2018 Winter Reunion

Time for a review of the above and the task of doing this seems to have fallen to me, not that I have any particular talent in this area but no on else could be persuaded to take it on. So, here goes -----

On Saturday 24th. November 2018 a total of 93 O.C.’s, partners and friends came to the College and sat down in the Duckering Hall for our Annual Dinner – almost the most we’ve had in recent years – how about 100+ next year? I have to say, not being the most optimistic of people, that I thought we might struggle numberwise this year – not quite sure why so was extremely pleased that so many were able to make it.

 Our retiring President, Andrew Campbell, was able to be with us this year having missed his ‘Big Night’ in 2017 due to illness and it was great to see him pretty much back to full health and leading those present, who could remember the tune, in possibly not the most tuneful rendition (a rather apt description) of ‘In Collyers School’. From the College we were pleased to welcome Principal Sally Bromley and 2 student representatives, Arianne Puttock and Reuben Crawford Clarke. Unfortunately the Chairman of the Governors, Dr. David Skipp, was unable to make it due to a previous engagement but has the date for 2019 in his diary. We also were pleased to see our good friend from the Old Mercers’ Club (and its current President) Tony Williams and his wife Pat. We had also hoped to see the Master of the Guild of Mercers’ Scholars, Gerry Edwards but he was abroad – hopefully next year, although it will be a different incumbent by then.

Our almost resident caterer, Dave Hughes, produced his usual excellent meal which I think I can say was much enjoyed by all present. We’re very lucky to have Dave to cater for us especially allowing for the fact that the kitchens are about 80 yards distant along a number of passages from the Duckering Hall, making things a little tiring for his staff. Once the eating part was largely out of the way we had the usual speeches, among them Sally regaling us with a relevant poem entitled ‘Class Reunion’ and the Student representatives toasting the O.C.A.. Andrew handed over the role of President to John Weeds who’ll be the ‘boss’ for the next 12 months. John is rather younger than previous holders of the post (1974-81) and we look forward to his steering us into an interesting future. The writer and our Hon. Treasurer, Stewart Mackman, also persuaded those present to part with over 450 for raffle tickets – the most we’ve ever managed which goes to provide 2 prizes for the College, Creative writing (judged by O.C. Simon Nye) and Outstanding Extra-Curricular Achievement, so that was excellent.

The general merriment finished a little later than usual but there was still time for those who wished to retire to the bar in the old Memorial Hall, which was still going not long before midnight, and many thanks to Nicky and co. for staying this late and their excellent service.

That’s pretty much it but before I close I must say how good it was to see some new faces and hope you’ll be back in future years. I was particularly pleased to see O.C. Les Searle who brought along 4 of his grandchildren, 2 currently at the College and the other 2 who had moved on from the College into the world of further education.


Derek Sturt

(photos courtesy of Bob Smith)