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7 months ago

Versa: Issue One

Versa is a biannual publication and will be published every autumn and spring term. Versa will replace the former magazine, OA Bulletin and will offer a comprehensive insight into the many facets of alumni life.

2 OA CLUB President Mike

2 OA CLUB President Mike Hodge 07774 161624 mike@mikehodge.co.uk Secretary David Buxton 01727 840499 davidbuxton36@gmail.com Treasurer David Hughes 07701 027881 hughespost@hotmail.co.uk Membership Secretary Roger Cook 01727 836877 rogercook@btinternet.co.uk OA SPORTS RUGBY www.oarugby.com President Paul Richardson 07918 633 031 paulrichardson@gmail.com Chairman Rusty Osman 07976 292737 rustio@hotmail.com Treasurer Rick Powdrell 07795 200125 rpowdrell@sky.com Secretary Peter Lipscomb 01727 760466 peter.lipscomb@oarugby.com Mini Chairman Mike Fisher mikefisher2001@hotmail.com Junior Chairman Ian Tomlins 07867 971585 juniorchairman.oarugby@yahoo.co.uk OA Saints Chairperson Kate Barnes 07841 706250 oasaints@gmail.com FOOTBALL President Nick Jackson oldalbaniansfc@gmail.com CRICKET www.oacc.org.uk President Tony Dalwood 07958 522261 adalwood@yahoo.com Chairman Richard Morgan 01727 843844 richard.morgan50@btinternet.com Treasurer Richard Ransley 07878 499432 richransley@gmail.com Secretary Alison Finley 01727 853985 ajfinley@ntlworld.com TENNIS Membership Enquiries Maureen Harcourt 07710 270361 m.harcourt@ntlworld.com RIFLE & PISTOL President Andrew Wilkie 01202 424190 Andrew.Wilkie@ymail.com ANGLING President Geoff Cannon 01727 861622 /01582 792512 cannon.morgan@btconnect.com GOLF President Peter Dredge 015827 834572 pjdredge42@aol.com OA LODGE Assistant Secretary John Williams 01438 715679 johntwilliams@talktalk.net SCHOOL www.st-albans.herts.sch.uk Development Director Kate Gray kgray@@st-albans.herts.sch.uk 01727 515177 Alumni Relations & Development Manager Chris Harbour charbour@st-albans.herts.sch.uk 01727 515185 Development & Archives Assistant Hannah Nelson hnelson@st-albans.herts.sch.uk 01727 515178 Campaign Assistant Sarah Osborne slosborne@st-albans.herts.sch.uk 01727 224540 Editorial Team Chris Harbour Alumni Relations & Development Manager Sarah Osborne Campaign Assistant OA CLUB AGM The Old Albanian Committee will meet for the 125th Annual General Meeting on the 6th December 2017 to be held at 20:00 in the ‘948’ room of the OA Pavilion, Woollams. All members are welcome to attend and new members to the committee are encouraged to join. SIGN UP to receive Versa magazine This first edition of Versa magazine (previously the OA Bulletin) has been sent to all Old Albanians. However, in order to continue receiving a postal copy of this publication, you will need to opt-in. We understand that the majority of OAs prefer the ease and convenience of reading about the School and its alumni online; therefore, we will only produce hard copies of Versa magazine for alumni who have requested to receive it. On page 23 you will read further information about how the School handles your data and the updates we are making to our communications and data policies, in light of the GDPR regulations which are due to be enforced. If you would like to continue to receive a copy of Versa by post, you can opt-in via the following methods: Sign up online: visit www.oaconnect.co.uk and follow the instructions on the homepage or Email us at development@st-albans.herts.sch.uk or Phone us on 01727 515184 or Complete and return the slip below: Name: ................................................................................................ Address: ............................................................................................ ............................................................................................................ Telephone:......................................................................................... Email:................................................................................................. I would like to receive a free copy of Versa by post, sent to the address above.

