“100 thirsty enthusiasts,” in Commissionaire Julian Wolff’s inimitable words, commemorated Sherlock Holmes’s 118th birthday at the Players Club. This auspicious evening featured several worthy guests, including Alfred Drake, President of the Players, “whose address revealed him to be a real Sherlockian scholar”; Brooks Atkinson, the famed New York Times theatre critic; Fred Dannay (one half of Ellery Queen); and the Reverend Leslie Marshall, who demonstrated that “the stage had lost a fine actor when he entered the ministry.”
All Irregular rites and customs were “strictly observed.” Dorothy (Mrs. Thomas L., Jr.) Stix was honored as The Woman. Five new Irregulars received their Investitures. Fred Dannay generously supplied each of those present with the February issue of the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, a tradition that still continues today. Attendees stood on the terrace to have their “last quiet talk with those Irregulars” who had crossed over the Reichenbach in the past year. The close relationship between the Irregulars and the Players was appropriately dissected. In fitting style, John Bennett Shaw delivered “a most amusing talk…showing evidence of much research and truly specialized knowledge, but, unfortunately, unpublishable.”
Dinner Details: January 8, 1971
The Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park South, New York
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 1971 BSI Dinner Photo (digitized image at Harvard)
Two pages. Front and back. Sequence 35-36
BSI Honours ListInvestitures:
Robert N. Brodie as The Gloria Scott
Raymond A. de Groat (in absentia) as Harraway
August Derleth (in absentia) as Inspector Baynes, of the Surrey Constabulary
Matthew Fairlie as Barrymore*
Robert L. Fish (in absentia) as Barker, My Hated Rival
H. C. Potter as The Final Problem*
Evan M. Wilson as The Right Honourable Trelawney Hope*
Ezra A. Wolff as Sir James Damery
* received Investiture at another event during the year
What is an Investiture?
Marquis of Donegall
What is a Two-Shilling Award?
Dorothy (Mrs. Thomas L., Jr.) Stix
What is The Woman honour?
"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
Not listed in the 1971 BSJ report.
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”
Edward A. Merrill, "Holmes and Brunton: Civil Engineers"
The Baker Street Journal v20 n1 (March 1970) pp. 39-47 (available in the eBSJ).
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?
Reports on the DinnerThe Baker Street Journal v21 n1 (March 1971) pp. 50, 54 (available in the eBSJ).
List of 1971 BSI Dinner Attendees (not available at this time, but see Key to the Photo, above)
RecordingsNone available online at this time.
Related Material1971 BSI Dinner Menu (digitized image at Harvard)
Two pages. Cover and interior. Sequence 33-34
Previous dinner: the 1970 BSI Dinner
Next dinner: the 1972 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 9/26/2015 by Tamar Zeffren
This page last updated 10/9/15 by Andrew Solberg.