August 2015
Simply Blue, Bishops' internationally-acclaimed a cappella choir,  fresh from their appearances at this year's Edinburgh Festival, will be performing a programme of light secular music for ODs, family and friends in London on this coming Friday, 14th August, in the historic Museum of the Order of St John. The concert is preceded (and followed) by drinks and canapes in the museum's Priory Gardens at 6pm. There are still a few places so please do come along with family and friends (there is no charge) to meet staff and parents and support the choir for relaxed evening of top-class music. RSVP HERE
The ODU invites ODs for drinks at Ye Olde Mitre
(1 Ely Place, EC1N 6SJ) on Thursday 27th August. 6-8pm. No RSVPs necessary.
The 1990 matrics invite 1989 & 1991 ODs to join them for their 25th matric reunion on the 17th October. It coincides with the Rugby World Cup quarter finals. For the more athletic, there's golf in the morning, a pub lunch and then the two games in the afternoon and evening with an evening braai. The venue is Murray McPherson's home in Stanford Dingley in Berkshire (RG7 6LS) - 45 minutes by train from Paddington. If you'd like to join in, please email Murray for details.
Robert Slingsby (F, 1973) launches his UK Art Exhibition at the Royal College of Art from 6pm-9pm on Thursday 8th October, to be opened by Sir Richard Demarco. While the public exhibition runs from 9th-13th October, the private opening on the 8th is by invitation only so if you (and guests) would like to attend that, please RSVP. Find out more about Robert and his work by visiting his WEBSITE
Our next, now annual, match against the Old Tonbridgians will be played at the RAC on Sunday 10th July, 2016. Once again, Alex Price (M, 2008) is in charge and is in the process of collecting names of all interested ODs. His list is growing, so to get on it, please EMAIL him as soon as possible. The photos of this years inaugural match can be seen HERE.

Any senior golfers - those 55+ (age not handicap) - who would like to be part of the OD Senior (midweek) Circuit organised by Richard Duck (G, 1964) should let me have their names and details via this LINK. Those who have already done so need not resubmit.
Conradie and Pennhill Wines, under the the experienced palate of Gareth Penny (F, 1980) launches in the UK on Friday 23rd October. Gareth is inviting ODs and spouses/partners to join in the excitement of this new range of SA wines on the UK block. The event is being held at South Africa House from 6pm-9pm. Given the date, a number of rugby personalities will also be there, so best to arrive closer to 6pm than 9. To receive a formal invitation, please click HERE.
This unique coffee table book by Richie Ryall (F, 1976) highlights through paintings, sketches and the written word, the visual beauty, hidden details and some of the personalities associated with Bishops College and Prep. To buy your copy, click HERE . The Collectors edition is £90 and the Standard edition £25, excluding postage (which is from within the UK).
A short video about Bishops shown at last year's UK Dinner

If the history and mysteries of Oxford - and leisurely punting - are for you, then Saturday 12 September is the day you can enjoy both. ODs, their families and friends are invited on a guided tour of the colleges and campus, starting at 10.30am, followed by lunch in Exeter College. During the afternoon, for those up to it, we'll be punting down the Isis and finishing off the day with tea and drinks in the legendary gardens of New College. To join in, please click HERE.
Dear ODs

Contributing to the effectiveness of top-class alumni associations is segmentation, something which is being recognised and addressed in the new ODU strategy. Since not everything appeals to everyone, we believe there are many ODs who would probably like to get involved in ODU activities but have little or no interest in the current range of functions and events - or would prefer something more local. Segmentation base could provide a greater alignment of interests and relevance. The Old Etonian Association, for example, over and above their catch-all functions such as their annual dinner, support 30 societies for their members. These societies, convened by OEs themselves, cover a broad range of interests. (Their largest and most active is the OE Legal Association which meets throughout the year and whose annual dinner attracts over 200 members). The objectives of these societies include not only to bring like-minded OEs together in convivial forums (fora?), but also to facilitate more meaningful networking and support.

The UK branch of the ODU is of course much smaller than UK alumni associations. Still, there might be a few of you interested in forming specific OD societies/groups. Finance and asset and wealth management seems an obvious one with so many ODs here involved in that area, but law and medicine might be another. Or drama and music (indeed, one OD has already offered to start a classical music group - i.e. ODs as audience, not players/singers, although ...). These societies need not be permanent or over-managed but could, as the contemporary description goes, simply be pop-ups - as and when an opportunity presents itself. And big numbers are not the point; bringing ODs together is. If you are interested in convening a society do email me to discuss how best to do this.

In the meantime, this newsletter advertises several different events and functions taking place soon and which hopefully appeal to a wide range of ODs. It would be wonderful for ODs to support those spearheaded by other ODs,  - Robert Slingsby and Gareth Penny (see left) and Ian Michler and Justin van Breda (below) being just four.  While being enjoyable and they serve to strengthen the OD reach abroad.

As always, please feel free to get hold of me with any comments, complaints or suggestions.

Kind regards

Nicky Bicket
Justin van Breda (S, 1992) received an honourable mention in The Telegraph earlier this month. He's making quite a name for himself in the London interior decorating world while promoting South African craftsmen. Read the article HERE
The UK OD Mentorship Scheme  gathers momentum. The take-up and feedback from mentees and mentors is extremely positive. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please click on the picture. If you are looking for some advice and mentoring, then please email me
This year's Varsity Match (the annual Oxford v Cambridge rugby derby at Twickenham) is on Thursday 10th December. Last year, The ODU were invited to lay a wreath in memory of the three OD Rugby Blues who gave their lives in WW1. This year, it's just the game. It is likely that OD, James Kilroe (W, 2010) will be playing for Cambridge. Cambridge Rugby Club have invited any ODs. If there is sufficient support, I'd be happy to put an outing together (lunch, match, post-match drinks). Please email me if you're interested.
Amid the global furore over the killing of Cecil the Lion, Ian Michler (W, 1977) left, a conservationist and acclaimed environmental journalist, invites ODs to the London screening of his film Blood Lions (see trailer or read the story). This takes place at the Royal Geographic Society in London on 27 November at 6pm. The film sets out to to uncover the realities about the multi-million dollar predator breeding and canned lion hunting industries in South Africa. For tickets  (cost to be advised) for you and your guests, please RSVP
The UK ODU photo gallery can be viewed by clicking HERE
ODU Christmas Party
Thursday 10th December
(venue to be advised)

2016 Seniors' Lunch
Friday 22nd January, 2016
Speaker and venue to be advised

2016 Annual UK Dinner
Friday 1st July 2016
Next year's dinner will be held in London on Friday 1st July, 2016 with the Headmaster of Bishops, Guy Pearson, our guest of honour

Henley Royal Regatta
Wednesday 29th June 2016
Lunch and a day of rowing (watching) for ODs and partners at the Leander Club on the first day of this wonderful competition

OD vs Old Tonbridgian Golf Tournament
Sunday 10th July 2016
The next matches will be held at the RAC in Surrey (see box above).
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