The Old Aldenhamian Society
t. 01923 851612 e. oas@aldenham.com
Latest News
03 May 2019
The Punchbowl, Lapworth, was a splendid venue for the latest Aldenham Regional Lunch. Recommended by Karren Brady (B1985-87), this wonderful country pub and restaurant was perfect for our get together. The event attracted 35 guests, which just about filled the private space in the Garden Room and the fine spring weather enabled us to spill out into the courtyard after a very tasty and beautifully presented three course meal. Pictures taken at the event are available to view in the Event Galleries, you will need to log in to see them. Please contact the Development & OA Office if you do not have or have forgotten your unique access details.
17 April 2019
The Old Aldenhamian Golf Society put up strong opposition in the Halford Hewitt Cup tournament this year. To start with a good team defeated Dulwich in the 1st round albeit at the 20th hole. There was then a real fight against Haileybury in the 2nd round, with every match going all the way to the 18th hole. There was a fantastic spirit in the team and amongst the many supporters.

This year we were delighted to welcome back Joel Bloomfield (SH & L1987-92) and David Rawlinson (B1988-93) to join the team.

James Surridge (L1993-98) and Michael Deverell (B1997-2002) had a comfortable win but our 3rd and 4th pairs came up against some stern opposition and eventually succumbed to defeat. Our 5th pair, Will Kirby (L2006-11) and Dan Andrews (B2000-07) also had a tough match but built up a small lead which they held on to with some great golf, eventually being rewarded with a 5 & 4 win.

With the overall match at 2 games apiece, all eyes fell on Shon Williams (M1975-80) and Joel Bloomfield. They halved after 18 holes so had to carry on in a sudden death play-off.

Joel’s drive down the 19th was just a few yards right of the fairway and it nestled under the only bush that could be seen within 200 yards. Shon managed to get it back on the fairway and Joel then played a delightful shot to the green. It was straight at the pin but we had to watch agonizingly as it ran 30 feet past the flag. The opposition managed a par in 4 which meant Shon had to hole his putt just to halve the hole. By now a large crowd had gathered, mostly OAs, to watch Shon stroke it majestically towards the flag. Having allowed for a slight borrow to the right, it was just the right pace and it dropped obligingly into the hole. What a putt, a Captain’s putt if ever I saw one!

So on to the 20th hole, both drives down the middle. Still reeling from Shon’s heavy blow, Dulwich went long and left whilst Joel hit a superb iron on to the green pin high. They pitched up short and then 3-putted to give Aldenham the match.

It was a wonderful team effort and the many OA supporters there (about 20 on the day including the OA Society President, James James-Crook, M 1968-72) were treated to a memorable performance.

Friday dawned bright and breezy but cold. with the second round match against Haileybury in prospect. We had heard that they were somewhat dismissive of Aldenham’s chances of victory. Little did they know about the quality, not to mention the spirit, of the 2019 Aldenham team and their supporters.

It was a familiar story in that Surridge and Deverell recorded another win with pars at nearly every hole. Shon and Joel were again forced into a play-off but this time they made sure with a win at the 19th – on the course, not in the bar!

It must be admitted that Haileybury were a talented team with a Bonallack (son of the famous Michael Bonallack) and some players on +1 or +3 handicaps. It is perhaps not entirely surprising that we eventually had to concede defeat but it is fair to point out that all matches ended on the 18th or 19th. Indeed, in the 4th match, Adam Thrussell (B1992-97) played a beautiful chip to the 18th green and David Rawlinson was unlucky narrowly to miss the putt which would have sent them down the 19th to decide the match.

Never mind, each and every member of the team plus all the supporters contributed massively to the two matches. It was truly a team effort and they could not have done any better.

Well done everyone, it was a great day for Aldenham.

