President’s Blog #77
Firstly a visit to the Clubhouse to host the Vice Presidents’ Lunch, a most convivial event although only enjoyed by some 20% of the possible attendance, which only came to an end when one certain VP requested to leave so that he could cast his important vote in “that other place”.
Then back to WSC for the OWRFC Past Players Lunch and a chance to check out the revamped roof spectator area whilst supporting the first XV in their local league match unfortunately abandoned due to a serious player injury, a situation handled very professionally by the WSC staff all the while running a full, busy clubhouse and organizing a birthday letting.
11:11:11 one of the highlights of my year, attending the Remembrance Service at the School with the honour of laying the OW wreath at the listed stone cross memorial in memory of those Whitgiftians who did not return home and later a much simpler ceremony of laying a Whitgift remembrance wooden cross at the Sportsmens’ Copse memorial at Croham Road and observing the Two Minute Silence 100 years on from the first official occasion.
Then into the School PAC for the Careers Convention and to support the 30 OW advisers giving their time and expertise to the boys followed by a trip to London for the AROPS AGM and dinner with a re-branding to its new name of The Schools’ Alumni Association.
Into Croydon Minster and back to Big School for the funeral service of a senior OW, Court and School Chair Governor with the boys fully supporting the proceedings.
Then into the School Founder’s Room for drinks and a resume of School rugby and other sports before enjoying a fine Sportsman’s Lunch in the Old Library and then supporting the School first XV playing Millfield down on South Lower in a close fought but ultimately unsuccessful excellent game of schoolboy rugby.
Back into the School Old Library for the AGM of the WSPA and an admin meeting with the HM concerning OWTL and the WMF grant scheme.
Then up to Chipstead for the thanksgiving service of a rugby propping OW and to discover yet again the intertwining of Whitgift connections amongst families and into the Raeburn Library for the Friends winter get-together then up to the Ritz for afternoon tea and listen to the School Choristers singing a delightful selection of Christmas Carols.
Back into the tiered seating of Big School for the most amazing production of ‘Hairspray’ and enjoy the spirited performances of the energetic cast of pupils followed by more music this time in St George’s Church, Mayfair from the School Chamber Choir and Orchestra.
Into the clubhouse Marlar Room for the WA AGM with a very good attendance and a full, frank, open discussion on the current and future position of the WA with the School and WSC and another year in the Chair with a new look Main Committee.
To the Croydon Minster for the School Carol Concert and an enjoyable sing-along to the carols with the congregation and up to the City for a Christmas Lunch with the HOBO group of retired OWRFC players before calling into the farewell party of a popular, well respected member of the School Staff and to wish her ‘bon voyage’ in her new endeavours.
Unfortunately, up to Sanderstead for yet another Memorial Service of a senior OW who in his quiet way greatly helped with the organisation of WA events and lastly watching Whitgift boys singing live on BBC TV at the Croydon Minster Christmas Eve midnight service.
Richard Blundell OW (1956-63)