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Students at Blackburn College experience military Mess Dinner

Date posted: 10th June 2022
group of people in smart dress and black tie smiling to camera

Students from Blackburn College were able to experience a military mess dinner as part of their Public Services courses.

The formal dinner is a historic tradition amongst the military and students were given the opportunity to experience a realistic learning environment by practicing traditional details and formalities that are undertaken at a mess dinner.

A mess dinner gives military officers the opportunity to engage with their fellow staff in a professional and formal setting and students were able to socialise and engage with other students in addition to senior members of staff, with Blackburn College Principal and Chief Executive Dr Fazal Dad, Head of School – Customer Service Industries Gretel Redwood and Assistant Principal (Technical Centre) Damian Stewart all in attendance.

The dinner took place in Blackburn College’s Scholars Restaurant with students from Catering and Hospitality courses creating and serving food to the dinner guests.

Curriculum Leader for Public Services and Hospitality Mark Moren said: “A big thanks to everyone in both the Public Services and Hospitality teams for delivering the event. It was a great experience for the students who attended the dinner but also for those part of the catering team at Scholars.

I really enjoyed it, the social aspect of it was great and we got to speak to people we may not have met before

Owen Preston

“Most students wouldn’t have known about a mess dinner and the formalities involved so it was really good to introduce something new to them, that’s not part of the regular curriculum.”

Level 3 Public Services student Owen Preston, who is looking at joining the armed forces, says he now knows about the details and formalities of a mess dinner and will be better prepared for going into his chosen career. He said: “I really enjoyed it, the social aspect of it was great and we got to speak to people we may not have met before.

“We got to dress up formally and were given a seating plan and rules to follow beforehand. We’d never done anything like this before but I’d definitely like to do it again.”

Blackburn College Principal and Chief Executive Dr Fazal Dad said: “It was lovely to see students and staff members from the Public Services department for a traditional mess dinner.

“We want our students to experience and get an idea of what life could be like if they progressed into their chosen careers and by attending a mess dinner, students were able to experience life in the military.”

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