The Chichester Connoisseurs Society celebrated its 50th anniversary on Tuesday.
The society was founded in the early 1960s as an association of collectors and lovers of fine art, with meetings held monthly at the Dolphin and Anchor Hotel in Chichester.
Attended by more than 100 members, the 50th anniversary lunch, celebrating the society in its present form, was held at the Chichester Park Hotel on March 20.
Woods Travel in Bognor Regis donated a holiday voucher for £250, which, following a raffle draw, was awarded by their managing director. Entertainment was provided by John Scott and his partner Susie, as well as by Chris Hare, ‘Mind Boggler Extraordinaire’.
Steve Johnson, chairman of the Chichester Connoisseurs Society, said: “A founding member of the society was Mr. Austen, who owned and ran a business in Chichester buying and selling jewellery and fine precious metal items. No doubt an expert in his field, Mr. Austen could expertly judge quality and skill and therefore considered himself to be a connoisseur.
“Nowadays, the Chichester Connoisseurs Society is very different and comprises a group of likeminded people from the Chichester and Bognor Regis areas who enjoy taking part in activities that include a tea party, a lecture, outings and an annual holiday all organised by a committee formed from its membership. During the winter months when the weather is inclement an annual tea party is held to commemorate the setting up of the society by Mr. Austen followed by the annual lecture which, where possible, is themed to link with one of the outings that follow the spring lunch held in March. Members take part in a varied programme of outings that culminate in a lunch combined with the Annual General Meeting held at the end of the year. Where there is support a summer holiday is arranged and locations such as southern Ireland, Germany and locations across the UK have been visited.”