Ian Eggleden

OAGS, Hon Secretary

A full report can be downloaded below
02 April 2019
Aldenham and the OA Society were well represented at a Thanksgiving Service held at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey, for the life of Field Marshal the Lord Vincent of Coleshill GBE KCB DSO, known to friends as Dick Vincent (SHE 1945-50). Dick will long be remembered for his role as President of the OA Society from 1999 to 2003 and as Vice President thereafter and for the support he gave to Aldenham. He was a Governor from 1997 to 2010 and after this long service was honoured as Governor Emeritus.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were represented at this high profile service, by Marshal of the RAF, Lord Craig of Radley. Other members of the Royal Family were also represented by high ranking military officers. The ceremony celebrated the life of a family man of immense charm and modesty, who rose to be the most senior officer in the British Army and a member of the House of Lords. Dick’s daughter, the Honourable Mrs Amanda Matthews read ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling and one of his granddaughter’s, read ‘That Man is a Success’ by Robert Louis Stevenson. The tributes by General Sir Rupert Smith and Colonel the Honourable Mark Vincent MBE, Dick’s son, made reference to Dick’s time at Aldenham and his particular interest in supporting education.

Over 30 OAs were present to pay their respects on the day, along with the Headmaster and Chair of Governors, Trevor Barton (K1971-75), the Contingent Commander of the CCF and other current and former staff members. James James-Crook, President, OA Society, three Vice Presidents, Committee Members and several of Dick’s contemporaries at school joined the guests to give thanks for his life, his kindness and friendship.

A portrait of Lord Vincent hangs in the School Dining Hall as he is one of the most distinguished of all OAs and it will continue to be there to help inspire future generations.

Pictures taken on this very special occasion of thanksgiving are available to view in the Event Galleries on this website.
12 February 2019
Matt Wallace (L2003-08), is currently ranked 37th in the World as a professional golfer and on Friday 8 February 2019 he returned to Aldenham to share his skills and experiences with current scholars and other invited guests.

At school Matt was an outstanding sportsman, captaining the cricket 1st XI in 2008. He continued to play sport for the OAs, football, cricket and golf, when he left Aldenham and was part of the winning OAFC squad in 2016, when they secured the London Old Boys Challenge trophy. In the 2009 Halford Hewitt Matt and Jason Clemow (K1985-90) beat Chigwell 7 & 6. The following year they lost to Downside, 3 & 2, although the team managed to secure a win 3 & 2.

During his visit, after a quick catch up with the Headmaster and teachers, Matt returned to Leeman’s House for old time’s sake and then headed over to a specially prepared t-off area to hit a few balls. The rather inclement weather didn’t dampen the spirit of those who had gathered to watch and to hear Matt’s tips; from choice of club to weather watching. Members of the OA Golf Society, Robin Chaventre (M1949-52), Ian Wilson-Soppit (P1958-61) and Martin Jeens (SHE1956-61) were among the spectators who enjoyed watching the current sports scholars being put through their paces.

Over 40 people gathered in the dry and warm surroundings of The Wells Centre, for a question and answer session led by Director of Sport, Andy Stephenson (CR1999-Present). Andy, who remembers Matt as a young, extremely competitive teenager, teased out information about the route to success. Matt’s candid responses were humbling as he described the highs and lows of success and disappointment, told of his passion to win and the fire that drives him on. It was striking to hear how he values his Aldenham friendships and advised the current students to keep in touch and to help each other out when needed. He also emphasised the importance of preparation, practice and patience; keeping realistic expectations that reflect your current performance and working to achieve the best you can. He said this was the best advice he had received and believes that coming to understand and accept it was the turning point that had helped him to achieve what he has so far.

It was a delight to see Matt chatting easily to the students, staff and OAs alike and we will of course continue to watch his progress with enthusiasm and pride. His next big challenge is the US Masters in April 2019 and he has agreed to come back with ‘The Green Jacket’! We look forward to that.

