Activities in Germany are hosted by the German Cambridge Society, in which Sidney alumni play a prominent role (among them the current Vice-Chair and the Secretary). Members of the Society would also be willing to help Sidney students or young professionals coming to Germany for their studies or career. Please get in touch with Dr Heinz Fuchs at H.Fuchs.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sidney Club of Geneva consists of 26 former and current Fellows/students with representatives in France, Germany and the UK. It prides itself in offering a well-balanced range of social and educational/intellectual activities. The Club collaborates with the Oxford and Cambridge Dining Club of Geneva and with a similar Club in Zurich.
The year 2014 started with the Club’s New Year’s Dinner on 24 January at the Mekong Chinese Restaurant in Nyon. The dinner was attended by 19 members and guests, including James and Avril Mayall from Cambridge and Christopher Cork from Grenoble. The highlight of the evening was a violin and cello performance by Floryse Bennett and Louise Bigwood, who played pieces by Telemann, Corelli and Zipoli.
In April, a group of 16 made a weekend trip to soak in the archaeological sites of ancient Rome. Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Sidney’s former Master, took us on a veritable journey into the past, walking us through Campodoglio, Colosseum, Forum, Basilica of San Clemento, Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Ara Pacis as well as the exhibition of Alma Tadema paintings at the church of Santa Maria della Pace. The Rome trip ended with a sumptuous dinner at Pier Luigi’s.
The Club’s annual dinner was held on 21 June with 26 members attending, including those from Cambridge (Lindsay Greer, 1984), Grenoble (Christopher Cork, 1981), Zurich (Helen Gyssler, 1985) and Basel (Marc Creus, 1998). Professor Sir John Walker, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1997) and Sidney Fellow gave an excellent talk, our eleventh so far, on the discovery of penicillin. He noted that research by scientists at Oxford University led, within a mere five years, to successful clinical trials of penicillin. Its use in the treatment of wounded allied soldiers was a decisive factor in their victory in World War II. Sir John argued that Alexander Fleming had received undue credit for the discovery and that other members of his team had been equally deserving.
In mid-September, the Club organized a trip to the Grande Dixence dam in Valais, which is the tallest of its kind in the world, producing the largest amount of hydro-electricity in Europe. The dam’s reservoir collects run-off water from 35 different glaciers through a large number of conduits and pumping stations. This two-day excursion included wine tasting and a sight-seeing tour of Sion, the capital of Valais.
In late September, the Club organized a visit to the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) on the Geneva border with France to see the Large Hadron Collider.
In 2015 we are looking forward to our usual New Year dinner in the second half of January, a trip to Sicily at the end of March and the annual dinner at the end of May followed by a talk by Professor Richard Penty, Master of Sidney.
This year the Club also welcomed the following new members: Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Professor Rosamond McKitterick and Dr Jillaine Seymour from Cambridge and Jonathan Richards from Basel.
Any current or past members of the College who would like to join the Club or find out more about it are encouraged to contact the President, Ajit Bhalla, email@example.com, or the Treasurer, Stephen Blockley, firstname.lastname@example.org.