Oxbridge BBQ-Picnic-Cricket-Croquet Family Day, Schuman Farm and Evrange Oval, 10 July, 2022

On a bright, sunny, warm – but not too hot – afternoon, members of the Oxford and Cambridge Societies together with their families and friends met, courtesy of Adrian and Fiona Wykes, at the delightful Schuman Farm and Evrange Oval just over the border in France, for the annual get-together. The first item in the programme was a glass of deliciously chilled Pimms expertly concocted by Apricot, and soon there was a great buzz of conversation (accompanied at times by another kind of buzz from a few wasps!) as participants caught up with each other.

Steve starting on the Pimms
Apricot serving her Pimms!
Enjoying the Pimms, and the company

Steve had already got the barbecue fired up, and it was not long before the sausages, chops, marinated chicken and lamb, and some interesting vegetarian items, were grilling away. Everyone had brought their own picnic, and some of them were indeed up to Glyndbourne standards with Pavlova desserts and the like.

Now for the serious barbecuing
Looks good!

While participants were enjoying their lunches, Adrian was racking his brains trying to put together the two teams for the cricket match. Once consequence of the one week postponement in the event was that some of the Oxford and Cambridge cricketing stalwarts were not able to attend, so Adrian had the brilliant idea of inviting the Trois Frontières (3f) Cricket Team, which is a team of young ladies, to join us. He then had to persuade some of the O&C participants to put on pads, in some cases for the first time ever. Indeed some of those who (were) volunteered had never watched a cricket and had no idea of any of the rules or techniques of batting and bowling!

I include below Adrian’s excellent report of the cricket:

Match today (10 July, 2022) at Évrange: Trois-Frontières against the Luxembourg Oxford and Cambridge Societies (7-a-side, 14 overs each side),

How bucolic can you get!

Tremendous effort today from eight 3f players – but the players were split with the Oxford and Cambridge Societies!
We welcomed Peter de Boeck from Antwerp as umpire and had a good crowd of varsity supporters watching on the boundary.
O&C got 85 in their 14 overs with Lydie 25* and Georgia 14* leading the way for O&C, while Aarti, Jagrati and Navneet shared the bulk of the bowling for 3f in the sun, Aarti showing particularly good control.

Some fine bowling
Lydie Wykes opening up!
David remembering how to do it.
Rookie Sandé

In reply Jagrati was transformed into a positive, forward-of-the-wicket bat, while Navneet hit some excellent boundaries in scoring 16*. Vaneja was extremely correct and brave when opening, while Olga found a point about balance to work on at training, and Aarti is going to work on straight drives. Stella bowled, fielded and batted with greater confidence after last weekend in Paris. Two guests were welcomed generously by 3f, and Sara (who learnt cricket at school in Malaysia) looked a really good prospect – but her hours at work won’t allow it 🥺

Fine stuff from David, watched by Sara
Excellent bowling from Georgia

In the end 3f scored 77 and in theory lost by 8 runs, but what mattered was the overs bowled, balls faced and match situations encountered by 14 players (6 beginners😮).

Well done everyone!

The revelations for the societies were Riccardo batting and keeping, Sara (Naujoks) bowling after years off, Sandé all-round having never played before, David reviving memories of playing, Daniel and Sara (2) taking part with gusto – amazing! Another great day👌

The appreciative crowd!

The fun and friendships will linger longer than the stats.! Everyone should be really proud of producing such a good contest in front of an appreciative crowd – excellent effort! 🏏👏 »

A few people repaired to the green in front of the Schuman Farmhouse for a gentle game of croquet while the cricket came to an end. Thanks to Fanny once again for her wonderful professional croquet set!

If you look closely, green has just won.

We did not count participants, but I think that in the end we were between 35 and 40, plus the 3f players. There were a lot of newcomers, including alumni and their families who have been in Luxembourg literally for decades, so we hope they will come back again in 2023!

Once again, a huge “Thank you” to Fiona and Adrian for making this possible and receiving us to their magnificent property.

Benelux-Rhineland Reunion in Luxembourg of Oxford and Cambridge Alumni, 6-8 May 2022

The Oxford University and Cambridge University Societies in Luxembourg organised a highly successful reunion weekend in Luxembourg for alumni of the Universities in the Benelux and Rhineland. Altogether 119 alumni and their partners/spouses took part in the weekend’s activities.

Events kicked off on the evening of Friday 6 May with a lively Brazilian party at Maria Bonita in the Rives de Clausen.

The following morning a somewhat more sober conference, kindly sponsored by Clifford Chance, on the Luxembourg EUbased institutions was held at the Cercle Cité in the centre of Luxembourg. Speakers included Ian Forrester, former Judge of the General Court, Geoffrey Simpson, Director of Audit Quality and Audit Methodology at the European Court of Auditors and Francis Carpenter, former Secretary-General of the European Investment Bank and CEO of the European Investment Fund. Our speakers were both informative and entertaining and provided exceptional insight into their respective institutions. Several participants said afterwards that they had never thought that public sector audit could be so stimulating!

Tours were arranged to the historic centre of Luxembourg and its fortifications as well as to the Museum of Modern Art (Mudam) and Dräi Eechelen museum of the fortress of Luxembourg. Professor Alan Wirth gave a superb concert of baroque and renaissance organ music at the Church of St Michel, Luxembourg’s oldest church dating back to 987. The ancient cities of Oxford and Cambridge would have been hard-pressed to match the beauty and serenity of the surroundings and the music.

The day was rounded off with a black-tie Gala Dinner for 88 people at the Cercle Münster opened by a Latin grace spoken by Oxford graduate David Weis. Special guest Martine Reicherts, president of Luxembourg’s Fonds National de Recherche, gave an address on Innovation in Luxembourg. We were also honoured by the presence of the Deputy Ambassador of the United States, Casey Mace and his wife Anne. Mr Mace proposed a toast to the Transatlantic Alliance and spoke briefly of how the Ukrainian crisis has reinforced the need for transatlantic friendship. Toasts were proposed to His Royal Highness the Grand Duke and to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and to the two Universities. All guests enjoyed an exceptionally convivial evening with excellent food and fine wines laid on by the Cercle Münster’s superb staff.

The weekend was rounded off with a winetasting at one of Luxembourg’s premier vineyards, Château Pauqué, understandably limited to 30 participants. Abi Duhr, probably the most interesting winemaker in Luxembourg presented a selection of his white wines. Cambridge Society Secretary and amateur oenophile John Speed rated the event one of the very best he has attended.

In conclusion, the Oxford and Cambridge Luxembourg Societies have achieved their objectives of promoting friendship amongst the alumni of the two universities and displaying the best that Luxembourg can provide.

Winetasting, Chateau Pauqué
Abi Duhr, Château Pauqué