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UK ODU NEWSLETTER
March 2016
Dear ODs

How the year speeds by. Almost 25% done.

The ODU AGM took place in Cape Town last week. Brian Robertson (W, 1979) stood down as Chairman after seven years of sterling work stewarding and strengthening the ODU. Our huge thanks go to him for a job very well done. Brian's successor will be announced at the next ODU Committee meeting in April. We look forward to welcoming Brian to our dinner in July (see below).

Also this month, I was fortunate enough to meet with the Old Brightonians - the alumni association of Brighton College a not-so-secret gem amongst UK independent schools which has grown enormously in reputation over the past 20 years. They went to great lengths to stress the social and networking benefits of OB social functions and events which not only bring their old boys and girls together and keep them in touch with what's happening with their school and each other, but more importantly, reinforce the powerful support the association provides OBs - and how OBs are encouraged to leverage this. I think the same should be true of the ODU. We are all able to arrange social events with our friends and colleagues and don't need the ODU for that; but the OD functions and events as a hub for strengthening relationships built on our unique Bishops' experience is a valuable benefit to be taken advantage of. That's  not to say, of course, that ODs getting together shouldn't do so just for the enjoyment and pleasure of the occasion, but there is more to it.

London somehow seems an easier place to get to if you live outside the UK than in it. And local travel (and accommodation) is expensive. I am aware of this and am trying to extend the reach of the Union beyond the capital's postcodes. For example, at the end of last year, ODs (and their wives) living in Oxfordshire got together for a lunch at a local pub and we'll and will be doing that again in November. If there are ODs who live outside of London who would like to get together in your part of the world, I'd be delighted to hear from you. Have train ticket - can travel.

Lastly, I am told there is a continuous flow of ODs coming to the UK. Some of them may legitimately be "under cover". Nevertheless, if you meet up with a newly-arrived OD, please suggest to him that he contact me so I can include him in this communication. I also attach a list of ODs who are apparently - but may not be - up here, and for whom I have no email addresses. If anyone can help ...

In a bid to leverage the benefits of social media, I have added a "LIKE" button at the bottom if this newsletter. Should you feel so minded, please "LIKE" this newsletter which will then be shared to your Facebook page - and hopefully reach a lot more ODs than I have on my "official" UK ODU list.

Kind regards

Nicky Bicket
Guy Pearson (right), Principal of Bishops, is the guest speaker at our Black-Tie Dinner on Friday 1st July at the Carlton Club in London. Both Raymond Ackerman (S, 1948), the ODU President, as well as Bruce Jack (G, 1987) the new ODU Chairman will be present. Invitations to go out later this month and ODs are encouraged to attend and urge their classmates to come along too.
Tony Little who retired last year after 13 years as Head Master of Eton will be speaking at an OD lunch on the 11th October. Invitations to the lunch will go out in July, but please save the date for what will be a popular, provocative and stimulating talk.
If you'd like to read an informative review of his recently-published book An Intelligent Person's Guide to Education, click HERE.
John Parker-Wood (G, 1960) has just arrived in the UK and has wasted very little time in getting in touch with his school mates. He kindly sent me pictures of two of them: left, Chris Saunders (O, 1960) visiting from Cape Town where he is an Emeritus Professor of History at UCT and right, Hugh Wakeling (G, 1959). About Hugh John says, "My relationship with Hugh goes back to Std.7(8)? when. I used to attend the annual Kenilworth scout camp at Hermanus with many other ODs -run by his father. When I was in Std.9 he and I went on a hiking trip around the Sentinel hill(?) between Hout Bay and Llandudno. Still part of the reserve today. We had a photo (long lost) taken of us in our Scouting uniform. It was a great experience.
As I'll be away, there won't be any OD drinks at Ye Olde Mitre this month. The next get-together will be from 6-8pm on Thursday 28th April. No RSVPs required
             

One would have had to have been asleep for the past two years not be aware of the commemorations and memorials taking place to mark the sacrifices made in the "war to end all wars". Indeed, 112 ODs died in that great conflict - 14% of the number that served - including three Oxford rugby Blues who we, as the ODU, remembered at a very moving ceremony at Twickenham at the end of 2014.

David Walsh, former Second Master and Head of History at Tonbridge, a world-renowned expert on WW1 and a great friend of Bishops and the ODU (and inter alia co-author of Public Schools and the Great War which includes the part played by Bishops) has very kindly offered to lead a party of ODs and their families of a tour of the Western Front sometime in 2017. It would comprise either a four day/three night or three day/two night tour of the Western Front and include visits to Ypres, Arras and the Somme, focusing particularly on sites of historical significance to Bishop’s, including, of course, Delville Wood. There would be opportunities, if the itinerary permitted, for participants to visit places of personal significance. The idea is that during the tour, we would remember our fallen ODs in the St George's Church at Ypres, as well as lay a wreath at the Menin Gate Last Post ceremony. Hotel accommodation would be booked in Ypres and Arras. Depending on numbers, travel from the UK would be by coach. The cost - still to be confirmed - would be in the region of £400-500 per person (travel to and from France/Belgium from London, and accommodation). We envisage the visit to be either in April or August/September 2017. That is probably too far in advance to make any firm commitment now, but if you think this is something which you would like to be part of, please could I ask you to complete an "expression of interest" form. This doesn't in any way commit you, but would allow us to gauge the interest and decide whether to go ahead or not. If there is sufficient interest, we would start to design an itinerary and liaise further details with you. Expressions of interest can be registered HERE
OD GOLF CIRCUIT
Bobby Trew (F, 1952) and John Wyatt (W, 1963) represented the UK OD Senior Circuit in the recent Walker Cup Match against Rondebosch in Cape Town earlier this month. Bobby reported, "In case you haven't heard from John Wyatt, you may be interested to hear that he and I represented your UK Senior OD Team in the Walker Cup against Rondebosch yesterday.  We were paired together and, although John played well, which I can't say that I did, we lost our individual match, but overall Bishops beat Rondebosch by one match to regain the Walker Cup.  All in all a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon was had by all".

