August 8–10, 2003
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Pictures are available. Here are some by Bill Franklin, and here are some by Pongo.
What (I hear you ask) goes on at a Wodehouse convention?
Friday, August 8 through Sunday, August 10, 2003 were the official dates. However, those who had the sporting spirit and planned to participate in (or just watch) the TWSCC cricket match on Friday morning, arrived Thursday, August 7. There was an informal gathering Thursday night in the bar of the Windsor Arms for these early attendees. Seminars were offered on Friday for those not interested in cricket. A cocktail reception was held Friday evening to gather everyone together. Saturday was devoted to erudite talks that made us gasp in awe or roll about the aisles with laughter (and often both). Speakers included Mr. Tony Ring, Ms. Elin Woodger Murphy, Ms. Jan Kaufman, Major Tom Smith (U.S. Army, Ret.), Mr. Richard Scringer, Mr. Dennis Chitty and Mr. Curtis Armstrong. Saturday evening was the highlight of the convention when we gathered for a feast both gustatory and visual: attendees dressed as their favorite Wodehouse characters, draped themselves in the height of '20s or '30s fashion, or simply donned the old soup and fish. Sunday morning was brunch and time for reluctant farewells until the next convention — which, incidentally, will be in or near Hollywood, California in August 2005 and will celebrate Wodehouse's many adventures in that famous locale (referred to by him as "Dottyville-on-the-Pacific"). The Perfecto-Zizzbaum Motion Picture Corporation and Blandings Castle chapter will be our hosts.
The Toronto convention was attended by approximately 125 people. Most were members of The Wodehouse Society (US) or one of the international Wodehouse Societies. At each convention there are many new faces, so don't hesitate to attend one just because you won't know anyone. We are an uncommonly friendly bunch. Most attendees are adults, but well-behaved striplings with a keen interest in Wodehouse are made welcome.
The Detroit chapter of The Wodehouse Society, aka The Pickering Motor Company. Their goal in planning this convention was to make it just as wonderful as all the past ones, but more economical. Hence the location in Toronto, with its plentiful flights, access to college housing, and a wonderful public transportation system. The Pickerings also chose to hold the convention in the summer (rather than the usual October for Plum's birthday) to make it possible for those tied to an academic schedule to attend.
Registration was necessary to attend any of the convention events. The cost of registration was (US)$75 through April 15 and (US)$100 thereafter (including on-site registration). Other events which involved food had an additional charge and one could choose to attend any, all, or none of those, as one wished.