Oscar Wilde once remarked that ‘with an evening coat and a white tie… anybody, even a stock-broker, can gain a reputation for being civilised’. Over one-hundred years’ hence, there is still a great deal of truth to this. Stick someone in evening dress, and they will dish out lashings of propriety (for the most part).
Indeed, one of the delineations of the word ‘civilised’ is to be ‘courteous or obliging towards others’, which can obviously be done in style, as per the above pictorial evidence of a recent Charity Dinner. Around the table, one can see on show a great deal of Oliver Brown attire in the wild, and what better occasion for our clothing to be worn?This event was organised by Mr Harvey Tomes, one of the members of Castle Community Action (CCA), a charity run by students from University College, Durham (known by its students as ‘Castle’). The dinner was held in Durham Castle, and it combined the normal dining rights of college with charitable giving: tickets sold at a surplus to raise funds for CCA, along with other opportunities for giving on the night.
Castle Community Action is a charity run by students from University College, Durham. There are four main divisions of CCA: Homelessness, Elderly Care, Primary Education, and Secondary Education. A colossal 1,500 hours of community volunteer work was carried out last year alone in these pursuits. The members of this organisation also head the Community Days Division, which runs events and opens the Castle to visitors from the local community.
The ethos of the CCA is exemplified by the college’s motto, Non Nobis Solum (not for ourselves alone). From the outset, young ‘Castlemen (or women)’, as the students are known, are imbued with the idea that they are a part of something larger than themselves: an ecclesiastical and university tradition, a community that extends beyond the walls of college.
Very soon this month, there will be another occasion to dine in style and raise funds for the CCA. This time it will be held in town and look to draw a larger crowd of young people who enjoy dressing well and contributing towards the needy amongst us.
It is important, especially within the often introspective world of Academia, to have one’s perspective widened and to be reminded of a corporate responsibility to others, and we at Oliver Brown are always humbled to be confronted with an opportunity to take pause and remember this duty ourselves.