Photos of this event will be available to view in the Event Galleries.
15 January 2019
A service of thanksgiving will be held in honour of Field Marshal The Lord Vincent of Coleshill GBE KCB DSO, Richard Frederick Vincent, on Thursday 28 March at St Margaret's Church, Westminster Abbey at 12.00 noon. To apply for tickets online please visit Eventbrite or write, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope to Mr M. Arnoldi, Room 28, 20 Dean's Yard, London SW1P 3PA. Tickets will be posted by March 19. The School and the OA Society expects to be well represented at the service of this notable OA. Dick Vincent (SHE1945-50) sadly passed away on 8 September 2018 after a long illness. He was one of the most distinguished OAs. After National Service, Dick became a full time soldier with the Royal Artillery initially serving with British Army of the Rhine. He then served with the Commonwealth Brigade in Malaysia during the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation. He commanded 12th Light Air Defence Regiment in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, for which he was awarded the DSO, and later commanded 19th Airportable Brigade. He went on to be Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff in the late 1980s and then Chief of the Defence Staff in the aftermath of the Gulf War. He subsequently became Chair of the Military Committee of NATO in the mid-1990s. He was ennobled in the 1996 Birthday Honours, being created a life peer and retired from the House of Lords in 2016. He was Chancellor of Cranfield University. For many years Dick Vincent was a Governor of the School and on his retirement from the Board was made an Emeritus Governor. He was also an inspirational Past President of the OA Society. His portrait hangs in the School Dining Hall.
21 December 2018
At this time of the year, we tend to reflect on events during the past twelve months and indeed this has been a busy year.

The OA Society Regional spring lunch held in the beautiful countryside of Stroud was well supported as indeed was OA Day in June hosted by Kennedy’s and Martineau’s with over 120 OAs and family attending. At Visitation Day a few weeks later, I met with those students on the cusp of leaving the secure routine and environment of Aldenham, full of apprehension, before venturing out into the larger world.

118 OAs and guests were at this year’s OA Dinner held at the School which meant the Dining Hall was full to capacity with ages ranging from 18 to 95. A splendid evening was kicked off by a drinks reception, followed by a live concert of music and song from current Aldenham students and OAs then a delicious three course Dinner. It was a great opportunity for OAs to catch up with friends old and new.

Last week I was pleased to be part of the Aldenham School Carol Service held in the ancient and majestic St Albans Abbey along with the whole school, parents, teaching staff and a number of OAs. The festive singing, music and readings were a memorable start to Christmas. A few days ago I attended the Presentation of A Level Certificates at the School, the first of its kind, which gave me a good opportunity to reconnect with some of those new OAs who had left Aldenham this summer and reassure them that being a member of the OA Society can be a lifelong journey.

There are now some 5,000 OAs spread over 150 countries and through the newly revamped website, this will help bring you all closer together.

It is evident that Aldenham can and does bring out the best in its students in helping them excel in their chosen talents and career path and indeed they are very fortunate to have those opportunities offered by the School to put them in good stead for the future. It makes me proud to be part of the Aldenham community.

I would like to take this opportunity of wishing you and your family best wishes for the Season, health and happiness for a prosperous 2019.

James C N James-Crook (M1968-72)

President, Old Aldenhamian Society
18 December 2018
The Class of 2018 returned to Aldenham on Monday 17 December to celebrate their A Level success with their parents, friends and teachers.

The evening began with a short, formal presentation, when the Headmaster spoke about each individual student, highlighting their distinct characters and the valuable contribution they had made to Aldenham during their schooldays. He presented them with their certificates, to rousing applaud and then former Head Girl 2017/18, Phoebe Altman, Paull’s & Ridings 2011-18, said a few words on behalf of her year group. She expressed surprise at how much they miss Aldenham, even the buildings! President of the OA Society, James James-Crook (McGill’s 1968-72) took to the floor to welcome new members of the unique organisation that they now belong to. He highlighted the benefits of networking with people who have the Aldenham connection and shared his own experience of time at the School, which inspired his choice of further education and eventually his successful and enjoyable career as a fine art consultant and auctioneer.

After the presentation drinks were served and there was a chance to mingle like old times, but without the pressure of getting back to class or preparing for exams. It was a very special occasion and set the scene for a new Aldenham tradition.

