Ball strictly for the old folks at home

TO hear The Honourable Eleanor Shepherd speak about the event, one is left in no doubt that it is probably going to be the most lively thing to happen at the staid Hongkong Club since that time ages ago when a member, in a somewhat tired and emotional state, mistook the splendid wrought-iron fireplace for an old-fashioned urinal.

The Hon Eleanor (her father-in-law is former British cabinet minister Lord Shepherd) is waxing lyrical about the Strictly Ballroom evening she is arranging at the club.

''It will be the kind of exciting evening which will make club members do a paso doble, '' she exuded.

''This will be a chance to polish the planks in style, while helping those who aren't quite so lucky.

''So brush down the tuxedo - or tails if you have them - and pull out the little number with 40 yards of hand-sequinned tulle, slip into the patent pumps and waltz down to the Hongkong Club on June 4.'' It's the kind of language which will have members spluttering into their gin and tonics at sundown, but Eleanor is not dismayed.

''The proceeds from the night will go to the China Coast Community - that marvellous old folks' home for non-Chinese-speaking people at Kowloon Tong,'' she said.

Eleanor has been on the executive committee of the China Coast Community for two years.

''My big problem when organising something like this is that people get us confused with the grand China Coast balls organised by Ted Marr,'' Eleanor said.

''When I contacted a hotel company to ask them to donate a few nights' accommodation in Bali as a raffle prize, they inquired: 'But aren't you people supposed to be going to Leningrad?' '' Here at Keeping Posted, we believe the least lawyer Ted Marr can do, is pass the hat around at his hedonistic affairs in Leningrad and Moscow and raise some dough for the China Coast Community. How about it, Ted?