By Doug Gray, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – Friday June 11th sees a typically English occasion in the city as the British and Commonwealth Society present the return of a long-standing favorite, Rio Quiz Night (RQN). Started back in the mid-1980s, the occasion has always drawn a strong competitive edge from the expatriate community, and its return for a World Cup special on the day of the first game of the tournament will be no different.
Two of the organizers, Adam Reid and Michael Merrick, (the others being Keith Rowland, Steve Rimmer, Alan and Lynda Smith, with assistance from Peter Napthine and Colin Foulkes) have stressed that the questions will not be based on football but there will be a World Cup feel to the evening. “Wear your football top. We want to get photos of as many different shirts as we can,” they said.
The format this year sees the question categories split between Science & Nature, Art, Film & Literature, History & Geography, Music and Sports & Games. At stake is not only the New Chris Wallace Trophy, but a host of prizes from sponsors including BG Group, The Lord Jim, Weatherford and Weatherford Labs.
Back in 1984, Rio Quiz Night was part of a series of fundraisers held by Rio Cricket, another, sadly now defunct, society dedicated to that most English of sports. One of the main organizers of this year’s event, Adam Reid, arrived in Rio two years later, and as Rio Soccer grew and Rio Cricket faded, so he began to assume responsibility for the annual event. Its success eventually became such that the revenue generated was greater than Rio Soccer could use, and so charitable donations became an integral part of RQN’s raison d’etre.
“There was a surplus of money and charity was the obvious option for it,” says Adam. “With the demise of Rio Soccer, RQN became an entity in its own right and so all proceeds could go to charity. How that charity was decided upon was down to the winners of RQN – an added kick to winning the Chris Wallace Trophy.”
These selected charities over the years have ranged from orphanages to a chess club in Cidade de Deus. This year’s World Cup Edition is a little bit different with the beneficiaries already chosen – the Rio Celtic Supporters Club Boys Teams.
The name Chris Wallace that adorns the winner’s trophy is in honor of an expatriate who grew up in Argentina but came to Rio frequently in the 1970s and 1980s before moving permanently in 1984. Once here, Chris was soon deeply involved in the British community, and as Adam Reid recalls; “He was a huge fan of Rio Quiz Night, with his team winning twice over the years, but more than that he would talk for hours about the events and argue over the answers. Sadly he died in 2000, but his name lives on and this year, after the old trophy deteriorated beyond repair, we will be unveiling its replacement – The New Chris Wallace Trophy.”
Rio Quiz Night is non-profit, and while there is no entry charge per se, donations are firmly encouraged and will go to the charities represented. There is a maximum of six members per team, and one can register by emailing email@example.com or calling him at (021) 2507-5219, or firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone (021) 2508-6917.
Rio Quiz Night (Botafogo)
Friday June 11th, 2010.
7PM for 7:30PM Start
Jubillee Hall, Rua Real Grandeza, 99. Botafogo.