies, indicating the potential for good numbers next year.

The Eastbourne event was originally subsidised 65 years ago by the Indian Tea Association (ITA) who donated £100 from the Planters Amenities Fund. Similar events were funded in Aberdeen and the West Country. Today, with dwindling numbers and Koi Hai members finding it increasingly difficult to get to the event a decision needed to be made about the future of the Assam Reunion in Eastbourne. The options were to continue at the Hydro but scale it down, close the event altogether or merge with another event, perhaps at Stratford where Koi Hais meet. There are other lunches throughout the country that are organised by those with links to Calcutta and some Koi Hais are already in touch with these. The annual London curry lunch, held at the end of October in Knightsbridge, London, in aid of Dr Graham’s Homes, attracts those with links to the Indian Civil Service, the military, oil and a handful with links to tea (contact Alan Lane alan.lane@virgin.net for further details). Meanwhile, the Junior Koi Hai event at the Cotswold Lodge Hotel in Oxford in October continues to be popular(contact the co-ordinator, Jimmy Robinson robinson.916@btinternet.com for details and booking forms. Please note that invitations are sent out in May and that this is for the children of tea planters). 

On the basis of feedback from guests it seems that most wish to stay at the Hydro Hotel. The hotel have known us for many years, provide the lunchroom for free and give us excellent rates for accommodation. The South Coast also has a certain attraction for many. Next year’s event has therefore been pencilled in at the Hydro

Hotel in Eastbourne for Tuesday 14th April 2015, which is after Easter. Please put

this date in your diaries now and let others know too. Invitations will be sent out in November, as they were this year.

I would like to thank all those who attended and look forward to seeing you again next year. Thanks also to Jacqueline Patel for bringing her photo books of Assam and to David Somerville for helping with the collection, which amounted to over £100,delighting the hotel staff whohad worked hard to provide a delicious three course meal with coffee. If there are Koi Hai members who would like to assist with the co-ordination of the Assam Reunion in Eastbourne please contact me. I would be very grateful for your support.

Jimmy Robinson

Assam Reunion Eastbourne