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Reginald Gill

(Electrical Engineering, 1951)
remembers how the Commemoration Day celebrations started

Sir roderic HillRecently I have been reading the notes about the College’s Rectors in the last issue of Imperial Matters (Imperial’s leading men, issue 29). I was rather surprised that in the notes concerning Sir Roderic Hill, no mention was made of the fact that it was he who instituted the College’s Commemoration day. Photo right: Sir Roderic Hill

He felt that graduates and postgraduates should have their own presentation ceremony rather than being somewhat lost among the hundreds of students attending the University of London ceremony, so he set up a committee to organise the day. I was Chairman of the Imperial College Union entertainments committee at the time and was given the task of arranging a Commemoration Ball for the evening.

Notice was short and I had difficulty finding a suitable venue, but eventually I was able to book the ballroom at Claridge’s Hotel and the first Commemoration Day ceremony took place in 1950.

The ballroom at Claridge’s was small and many more people wanted to attend the ball than we were able to accommodate, so as soon as the date for the next Commemoration Day was set I booked the Great Room at the Grosvenor House Hotel with music provided by Sidney Lipton and his orchestra. From then on I hope the event has gone from strength to strength, this is all due to the enthusiasm of Sir Roderic Hill.

  © 2007 Imperial College London

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