Sixty eight Irregulars and guests gathered to commemorate the Master’s 105th birthday. John MacVane, a leading radio correspondent for more than three decades, stood in for an ill Rex Stout and reported on the profound influence exercised by Mycroft over the United Nations through his intermediary, Cartwright, who makes an appearance as a young boy in The Hound of the Baskervilles. The assemblage was, of course, sworn to secrecy on this account. There was a tribute to Earle P. Walbridge, who attended all BSI meetings from the beginning. The inaugural winner of the Morley-Montgomery Award was announced as (noted science fiction author) Poul Anderson, of the Scowrers of San Francisco, for his “Irregular Poetics.” To commemorate the award’s namesakes, William Baring-Gould proposed a toast to the memory of the towering Christopher Morley, and Carl Anderson suggested likewise for Jim Montgomery, a professional opera singer and a founding member of the Gilbert & Sullivan Players of Philadelphia. [Please see the Explanation of BSI Honours & Terms for background on this award.]
Six members received their Irregular Shilling. After worldwide reports from Scion Societies were read, Mr. C. R. Andrew of the Scandalous Bohemians of Akron, Ohio proposed a round-table challenge, wherein each member was called upon to address a query propounded to him, or, if stumped, to throw the question open to the assemblage. The minutes evidence that the “erudition manifested surpassed all expectations, and the Challenges proceeded, in natural course, to the Canonical point of whole-hearted Disputation.” At 11:54pm, James C. Iraldi offered the toast to “To the Best and Wisest Man Whom We Have Ever Known.”
Dinner Details: January 9, 1959
Cavanagh’s Restaurant, New York, NY
Dinner Photo InformationClick on the above photo to see a larger version of it, and maximize your browser window to see the most detail.
Key to People in the 1959 BSI Dinner photo (not available at this time)
BSI Honours ListInvestitures:
S. Tupper Bigelow as The Five Orange Pips
Peter E. Blau as Black Peter
Robert C. Clyne as The Opal Tiara
A. D. Henriksen as A Case of Identity
Edward Starr as The Bogus Laundry Affair
Robert H. Steele as The Scowrers*
Allison Stern as Silver Blaze
* received Investiture at another event during the year
What is an Investiture?
Not awarded until 1962.
What is a Two-Shilling Award?
Maria von Krebs ("the Lady of the Evening")
What is The Woman honour?
"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
None listed in the 1959 Minutes or BSJ report.
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”
Poul Anderson, "Irregular Poetics"
The Baker Street Journal (Christmas 1958) pp. 17-22. (available in the eBSJ)
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?
Reports on the Dinner1959 BSI Dinner Minutes (digitized images at Harvard)
The Baker Street Journal v9 n2 (April 1959) pp. 111-113. (available in the eBSJ)
See also pp. 125-126 for details on a BSI match caddy souvenir from the Dinner.
List of 1959 BSI Dinner Attendees (PDF)
RecordingsNone available online at this time.
Related Material1959 BSI Dinner Invitation (digitized image at Harvard)
1959 BSI Dinner Menu (digitized image at Harvard)
Cover and interior. Sequence 72-73.
Previous dinner: the 1958 BSI Dinner
Next dinner: the 1960 BSI Dinner
For an index to all BSI Dinners and photos, see our BSI Dinner Summary list.
The BSI Archive is located at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Archival material may be used by any qualified scholar, subject to the normal rules and regulations of the Library. For links to a detailed finding aid and related information, see our BSI Archive at Harvard page.
Page composed on 2/24/15 by Tamar Zeffren
This page last updated 7/6/15 by Andrew Solberg.