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Alumni reunion in eastern Canada

Eastern Canada Annual Reunion

The group dined in the former private residence of the ninth Mayor of Hamilton

7 October 2015

More than 20 alumni and their spouses gathered in Hamilton, Ontario last month for Bristol’s annual eastern Canada reunion. John Lawrence (BSc 1964, PhD 1968), Robert Pelton (PhD 1976) and Heather Proctor (BSc 1964), share their highlights from the weekend.

The weekend started with an informal dinner on Friday evening – a fantastic chance for us all to catch up and reminisce about the good times we enjoyed in Bristol. This year, we were delighted to welcome graduates spanning seven decades (1951-2014), and exchanged many stories about the changing faces of Bristol over that time.

On Saturday morning, in beautiful sunny weather, we enjoyed a guided tour of parts of the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG). The RBG is the largest botanical garden in Canada and a natural historic site with a mandate to bring together people, plants and nature. The gardens, a mix of formal and natural areas, protect and restore 2,450 acres of nature sanctuaries containing environmentally sensitive habitats that are home to approximately 50 listed at-risk species. We saw the extensive rose garden, the fascinating medicinal garden (of great interest to our medics), the metasequoia grove, and parts of the woodland garden.

Having spent the morning walking, we were certainly all ready for a matinée production of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, at the Theatre Aquarius. The play was a gripping, fast-paced detective thriller that kept us on the edge of our seats until the very end.

Later, we went to The Hamilton Club for our reunion dinner, after traditional toasts with Harvey’s Bristol Cream sherry of course. The Hamilton Club is an elegant restaurant housed in the 19th-century former private residence of the ninth Mayor of Hamilton, Charles Magil. Here, we were able to view an impressive art collection as well as dine under an imposing portrait of King George V.

We were already making plans for next year’s reunion by breakfast on Sunday, and have decided to meet in Montreal on Friday 23 to Sunday 25 September, where we will be hosted by residents Luc and Linda James-Lefebvre (BSc 1960).

Our eastern Canada reunions started in 2002 – the first was organised by John Bull (BSc 1957) – and since then, we have met every year in various locations across Ontario and Quebec.

Further information

If you live in eastern Canada and would like hear about future reunions, please get in touch with Heather ( or Linda ( You can also now join us on Facebook at We look forward to meeting you!