The Senior OD Golf Team takes on The Old Cranleighans on May 12th at Walton Heath. I'm told preparations are on track for a splendid match. Our thanks to Richard Duck (G, 1964) for convening the team. If there are any senior ODs out there who would like to play on the circuit, please do email Richard.

A broader OD team plays a rematch against the Old Tonbridgians on July 10th at the RAC in Surrey. Any interested golfers should get in touch with Alex Price (M, 2008). We lost narrowly last year - the gloves are off!
Several ODs attended the Haileybury Chamber Choir Concert in London at the start of this month and enjoyed very much the incredible standard of singing and playing. Beforehand, as is our wont, we met up in a nearby pub. As a bonus, Michael Starke (K, 1996) who was a Bishops exchange student to Haileybury in 1995 was able to meet and chat to the current Master, Joe Davies. Both Joe's sons were exchange students at Bishops. 

Seen in the picture are, from left to right, Doug Everard (OH Committee member), Jane Everard (OH Secretary), Virgil Parenzee (O, 1996), Michael Starke and Nicky Bicket (F, 1973).
Tim Rideout (W, 1978) writes: "... my sister has a cottage on the edge of the Cederberg ... When we were there last January,  she gave me some seeds for Widdringtonia Cederbergensis – the Clanwilliam Cedar, which I planted when we got home. Somewhat to my surprise they almost all germinated and are now 10-12 inches high in pots growing happily outdoors. 
 
So during the course of this year I will be looking for good homes for around 20 Cedar trees. In addition to most ODs having seen them in the wild, they are also a CITES 1 Red Book species, as in the most critically endangered category. They also, of course, only occur in an area about the size of the Isle of Man and even in the Cederberg 95% of what was there in 1700 has gone.
 
They need a sandy acid soil (the pots are 50% sand and 50% ericaceous compost – as in what you would use for Rhododendrons), and good drainage. So I suspect the chalk / clay of much of southern England would not be to their liking. However, you could plant in a raised bed or dig out a big hole and replace the soil with sand / acid compost. Lots of pine needles would be good too. They will need very good drainage so no soggy ground around the roots"


Tim asks that anyone interested in planting one (or more) of these trees in their garden should email him by clicking HERE.
We now have 73 UK-based ODs on our OD Mentor panel. This is a terrific response to the call for ODs to help ODs and my thanks go to each one of you. To date, 25 mentors have been mentored by 29 mentees. If you would like to become a mentor, click HERE. If you would like to take advantage of the support and advice your fellow OD mentors offer, please email me.
Rowing: Bishops rowing history was made last month when Bishops won the 1st 8+ for the first time and also won the inaugural JM u19 4- event at the Buffalo Regatta, attended by schools from around South Africa. 
Athletics: Mallett and Kidd tied for the Sports Day Trophy
Water Polo: The 1st XI water polo team won the St Andrews festival beating the hosts 8-7 in the final, the first time in Bishops' history that Bishops have won a national water polo tournament.
Fly Fishing: Warwick Reid, Luke Baker and Anton Volkel have been awarded Protea colours for being the best junior fly fishermen in South Africa. They have been selected to represent SA at the Youth World Championships being held in August in Spain.
Biathlon: In February, Oliver Stewart broke both the WP and SA record in his age group.
Public Speaking: Four Bishops are representing South Africa at the World Public Speaking Championships in Pittsburgh, USA this Easter
Cricket: The 1st XI are on a seven-match tour of India and Dubai
Costa Ghioules (O, 2004) is MD of RecruFin a specialist Finance and Accounting recruitment firm in London. They have an opportunity for an OD or OD connection, who is a Qualified Accountant to take over as CEO at a medical equipment business in London. Experience would be between 7 – 10 years post qualified industry experience. Please contact Costa if you're interested in finding out more.
OTHER DATES FOR THE DIARY 
 
Senior OD Golf vs the Old Cranleighans
Thursday 12th May 2016
Walton Heath Golf Club
Supporters very welcome


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 iconic competition


OD vs Old Tonbridgian Golf Tournament
Sunday afternoon,10th July 2016
RAC in Surrey
Supporters very welcome


UK ODU end-of-year party
Thursday 24th November 2016
venue to be advised
Please consider "liking" this newsletter. By doing so it will appear on your Facebook wall and hopefully reach ODs who are not on the official UK ODU list and ODs who might be on the list but are not aware of the newsletter.
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