At the risk of ruining one of Roy’s qualification questions for the quiz team, the adage “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is attributed to Aristotle. I believe this is at the heart of the Mal de Mer Club. I love being a ‘part’ of the Mals I and look forward to being the part of President for the 91st trip this year.
I came to the Isles of Scilly in 1974 – but I was too young to be accepted by Bracky the President that year so unfortunately my first trip was not until 2006, and I thank my sponsor Notty for persevering and inviting me. I’ve been lucky enough to make most of the trips since.
The Organizator’s creativity has landed this year on an Arabian Nights theme. Ali Baba is one of the Middle Eastern inspired stories dating back to medieval times narrated by the beautiful Scheherazade (what a great strong female character that would be for the Thespians – I can imagine a few Mals scrambling to call their agents now). Scheherazade has to keep the horrible King entertained with captivating tales, night after night to avoid execution. Thankfully over the years the Mals have given rise to many memorable stories and some very good story tellers inspired by the Isles. I hope we can add to these this year.
Many thanks to outgoing President Edwards who presided over an excellent trip last year which saw a modern record number of new boys combine with existing talent (of various levels of maturity) and commitment resulting in some impressive sporting performances including two of the best football matches I have seen since coming on the trip, a dogged 2nd half in Hockey to secure a win and members of the shooting team rolling back the years (yes that’s ROLLING BACK THE YEARS) to prevail. Well done Keith and sorry again about how I played those last two holes in the golf competition last year – clearly I am at the very least a 22 handicap!
Also, many thanks to the Organizator and the DG. While we all have an important part to play, the Club is dependent on the benevolence and extra considerable effort, often behind the scenes, of the junta.
As a men’s sporting club, inevitably there are some limits on the Club’s diversity. However, the strength of the Mals is its relative diversity in terms of ages, where we come from and live, backgrounds, occupations, interests etc. What brings us together is a love of sporting competition, commitment and willingness to give things a go and to keep going, comradery, humour (invariably self-deprecating), tolerance, fairness, kindness, interest in others, and what makes it special and unique is the privilege of this taking place in the Isles of Scilly alongside its community. This is the spirit of the Mals. The origins of the club and qualification for membership are so worthy, simple and strong. That is why the club has endured and has a bright future.
You all have an important part to play in contributing to the whole:
Support the captains of all the events. Captains – please involve as many new boys and Mals as reasonably possible – lead and win. Every event is important – a point is a point. Even reading this now not long before the trip it’s not too late to brush up on your pool or snooker breaks, nine dart finishes, volleyball sets and spikes, basket-ball lay ups, table tennis strategy, long barrier fielding technique etc etc.
Support and encourage each other, stick together, win if at all possible and in the nicest possible way and show the islanders how much we love and respect the Isles.
Onen Hag Oll Mals.
Wednesday 25th September, 2024
Monday 30th September, 2024