Header Photo Image1

The 1990 BSI Dinner group photo

The 136th anniversary of the Master’s birth was resolutely “observed without scruple”— including Robert Katz delivering another of his toasts to “The Second Mrs. Watson.”  Eleanor Sullivan was honored as The Woman. The evening’s lively program opened with the Baker Street Journal’s publisher, George Fletcher, speaking on “Copyrights and Copywrongs” regarding the intellectual property status of the BSJ’s contents. There were also presentations by Al Rodin (on Joseph Bell, testicles, sex, and syphilis), Jon Lellenberg (on the BSI archival history project), David Musto (on his role in founding a Sherlockian society at the Great Wall Station in the Antarctic), Ed Vatza (on the Canonicity of "The Blanched Soldier"), and Al Rosenblatt (on Sherlock Holmes' amorous walks). Seven Irregulars received their Shillings.

This Dinner had actually been intended to be even more momentous than it was.  Tom Stix had invited Lisa McGaw (who received the BSI Investiture of Mrs. Hudson in 1982) to attend the 1990 BSI Dinner, and she was planning on attending. She would have been the first woman to attend a BSI Annual Dinner.  Unfortunately, Lisa McGaw suddenly passed away in December 1989.   She was to have been a recipient of the Two-Shilling Award, and it was given to her posthumously.  Two other recipients received the Two-Shilling Award that year, Richard D. Lesh and W.T. Rabe.   The proceedings concluded on another moving note with Philip Brogdon’s rendition of P.M. Stone’s “Sherlock Holmes.” “[T]ears edged the eyes of all but those with the hardest of hearts.”

At the Sherlockian Cocktail Party on the following day, Dorothy Beverly West and Katherine McMahon were awarded the Queen Victoria Medal (in absentia) (see the 1969 Dinner for background on the Medal). The report on the weekend in the BSJ notes that they are “the last known surviving individuals submitting correct solutions to the crossword puzzle…used by Christopher Morley in 1934 as the criterion for membership in the Baker Street Irregulars.”  In addition, the Commissionaire’s Award for outstanding contributions to Sherlockiana was conferred upon Henry Lauritzen, long the “sparking plug” of the Sherlock Holmes Klubben i Danmark (see the 1988 Dinner for background on this award).

Dinner Details: January 12, 1990
24 Fifth Avenue, New York

Dinner Photo Information

Click 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 1990 BSI Dinner photo (not available at this time)

BSI Honours List

Charles A. Adams as The Winter Assizes at Norwich
Allen Mackler as Sarasate
Austin J. McLean as The London Library
Frederick C. Page as The Arcadia Mixture
Milton F. Perry as Nathan Garrideb
Donald K. Pollock as The Anthropological Journal [resigned]
Tom Stetak as The Head of the Police at Cleveland
* received Investiture at another event during the year
What is an Investiture?

Two-Shilling Award:
Richard D. Lesh
Lisa McGaw (posthumously)
W.T. Rabe
What is a Two-Shilling Award?

The Woman:
Eleanor Sullivan
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 1990 BSJ report.
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”

Morley-Montgomery Award:
No awards were given from 1981-1995.
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?

Reports on the Dinner

The Baker Street Journal v40 n1 (March 1990) pp. 44, 46 (available in the eBSJ).

Blau, Peter, Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press, (January 1990), p. 2.

List of 1990 BSI Dinner Attendees (not available at this time)


None available online at this time.

Related Material

1990 BSI Dinner Menu (digitized images at Harvard)
Two pages. Cover and interior. Sequence 124-125.

Rosenblatt, Albert, Rhyming Retrospective of the Past Decade (digitized image at Harvard)
Presented at the Saturday Sherlockian Cocktail Party.
Eight pages. Sequence 130-137.

Katz, Robert S., “To The Second Mrs. Watson,” The Baker Street Journal v40 n2 (June 1990) pp. 108-110 (available in the eBSJ).
Toasts given at the 1989 and 1990 BSI Dinners.

Previous dinner: the 1989 BSI Dinner

Next dinner: the 1991 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 4/18/2016 by Tamar Zeffren
This page last updated 4/21/2016 by Andrew Solberg.