At Sherlock Holmes’s birthday sesquicentennial, “all was cocktails and conviviality as the Irregulars and their guests made merry.” Wiggins announced the creation of The Baker Street Irregulars Archives at the Houghton Library at Harvard University and of its governing body, The BSI Trust.
The Buy-Laws were read by William Vande Water. Thomas Dandrew gave the toast to Mrs. Hudson. Susan Z. Diamond toasted Mycroft. William Dorn led the attendees to raise our glasses to Watson's second wife. Dr. Gerald Wachs toasted Sherlock Holmes. Andrew Solberg led the responsive reading of the Musgrave Ritual.
Post-prandial speeches included Michael Dirda’s observation that, owing to the relatively few facts in circulation outside the Canon about Holmes’s life, some folks go so far as to question his existence. Dirda took solace from the evening's gathering. "The presence of those here tonight is proof of Sherlock Holmes's existence.” Paul Singleton and Sarah Montague Joffe portrayed Sherlock's long-suffering parents, with Andrew Joffe as their perplexed physician (Dr. Sacker), offering a glimpse into the unusual family life with baby Sherlock. Also featured were Thierry Saint-Joanis as a gift-giving Grandmère Vernet, and John Baesch, who proved that Mycroft could be a jealous big brother.
William Hyder offered a preview of the latest BSI publication. A musical birthday tribute came from Henry Boote and Bruce Montgomery, who sang: "We Always Mention Old Sherlock.” Ray Betzner offered a toast to Old Irregular Edward J. Van Liere.
Martha McCormack was toasted as The Woman. Seven Irregulars received their Shilling. Paul D. Herbert was honored with The Two-Shilling Award. Peter Blau was gifted a most amazing relic: Dr. Watson's campaign writing desk! Restored from hard usage in Afghanistan, it bears a new plaque which reads, in part: "With Grateful Appreciation of The Many Contributions As Society Secretary, Sherlockian Ambassador, And Record Keeper Extraordinaire."
Sherry Rose-Bond closed the evening with Beverly Wolov's poem, "The Woman."
At the next day’s Sherlockian Cocktail Reception at the National Arts Club, Judge Albert Rosenblatt and his daughter, Betsy Rosenblatt, once again performed their remarkable summation in verse of the previous year and of the Festivities.
Dinner Details: January 16, 2004
Union League Club, 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 2004 BSI Dinner photo (not available at this time)
BSI Honours ListInvestitures:
Gideon D. Hill as Jack Prendergast
Francine Kitts as Lady Hilda Trelawney Hope
Nicholas Meyer as A Fine Morocco Case
Bernard Oudin as Our French Gold
Michael Ross as Von Bork
Constantine Rossakis as St. Bartholomew's Hospital
Doug Wrigglesworth as The Retired Colourman
* received Investiture at another event during the year
What is an Investiture?
Paul D. Herbert
What is a Two-Shilling Award?
Martha (Mrs. George) McCormack
What is The Woman honour?
"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
Not named in the 2004 BSJ report of the Dinner.
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”
Donald K. Pollock & Andrew Solberg, writing under the pseudonym Dr. D K Andrews, M.D, “‘The Case of ‘J’: A Psychoanalytic Case Study with Particular Attention to ‘Marriage Neurosis’”
The Baker Street Journal v53 n3 (Autumn 2003): 25-34 (available in the eBSJ).
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?
The BSI Distinguished Speaker Lecture:
John Berendt, “Sherlock Holmes Does Venice”
The Baker Street Journal v54 n2 (Summer 2004): 6-14 (available in the eBSJ).
What is the BSI Distinguished Speaker Lecture?
Reports on the DinnerThe Baker Street Journal v54 n1 (Spring 2004) pp. 6-11 (available in the eBSJ).
Blau, Peter, Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press, (January 2004): 1.
List of 2004 BSI Dinner Attendees (not available at this time)
RecordingsThe BSI Archive does not have a recording of the 2004 BSI Dinner at this time. If you have one or know where one exists, please contact the Chair of the Trust.
Related MaterialRosenblatt, Albert M., and Betsy Rosenblatt, “The Sherlockian Year In Verse: 2004,” The Baker Street Journal v54 n1 (Spring 2004): 11-13 (available in the eBSJ). The Rosenblatts’ rhyming retrospective, delivered at the January 17, 2004 Sherlockian Cocktail Reception.
Previous dinner: the 2003 BSI Dinner
Next dinner: the 2005 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 10/13/2016 by Tamar Zeffren
This page last updated 10/15/2016 by Andrew Solberg.