In the early evening, guests enjoyed the pre-dinner delights of the Souk, soaking up the atmosphere and heady scents of mint tea, Arabic coffee and cocktails and canapes, while enjoying dazzling magic tricks, tarot card readings and live North African music on the outdoor terrace. Then the doors to the Sultan’s Ballroom swung open with the magic call of “Open Sesame!” and the guests entered to enjoy an evening of mystery and magic.Not only is the annual ball a celebration, it’s also traditionally a time when parents and staff alike generously raise money for our associated charities through the much anticipated and famous annual ball raffle. This year, the spirit of giving was in full force, and we collectively raised an astounding RMB123,700 which will go towards supporting the invaluable work of the Shanghai Jiuqian Volunteer Center and the Couleurs De Chine charity. Jiuqian aims to improve the educational opportunities of migrant children through the delivery of free education services, scholarships and the running of youth activity centres. The charity has already impacted on the lives of over 2000 children and aims to support thousands more. Similarly, Couleurs De Chine works with thousands of underprivileged children from three ethnic minority groups in Guangxi Province and has sponsored over 4000 of them throughout their education – hundreds have successfully completed bachelor and master’s degrees at university.
As a College and a community, we would like to thank everyone who attended the annual ball, our generous annual ball sponsors and everyone who dedicated their time, organisational skills and resources to making it such a success. Particular mention must be made of the efforts of the Friends of Wellington’s annual ball committee. Their unstinting efforts once again underline how the strength of the Wellington community lies in the partnership between its parents and staff members.