Jonathan Bengston’s talk and dinner

On September 6th, VIOCS members were treated to a fascinating talk by Jonathan Bengtson, the University Librarian at UVic, on seven centuries of the library at Queen’s College, Oxford.

As with several other Ox-Cam colleges, Queen’s College spans the centuries from Gutenberg, and the invention of the printing press, to the digital revolution.  Libraries are vast store-houses of the knowledge of the centuries.  They help us understand A. N. Whitehead’s dictum that “everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it.”

Despite Whitehead’s dictum, it is, nevertheless, the case that the stock of knowledge is ever-increasing, and that libraries are the store-house of this knowledge, whether in pictorial, printed, or digital form.  Jonathan Bengtson enlightened us and entertained us with the special saga of the Queen’s College library, and its key role in the preservation of history, culture and life itself over seven centuries.  We are in his debt for his outstanding presentation.


Jonathan Bengston at Paprika Bistro

Jonathan’s talk was followed by an excellent dinner at the Paprika Bistro, which provided for good food, conversation-enhancing drinks, and warm companionship for our 28 members and guests who chose to attend.  All of us are indebted to Dorothy Kennedy for organizing, and arranging, the entire event

Summer Picnic

The first of what we hope will be an annual “VIOCS Summer Picnic” was held at Beaver Lake on 18 August.  Twenty cheery members gathered at the picnic site for good company and conversation, a tasty potluck to accompany the bring-your-own barbeque, and a rousing game of “Aunt Sally,” which will be familiar to those Oxonians who ventured beyond the city limits into the Oxfordshire pubs.  Simon Farthing (Darwin, 1977), though a Cambridge man, graciously threw for the Dark Blues and took home the “VIOCS Dolly Cup.”  Simon promises to return with the Cup and uphold the honour at next year’s event, when he will be knocking the dolly for Cambridge. Let this be an early call for Oxonians to muster to the challenge.

Simon Farthing, winner of the VIOCS Dolly Cup, with VIOCS members Bob Vander Steen, Patricia Kongshavn, Peter Wood and guest.

The image on reverse side of the Dolly Cup is an engraving of the game as played in the 1800s, when the game used a dolly dressed as an old woman.