Horses pulling carriage on campusAmherstburg’s Back-N-Time horse-drawn carriage provided transportation to the door of Vanier Hall for holiday celebrants.

Holiday luncheon a ring-jingling time for faculty and staff

It had been a few years since Ritch Routley had attended the faculty staff holiday luncheon.

He wasn’t happy about the format change from a sitdown meal to a stand-up reception-style event—until he tried it.

“It turns out I like this better,” said Routley, senior coordinator of the UwinCARD office. “You get more of a chance to mingle and speak with your colleagues from right across campus. The format is more festive.”

It’s a common sentiment, said catering manager Dean Kissner.

“This is the third year we have run it this way, and we’re getting more people attending each year,” he said Tuesday as the event swung into gear in Vanier Hall. “Word is getting around that the event is fun and a great way to celebrate the holidays together.”

Tuesday’s luncheon was the first for Jacklyn Bezaire, one of nine staff representing Canterbury College. An intern working to promote ElderCollege programming, she said she particularly savoured the food.

“I got a mashed potato martini with a tomato, olive and mushroom sauce, topped with bacon bits and onion rings,” Bezaire said. “It’s awesome!”

Joe Lichaa, a technologist in the chemistry department, said he enjoyed a ride in the horse-drawn carriage shuttle provided by Catering Services. With strings of bells jingling on the reins, Lichaa said the experience felt like a certain carol come to life.

“The driver even cut across the lawn, so we were literally dashing through the snow!” he said.

With a theme of “Parade of the Nutcrackers,” Vanier Hall took on a festive look for the faculty and staff holiday luncheon.

A mashed potato bar, which allowed patrons to select their own gourmet toppings, was “a huge hit,” said catering manager Dean Kissner.

Research ethics coordinator Dana Dunn eyes a tableful of sweets.

Lily Powis and Marissa Hatt of the alumni and fund development office toast the new year.