Annual Dinner 2018
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.