The Dinner celebrating the 143rd anniversary of the Master’s birth was a momentous one. The usual traditions and toasts were performed, including the Sherlock Holmes Prayer, the reading of the BSI Constitution and Buy-Laws, and the reciting of the Musgrave Ritual.
Robert Katz once again toasted The Second Mrs. Watson, William Hyder toasted Mycroft Holmes, Susan Rice toasted Mrs. Hudson, and Sherry Rose-Bond ended the formal toasts with one to “The Most Dangerous Gang in London.” Bruce Montgomery regaled the crowd with his father’s “Aunt Clara” and his own set of new verses.
Tom Stix then turned the program over to Mike Whelan, who emceed a riotously funny roast of Tom. Mike Whelan then presented to Tom and his wife Dorothy two beautiful expressions of the BSI’s gratitude for their work on our behalf. Dorothy received a crystal vase on which was inscribed “Presented with Affection to Dorothy K. Stix, The The Woman, by the BSI, January 10, 1997.” Tom received a crystal presentation piece, etched with the alternate dust jacket design for the British edition of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes by Vincent Starrett (published, appropriately enough, in 1934, the year of the founding of the BSI) inscribed “With gratitude to Thomas L. Stix, Jr., Wiggins, for keeping the memory of the Master green, by the BSI, January 10, 1997.”
Tom Stix announced that he was stepping down after eleven years as Wiggins, and was passing the mantle on to Mike Whelan. (Listen to the recording below.) Dante Torrese closed the program with “A Long Evening with Holmes.”
Beverly E. Wolov was honored as “The Woman.” Eight Irregulars received their shillings.
At the next day’s Sherlockian Cocktail Reception, David Stuart Davies performed The Hound of the Baskervilles in a one-man, seven minute performance. Philip Shreffler was presented with the Morley-Montgomery Award. Judge Albert Rosenblatt presented his annual poetic account of the BSI Dinner, the Sherlockian Weekend, and the Sherlockian Year.
Dinner Details: January 10, 1997
24 Fifth Avenue, 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 1997 BSI Dinner photo (PDF)
BSI Honours ListInvestitures:
William J. Hyder as A Most Valuable Institution
Richard J. Kitts as The Battered Tin Dispatch-Box
Kenneth C. Lanza as His Last Bow
Theodora Niver as Carina
Roy E. Pilot as Chemical Laboratory of St. Barts
Paul G. Singleton as Covent Garden
Margaret Smedegaard as Criterion Bar
Dorothy K. Stix as Martha
* received Investiture at another event during the year
What is an Investiture?
* received the Award at another event during the year
What is a Two-Shilling Award?
Beverly E. Wolov
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 1997 BSJ report.
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”
Philip Shreffler, "Quintessence of Irregular: The Original Series of The Baker Street Journal"
The Baker Street Journal v46 n4 (December 1996) pp. 7-12 (available in the eBSJ).
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?
Reports on the DinnerThe Baker Street Journal v47 n1 (March 1997) pp. 59-64 (available in the eBSJ).
Hyder, William, “Toast to Mycroft,” The Baker Street Journal v47 n1 (March 1997) p. 61 (available in the eBSJ). Presented at the 1997 BSI Dinner.
Blau, Peter, Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press, (January 1997), 1.
Key to People in the 1997 BSI Dinner photo (PDF)
Thomas Stix at the 1997 BSI Dinner
Thomas L. Stix, Jr. (The Norwood Builder) became the head of the BSI (Wiggins) after the 1986 BSI Dinner. At the 1997 BSI Dinner, Stix announced that he was stepping down and that Michael Whelan (Vincent Spaulding) would be the new head of the BSI. You can hear his announcement in this 7 minute vignette from the 1997 BSI Dinner. Stix (whose father was also a BSI member) was invested at the 1961 BSI Dinner.
Click to play this recording
A recording of portions of the 1997 BSI Dinner is available at Harvard as part of the BSI Archive.
Related Material1997 BSI Dinner Menu (digitized images at Harvard)
Two pages. Cover and interior. Sequence 165-166.
The Stetaks BSI Dinner Favor (digitized images at Harvard)
Distributed to attendees at the 1997 BSI Dinner.
Two pages. Cover and interior. Sequence 167-168
Rosenblatt, Albert M., “Verse for the Baker Street Irregulars on January 11, 1997,” The Baker Street Journal v47 n1 (March 1997) pp. 66-69 (available in the eBSJ). Judge Rosenblatt’s rhyming retrospective, delivered at the January 11, 1997 Sherlockian Cocktail Reception.
Next dinner: the 1998 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 7/29/2016 by Tamar Zeffren
Page updated 7/30/2016 by Andrew Solberg.
This page last updated 3/31/20 by Randall Stock.