Thursday, 4 June 2015
Michael Rowland talks with 2014 Hugh Rogers Fellows Natalie Thorne and Emily Rochette during the 30th anniversary gala
The Supper Room at Melbourne Town Hall came to life on Thursday, 28 May 2015 for the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association’s 30th anniversary gala.
Michael Rowland, who spent several years in the US as Washington Correspondent for ABC News, captivated the ballroom with his witty and honest appraisal of the relationship between the two cities. While Michael is well known in Melbourne as the co-presenter of ABC News Breakfast, he is also a seasoned journalist who has covered many major US stories over the past 25 years. His links with both Melbourne and Boston made him the perfect conversation leader for the evening.
Conversations among the leaders in the room ranged from business to the arts, research to education and the Charles to the Yarra. Memories of the cities were further highlighted with two videos capturing the pulse of the two great cities, and speeches from MBSCA committee members reminded guests of the innovative beginnings of the MBSCA and plans for the next 30 years.
Along with conversations about the two great cities, guests enjoyed a performance from the New Palm Court Orchestra, which is led by past Hugh Rogers Fellow Gemma Turvey as artistic director. The musical numbers continued with a moving performance by French horn players Susan de Weger, another Hugh Rogers Fellow, and Stuart McPherson.
While guests enjoyed the NPCO playing a composition closely linked with Boston, the room was filled with images of Boston from the 1920s and 30s. Yet another reminder of the deep connections our two cities share.
As people sampled Boston Spirit cocktails created by Melbourne Gin Co, new connections were formed and old friendships re-energised.
Proceeds from the evening will support the next round of Hugh Rogers Fellowships, which opened this week.
Among the auction lots were hand made accessories from committee member Georgie Morrell, a cricket bat signed by the Australian Team and arts and culture tickets from iconic Melbourne venues such as the NGV and Recital Centre.
In the spirit of the evening, Melbourne Gin Company donated a signed bottle of Gin, which added an extra ‘spirit’ and amount to the MBSCA fundraising efforts.
For a special 30th anniversary live auction, Melbourne artist Kerry Armstrong donated a significant piece from the collection she had exhibited in Boston in 2014. The piece from the Highline series went to a family of art lovers connected with the two cities.
Overall it was a fabulous evening, with proceeds going towards furthering the Hugh Rogers Fellowships.
There was much joy and exuberance among the attendees as those with shared links of Melbourne and Boston celebrated the evening.