Happy Christmas everyone and all the best for 2019.

Pictures taken at this and other OA events throughout the year can be viewed in the Event Galleries.
19 November 2018
It was a full house this year for the Annual OA Dinner, with 118 guests taking their places for a very enjoyable evening.

The drinks reception and pre-dinner concert in The Wells Centre got the evening off to a great start, with students and OAs demonstrating a variety of musical talents. Many thanks and well done to the students -Joon Han (M2012-Present), Seul Han (P2013-Present) on violin and viola, James Gray (L2017-present) who played the electric organ, which was a gift to the School from John Apthorp (P1949-53) and Jemima Wax (P&R2015-Present) who accompanied herself on the piano to a song she composed. Congratulations also to Alice Erman (P2005-12) for her solo singing performances and the lovely duet with Vicki Garson (P2010-12). This popular aspect of the event is an excellent way to highlight the benefits an Aldenham education and may become a regular aspect of the event.

The Dining Hall looked resplendent in red and black, with poppy displays, prepared by Paul Spencer (aka Potts) (CR1985-Present), to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. This was not a sombre occasion though and as the guests took their places the air was filled with friendly chatter, until heads were bowed for the School Grace, expertly delivered by Robin Chaventre (M1949-52).

A delicious three course dinner was served and thoroughly enjoyed, judging by the empty plates. Afterwards the Headmaster, James Fowler welcomed OAs back to Aldenham and commented on the warm and friendly atmosphere of this annual get together back at the School. He was particularly delighted to see the wide mix of ages from 18 to 96, with everyone getting on so well and enjoying themselves. He then invited Geoff Furber (SHO1970-74) to address the gathering as the founder of Ripple Africa, a charity that Aldenham has developed a valuable partnership with over the last ten years.

Ripple Africa was also represented at the dinner by Liz Furber, Nikki Luxford and special guest, Force Ngwira. Force is the Country Director and a finalist in the Tusk Conservation Awards for 2018. Between them, Geoff and Force gave an insight into the work they are doing to protect the environment and improve lives in Malawi through the charity.

The President of the OA Society, James James-Crook (M1968-72), finalised the proceedings by thanking everyone involved in the organisation and success of this event and other OA activities throughout the year. He also expressed his appreciation to all those who have supported the valuable OA Mentoring programme and he encouraged others to share their life experiences through this scheme if they can. He emphasised that the recently updated OA Society website is an excellent way to keep in touch and to follow the latest news from the School and the OA Society.

The date for the Annual Dinner 2019 will be announced in the New Year and we can look forward to another grand affair.
18 October 2018
Geoffrey Prall (SHE1936-40) and Philip Osmond (P1938-43), were both present at the Consecration of the Aldenham School Chapel on 8 October 1938 and they were special guests at the 80th Anniversary celebration held on Monday 15 October 2018. Other guests included the Chair of Governors, Trevor Barton (K1971—75), President of the OA Society, James James-Crook (M1968-72), two former school Chaplains, The Revd Canon Andrew Stead (CR1994-2013) and The Revd Dan Bond (CR2007-11), Archdeacon Jonathan (Archdeacon for St Albans and an Aldenham school governor). The Rt Rvd Dr Alan Smith, the Lord Bishop of St Albans led and preached at this wonderful celebration.

The service started with a hearty rendition of Lord of the Years, after which The Bishop welcomed everyone to this special service. The Headmaster gave a brief history of the School Chapel, reminding everyone that this is the third School Chapel and is still at the centre of our school community. The Junior Choir gave a wonderful rendition of Sing of the Lord’s Goodness. Trevor Barton read the same Bible passage that was read at the original service, (Matt 22:34-40), about the Greatest Commandment.

One of the highlights of the service was when two of the youngest pupils, Head Boy and Head Girl of the Junior House, Martineau’s, led the OAs, Geoffrey Prall and Philip Osmond out of the Chapel. Seeing the time span of the Chapel represented in this way was particularly moving.

