Lazy Luddite Log


FOME Turns Thirty

On Saturday I attended the Thirieth Anniversary Dinner Dance of the Fellowship of Middle Earth. FOME is the fantasy and science fiction society of Monash University. It was started in 1977 by fans (in particular) of the works of J R R Tolkien and C S Lewis. Since then it has evolved into a group of fans of both fantasy and science fiction genres across all media.

My first encounter with FOME was in my youth (lower secondary) during a family visit to Monash Uni Open Day. We visited the stall of FOME and I was impressed by the group of young adults all wearing cloaks and the maps of Middle Earth on the walls. Then on becomming a uni student I got involved in a number of groups but was most active in FOME.

As Thain (FOMEish for President) in 1992-93 I organised the Fifteenth Anniversary Dinner (at the one-time Hobbit Hill restaurant) so I felt it was important for me to attend this one as it has been such a part of my own life.

So I have now attendend two thirtieth anniversary events in recent months. The FOME event was fun. The comunity hall was the right size for us and gave us room for both dining and dancing. I had the honour of preparing the playlists for the night (always a fun task for me) but as we danced I was reminded of other FOME events (e.g. masquerade balls) and of the absent friends who once cut a rug at those events. The dinner dance was well attended both in terms of numbers and of the many generations of FOME represented and yet there were others that I missed.

The current Council added a few new innovations to the event such as a door prize of some excellent Lord Of The Rings action-figures and the provision of crayons so that we could draw stuff on the paper table cloths if ever we were in a non-chatting non-dancing mood (something worth remembering for a group that attracts more than its share of introverts). There were also many well-worn traditions such as the mathom exchange and the singing of Happy Birthday (Volga Boatman version).

It was also fun because my date Sara instructed me in some Salsa dance moves (I had anticipated this and thrown in some vaguely Latin popular tracks). I am a far from competent student and yet she made me kinda look like I knew what to do.

I am happy I went and more than happy to have been part of FOME all this time. The friends and experiences I have got as a 'fellow' have very much enriched my life.

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  • Ah, good times, cleaning up puke in restaurant toilets... or did you miss out on that style of fun this time?

    Yours, David "Lord" J Richardson, Thing 1993

    (Maybe other missing people also didn't get an invite...)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 23 October, 2007  

  • Hey - as I always like to say - the guest who puked at that event was a non-FOME hanger-on (and possibly possessed given the distribution of puke in the bathroom).

    This event was much less drunken but possibly a bit more debauched (on the dance floor at any rate).

    As to missing invitations - they made some efforts to cast the net far and wide but the connections between the generations are rather more flimsy now than they were one and a half decades ago.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 04 November, 2007  

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