Dear ODs
On April 24th, Guy Pearson and Mike Bosman, Principal and Chairman of Council respectively together with Andrew Selby, Simon Peile and Raymond Ackerman will be launching the Bishops 175 Appeal in London.

The ODU wholeheartedly supports this important campaign which is critical to the future of Bishops if it is to retain its standing as one of the top schools in South Africa. Unless you were a member of the class of 1849, then every one of us would have been beneficiaries of the generosity of previous generations of ODs who helped pay for the many buildings and fields which make up the School. The School has always relied on and enjoyed the financial support of its ODs. The ODU views this campaign as "paying forward" so that as ODs we can help ensure the education of generations of Bishops boys just as countless ODs did for us.

As Canon Birt, Principal of Bishops from 1919-1943 wrote, "
The Old Boys had a faith in (Bishops) which was quite unshakeable. They had in it a kind of reverence which was almost awe-inspiring ...The majority were quite willing to overlook its faults, because they loved it. Many pledged a part of their earnings to forward the schemes of development. They believed in Bishops in the past and no temporary setback … was going to destroy their faith in its future. They were willing to work for it and to back it in any way they could.
This kind of loyalty and self-sacrifice among the Old Boys was something quite new to me. Its quality and intensity were beyond anything I had seen in any other school". 

Bishops is an expensive school. But it's not a rich school. The facilities which have served so many for more than 165 years are tired and some no longer fit-for-purpose. The School's capital and endowment funds which should be supporting the development, improvement – and in some cases replacement – of these facilities are sadly depleted and need serious replenishment. Bishops needs to be able to offer many more bursaries to deserving boys. But it can't with resources it currently has.

That's why the Bishops 175 Appeal.

I would urge you to attend the launch later this month. There you will be able to hear the vision the School has to set itself and over a drink engage with Guy and Mike with questions and ideas of your own. To attend, please RSVP by clicking on the panel above or HERE

And lastly, a very Happy Easter to you all

Kindest regards

Nicky Bicket
There won't be the usual Last-Thursday-of-the-Month drinks in April. But we resume again in May. Venue to be advised.
Once again it has been a month of interacting with ODs up here. I haven't seen Blaine Tomlinson (G, 1968) since I was at prep school and watched him partner Peter Whipp as one of the two 1st XV centres. I enjoyed a very amusing and interesting lunch with him learning about his hugely successful career in hedge fund business (while Peter went on to play rugby for South Africa). I write more about John Joubert and Tony Honoré below, but suffice to say it is always a real joy to meet with and enjoy the company of such a wide range of ODs.
Three of our most accomplished ODs celebrated birthdays last month, Tony Honoré (F, 1939) his 96th, John Joubert (O, 1944)  his 90th and our ODU President Raymond Ackerman (S, 1948) his 86th. We wish them all a very happy birthday and good health.
Last week I visited John Joubert (left, with your secretary),  Mary his wife and his daughter Anna (a fabulous cellist) for tea in Birmingham where he has lived for most of his life. For me, something of a dream come true. Literally thousands of ODs, if they don't know who John,is, will know the Christmas carol Torches which has been sung at probably every Bishops Carol service since John composed it in 1951.

John's compositional career has spanned 70 years. His catalogue includes over 180 opus numbers, ranging from operas, major orchestral works, concertos for oboe, bassoon, violin, cello and piano, chamber and instrumental music, through to short carols and anthems and a series of major choral-orchestral pieces,making John one of the UK's preeminent composers. John's 90th was widely celebrated throughout England with orchestras and artists performing an array of his works including the acclaimed premiere of his opera Jane Eyre. To read more about John and listen to some of his music, visit his website is HERE.

Tony Honoré is a giant in the world of academia and law, arguably the greatest thinker in the area of Causation where his books are still required texts for students and practitioners alike. A week ago, I enjoyed a most convivial Sunday lunch with Tony and Deborah at the beautiful home of Mark Charnock (O, 1962) and his wife Margie. It is one of the joys of being an OD is that no matter where in the world one is and what the age differences, ODs of any generation are able to meet and feel they are lifelong friends with much to talk about. Tony and Deborah have plenty to talk about; aside from Tony's almost 70-year tenure at Oxford, what delights him is to talk about his leading roles in at least four Bishops plays (including Hamlet performed in the Rondebosch Town Hall - no school theatre in those days. Deborah's father, Sir Patrick Duncan, was the last British Governor General of South Africa and her three brothers were at Bishops. The photo is of your secretary, Tony and Mark Charnock. Tony's Wiki page is HERE.

In 1963, Jonathan Kent (White) mariculated from Bishops having distinguished himself, inter alia, as one of the finest actors to grace the Bishops stage. In 2016 he was awarded the CBE (Comander of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to the performing arts. Jonathan has had the most distinguished international career as a director of both drama and opera, with his productions mounted in the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, St Petersburg, Paris and Sante Fe. In the nineties, he was the co-artistic director of the Almeida Theatre in London, where he turned a lesser-known theatre into a theatrical destination renowned for its innovation and the quality and power of its productions.

