Every now again, it’s nice to swap the sweatpants and regular party fare for a bit of decadence and luxury. And what better way to manage it, but set up your very own Masquerade ball. This year, the Women’s Guild in Oman ( WGO) and the Oman Cancer Association( OCA ) are all set to give you a fabulous Crystal Ball which has Masquerade as its theme. Not only will you have a fabulous evening on the 12th of December but you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that the money you spend on purchasing a ticket will be put to the best possible use, as all funds raised during this ball will be presented to the OCA.
Dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries, the Masquerade Ball began as part of Europe’s carnival season. Less high society and more cirque du célébration, villagers would gather in masks and costumes to take part in elaborate pageants and glamorous processions. Quickly spreading across France like wildfire, some of the most notorious balls of the day would be held to celebrate Royal Entries: the grand occasion of welcoming kings and queens into their cities. A standard item of masquerade dress was a “Vandyke”, improvised on the costumes worn in the portraits of Van Dyck: Gainsborough’s Blue Boy is the most familiar example, and a reminder of the later 18th-century popularity in England for portraits in fancy dress. Masquerade balls were extended into costumed public festivities in Italy during the 16th century Renaissance (Italian,maschera).
They were generally elaborate dances held for members of the upper classes, and were particularly popular in Venice. They have been associated with the tradition of the Venetian Carnival. With the fall of the Venetian Republic at the end of the 18th century, the use and tradition of masks gradually began to decline, until they disappeared altogether.
The Oman Cancer Association’s objective is to create public awareness for all types of cancers, through community based programmes. The concept of self examination and early detection is the key to early diagnosis and this is also the focus area of the OCA.The OCA works hand in hand with health care providers in the field of cancer management as a patient support group. The Association is also working with decision makers to highlight the patients perspective and supports continuous medical education and assists in research. Most importantly, it raises funds to support the associations programmes and work closely with other patient advocacy groups- locally as well as internationally.
The WGO’s mission is to “offer fellowship, an opportunity for women to meet each other, to enjoy a varied program of speakers and events, and to raise funds for charitable purposes”. At the first meeting, 13 women met at the home of Hilda Staal, including Eloise Bosch who still lives here in Muscat and is a WGO member to this day. The first bazaar and fundraiser, raised 700 OMR. Since then the organisation has flourished and the membership of 2013/14 reached almost 2,000 members with around 24,000 OMR donated to local charities. The WGO’s members and business partners, as well as other prominent organisations in Oman contribute hugely to the success of the WGO. It is through their on-going patronage that the WGO is able to consistently donate significant funds to various charities, and help those less fortunate than others.
The Crystal Ball is scheduled to be held on Friday 12th December. Since the theme this year will be a ‘Masquerade’ Ball, its time to start looking for the perfect masked accessory for the occasion. Ticket sales have commenced and all further details can be found on the WGO websitehttp://www.womensguildoman.com/.