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  o Welcome and help an OD achieve international recognition. Read more   o O Come, all ye faithful. Read more
  o Lawyers having writ now write. Read more   o
The more things change, the more they stay the same. News from the ODU. Read more
  o Our annual pub lunch in Oxfordshire. Read more   o Bishops vincere and other news from School . Read more
Onwards and upwards, wherever in the world ODs are. Read more
Dear OD

The UK Branch is most certainly keeping its activity levels up during these (slightly less) restricted times. I have continued my fortunate streak of meeting ODs who have included Simon Arnold (F, 1951) and his lovely daughter, Clare, a glorious five days on Anthony Record's (S, 1956) wine farm Domaine Gayda (from where our Dinner wines will come thanks to his generosity) and his wife Carole, a mini-mini 1973 reunion marked by a braai at Stephen Hofmeyr's (Ogilvie) home together withal Allan Gasson (School) with wives Audrey and Rosemary respectively, a drink with Jordan van Tonder (W, 2015), lunch with Kosta Scholiadis (B, 2008) who we welcome from CT via some romantic Greek islands, Mike Taylor (G, 1959), Peter Robinson (S, 1068) and Niall Carroll (O, 1981), Mark Charnock (O, 1962) with whom I watched the third day of the second cricket test against India which included Joe Root's 180 not out which sowed the seeds of England's demise, Nick Heesom (W, 1961) and his wife Wendy, and Caelim Parkes (O, 1990).

While all this contact clearly suggests I am in need of a serious detox/nutritionist, it also underscores for me what the ODU is all about — the connecting of ODs who (I think) enjoy each other's company and to strengthen the mutually beneficial bonds formed at and by Bishops. The website and newsletters can help, but nothing replaces the enjoyment of face-to-face meetings — and there are many which go on among ODs without the intrusion of a branch secretary.

Other events which brings us together are, for example, the ODs v Old Haileyburians annual golf matches, the next being this Saturday, 4th September. For these we have to thank Alex Price (M, 2008) our golf captain and indefatigable selector and team psychologist. He is always looking for players so get hold of him at The game following the OD v OH match is our inaugural three-way against Hilton and Michaelhouse Old Boys which is on Saturday 18th September. Peter Elliott (W, 1967) speaks to us at a drinks reception on 6th October (see later) and in early December we have our first ever ODU Carol Service outside of Cape Town (see later).

All of these events and functions are a means to an end which is the bringing together of ODs to enjoy and, yes, support each other. ODs help ODs.

And it goes without mentioning that we have the now sold-out UK Annual Dinner coming up on Friday 10th September. There is a waiting list but there are always last-minute cancellations, so if you are keen to take your chances, click HERE.

It seems that every minute of every day, a musician is playing Bach’s music somewhere on our planet. Grant McLachlan (F, 1973) who lives in Cape Town was recently heard (24th August) on BBC's Radio 4's Seriously ... Planet Bach, explaining and describing his lifelong passion for JS Bach (I can attest to this; Grant was, with me, in the 1973 matric music class and practically spoke "Bach"). The programme is presented by Clemency Burton-Hill who at the start of last year suffered a brain haemorrage which affected her speech very badly but in the introduction to the programme, one can hear the progress she's made. Grant can be heard speaking for four minutes at 13:52.

Dr Paul Winter (F, 1971) now retired from medical research but very much into choral singing, wrote this short piece on how the professional choir of which he's a member kept up their spirits and pitch during the past eighteen months of Covid. This is an amusing bit of writing showing how the human spirit can overcome just about anything — and how the use of natural herbal remedies, smoked off-stage left can upset the natural rythm of a choir.

Finally, Mustapha Cassiem (W, 2020, right) who with his brother Dayaan (W, 2017) represented South Africa hockey at the recent Olympic Games, has been nominated by The International Hockey Federation (FIH) as one of the three nominees for "Rising Star of the Year"! This is an incredible achievement that no other South African Hockey Player has achieved before. Mustapha at only 19 years of age scored 3 x Olympic goals and inspired with his performances which saw SA beat top ranked teams like Germany!

Mustapha deserves it but won't win without your vote. Let's make SA hockey (and Bishops) history together! To vote for Mustapha, and do so at! Your have to submit your email address to the FIH (so they know it's a legitimate vote) and voting closes on 15th September.

