Formal dinner? It’s barbecue

Jose Gallardo

On the Harker Hall calendars, one day in may is always marked as “formal dinner.” Formal dinner is a dinner that all the Harker Hall students are required to dress in their uniforms and sit uncomfortably through some excruciatingly formal procedures before getting food, which is often disappointing. However, this formal dinner in May isn’t so formal. For six years now, an old boy of the school, Mr. Zul Suleman, has been donating beef steaks to the boarding house and the steaks are put to good use on this good day of May. With the amazing steaks this day in May has become a Harker Hall tradition for fun and student bondings.

On Wednesday of the barbecue, the staffs and the students pulled out tables and chairs and arranged them in rows, identical to the arrangements at previous formal dinners. The house had one grill and house parent Mr. Blackman borrowed another grill from the senior school to increase efficiency. Without much announcement, the dinner promptly started. Students patiently and orderly waited for their turns to the steak. Notably, boarding student Jordan Liu, also known as Zedion, performed his self-produced electronic remix at the barbecue.

Coincidentally, it was also the birthday of our head of admission, house parent, and former captain of boarding, Mr. Reto Camenzind. Fellow student leaders led a surprise “happy birthday” and presented a Diary Queen ice cream cake to Mr. Camenzind.


During the course of the event, Mr. Suleman who donated the steaks, recounted his experience at the school and the boarding house. Mr. Suleman told our editor that when he was here, the Harker Hall building was not yet in existence. he and the other boys lived on the higher floors of the junior school, with emergency stairs on the outer wall. “We would go out through the window, placing a can of pop under the window so it wasn’t locked and we could come back in after,” said Mr. Suleman, looking back to his playful and rebellious endeavours during his years at the school.


After the dinner, students and staffs engaged in various activities on the field including softball and frisbee. It was the largest social gathering since the beginning of the year, when the house went on the Anvil Island retreat.