No small feat: 1500 sparkling nights....and one cracked chair

By Roslyn Takeishi on December 27, 2010

Intellectual Salons have been a social reality from the 16th century onwards, starting as an Italian invention, then flourishing in France throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. They are the place for the exchange of ideas. David and Diana Nicholson have been hosting their Salon for over 28 years in their Westmount home. On December 1, 2010, we celebrate 1500 Consecutive Wednesday Nights, a seriously committed undertaking.

WedNit12_small.jpgOver the years, a group of us have hosted Wednesday Night in their home, even during their absence.  While they were on the other side of the world at their son's wedding, a group of us took turns hosting Wednesday Night in their home, one evening being 1066, a funky memorable evening, during which we donned period outfits.

Then, of course, was the not to be forgotten evening when I brought the Rt Hon. Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec, as my guest. A fun, entertaining evening, with a full house, standing room only, which didn't exactly please his bodyguard! At one point, deep in contemplation, Jean leaned back on his chair, we heard a loud CRACK! And then watched both Jean and the chair tumble to the floor, the chair in pieces. After it's repair, the chair became lovingly known as 'Jean's chair" !

The most extraordinary part about this particular Salon, is that over the years we have received Heads of government, senior politicians, writers, economists, philosophers, lawyers, scientists, doctors,students...the whole gamut of the society of ideas.

Diana and David have somehow succeeded in coming up with a varied list of guests and subjects every week for over 28 years. To hold this Salon for 1500 consecutive Wednesday Nights is no small undertaking.

Friendships have been forged which have endured. It is certainly never boring.

All love and best wishes to this extraordinarily generous couple on the celebration of this amazing milestone.


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