Sydney Bens serve curry with a difference by DOUGLAS JONES
|Ben’s Winter Frolics was what their curry night was called. And it was not just the common or garden variety either. It was different. From the moment the guests (280 of them) braced their way into Don Moore Centre in North Rocks, they seemed to sense it. Had they walked into a Winter Wonderland? Couldn’t blame them now, could we?|
The bleak winter evening was not going to chill the potential for fun and warm camaraderie. The creative touch of Dianitha Fernandopulle and her ever-supportive husband Prakash made sure their simple table decor added mood, lustre and the right ambience to the occasion.
Drab wooden tables were draped in white, laid over with eye-catching centrepieces of miniature snow-laden landscapes. These held up silver twigs depicting foliage made barren by the ravages of winter, with white serviette-capped glassware glittering in the candlelight. Fortuitously as it were, the blue chairs, supplied by the hall, made an appropriate counterpoint to scene.
After all, this was a fund-raising event and the cause was intensely dear to the hearts of the Bens Committee. All profits realised will go to sponsor 24 deserving students whose parents cannot afford to meet minimum costs of educating them. This sponsorship will cover all expenses for each of these students to attend St Benedict’s College from Grade One through to HSC level.
The ticket said “BYO refreshments” and no doubt, all came along well fortified with liquids to warm their cockles. As an added incentive, the Bens provided each table with two bottles of Vino Benedicte, a Shiraz and Chardonnay of 2007 vintage, (specially labeled for the Bens).
When the KOPYKATZ (that versatile quartet of musicians made up of Gordon Rebeira, Darrell de Silva, Cliff Willenberg and Nihara Loos) came on with their limb-tossing tempos they had everybody’s blood rushing and the floor filling up in next to no time.
And the well-presented dinner – available in plenty – was a culinary delight of Sri Lankan cusine. Savoury rice with a delectable Spanish Mackerel (seer fish) curry, a tasty green chicken curry, a popular mixed vegetable curry, a chef’s special serving of badung, fresh greens, the ubiquitous pappadams and other tasty morsels made chef Dale Mendis the talk at the tables. Moreover, the service his staff provided was greatly appreciated.
An array of small appliances that would be the envy of any housewife (and the odd house husband for that matter) made up the raffle prizes. While complimentary raffle tickets were given to each guest at the door, many clamoured to buy more, until they were sold out in minutes. The winners had a lot to smile about.
Feedback was forthcoming loud and clear before the night was out - in the superlatives. The success of the night must be attributed to the planning and tireless hardwork of the Bens committee led by President Tony Appathurai (and Pam), Ranjith Velayuthen (and Gnani), Lionel Machado (and Selvaranee), Sri Fernandopulle, Prakash Fernandopulle (and Dianitha), Sherwell Fernando (and Carmini), Hynsworth LaFaber (and Carmel), Julian Pillai (and Subashni), Roger Weneden (and Ophelia), Doug Jones (and Hyacinth), Gordon Rebeira (and Lily) and Clifford Willenberg.
This is no idle boast. The Bens know how to do it!
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