Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Remarkable Speaker at the CSM Annual Dinner

The main event on the Camborne School of Mines Association's calendar is without doubt the Annual Dinner.

Although tinged with sadness due to the recent deaths of Gavin Wonnacott and Jim Turner, last night's dinner in Falmouth was, as always, a great opportunity to catch up with people from the past.

With ex-CSM lecturer Nigel Powell, current lecturer Richard Pascoe
and acting Director Hylke Glass
I got the opportunity to personally congratulate Prof. Frances Wall on her appointment as President of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (MEI Online). She now stands down as Director of CSM, the interim Director being Prof. Hylke Glass.

Hylke Glass and Frances Wall
The highlight of the evening was the after-dinner speech by a remarkable man, Martin Parnell, who graduated from CSM in 1977 with a degree in mining engineering.  I knew Martin well during his time at CSM, as he was a member of the diving club which I set up shortly after my appointment in 1974.

Preparing to dive off Plymouth, 1976. Martin is 5th left
In 2005, during a four-month cycling trip through Africa, Martin was struck by the transformative and positive power of sport to change lives. Five years later he dedicated a year of his life to run 250 marathons with the aim of raising $250,000 for the charity Right To Play, an international humanitarian organisation that reaches out to disadvantaged children around the world. Martin is in Cornwall as part of his quest to complete the UK's ultimate challenge for the long distance runner- a 630 mile journey along the South-West Way, from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset, averaging a marathon a day. He has accepted this challenge in order to raise £100,000 for Right To Play, and today he will be taking on the beautiful, but rugged and undulating stretch of the coast path from Sennen Cove at Land's End, to Porthleven. Truly a marathon task!

With Martin and his book 'Marathon Quest'
So all in all, last night's dinner was truly memorable, and thanks go to Claire Yelland, Secretary of the CSM Association for a smoothly organised event.

Barbara with Hylke Glass and Claire Yelland

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