College – Issue 40

HERITAGE The Heliopolis Menu

The Heliopolis Menu is perhaps the most

the mayonnaise, iii the ingredients in the salad, or what constituted the soup or the pudding. Cauliflower au gratin is likely to have consisted of cauliflower florets, butter, onion, cheese and seasoning. Kubeba (famous oriental dish) is perhaps the most exotic. Also known as kibbeh, it is one of a family of dishes of grain patties filled with fried or ground meat, onions, nuts, raisins, and spices and cooked in a yoghurt sauce. iv The importance of the menu was such that it was placed within a matt, given a black edging, and apparently framed. The frame has long gone. The Christ’s College black and white stripes can clearly be seen in the top left-hand corner and the flags at the base of the menu are the New Zealand Red Ensign and what appears to be the French Tricolour. The College motto in use at the time, Pro Ecclesia Dei (For the Church), is also evident. George Augustus King described the event the following day … “In the evening went over to Heliopolis with Overton and found that they had got a feed fixed up in a restaurant and about 70 Old Boys were there. “It was a rather curious mixture – there were three Majors, several Captains and Lieuts, and the rest all sorts Sergts, Corpls, Troopers, Privates, Gunners and Sappers. In fact everything MG Battery, Infantry and Ambulance. “Everyone was very pleased to see everyone else – lots I hadn’t seen since leaving school and some I hadn’t seen before.

Why were these Old Boys in Heliopolis? The New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) was at Zeitoun, in the desert, five miles (8km) from Cairo, training and waiting for despatch to France. ii What were they eating? The menu is not very specific unfortunately. There is no indication of the fish in

sobering document in the Christ’s College Archives.

Dated January 16, 1915, it records the gathering of Christ’s College Old Boys in a restaurant in Heliopolis, just outside Cairo. i

Figure 1: Obverse of the Heliopolis Menu

Christ’s College Canterbury


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