As we move slowly through autumn towards winter, please do remain cautious. The Corona virus has not yet gone ... and we have a Carol Service to attend!

Kind regards

Nicky Bicket
On Tuesday 5th October from 6.30pm-9.00pm, Peter Elliott (W, 1965) a lawyer by training and profession will talk about how he ‘tripped’ into becoming a writer, focusing mostly on historical biographical themes. 
He will describe his writing process: “Subjects drive me; I plan one thing but am driven to another; how I research globally from the wilds of the Languedoc”. And then how he starts with an outline, and haphazardly folds in new parts of the story as he discovers them (he envies the novelist who can write from page 1 to 300 in linear fashion!).

Peter will also speak on how he turned himself into a publisher. His book, Thomas Muir is his fifth book, published under his own imprint, Cantaloup Press.

This is drinks reception is being held at the beautiful offices of Stonehage Fleming, thanks to the kindness of Hamish Sinclair (S, 1992) , and will be from 6.30pm-9.00pm. at a drinks reception in the beautiful offices of Stonehage Fleming
There is no cost to attend. RSVP HERE
Best Eaten Cold is set in World War Two in South Africa. Theresa is tracking German submarines off the southern coast. She becomes involved, through her lover, with a pro-Nazi organisation and her actions have consequences in the present day, when her niece Penny becomes a target. Although previously written about in these newsletters, HERE is an interesting interview with author  Martin Fletcher (F, 1965, also a lawyer)  about his new novel.
You and wives/partners are invited to the annual ODU Oxfordshire pub lunch which this year is on Saturday 16th October. The venue, as always, is the lovely Bell at Hampton Poyle (11 Oxford Rd, Hampton Poyle, Kidlington OX5 2QD).

This is a long, languid and, if you're not driving, liquid affair (with food) for all ODs and wives/partners — not just those living in Oxford. We get together from 12.15pm and sit down for lunch from the pub's illustrative 
a la carte menu at about 1pm. As is customary, we split the food bill equally between us, but the ODU pays for all the drinks. Dress is very casual.

To RSVP, please click HERE .

At least four more northern hemisphere ODs this month have scaled the corporate ladder and are making an impact in the world of commerce:

Ben Baigrie (O, 2010) has taken up a new role at Brand Finance, a global consultancy, headquarted in London and present in over 20 countries. It specialises in  brand valuation and strategy, helping companies and organisations of all types to connect their brands to the bottom line.

Justin Brukman (B,2002) is based in NY working in advertising and film.  Although he started a new job in October last year, I've only just pcked this up now. He has been appointed the Managing Director and Global Business Director for the creative editorial house Final Cut, along with VFX and post- production company Significant Others. I live between New York and Los Angeles and have been here for 11 years now.   I have been in the advertising and entertainment space since I left school. HERE's a great article describing his new role:
Thijs Kramer (O, 2009) wrote in to tell us about his latest developments, "It's been some time since we have been in touch and since then I see the UK based community has grown and grown - I've even had a few Bishops (and others) get in touch wanting to understand how to move to Amsterdam. Happy to help if any more reach out to you! 

I thought I'd also check in to let you know I'm loving life in Amsterdam as always, have just enjoyed a 6 week break to cycle across Europe, and am now returned to take on a new challenge joining a small purpose-driven team at Imagine. Imagine helps organisations create purpose-driven business models which add value but most importantly help tackle issues surrounding the climate crisis and global inequality. They also work to bring together collectives in the Food and Fashion industries to make commitments to drive real system change in how things are done. I'm really excited to (finally) be moving in the direction I'd like to (my full-time work being Purpose-First), and also to be settling my roots firmly in the Netherlands!

Nicky Greig (F, 2009) who has been with Citi since 2015, has been promoted to Associate, having been an analyst since 2018

To all these ODs, congratulations and all the best in your new roles.

If there any moves I've missed, please do let me know. We need to recognise your achievements publicly. 


Many of us will remember belting out traditional and stirring carols at the Bishops Carol Services. The traditional Nine Lessons and Carols was the staple served up at the final Chapel service of the year and who can forget O Come, all ye Faithful, with it's stirring descant concluding the service.

This year, on Wednesday 8th December at 6.30pm, we will be rekindling those memories with the traditional format and old favourite carols in the beautiful All Saints, Margaret Street (ASMS), a church with a magnificent organ which makes the Bishops one sound like a squash box!.

