Globe trotting Headmaster Richard Cairns clearly has taken a shine to Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. No sooner had he hosted an excellent evening at the China Club in late September than he was planning a return visit in December! This came to pass and we convened for dinner in the Peking Room at the American Club in Central.
Bringing back Commemoration Day to the OB calendar does seem a perfect way to celebrate and acknowledge the 125th Anniversary of the Association, and that the day was graced with terrific weather certainly saved the blushes of those of us who had campaigned so vigorously for this summer replacement to September’s OB Day.
For my report on this year’s Commemoration day, I had resolved not to begin by mentioning the weather - as it seems I so often do. It would, however, be ungracious not to acknowledge the surprising and un-forecast sunshine that bathed Brighton College on 22nd June 2008. Whilst the rest of the UK was apparently awash with the accurately predicted wind and rain, Brighton was beautifully sunny and warm - so there... I’ve mentioned it.
The 2006 Graduation Day Ceremony, attended by all 6th form leavers, friends, family, staff and alumni, was every bit as uplifting as the OBA President David Gold had told me it would be... I had been asked by our esteemed leader to attend on his behalf as he was busy darting around the country amassing support for his imminent assault on government. I was happy to do so, even though it meant addressing the assembled throng on a summer’s day so hot that it lent new gravitas to the expression "passing-out ceremony"!
Never one to miss out on a free meal, it was with great enthusiasm that I responded in the affirmative to the Head Master’s invitation to dinner on Friday 27th August, and with considerable bounce in my step that I boarded a train out of Clapham Junction towards the mighty City of Brighton and on to the hillside Principality of Kemp Town.
Well, what a turn out... what a venue! Last night's London Drinks really was a cracker! Home House was a new experience for me - a beautiful spot in W1 that many might fairly describe as "swanky".
The first OB gathering of 2006 was an all male affair that in terms of College attendance spanned over 50 years!
As numbers go, the evening started off slowly, but built to a comfortable throng of 25 or so Old Brightonians. When I arrived shortly after 6pm David Gold (S. 1986-91) and Adam Belson (R. 1979-84) were the sole attendees – apparently trying to convince a sceptical barman that this evening would be worth his while...