OA Annual Dinner 2016
22 November 2016
The Dining Hall took on a whole new look and feel for the OA Annual Dinner in November 2016. It was the last major event where Neil Sutherland (B1966-70) would preside as President of the OA Society and to mark his seven years at the helm, a Beevor’s colour scheme of red and black adorned the Hall which looked splendid.The pre-dinner talk and drinks reception in The Wells Centre was well attended and guests enjoyed a lively session with Clare Yeablsey (K1988-90) and Georgina Yeabsley (P2009-16) fielding questions and giving the audience a clear picture of how Aldennham has changed during the last three decades, especially with the development of girls’ education. Clare and Georgie both had quite different experiences and made it clear to everyone that Aldenham remains a special place. They both feel that the School provides a unique environment that encourages and supports all learning styles and abilities. Clare said this is why she has chosen to send her children to Aldenham Prep School and Georgie agreed that it was a good choice for her siblings when she compares it with her time at a different Prep School. The balance between academic and more practical subjects and sport was perfect for Georgina and Clare described the pastoral care that they received as great.Clare said: “I have stayed in touch with my Housemaster in fact he gave my husband, Mike, some good advice when he applied for the post as Housemaster of McGill’s. We love living on the site and appreciate how lucky we are every morning on our walk across Top Field to school.” The three course meal was a triumph, prepared and served by the school caterers, Holroyd Howe. After the Dinner Neil Sutherland introduced William James, the son of an eminent OA, The Rt. Revd Colin James (SHO1940-44). William unveiled a portrait of his father that will hang in the School. The picture is a copy of a portrait of the Bishop of Winchester, a post held by Colin James from 1985-95 and is a gift to the school from the OA Society.The Headmaster, James Fowler, concluded the evening with a convivial speech showing great delight in seeing such a good representation of OAs from the ten years he has been at Aldenham. He congratulated Neil Sutherland for encouraging their attendance and making sure that the event remains attractive to all ages. On presenting Neil and his wife Lin with gifts from the School he thanked them both for their enthusiastic and generous support.The whole evening was a great success and everyone is looking forward to the next time that they can come together formally to enjoy each other’s company – despite the range of years they all have one thing in common, an excellent Aldenham Education!