By Ian Cheong
Oxford students joined in the festive atmosphere over the Diamond Jubilee weekend as several colleges organised commemorative events.
More than half of the 28 undergraduate colleges surveyed celebrated the Jubilee with events such as champagne parties, chapel services and Jubilee-themed formals. Front quads and dining halls of colleges were also awash with bunting,
Union Jack flags and Diamond Jubilee memorabilia, with Magdalen also projecting an “ER 1952-2012” image onto its tower.
Fergus Butler-Gaillie, a second year History and Czech student at St John’s, said: “I spent the Diamond Jubilee avidly watching the coverage, attending a street party in North Oxford, even a special Jubilee club night.”
Ten colleges organised special Jubilee parties, and once again Magdalen trumped, spending £2,200 on items such as cucumber sandwiches, Pimm’s, grilled beef and beer. The Teddy Hall JCR forked out £200 on champagne for Sunday brunch. A student from St Hilda’s, who came for brunch at Teddy Hall, said: “I’m not a member of this college but who can reject the off er of free champagne? Long live the Queen, and long may we have more of such opportunities to partake in midday drinking.”
Sean Tan, a first-year lawyer at Mansfield, said: “We had a tea party with scones, strawberries and cream – snacks which were quintessentially British and it was great fun.”
LMH, Merton, Jesus and Harris Manchester held special Jubilee-themed formals. Tom Rutland, JCR President of Jesus, said there was “a rousing chorus of the national anthem at the end”.
Christ Church held a special Diamond Jubilee Service for the Queen last Saturday at the Cathedral and the college will commemorate the occasion with a series of concerts. The concerts, which will be held between the 22nd and 24th June, will showcase musical icons such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
In a message on the college website’s event page, The Very Revd Christopher Lewis, Dean of Christ Church, said: “We have reason to celebrate 2012 and we hope you will join us. It is the Queen’s diamond jubilee year and Her Majesty is the Visitor of Christ Church in a personal capacity (our founder was her predecessor Henry VIII).”
Sidney Lim, a Mathematician at St Hugh’s, said: “My college didn’t do anything specifically to commemorate the occasion but well, life goes on in Oxford during Bank Holidays anyway. We still have lectures and some people even have Finals to sit for, so I don’t really think these events are taken so seriously over here. That said though, I think the festivities around the nation were more than enough for me!”
Of the 28 colleges surveyed, those that did not celebrate the Jubilee with a special event continued with the traditional events on their annual calendar. Corpus Christi’s traditional tortoise race and Balliol’s annual “June Jamboree” were also held over the Jubilee weekend.