I'm not sure that many ODs would have known of Jonathan's achievements and CBE and we send him our heartiest congratulations. His Wiki page can be read HERE.
Matthew Golesworthy (K, 2011) is back in the news. He is coming to the end of his chemistry degree at Oxford (where he was also the Organ Scholar at Trinity). He participated in the The 50th Annual International Meeting of the ESR Spectroscopy Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry held at Oxford at the start of this month. Matthew kicked off the conference giving and a superb organ recital on the stunning Tickell organ in the beautiful chapel of Keble College where he played to a large and enthusiastic audience which, I'm pleased to say, included me. 
Alec Hogg is the founder and editor-in-chief of BizzNews, an online financial and political newspaper. He spoke to ODs about Davos, Zuma and a variety of other topical items at a lunch last month. He is also launching BizzNews Club in London and the first meeting - and apologies for the short notice - is on Wednesday 12th April at The Union Jack Club, a hop and a skip from Waterloo Station. Starting at 7pm, the event will be over before 9pm.  Bernard Swanepoel, the South African mining entrepreneur and provocative communicator will be flying in to update guests on the cabinet reshuffle and local and global reactions including a word or two on the impact of the financial and investment downgrades.

Alex is inviting ODs to attend at a discounted rate of £20. To RSVP, please click HERE. Be sure to enter SAFFER into the promotion code to receive the discount.
By popular demand, David Jordan (W, 1962, left) a certified London Blue-Badge Guide, will be leading another two walking tours in London for ODs, their families and friends. Those on David's tour of Hampstead Heath last year will testify to his passion, energy and knowledge. These are not to be missed - and there is, thanks to David's generosity, no charge.

The first, on Saturday May 20th, starting at 2.30pm, will be a walk around the City of London, with, optionally, a tour of St Paul's at the end (there is an entry charge for St Paul's).

The second, on Saturday 7th October, is a guided tour of the National Gallery. David says, "My heart always breaks for the poor souls that I see traipsing around through all those boring grand pictures without really knowing what to look for, not knowing which are the Top Ten!  And certainly not knowing the stories that make the pictures come alive."

Both tours will, naturally, end with a visit to a local refreshment station

If you are interested in one or both and you haven't yet registered your interest, please do so
HERE. This doesn't commit you, but helps with the planning.
The wait is over; Alex Price (M, 2008) our OD golf captain has selected his team to play the third annual tournament against the Old Tonbridgians at the RAC on Saturday 10th June. Clockwise from top left: Chris Price (F, 2001), Alex, Stuart Commins (F, 2006), Zandy MacDonald (F, 2007),  Guy de Freitas (M, 2005), Stephen Suckling (F, 1976) and Doug Mallett (M, 2007), Camera-shy: Nick Dowdall (G, 2008).
Three boys have been selected for the U17 SA Waterpolo team which will be competing in the Czech Republic later this week.

As members of the SA team, four (out of a team of 15) boys are off to Sydney to compete in the World Public Speaking Championships

In last month’s newsletter, I mentioned the sad news that the Bishops Head Boy, Christian Rohrer is receiving treatment for cancer. The news from the School is that he is doing well and is in good spirits. He is tolerating the chemo well with minimal side effects and has commenced the second cycle of treatment. We all continue to hold Christian and his family in our thoughts and prayers. If you would like to write to him with your support, you can do so on He would be thrilled to hear from ODs.

Later this year, a group of ODs, their families and friends will be embarking on a three-day tour of the Western Front from 3-5 October. The tour will be led by David Walsh, former Second Master of Tonbridge and Head of History and wil take in the major sites of the Front and where possible, visit the graves of relatives of those in the touring party.

The tour will include a special service at St George's Chapel Ypres to dedicate and install a plaque to the 112 ODs who gave their lives in WW1. This will be the first permanent battlefield memorial to commemorate these ODs. The service will be led by Michael Bands, a former Bishops Chaplain.

If you would like to join and not yet registered, please RSVP
The UK ODU Photo Gallery can be seen HERE
Concerts until the end of June at 22 Mansfield Street can be seen HERE. Please email me if you'd like to attend.
If you're looking for some mentoring or would like to be a Mentor, please click HERE. There over 100 professions and occupations covered.

Bishops 175 Appeal Launch
Monday 24th April
7.00pm for 7.30pm
Stonehage Fleming
15 Suffolk Street

ODs v Tonbridge Golf Match
Saturday 10th June
RAC Surrey
Alex Price (M, 2008) is our captain and although the team is selected (see right) get in touch with him if you would like to be on the reserve list.

UK OD Dinner
Friday 30th June
Carlton Club, London
(speaker to be advised)

OD Tour of the Western Front
3-5 October

Oxford Pub Lunch
Sat. 4th November
The Bell, Kidlington
(please click on each entry to view)

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