Welcome to the 2014 Newsletter. Most of you will receive this via our website or email. The privileged few will still receive this by “snail mail”. If you know of any ODs who have not received this letter and would like to, please forward a copy to them and ask that they contact us through the school or email so that we may keep in contact with them in future. Contact details can be found at the end of this newsletter.
This is now my fourth attempt at writing the annual newsletter. Hopefully this will not deter you from reading on. If you are reading this via the website, you will hopefully notice that the layout has changed. Furthermore, there is no longer a members area as we found that not only was this cumbersome to operate and administrate, but very few people used it – Facebook, email and even the telephone seem to be an easier medium of communication. However, we do want to assist all ODs to stay in contact with us and get in contact with one another. We have therefore created a system of information requests which involve a message being sent to our administrator, Lesley Foxwell. Therefore, the more information you give and the nicer you ask, the more likely Lesley will be to respond!
Last year I reported the events in calendar order going forward. This year, I shall do so in reverse.
OD Remembrance Sunday, was a more poignant day this year being the 100th anniversary. Many ODs have contributed so much in both wars, and continue to do so in current conflicts. It remains very important that we recognise the efforts and sacrifices made by many ODs and remember those who never returned.
Julia and Tony Robin had 25 alternative trick or treat ODs appear at their door for wine and nibbles before the annual Cranleigh dinner on 31 October. Chris Hare wondered why Nigel Nicholson was so well wrapped up considering it was the warmest Halloween on record. His journey to the Punch Bowl in Nigel’s open top Morgan left him wanting for layers, and appreciative of the wonderful pub supper we enjoy year on year. A trio of Lightbourns made the 4000 mile trip across the pond to renew acquaintances. Along with the regular banter, it was suggested that since girls have now been at Dover College for 40 years, we should make a point of encouraging them to come along – and of course they will add some glamour!
The end of summer term always leads to OD activities, from the AGM, cricket and Prize Day to name but a few. The weather was kind to us on Sunday 22 June. Two new sight screens (thank you OD Trust) complementing the sun and surroundings of the Maxton cricket ground made it a fabulous day. The Old Boys opened the batting amassing some 216 runs. Top scorer was an OD called Extras, just beating a fine knock of 44 from Simon Neequaye (School 1990-93). (Simon, if you are reading this, your OD man of the match award is 2 complimentary tickets to the London party on Friday 16 January 2015 – contact Chairman@olddovorians.com for details). The school replied well and very nearly hung on for a draw. A very good and patient 55 from Guy Cloake almost saved them, and had the rain drawn in, would have done. Thanks again to our umpires Rupert Hill and John Widgery, not just for their efforts on the day but also for the organisation leading up to the weekend. And not least, thank you Nick Lockhart for being pretty nifty on the iPad and keeping score.
Prior to the cricket, we started our OD Sunday with Chapel, followed by AGM, and a tour of the new look Leamington house, followed by lunch. Tony Bunting (School 1960-65) started off our AGM proceedings and then handed the Presidency over to Roger Hovell (School 1953-58) to complete our AGM in time for lunch. We welcomed Roger Kagan (St Martins 1957-62) and Ben Hadman (School 2004-11) to the Committee, and nominated a trio of new Honorary Vice Presidents – Penny Matthews, Nick Lockhart and John Widgery.
Leamington House has had a refurbishment with assistance from the OD Trust. The kitchen pictured right, was a dormitory during my day. Being an old Leamingtonian, I was given the honour of unveiling the plaque.
This year’s Prize Day had an additional OD contribution in the form of Michael Goodridge MBE (St Martins 1959-64), who sported his school black boater for the occasion and handed out prizes to the most deserving future ODs. Michael commented in his speech “Once you leave Dover College, the social skills you will have learnt will serve you well”.
Some would call it refreshing, others may describe it as the beauty of England, but the difference in weather and temperature in just a few months gave the hockey players plenty to run around for in order to keep warm. The March weather was bracing to say the least. This did not deter the players. The ODs put a strong side out winning 5-2 despite the pre-match warm up on Saturday evening. Goals came from Cameron Tait (2), James Whybrow, Joey Woods and Ames Bell. Special mention also goes to Ben Hadman for his choice of shirt – come along to next year’s hockey, he will probably still be wearing it!!
It is nearly a year ago that we saw 2 football teams make their way to Farthingloe. Does anyone remember the score? I do remember the Headmaster showing Joey Woods the yellow card. We are due to play again on Sunday 7 December 2014, for all those who wish to come along to play or spectate.
Through the kind offices of Budgie Sargent (Martins 1970-75) we are able to continue using the facilities of the RAF Club in Piccadilly for our annual drinks party. As ever we saw many faces old and new. We are hoping to see even more of you this year. We now invite all of you to next year’s party which will be on Friday 16 January 2015. We are expecting the new Headmaster, Gareth Doodes. to be there. It will be a good opportunity to meet him as he takes up his new post. Tickets are available on the website www.olddovorians.com. Please do book early so that we can have an idea on numbers for catering, or more importantly to ensure we have enough champagne organised for the evening!
Not least, a thank you to all those not mentioned who have taken part or assisted in the organisation of OD events this past year. And on behalf of our committee, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at a future OD event.