It was with some trepidation
that I agreed to take on the mantle of the presidency over
a year ago. As a contemporary of Messrs. Collins and
Weller - stalwarts of the OCA for many a long year - I
suppose I was bound to be collared at some point.
Attendance at the Committee meeting in February 2018 would
have been my first function before picking up the reins
officially later in the year - except that the Beast from
the East had other ideas and barred me from leaving Kent.
My fears were allayed however by the tremendous night I
and my wife Sarah enjoyed at the Annual Dinner back in
November. What an incredible turnout!
The highlight, amongst several, was the coming
together of over one tenth of the 1JH I joined in
September 1974 including illustrious Form Master John
Hamer himself. The joy of just catching up with Mark,
Chris Manville and Ian Wilson along with Nick (impostor
from 1PW!) was almost overtaken by the hysterical laughter
thinking back to the japes in our old form room mostly at
the expense of trainee teachers and involving in-class
experiments at rearranging the furniture - without the
teacher noticing. Perhaps you had to be there.... The more
we laughed though, the more the memories came flooding
back. Mark Collins' address on my behalf was truly moving
as was his recital of the Prayer of Richard Collyer - so
much so that I have asked for this to be printed elsewhere
in the Newsletter (see Page 4). I wonder what effect it
will have on you?
Coming back to Collyer's has
helped me realise why I went into teaching: Collyer's,
through the excellent teaching of Messrs. Hughes,
Tattersall and Tidey, fired me up for Classics, Classics
got me into Cambridge and after Classics at Cambridge
nothing was going to stop me from teaching it in some form
or another. Ever since, I have wanted to help people of
successive generations gain similar opportunities. Schools
and colleges like Collyer’s are best at doing this,
because they attract good minds and dedicated teachers.
Collyer’s certainly has those now, as it did back in the
70s. And for that I thank our alma mater from the heart.
It has been great to renew acquaintance with the
school after all these years. Sally Bromley and I as
fellow Heads are liaising very fruitfully over Sixth Form
curriculum matters and how best to preserve choice and
promote high achievement. From the OCA point of view, I
think it is excellent of the Principal to invest time in
showing us some of the new software available to help us
create a digital archive (see Page 8). Thank you Sally!
I am looking forward to seeing as many of you as
possible at the Summer Reunion at the Biggin Hill Heritage
Museum on June 30th. There is also the small matter of the
Annual Reunion and AGM in November - the date to save is