To see more pictures taken at this event go to the Event Galleries page.
08 October 2018
Sadly the death of David Male (P1942-46) at the age of 88 has been reported by his brother-in-law, James Evans (B1946-51). David who passed away on 4 October was an Aldenham Scholar, a keen sportsman representing the School in Cricket XI, Hockey, Fives and Tennis becoming Lawn Tennis Champion in 1947.

A significant supporter of the School, David was a Governor of Aldenham School and, during his tenure as President of the OA Society 1986-89, he officially opened the Sports Hall in 1988 and we shall be thinking of him at its 30th Anniversary on 12 October.

A Thanksgiving Service will be held at 12.00 noon on 28 November, at St. Michael’s Church, Inkpen, Berks. RG17 9DS.

A full obituary will appear in the OA Review 2019.

On behalf of the OA Society, our sincere condolences are conveyed to all his family.

James James-Crook

President, OA Society
24 September 2018
The latest issue of the OA Review is now ready for distribution. Please make sure that your postal address on the OA Society database is up to date if you want to receive a hard copy of this annual magazine for members.

If you are happy with an electronic version of the publication, this will save postage and enable funds to be used on other things. Please contact the Development and OA Office with your preference.

Happy reading and do get in touch with your news for the issue 47.
12 September 2018
Field Marshal The Lord Vincent of Coleshill GBE KCB DSO, Richard Frederick Vincent SHE1945-50, who sadly passed away on 8 September after a long illness was one of the most distinguished OAs.

After National Service, Richard Vincent became a full time soldier with the Royal Artillery initially serving with British Army of the Rhine. He then served with the Commonwealth Brigade in Malaysia during the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation. He commanded 12th Light Air Defence Regiment in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, for which he was awarded the DSO, and later commanded 19th Airportable Brigade. He went on to be Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff in the late 1980s and then Chief of the Defence Staff in the aftermath of the Gulf War. He subsequently became Chair of the Military Committee of NATO in the mid-1990s.

He was ennobled in the 1996 Birthday Honours, being created a life peer and retired from the House of Lords in 2016. He was Chancellor of Cranfield University. For many years Richard Vincent was a Governor of the School and on his retirement from the Board was made an Emeritus Governor. He was also an inspirational Past President of the OA Society. His portrait hangs in the School Dining Hall. Details of a Memorial Service will be available on the OA website in due course.

On behalf of the OA Society, our sincere condolences are conveyed to all his family.

James James-Crook

President, OA Society
20 August 2018
Thanks to Nick Holt’s efficient organisation, not to mention his local influence as a member of Aldeburgh Golf Club, 9 OA golfers met on a glorious sunny Tuesday at noon. After a light(ish) lunch, two foursomes matches set off to face the challenge of the linksy Aldeburgh course with its rather unfriendly gorse but with lovely views of the Alde river estuary.

We all met up in the evening at the Wentworth Hotel where we dined well and set about severely depleting their stock of Chablis before retiring to a comfortable B&B owned by another Aldeburgh member.

Wednesday morning was cooler with a fresh sea breeze – welcomed by some but not by those with a slice, controlled or otherwise – and two more foursome matches set off. To nobody’s astonishment, there were winners and losers (see below) but Paul Yule and Neil Melvill were the only players to win on both days so many congratulations to them.

We finished our Mini-Tour with a two-course lunch in the beautifully refurbished clubhouse. This gave us the strength to face the journey home to various parts of the country such as Worcestershire, Norfolk and London or around the M25 to Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. Everyone agreed that it had been a first class Tour.

Thanks to Nick and Hanc Aldenham!

Ian Eggleden

Hon Secretary

Here are the individual results.