3 OA PRESIDENT’S NOTES Mike Hodge, OA President In the June 2017 edition of this publication, I closed my President’s Notes with “We have an interesting summer of politics ahead”. Maybe that was not one of the best things I have written and I will now avoid political comment! There has been much to applaud in the OA arena so let’s get on with some more positive stuff. Back in May, I had a splendid session with John Meulkens who, at 99, is our oldest OA – now living in Amsterdam. John was over here visiting and proved to be as sharp as the proverbial tack. He plays the piano every day and this keeps his fingers nimble and his brain sharp. He was at the School in the 1930s where, he reminded me, he was taught Maths by my grandfather, Frank “Pi” Walker. John still remembers his Maths lessons with affection. I remember my Maths lessons too – I am not sure “with affection”. You will see a write up of John’s visit on page 16. June was packed with OA and School events. Early in the month I met with seven of my School year in The Digby Tap in Sherborne – more of this on page 8. Then, there was a reunion lunch for the years of 1967 and 1974. I saw the name Niall Matthews (OA 1974) on the list and tracked him down. Niall’s father, John, had been instrumental in teaching me in my early days when I worked for Customs and Excise. It was wonderful to catch up with Niall, though sadly his father had died comparatively recently. You must read his thought provoking poem on page 9. On Sunday 18th June, we had the OA President’s Summer Lunch at Woollams. About 80 of us attended and a good time was had by all. Roger Cook and Geoff Cannon were made Honorary Life Vice Presidents of the OA Club for their fantastic efforts over the years. Nick and Andy Chappin were also presented with the OA President’s Cup for their work on the OA Bulletin over the last twenty years. June was the last edition they created, with the School now picking up the reins of production (see Headmaster’s Notes in the reverse of the magazine). As I have said before in previous editions, the Chappin brothers have, doublehandedly, masterminded the whole production of the OA Bulletin. The OAs cannot thank them enough. The weekend of 24th June was filled with my old School Hockey Players’ Golf meeting followed by an OA Legends XI cricket match against the OAs select XI. Both events were blessed with wonderful weather. The sun – as we all know – shines upon the righteous. I attended the School Graduation ceremony the following week where the School said ‘goodbye’ to 140 or so Upper Sixth leavers. Whilst the School might be saying goodbye, the OA Club is saying welcome to all these students. The best way to keep in touch is through the School’s Development Office. They issue a quarterly e-newsletter with updates and event reminders. In the words I delivered to the students, I cribbed from an article I had seen in the Daily Telegraph about the ‘Five Life Skills’ which are said to bring health, wealth and success throughout life. I should have read this in June 1965 when I walked, for the last time, out of the gates at Upper Yard. The skills are – Emotional Stability, Determination, Optimism, Control and Conscientiousness. I have to say that I don’t agree with all of this – I would certainly add ‘try to make people happy’. The future is what you make it. Try to keep smiling. The Head of School, Will Stewart, gave one of the best speeches I have ever heard delivered. Quite brilliant – he has a great future. Then into July and the annual Founders’ Day service, which was exceptional both in music and content. The Headmaster involved students from various years to take the congregation through the history of the School. It is so interesting as one would expect from a School founded in 948AD! Please do read the Headmaster’s Notes in the flipside of this magazine where he mentions the exceptional results from this year’s GCSEs and A levels. I will not comment further except to say that I compliment everyone at the School on these magnificent results. Elsewhere in the magazine, you will find reports on the various sports sections. Of special mention must be the OA Cricket where the 1st XI kept their place in their league for the next season, the 2nd XI were promoted and the 3rd XI were Champions and promoted. The newly formed OA Football side has now been accepted into the Arthurian League where I am sure they will work their way up through the leagues. Finally, I am just about to start working with the Development Office on putting together a ‘Diamond Geezers’ reunion for mid-September 2018. ‘My’ year started at the School on 18th September 1958 so 2018 will be our 60th anniversary. There will, undoubtedly, be more on this in later editions. Meanwhile, I wish all readers health, happiness and fitness. The OA Club is in very good heart and the School continues to flourish. All is good then.