America's Oldest "Tea Drinking and Whisky" Speaking Society
The 1975 Lecture Series

In early 1975, the Merton Society was faced with an important decision: whether to expand membership or to remain exclusive to the small circle of stalwart members who had so faithfully shepherded the Society through many of its most memorable occasions in the past. Demand for membership and for lectures had become so great by then that some of the most able candidates had to be turned away simply because there was not enough time in the season to schedule a meeting for every candidate's lecture presentation. The 1975 Committee of Three met in January 1975 in order to address the situation. After a brief but productive meeting, at which it was rumored that as many titles were thrown about as there were sentences to embrace them, the Committee announced its solution: A Multiple Lecture Series!!

And thus the 1975 Lecture Series was born. By allowing more than one lecture per meeting, and more than the traditional one meeting per quarter, the 1975 Committee of Three was able to initiate a large crop of scintillating members into the Merton Society without sacrificing the quality of the discussions held. In fact, many veterans of that era would argue that the quality of the discussions actually improved, as attendees could glean knowledge from one lecture and apply it to another, or even a third, all in the same evening.

The highlights of this first of many multiple lecture series are numerous, but some of the more notorious moments are cited below.

  • The night Sir Gard of "Oh Yeah!" Davis, Lord Royal Keeper of Her Majesty's Tools, earned his titles by presenting a particularly insightful critique of one of his favorite movies after having sampled some of Saint Harry's tea;

"What do you mean, 'Shhhh!' ?  What do you think this is, a library??"
  • The night the Committee of Three was "Raffed" in the Merton Library for making too much scintillating conversation;

  • How Sir Martin of Bufftucks shared his secrets with the Society on how he overcame his reservations about asking Society-calibre questions of potential members;

  • The night "Mister Bill" Liscom was presented with a farewell "hair pie" from Jack Honoré's barber shop by the entire Society; and finally,

....presented a gourmet lecture....

The Chef Delivers His Magnum Opus
Le Sous-Chef Prepares a Coed Surprise
....on the organic aspects of French cooking.

These and other highlights also are reflected in the accompanying Bills of Affaires of the series, which can be found on the main Meetings page. Return to Top

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