Tuesday

PH Yule + CJ Thwaites beat I Wilson-Soppitt + PV Bailey

ND Melvill + RJ Buckley beat DWS Hayes + IR Eggleden

Wednesday

PH Yule + IR Eggleden beat I Wilson-Soppitt + RJ Buckley

ND Melvill + NO Holt beat DWS Hayes + CJ Thwaites
31 July 2018
Sadly we have been informed by his widow, Anne, that Nigel Edward Lambert FOXELL (B1945-49) passed away on 23 July 2018. After leaving Aldenham, Nigel went up to Exeter College, Oxford where he read English Language & Literature and was awarded the Laurence Binyon Prize in 1954. A noted poet and writer, Nigel was the author of five novels including Sardinia without Lawrence and One Father's Justice. The funeral will be held at 3pm on Monday 13th August at St Michael's Church, Amberley, West Sussex BN18 9NA. For catering purposes, should you decide to attend, please notify James James-Crook by 9th August email: jamesjamescrook@hotmail.co.uk
16 July 2018
It could have been us!

This was a year when we might have reached the Final of all 3 age categories but somehow the final putts just would not fall in the hole.

Roger Cooke (B1952-56) and Jeremy Irwin (SHO1954-58), as defending champions of the Bunny Millard Salver (for players over age 75), reached the Final again. They took the match against Downside to the 18th hole but just missed out on what would have been another famous victory.

In the Peter Burles Salver (for players over age 65) we reached the Semi Final of the Plate competition and narrowly lost to Felsted with both matches going to the 18th hole. In fact, all 6 matches went to the 18th apart from one which we won at the 16th hole.

In the Mellin Salver (for players over age 55) we won a memorable 1st Round match against Lancing with Steve Lewis (B1970-75) and Ian Wilson-Soppitt (P1958-61), our President, winning at the 21st hole. We had to face Haileybury in the 2nd Round and although the Yule brothers, John (SHE1966-71) and Paul (SHE1969-74), won their match (after winning in the 1st Round as well), we just couldn’t get the second point we needed.

It was a wonderful week and we did really well. My thanks to the players for all their sterling efforts in maintaining and enhancing the reputation of our great School.

Hanc Aldenham!

Ian Eggleden

Hon Secretary
18 June 2018
It was a glorious day and OAs turned out in force again for OA Day on Sunday 10 June ’18.

This year Kennedy’s hosted a reunion and we were also celebrating 25 years since the opening of the first Martineau’s House, which now shares the building with Kennedy’s.

There were over 100 guests at the event which included a full day of reflection and renewal of friendships for those who had lost touch with one another. New acquaintances were also formed over the welcoming refreshments in The Wells Centre, a drinks reception in Martineau’s (formerly Kennedy’s) and a delicious curry lunch in the Dining Hall.

The sun shone throughout the afternoon as people dispersed to watch the Fives Festival and the John Dewes cricket match. Tea was served in the Pavilion before the gradual departure after a great day, with promises to keep in touch and meet again.
27 April 2018
A total of 43 guests gathered at The Old Lodge, Minchinhampton, Nr Stroud, for a very enjoyable lunch on Wednesday 25 April 2018. The venue was recommended by Nick Hall (K1962-67) and it was perfect for the occasion. Set in the heart of Minchinhampton Common the restaurant had unrivalled views of the Cotswolds, overlooking the five valleys.

The party started at 12 noon with drinks on arrival, and an hour to meet together, for some it was for the first time in many years. A tasty three course lunch was accompanied by much laughter and interaction between friends, sharing memories and personal stories.

The Headmaster addressed the crowd and updated them on life at Aldenham today. He gave a clear picture of how the School continues to thrive and provide an environment that the current students obviously enjoy. The success stories he shared included an historical victory, by the Under 15 football team, of winning the Independent Schools Football Association Cup in March '18, the golf team playing in the Independent Schools Golf Association Matchplay final in April and a recent weekend when Sixth Form students cared for and entertained a group of severely disabled children, very ably and with great empathy. He highlighted the excellent outcome of the latest ISI Inspection, which took place in December '17 and also a report in the Good Schools Guide, which describes our current pupils as among the happiest they have met.

