Reunion of 1984 leavers
Written by Fiona Aiken (F. 1979-81)
Saturday, 27 November 2010

I arrived at my last annual dinner ‘in charge’ on an extremely cold evening thankful that, at least, we had no snow. After a short panic attack about missing table decorations, which turned up elsewhere in the school, I joined a packed Café de Paris for pre-dinner drinks before we repaired to a slightly chilly Dining Hall for dinner.

The Head Master acknowledged how difficult his position was when extolling the virtues of today’s Brighton College when in the presence of a former Head Master. However, Old Brightonians were left in no doubt that our alma mater is now one of the leading schools in this country.

Our out-going President, Tony Whitestone, who has served the Association for the past three years with distinction, and brought the train of events leading to the amalgamation of school and Association begun by his predecessor David Gold (S. 1986-91) to a successful conclusion, then introduced our guest speaker, Emma Wimhurst (F. 1982-84), in his own inimitable way.

Emma, although admitting how nervous she was to be back speaking at her old school, gave the audience an abbreviated version of her life since leaving the school in 1984 without the exam grades she had hoped would gain her a place at university. She acknowledged that while university may have helped her on the road to success more quickly, the lessons she learned at Brighton College allowed her to find her own path to her eventual success, first as the founder of Diva Cosmetics and, latterly, as a business mentor.

We also welcomed the Rt. Hon. Sir John Chilcot (H/S. 1952-57) as our new President.  He graciously formally accepted the position with a short and pithy speech.

After last year’s reservations about the catering, this year’s meal was back to tip-top form and I would like to thank Michael and the Catering Department for their efforts and for all their support over the last 12 years.

Finally, I would like to thank Tony Whitestone and the Association for the beautiful coffee machine which was presented to me at the dinner and for the kind words spoken. The school has been such a huge part of my life as a pupil, parent and employee. As most people will know I met my husband, John, while in the 6th form and I thank him for all his support at various OB events over the last 12 years. John and I were married in the school Chapel and both of our sons, James and Tom, were christened and educated here. I will miss coming into the school on a regular basis and, although I will no longer be at the end of the telephone in the OB Office, I will look forward to meeting all those OBs I have come to know and love so well at future events.

Thank you all.

Those attending included:-
Richard Cairns, Head Master
Rt Hon Sir John Chilcot, GCB (H/S. 1952-57)
Anthony & Alison Whitestone
Emma Wimhurst (F. 1982-84) - Guest Speaker & her husband, Mark Collinge
Debra Chalmers (staff)
John & Fiona Aiken (A. 1976-81/F. 1979-81)
Peter Brooks (C. 1979-84) & Gill Brooks
Edwin Davison (C. 1982-84) & guest
Gavin & Emily McWhirter - current parents
Jonathan Finnerty (A. 1976-80)
Philip Robinson (former staff)
Paul Samrah (L. 1972-77)
Graham Steer (H. 1973-77)
David Gold (S. 1986-91)
Simon Smith - Second Master
Michael Barnett (L. 1953-57)
Andrew Symonds (A. 1955-59)
Bill & Elizabeth Blackshaw
Alex Bremer (R. 1979-83)
Tim Loadsman (L. 1951-57)
David Nelson-Smith (H. 1949-55) & Mrs Nelson-Smith
Jo Allen (F. 1983-85)
Jane Kean (nee Larner, F. 1983-85)
Roger Beasley (H. 1949-55) & Mrs Peggy Beasley
David Blake (B. 1952-56)
John Blake (B. 1957-61)
Stephen Cockburn (S. 1953-58)
Peter Cockburn (S. 1959-64)
Malcolm Edkins (H. 1950-54) & Mrs Cathy Edkins
Rachel Savage (staff)
Deborah Rao (staff)
Peter Bowles (A. 1945-50)
Christopher Edge - former parent
Sam Edge (R. 1996-01)
Jamie Edge (R. 1996-01)
Innes Laing (A. 1979-84)
Ritchie Laing (A. 1981-83)
David Manning (C. 1979-84)
Alan Malby (L. 1972-77)
Jonathan Dart (H. 1972-77)
Mark Beard - Deputy Head Master
Jo-Anne Riley - Deputy Head Mistress
Garth Gosden (S. 1980-84)
Alison Taylor (F. 1982-84)
Joey Appleton (D. 1979-84)
Sarah Hollinshead (F. 1982-84)
David Hollinshead (former staff)
Lord Robert Skidelsky (C. 1953-58)
Paymahn Seyed-Safi (Head Boy)

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