Dear Old Dovorian
Welcome to the 2015 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.
ODs finished 2014 with two games of football against the college – one game being taken more seriously than the other. OD 1st XI won 7-3 while the 2nd XI drew 3-3. Will the scorers please email me? The first scorer from each team will get 2 complimentary tickets to the London party at the RAF Club on Friday 15 January 2016.
Before the football match began, the students in School House were coerced out of bed for a ceremonial opening of the plaque in School House. John Sinclair (School 1962-67), Governor, OD Trustee, OD committee member, obliged by unveiling the plaque for the School House refurbishment to which the OD Trust had contributed.
As we start 2015, Gareth Doodes, our new Headmaster, did not waste any time on his arrival at Dover College in January this year. He had barely stepped foot on the Close before catching a train to London in order to meet me and make contact with Old Dovorians. For those ODs who have now had the opportunity to meet Gareth, it has become clear that he is a man of action and does not waste time. More about this later.
Through the kind offices of Budgie Sargent (Martins 1970-75) we were able to continue using the facilities of the RAF Club in Piccadilly for our annual January drinks party. As ever we saw many faces old and new, who all had the opportunity to meet the Headmaster, Gareth Doodes and his wife Jess, for the first time. You will have found plenty of photographs of the party on the OD Club Facebook page (those taken at the start of the evening predictably more respectable than at the end).
In my 5 years as Chairman, Rupert Hill and John Widgery (Martins 1952-57) have never managed to organise sunshine for the annual hockey match in March. We see a fleeting glimpse of sun out-done by wind and rain. This year the visibility was so bad, that our umpires failed to spot that there were actually 12 Dover College students on the pitch at the same time! Nevertheless, the ODs secured a win 5-3 despite fading badly in the second half – probably too much match preparation the night before!
On the same day, we were very pleased to field an OD Girls netball team. This turned out to be something of a family reunion with 3 Howkins sisters on the pitch – 2 ODs (Emily and Charlotte) and one still a student. The school team were too strong for the OD girls, winning both games convincingly. This did not prevent anyone having a good time, and we shall be studying the OD team selection in more detail this year.
Owing to previous commitments, the DC prefects had been unable to attend this year’s RAF Club party, so we made up for that by inviting them to London in May. We put them into two fast RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) and took them along with some ODs and teachers for a blast down the Thames to Canary Wharf and back. Thereafter we got them changed into evening-wear for a convivial reception, with many more ODs, at the Baltic Exchange. As the evening came to a close, the sensible people among us went home. So who had the bright idea of one quick drink at the top of Tower 42? We are considering a similar event in May 2016 (not the quick drink at the top of Tower 42). It will be an early evening event and should finish by 10:00pm. Please email me your details if you would like to attend. There will be a few spaces in the RIB ride around 3:00pm in the afternoon, so if you feel brave enough to take that on too, please let me know by email.
No newsletter would be complete without reference to our AGM. The OD Sunday is my busiest day of the year. Starting with Chapel, AGM, lunch, cricket and prizes. And in between I get to hear about what various people have been getting up to. Roger Hovell (School 1953-58) took the helm at our AGM reminding us of the great achievements of ODs going back to both world wars. I am very grateful to Roger for the commitment he continues to show to the Club. At the same time I acknowledge the loyalty of the current committee for putting themselves forward for re-election and Roger Kagan (Martins 1957-62) in agreeing to cover the position of treasurer until we can find a new volunteer. Do I see any volunteers? We do still need more committee members. We also welcomed Elizabeth Tresidder (Martins 1998 – 2003) to the committee, who has the enviable position of being the only lady amongst us gentlemen. It was at this AGM where we heard from Gareth, that he plans to bring back rugby to the school, and was looking at sailing once more. This was met with positive cheers from those ODs present. Gareth has reassured us that our school is in safe hands.
It was the last weekend in June, the sun was shining and Maxton still looked a picture postcard. Having got the AGM sorted, we looked forward to a relaxing afternoon watching cricket from a deckchair in the sun. It seemed our OD cricketers thought the same as me! Tom Carr (Leamington 1994-2000) opened with a swift 68 from 57 balls and James Whybrow (School 2005-12) added a very quick 23 from 13 balls at the end to complete a score of 210-7. However, the Dover College 1st XI had clearly gained some good batting practise from the bowling machine purchased by the OD Trust. They continued this practise with a score of 213-1. Guy Cloake amassing an unbeaten 116 (doubling his score of last year) and Sanrat Rai a credible 68. Clearly these two batsmen will be high on our selection list after they leave Dover College! Tom Carr (Leamington 1994-2000) wins the OD man of the match award. Please contact me for your complimentary tickets to the London RAF party in January 2016. Our thanks as ever go to Rupert Hill, John Widgery and Nick Lockhart for umpiring and scoring respectively. Nick Lockhart now has a very nifty iPad app that scores and sends me very accurate information for the purposes of the newsletter – you did not believe I remembered to write any of this down at the time!
In October this year, the OD emails were hot and viral with the exciting news of baby Persephone being born to Gareth and Jess Doodes. You will remember my comment earlier that Gareth was not one for wasting time!
Gareth then joined many of us at this year’s Cranleigh dinner. He introduced us all to the new Deputy Head, Simon Kibler, who has a history of playing cricket for Derbyshire on his CV. It seems next year’s OD cricket team will need careful selection! And having made reference last year to the fact that OD girls are welcome to the Cranleigh dinner, Karen Rogers (Belmont 1976-81 and Governor) came along to ensure the ODs did not lead the new Headmaster and Deputy Headmaster astray. Our thanks again to Julia and Tony Robin for organising and entertaining us all before dinner. Sadly, we lost Jean Tuckwell at the age of 102, just before Cranleigh. There was therefore much talk of events relating to both Jean and Nigel. We saw many more ODs at the funeral the following Monday. Andrew Tuckwell, Jean and Nigel’s youngest son, gave a very moving and interesting account of his mother’s life, much of it at Dover College. The family have asked that I thank ALL ODs who attended the funeral, or sent messages of condolence. There is more complete information about this on our website.
We now invite all of you to next year’s party which will be on Friday 15 January 2016. Tickets are available here. 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.