Old friends gathered for a wonderfully impromptu mini-reunion in Phoenix, Arizona. Darice Tiffany, Carolyn McMahon, Jan Lincoln and Karen Fallon typically get together for a regularly scheduled monthly luncheon, however, last month, Delores Marshall came to town so Darice invited more friends from around the area to join in the fun.
From March 1–14, hundreds of retired Aramco expatriate employees, and adults whose childhoods were spent in Aramco communities, will be attending the 2023 KSA Expat Reunion being held in Dhahran in their honor. Here is a look at the 2023 KSA Reunion calendar of events.
Southampton is undeniably a great British city full of undiscovered heritage. It is the nation’s southern front door. Southampton has Saxon and Roman history. It first became an important port in 1066 when the Normans arrived, serving as the main connection to their lands in Normandy and the South of France.
Presented by Aramco Services Company, this 1970s industrial film shares the experiences of women married to Aramco employees to help inform new Aramco wives about what to expect upon moving from the United States to Saudi Arabia.
The contents of this Postscript are taken from two sources on Wikipedia (Rugby Union in the Arabian Peninsula; and Arabian Gulf Football Union) and the GRFU Handbook 1985 (GRFU Club Histories).
One of the lessons western expats learn quickly after arriving in Kingdom is just how bone-chilling cold it can get in the desert during the winter. Arabs, of course, know all about those cold desert nights and have devised a clever garment called a bisht, which is the perfect thing for warding off the plummeting temperatures and wind chill on those frosty nights around the camp fire.
I wrote a recollection after I left Saudi Arabia in 1980, and went on to Japan where I ended up playing second row for the Yokohama Country and Athletic Club (YCAC), a far cry from the wing position I played in Dhahran. Interestingly enough, Mike Galbraith, who wrote in Part 2, is the historian for YCAC. I have adapted my original ruminations for the purposes of this serialisation.
Some 24 years later, eight ex-Aramcons and one much-needed friend from Bahrain happened to be on the same piece of land! We made full advantage of the fact by arranging a fabulous afternoon tea at the 5-star Merchant Hotel in Belfast. Stories were shared, memories revisited and a general disbelief at how quickly time had passed (and how silver some of our hair had turned!)
All good things come to an end, and time was called in the late 1980s on the rugby-playing side of DRUFC. In 1985/6, we won our own 7’s Invitational, the Khobar 7’s, and the Plate in the Bahrain 15’s. However, the writing was on the wall, as Dean Culshaw (Deano) noted in his Chairman’s report for that season...
This past week, I have been feeling ever so nostalgic about one particular aspect of Dhahran—its Tandoori House-Olive Garden Restaurant. Housed under one roof, the unique fusion restaurant boasted a menu of Indian, Chinese, and Italian food. Oh, how I miss the food there!
The extract and photos below are taken from My Sporting Life published in 2021 by Mike Sullivan. He dedicated it to the memory of his granddaughter, Maisie Sullivan, 2006 – 2014. All proceeds from the book were donated to Acorn’s Children’s Hospice in Worcester.
The last two weeks before the year ended, I decided to revisit and read a book that I hold near and dear to my heart, a story whose theme resonates with my personal journey as well as the collective journey of Expats in the Middle East (and beyond).
Did you ever imagine it would be so invigorating to see your Aramco friends again? 2022 was chock full of good times. Aramcons gathered from all over to take part in reunions and special occasions, eager to reconnect with old friends and create new memories. Our coverage of the events was among our readers' favorites and reflecting back on the year's highlights shows us what an incredible year we had in 2022.
Every club has a constitution, officials, and supporters and Dharan Rugby Union Football Club was no exception. Its first constitution established the Club in 1973/74, but a new one was adopted in 1976/77 when DRUFC became an Aramco self-directed AEA Group. Strip worn by the players went through a similar process.
Can there be a better symbol of Saudi culture and hospitality than the ubiquitous Arabic coffee pot, the dallah? I don’t think so. Dallahs made of brass are tinned inside and found throughout the Arab world and in every souq in Saudi Arabia.
It is only when you travel a lot that you realise how small the world is, and when Martin moved to live and work on the Dhahran air base for British Aircraft Corporation (BAC, later to become BAE) in the English Language Wing, he did not at first think there was any likelihood of a sporting and social side to life in Saudi. That was until he caught sight of Bill Flynn (Part 4) driving to the base from Al-Khobar town. They had known each other in Uganda.
The ferry arrives at Dublin docks in the dark and rain. The ferry docks and we bump down the ramp onto Irish soil. It's lashing with rain and it's windy. We wonder why we left sunny Saudi for this.
With the northern hemisphere shivering in the wintry February weather, what could be more appealing than to travel eight thousand miles from Europe to shiver in an Antarctic summer? This is what we decided to do in February 2022.
I arrived in Saudi in the second half of 1973 and initially lived in a flat in Al-Khobar until our compound was ready nearby. I can’t remember how I first came into contact with the rugby but my wife, Joy, tells me that Bruce Drowley and family lived in the same block of flats.
After the two-hour delay in exiting the train, we leave Folkstone on the M20 motorway to London. As both we and the Discovery Land Rover need fuel, we pull into a motorway service area and grab a meal at a very busy ‘Little Chief’ motorway restaurant. The Discovery gets filled up with forty-eight liters of diesel at a cost of 32 pounds.