Dear ODs

I do hope this newsletter finds you well. There's quite a bit in this "bulletin" and I hope as many of you as possible will be able to participate in as much as possible.

I have received very positive feedback about the UK OD Dinner which held at the end of June at the RAF Club in London. Thanks to those who let me have their suggestions and comments ... and cheques. For those of you who haven't seen the pictures, do click here.

I am sure we are all pleased that the reconciliation process to resolve the dispute between Tim Hamilton-Smith and the ODU has been successfully concluded. The agreement can be viewed by clicking here. Hopefully a line can now be drawn under this matter and lessons learnt. 

Please note below the changes to the Haileybury function - and I hope that many of you will be able to come up to the school for a relaxed and interesting day.
I was delighted to have been a guest at a 1990 OD braai hosted by Neil and Nicky Orpen. Their house is set in the most gorgeous Savernake Forest and even ODs were not able to undermine the setting's natural beauty. To be expected, with partners and assorted children and that famous 1990 reputation, the event was lively and amusing. Neil and Nicky's hospitality was flawless and generous and while much of the afternoon blurred into a bit of a soporific haze, everyone seems to recall having had a wonderful time.  Thanks, Neil & Nicky. (More photos here)

Anthony St John (1974), Lord St John of Bletso, has very kindly offered to host our end-of-year drinks at the House of Lords. This will be on Friday 12th December from 6pm-9.30pm. Spouses and partners are very welcome to join us. If you would like to come, it is essential that, for security reasons to gain entrance to the House, you register by clicking here.
HAILEYBURY is a public school in Hertford which has close ties to Bishops. Anthony Mallett (Bishops Principal from 1964-1982) taught there as did Ian Pinnington, one time maths teacher at Bishops. Bishops and Haileybury have an annual excghange of students and over the years have been regular opponents on the playing fields (as I write, Seb Prentice, the current Bishops exchange scholar is distinguishing himself in the Haileybury 1st XV). 

The Old Haileyburians had invited us to their Memorial Service on 8th November. 

They have now had to change the date and have invited ODs to the School on Saturday 6th December for a programme which includes all or some of:

11.30am:  Coffee
Noon:       The Haileybury Lectures series - "Butler, the first Master"
13.30pm:  Buffet Lunch
14.30pm:  Rugby - XV v New Hall
4.30pm:    Evensong

As before, ODs and their families are invited to attend some or all the events. There is no charge for this event and if you are interested, please sign up here so I can give the OHs some idea of numbers. If you had already signed up for the 8th November visit, please could I ask you to re-register and accept my apologies for this inconvenience.

Following the lead of like-minded UK public school alumni associations, Raymond Ackerman (1948), ODU President, and the ODU are hosting a Seniors Lunch from 12.30pm to 2.30pm on Friday 23rd January 2015 at the RAF Club (Piccadilly, London). Senior ODs are those 55 years and older and if you are and would like to join us (yes, I'm older than 55) please register by clicking here. Note this is for ODs only (i.e. unfortunately spouses and partners are not included this time).

Raymond is also addressing the South African Chamber of Commerce (UK). This will take place at Deloittes, New Street Square, London EC4A 3BZ on Wednesday 28th January. ODs interesting attending must please let me have their names by clicking here. The talk starts at 6.30pm with drinks and canapes after. There is no charge
Tonbridge School in Kent has a very active alumni society, the Old Tonbridgians. Their Chairman, David Walsh (who spoke at our April lunch and who attended our dinner) has put me in touch with the OT sporting societies. The OT Golf Club has written to ask whether ODs would be interested in playing a golf match against them and possibly turning this into an annual challenge (presumably only if the OTs win, but everything's negotiable).
Your secretary, sadly, is no golfer, but is happy to tee this up, as it were, and then hand over to those competent in this ancient game.

I shall provide admin backup, starting with assembling the list of ODs keen to get involved. If you are, please click here so I can get the ball rolling (I think that works as a golfing metaphor). The first match is slated for the summer of 2015
I do hope we’ll be able to get an OD team together which might then spread its wings to other wannabe-challengers: Uppingham and Wellington College also want to take us on.
A fun fact about a hitherto (possibly) unknown link between Bishops and Tonbridge is that Sir Herbert Baker, a Tonbridge old boy, was the architect who designed School House (and the Parliament Buildings in Pretoria). There are no Tonbridge buildings designed by him!

Friday 5th June 2015 - Annual Dinner:

The date of our annual black-tie dinner is Friday 5th June 2015 and will be held at the RAF Club, Piccadilly, London. Spouses and partners are, as usual, very welcome. Invitations and details to follow - please save the date, though.

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5 July - Henley Regatta Semifinals and Finals:

Through Rob Johnston (2010) who's a member of the Leander Club, and Neil Orpen (1990), ODs and their families have the opportunity of joining those from St Andrew's and DSG at a picnic on the banks of the Thames - or something even grander - to watch a glorious day of rowing (and hopefully Robert in rowing the final). There is a possibility that Bishops will be sending a rowing team to compete and if they do, we are hoping that there will be an opportunity to meet with them. Neil Orpen (1990) is putting something a bit more serious which involves tables in a hospitality tent for ODs who prefer something a little more formal. Both options sounds great, but to gauge interest and preferences, please could you let me know via this link (indicative price ranges will be on the form). By completing the form, you are not committing yourself, just expressing interest so that I know whether to go ahead with this.

August 2015

I'm sure you'll all join me in saying how proud we are that the Bishops a cappella group, Simply Blue, have been invited to perform at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival. En route, they will be in London and have offered to perform for ODs. No dates available yet, but we look forward to being able to host them in London and perhaps even attend a performance of theirs in Edinburgh. Details to follow.  In the meantime, get a taste of Simply Blue here.

If anyone would like me to communicate OD events they are organising, please get hold of me.
With autumn well behind us and as we head towards winter, once again to all the ODs up here who support the ODU, many thanks. I have had a year in this role as (UK) secretary and have enjoyed it precisely because of the ODs I've met and who make this job so fulfilling.

And a very big thank you to the increasing number of ODs up here who so willingly give of their time and experience to advise younger ODs looking for career guidance. This is very much appreciated. If any ODs would be prepared to spend time with younger ODs, please let me know. You all have wonderful skills and experiences which would be invaluable to younger ODs starting out. I should say that the objective is "mentoring" and is not about job offers.

Should any of you wish to contact me, please do so either by email ( or on my mobile (07818014394)

With best wishes


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