After lunch there was still more convivial chatter before most guests departed and some prepared for an overnight stay at the venue, with no doubt more reminiscing throughout the afternoon and over breakfast.
05 April 2018
Congratulations on a good effort to all OAs who took part in The Halford Hewitt this year.

Founded in 1924, this popular tournament is competed for today by the old boys of 64 English and Scottish public schools which each field five foursomes pairs, making 640 competitors in all. The sheer size of the "field" - plus the hundreds of supporters who routinely turn up - is part of what makes the "Hewitt" a unique sporting event. The tournament has a rich history, frequently pits average golfers against famous internationals, and produces moments of golfing pressure simply not experienced by amateur players elsewhere.

Many thanks to Ian Eggleden (SHE1958-63) for preparing a full report on the OAGS performance, which is posted below.
12 March 2018
Our rising golf star Matt Wallace (L2002-08) has won his second European Tour event, beating Beef Johnston in a playoff.

He nearly won at the 72nd hole when he hit a huge second shot over the water to the 18th green, but then sadly 3-putted so a playoff with Beef ensued. They played the 18th again and Beef laid up with his second shot so was 3 on the green. Matt then sent another big shot on to the green just 15 feet from the hole. Beef then went for his birdie but lipped the hole so ended with a par and left Matt with 2 shots for an epic win.

Fantastic, well done Matt.

Hanc Aldenham
30 November 2017
It was a great pleasure to welcome 85 guests back to Aldenham for the Old Aldenhamian Society Annual Dinner 2017.

This was a very special occasion, as Geoffrey Prall (SHE1936-40) turned 95 on the day. He celebrated by bringing a large cake, adorned with the Aldenham School crest, to share with everyone.

Before the meal there was musical entertainment to please every ear from the age of 17 to 95, no easy feat with all the different musical genres there are. The evening kicked off with drinks and electric guitars, followed by a bit of Beethoven. These pieces were brilliantly played by three current students who impressed the gathered audience with their skills and confidence. Alice Erman (P2005-12) then took the floor for a wonderful repertoire of show songs. She was joined by Vicki Garson (P2010-12), for a rendition of ‘For Good’ from Wicked, a most appropriate piece for a reunion of friends. The session ended with a couple of Christmas songs and a little audience participation. It was a great way to get everyone in the mood for fun.

The Dining Hall was decked out in McGill’s colours at the request of the new President, James James-Crook (M1968-72). The School Grace was said by John Edwards (B1946-51). The three course meal was excellent, judging by the clean plates and contented faces around the tables, when service was complete.

Guests were invited to wish Geoffrey Prall a very happy birthday and he was presented with a gift from the School by the youngest person present, Head Girl Phoebe Altman (P & R 2011-17).

The Headmaster was the Principle Guest Speaker and he focused on the changes in the School since Geoffrey Prall was born in 1922 and when he was at the Aldenham 80 years ago. He invited Geoffrey to speak about his experience, which was spellbinding; the boys had just one bath a week, wore grey woollen socks that needed to be darned regularly and Geoffrey didn’t see his father, who was in the RAF, for over 2 two years, after being dropped off at the School at the tender age of 13. The guests were in awe of this gentleman who told a story of being selected to play the part of Portia in The Merchant of Venice and then bumping into to the Master who had appointed him in that role, when he was in the Navy during the war, walking down a street in Sydney. He finished by commending the Headmaster and the Governors in all that they have done to bring the School to the place it is today and enjoying great success, he is obviously proud to be an OA.

The President took the microphone to address the gathered crowd, offering congratulations to the Aldenham Fives Club and in particular Andrew Rennie (M2006-13), for becoming Regional Champion recently. He is the first OA to have achieved this title. He welcomed members of the OA Golf Society who were out in force and the newly formed OA Choir, encouraging others to support their plans to sing at a variety of venues next year.

This was another very successful OA event and there is room for more to attend next year, so book early if you can!
OASocWhite
The Old Aldenhamian Society
t. 01923 851612
e. oas@aldenham.com
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