The service is for ODs and their families (including children) and we will be joined by the alumni of Herschel and St Cyp's.

After the service, which should end at around 7.45pm, there will be mulled wine and mince pies .

While conventionally the service is not a religious one, the nine readings are taken from bible and there are several prayers in between those and the carols. I am looking for three children who would be willing and able, with guidance, to write and deliver their own prayer during the service. If you would like your child to do this, please let me know on the form below.

We will be led by the (professional) choir of ASMS who will also sing choir-only carols, some of which are written by ODs.If you'd like to join the choir for the evening, indicate this on the form below.

There is no charge for attending but there will be a retiring collection which will be donated to the Invest in Our Future Fund

To indicate your interest in joining in, please complete this FORM

After a Covid-disrupted year, the ODU calendar seems to be regaining some sort of routine and predictability. This includes the delayed March 2021 AGM which now takes place on the 6th October and the Bishops Community Week which starts in the same week.

The AGM is the time for the election of new committee members. The current incumbents were due to have stood down in March this year (in terms of a resolution approved at an SGM in 2019, committee tenure was reduced from three years to one) but the portponement of the AGM meant that members would remain in office until October 6th. (They can of course stand again).

Complicating matters somewhat is that the new updated and modernised constitution proposed by a team of UK ODs to the constitution subcommittee (at the committee's request) in early June has not yet been approved for presentation to the wider membership of ODs for their comment. The idea was that this should have been done at an SGM before the October AGM when the final approval could be sought. Wilbur van Niekerk (K, 1985) ODU chairman explains, "The constitution drafting process [in Cape Town] has been slower than hoped, and the progress indicates that the draft will hopefully be circulated by end August for comment by members. The approach is to be guided by the maturity and readiness of the draft before announcing the SGM to adopt the constitution. We are mindful that 30 days’ notice is required for the announcing of an SGM. While it was envisaged that the SGM should precede the date of the AGM, this might not be the case".  So it seems likely that the election of new committee members in October will be under the existing constitution and tenure will be for be a year. 

But will it? The next AGM after the October 2021 is in March 2022 which means that it is possible that the committee elected in 10/21 may have to stand down (and possibly re-elected) in 3/22. Of course, if the new constitution is approved before then, then the new tenure will be ... well, no one knows. The UK drafting team suggested three years, but that still has to be accepted by the subcommittee in CT, then put the ODs for comment and then approved - if approved - at an SGM or AGM. I think negotiating Brexit was probably simpler. 

Further complicating matters is the fact that current commitee has decided to do away with the position of the OD Secretary which has been central to the ODU for the past 125 years, leaving the job to a "secretariat" (not defined). Wilbur again, "The ODC has taken the decision not to appoint an OD Secretary, and rather to operate with a secretariat which will be augmented. The reason for the decision is due to budgetary constraints and also due to a refocus regarding the role of the OD Secretary. The decision will be revisited and will remain on the ODC agenda". Which means that anyone now wishing to participate on the committee will not know for some time whether participation is of an executive or non-executive nature.

But serving on the committee is still a great opportunity to serve the ODU, and to involve yourself in the oversight of the strategy, represent the interests of the UK and other overseas branches and inject a more global perspective into the running of the ODU. To put yourself forward, please get in touch with Dedry Weich or, if you want more information, feel free to chat to me.

The scheduled UK breakfast to have been held at the end of last month to launch the Invest in our Future Fund (IIOFF) a new bursary fund set up to provide financial assistance to ODs going on to tertiary education was cancelled for reasons still not clear. We have been told that launch will now take place in the first or second quarter of 2022.

Simon Koch (S, 1977) and Matt Pearce (G, 1987) have resigned from the ODU committee.
The Bishops 1st XV produced a very satisfying performance in their annual derby against RBHS last Saturday, beating our old rivals 50-10, the biggest margin since 2006.

The UK Branch sent a note wishing Tony Reeler, Principal, and the team the best of luck, acknowledging the fact that Tony is an old RBHS boy. He brushed that off in his reply assuring us he was unequivocally "rooting for Bishops". It worked.

The picture is of the full team (home team plays in white, you will remember) under the full-time score. Well done boys!.

As usuaul, the best way to stay in touch with the activities and progress on campus is through the Principal's newsletters. Here is the one sent out on the 13th August and the next on the 27th August.

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