General News · 30th January 2017
Yendor moved to Cortes in 1973, after he bought into the Redland’s Land Group, at the top of Robertson Rd. I (Gloria) joined him in 1979. We were very involved with community activities - drama group, forestry, talent shows, drumming, oyster farming, EHS, all kinds of committees. Sadly, Yendor died in an accident in 2005 and I left the Island a year later, but I still keep in touch with my many Cortes friends.
Preamble to the GOLDEN GULLET! 1988/89
Yendor and I had spent 4 1/2 (very arduous – in my opinion) months in West Africa. We returned to England for a couple days and then left to go hitchhiking in Europe. It was snowing, rides were in short supply and so was our cash. We were living in a tent, freezing cold, and didn’t venture out much those first few days. In Paris we couldn’t afford to even walk up the Eiffel Tower, or sit at a road side cafe to have a cup of coffee, or order any of those wonderful smelling crepes. Instead we were picking nettles along the bank of the Seine River, and going through outdoor markets looking for throwaways to cook on our little one-burner stove. We walked everywhere and saw a lot of things – things we would have missed, had we been able to afford transportation. We couldn’t go to the Louvre – $$. We spent time in Spain and Holland (hitchhiking with little success, living in our tent or in hostels). We returned to London where Yendor’s sister Orah and her husband Jeff were living in a bachelor suite, and kindly accommodated us (once again) in their very limited space. A letter (sent c/o Orah) was waiting for us. It had arrived during our absence. We opened it and gasped, our eyes bulged, wow! It was filled with cash. I had been writing endless letters home for the past six months. I guess my tales of woe, lamenting costs, and detailing our many hardships, were read with compassion and that’s why we were receiving all this cash. Our Cortes friends had taken up a collection for us, and the accompanying letter outlined, in great detail, the ways in which this money could be spent.
Here is what it said:
Welcome to the GOLDEN GULLET!
You have been selected by the UNSEEN HAND OF FAT(e) to receive the GOLDEN GULLET endowment to further the study of frivolous behaviour under dire circumstances. This stipend is awarded every 100 years to those evolved beings chosen by the UNSEEN HAND OF FAT(e). Rejoice! you weary, road-worn travellers for you may enjoy 24 hours of respite from life trials!
However, there is no free lunch and certain timeless traditions must be respected or else . . . .
1. Every cent of this award must be spent in one 24 hour period on your personal enjoyment and pursuit of pleasure. Save your receipts as they will be inspected by our network upon your reentry to Canada. No necessary purchase will be tolerated. No investments or nest eggs may be a part of this fund.
2. Tuxedo rental or the borrowing of clothes is included so dress codes need not be a reason for not dining with the Queen should you choose.
3. No worry or guilt may be indulged in while spending this money. You may not use this money to buy gifts for others, as our research through the ages has shown giving to be a product of guilt and low self-esteem. You must have FUN!
Some particularly niggardly candidates in past ages have tried to speed their climb to the top of the heap by saving this money or spending it on something (choke)…useful. They would not do it again given the same choice a second time. You cannot cheat the UNSEEN HAND OF FAT(e). Some who tried include an early recipient whose wife was turned to a pillar of salt when the award was used for a mortgage payment. A later candidate shared her award by letting the peasants eat cake. It cost her her head.
Even ignorance is no excuse. A more recent winner accidentally left a dollar in his pocket after the 24 hour period ended and he used it for bus fare the following day. Upon his return home he found his Doberman Pincher had grown a long fluffy tail and whimpered when strangers approached. Don’t mess with the UNSEEN HAND OF FAT(e)!
Upon completion of the terms listed, you should back up to the Atlantic Ocean, fart loudly towards North America so the UNSEEN NOSE OF FLATULENCE may tell the UNSEEN HAND OF FAT(e) that the GOLDEN GULLET has been successfully transferred for the Century. And you must give homage to the following evolved beings.
Ruth & Roland, Rosie, Pierre & Wendy, Howie & Bernice, Rick, Anna, Pam, Alex, Tom, Gerry & Vicki, Hubert & Wendy, Robin & Irene, Nori, Lloyd, Art & Carol*, Tim & Barb, Shivon & Lee, Garvin, Naomi, Jill & Basil, Martha, John Wooley, Trude & Sedley.
*$50 of the donation from Monks was for a hand rail work trade
Spending of the GOLDEN GULLET!
All that money – to be spent, only on fun, and in one 24 hour period! This would require some thought and planning. We left the next morning for two weeks in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Always looking for a free bed and meal, we managed to stay, most days, with relatives or acquaintances of Cortes friends. We had a great time, our hosts took us on sight seeing adventures, gave us warm beds, hot meals, and lots of hugs. Every night, in bed, Yendor and I considered different ways of how we could spend our “gift.” The possibilities were endless.
So here is what we did, once we had returned to London.
- We ate everything we fancied – baked goodies, coffees, Dim-Sum lunch (mmmm yummy wonderful).
- We got great seats to the number one play in London. The Mousetrap had been running for years, was a comedy, and we loved it. Yendor consumed alcoholic drinks in the intermission.
- Of course we had to have dinner at a sit-down restaurant, and then took a Black Cab home (oh how extravagant was that!) to Orah’s.
- In the morning we left for Heathrow Airport. With the remaining cash – ever mindful of the consequences of not spending all within 24 hours – we bought ice cream and pistachio nuts before boarding our flight.
- Mission accomplished.
We returned home and I’m happy to report that our Doberman Pincher, Cookie, did not have a long fluffy tail, although she did whimper – but I like to think it was a whimper of joy.
Thank you Cortes friends. : )
A big thank you to the Verschuurs for keeping Cookie, without any compensation, for the whole seven months we were away.
ANOTHER Reason I love Cortes!
Comment by Heather Bruce / Bodington Road on 12th February 2017
Thanks for sharing this, Gloria.....It was such fun to hear of your adventures....You guys had to have had the most incredible amount of stamina and courage! It's terrific to read about the Golden Gullet Award....whatta HOOT! I often say that the main reasons I love Cortes, is because of the intelligent, creative, funny and kind hearted people. This shows those qualities yet again....
So much fun!
Comment by Ruth and Roland on 1st February 2017
This "golden gullet award' was so much fun to surprise Gloria and Yendor with!
As we remember, a few of us were having supper together and sharing one of Gloria's wonderful letters about their travels when this idea came up. We were all living on pretty low incomes at the time, but felt that we could easily add a few dollars to a 'This Might Be the Only Time You Get to Europe So Go For It!' fund.
Rose Wooldridge penned the letter, more friends threw money into the envelope and off it went.
Yendor and Gloria were perfectly creative in the way they put this windfall to use, thanks for this reminder, Gloria!