The dinner celebrating Sherlock Holmes’s 157th birthday was an evening of recognition, celebration, and scholarship. There was a distinct “Knoxian” theme.
Wiggins (Michael Whelan) began the evening by thanking the following members for their volunteerism in performing a variety of important tasks that had benefited the BSI: Michael Dirda, George McCormack, Irving Kamil, James Saunders, and Donald Terras. Wiggins also thanked the following for their contributions to the BSI publishing effort: John Bergquist, Steve Rothman, Steve Doyle, Mark Gagen, Randall Stock, and Michael Kean. He also thanked Maggie Schpak for her design of BSI medals. Mike introduced four attendees who have been members of the BSI for 50 years or more: George McCormack (50 years), Russell Merritt (51 years), Peter Blau (52 years), and Arthur Levine (56 years). Each of them was presented with a plaque to commemorate the occasion.
John Bergquist read the Constitution and Buy-Laws. Pj Doyle toasted Mrs. Hudson. Lynn Walker gave the toast to Mycroft Holmes. Roy Pilot had us raise our glasses to Watson's second wife, and Michael Homer toasted Sherlock Holmes. Richard Olken led the responsive reading of the Musgrave Ritual.
John Linsenmeyer enlightened us about Monsignor Ronald Knox, acknowledging that Knox deserves to be considered the founder of the Grand Game. Sarah Montague, Andrew Joffe, and Paul Singleton performed an imaginative, and amusing, heavenly meeting between the spirits of Conan Doyle (Joffe) and Dorothy L. Sayers (Montague), interspersed with brief conversations between their famous characters, Sherlock Holmes and Lord Peter Wimsey (Singleton). James Zych, winner of the BSI essay contest, delivered his paper (see Related Material, below). Les Klinger presented his interview with Robert Downey, Jr. Nick Utechin offered a toast to an Old Sherlockian, Ronald Knox, and revealed the very recently discovered details of Knox’s elusive third reading of his paper at Oxford (see Related Material, below). Henry Boote had written Knoxian lyrics to the music of “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” from Annie and, accompanying at the piano, led us in singing this rendition and then in singing the BSI’s anthem, “Aunt Clara.” Francine Kitts, once again, performed a moving “Standing upon the Terrace” ceremony, remembering those whom we have lost.
Six deserving Irregulars received their Shilling. Whelan presented Eddy Awards to the following editors and authors: Andrew Fusco, Otto Penzler, Laurie King, Leslie Klinger, Peggy Perdue, Nick Utechin, Enrico Solito, and Gianluca Salvatori. Klinger, Fusco, and Rothman surprised Mike Whelan by gifting him with a special medal, “The Wiggy,” to acknowledge and honor Mike’s continued, outstanding involvement at all levels - from supervising to proofreading—in the BSI publishing effort.
Gail Postal was toasted as The Woman.
Burt Wolder concluded the evening’s program with his recitation of Vincent Starrett’s “221B.”
At the next day’s Sherlockian Cocktail Reception at the New York City Bar Association, Judge Albert Rosenblatt and his daughter, Betsy Rosenblatt, once again performed their remarkable rhyming summation of the previous year and of the Festivities. In addition, Mike Whelan presented Candace Lewis (The Woman, 2007) with an Eddy for her editorial work on Two Celebrations. The afternoon’s program concluded with a musical offering arranged by Lyndsay Faye from the musical adaptation of her Sherlockian pastiche Dust and Shadow (by Jonathan Howard, with music by Jonathan Reid Gealt, lyrics by Dustin Sullivan, and book by Kasey Marino).
Dinner Details: January 7, 2011
The Yale 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 2011 BSI Dinner photo (not available at this time, but see the 2011 Table Seat Assignments (PDF)
BSI Honours ListInvestitures:
Vincent Brosnan as That Gap on That Second Shelf
Terence Faherty as Sir Charles Baskerville
Lyndsay Faye as Kitty Winter
Frank Ferry as Dr. Leon Sterndale
David W. Houle as The British Museum
Peggy Perdue as Violet Westbury
* received Investiture at another event during the year
What is an Investiture?
The Two-Shilling Award was not given in 2011.
What is a Two-Shilling Award?
What is The Woman honour?
"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
Alastair B. Martin (Colonel Sebastian Moran, 1972)
Thomas A. Stetak (The Head of the Police at Cleveland, 1990)
Bernard Davies (A Study in Scarlet, 1985)
Dr. Tsukasa Kobayashi (Baritsu, 1989)
Dr. David Musto (Dr. Anstruther, 1969)
Herbert P. Tinning (Dr. Leon Sterndale, 1974)
Bob Mangler (Sir Hugo Baskerville, 1962)
Robert C. Clyne (The Opal Tiara, 1959)
Dr. Charles E. Henry (The Lion’s Mane, 1980)
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”
Michael Pollak, "The Spies Who Never Were with Some Observations on Holmes's Retirement"
The Baker Street Journal 60.2 (Summer 2010): 49-55 (available in the eBSJ).
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?
The BSI Distinguished Speaker Lecture:
Michael Sims, “The Light of Reason”
The Baker Street Journal 61.2 (Summer 2011): 6-14 (available in the eBSJ).
What is the BSI Distinguished Speaker Lecture?
The Baker Street Journal 61.1 (Spring 2011): 53-63 (available in the eBSJ).
Reports on the Dinner
Blau, Peter, Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press, (January 2011): 1-2.
List of 2011 BSI Dinner Attendees (PDF)
A recording of portions of the 2011 BSI Dinner is available at Harvard as part of the BSI Archive.
Rosenblatt, Albert M., and Betsy Rosenblatt, “The Sherlockian Year In Verse: 2011,” The Baker Street Journal 61.1 (Spring 2011): 64-65 (available in the eBSJ). The Rosenblatts’ rhyming retrospective, delivered at the January 8, 2011 Sherlockian Cocktail Reception.
Zych, James, “How Moriarty Survived Reichenbach Falls,” The Baker Street Journal 61.1 (Spring 2011): 21-24 (available in the eBSJ).
Utechin, Nicholas, “The Case of the First Reading,” The Baker Street Journal 61.1 (Spring 2011): 34-47 (available in the eBSJ). See also Utechin, Nicholas, From Piff-Pouff To Backnecke: Ronald Knox and 100 Years of “Studies In The Literature of Sherlock Holmes,” The Baker Street Journal Christmas Annual (Christmas 2010) (available in the eBSJ).
Two Celebrations - The 50th Annual Running of The Chicago Silver Blaze and The Triennial Silver Blaze of The Baker Street Irregulars, ed. Candace Lewis, (The Baker Street Irregulars Press, 2009).
Previous dinner: the 2010 BSI Dinner
Next dinner: the 2012 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 12/5/2016 by Tamar Zeffren
This page last updated 2/25/2017 by Andrew Solberg.