Letters from the President
Welcome to the Old Brightonians, founded in 1882. We are lucky to have an active network, and we are proud of our long and industrious relationship with Brighton College.
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Following the sell-out Annual Dinner in 2006, which was addressed by Ann Widdecombe, this year’s Guest of Honour is none other than Philip Robinson. Known and loved by generations of OBs for his dry wit, his masterful direction of College theatre (often as part of the hugely successful Smith-Robinson partnership), and for gently pushing many a lazy student towards exam success, it is no wonder that half of the tickets have been sold already. It’s going to be a night of nostalgia with the Class of 1987 already booked and several other year groups re-establishing contact with one another. My strong advice is book early and drag your mates along too!
Spring finally seems to have arrived and it’s great to see the College looking so colourful, if slightly disrupted by the building work in the Woolton Quad for the new Visual Arts Centre which is to be named in honour of the late Old Brightonian Lord Alexander.
Another Old Brightonian whose untimely and premature death affected many of us was of course Joe Scourfield. I am delighted that the OBA was able to contribute to the appeal for a memorial in the College Chapel and the fund which has been established in his name to help BC families affected by the severe illness of a son or daughter. The fund remains open for OBs and others who wish to contribute and I would invite you to contact me to obtain details of how you can help.
I promised that in our 125th anniversary year there would be some special events and they don’t come much better than this year’s Commemoration Weekend.
The Leavers’ Ball, the first ever to be held off campus, was a glamorous affair, judged a huge success by the 250 attendees. The following day was a return to the traditional programme of cricket and other sports fixtures against the College, with an informal BBQ on the Home Ground. Though the weather was a bit unreliable at times the atmosphere was fantastic with over 400 people of all ages filing through the College gates. It was a pleasure to welcome the newest OBs following their emotional graduation ceremony in the Chapel and to welcome so many parents and families.
Dear Old Brightonians,
I would like to put on record my congratulations to all our newest members, the Class of 2007, who have smashed Brighton College A-Level records this year with a staggering 87.5% A and B grades, of which nearly 60% were A grades (see results tables). Brighton College is the top performing school in Sussex, beating Roedean, Lancing, Eastbourne, Hurstpierpoint and Christ Hospital among others.
This is my last letter as your President and I am in reflective mood.
It has been a very enjoyable and challenging three years.
I have been fortunate to have Fiona Aiken to lean on, organise me and generally make things happen. But I have also been fortunate to have some very committed colleagues on the Committee who have helped to keep the wheels turning. Though it may be inappropriate to single out individuals, I must mention Tim Loadsman who has served more Presidents than even he probably cares to remember. I am grateful to him for his wise counsel and continued patience even when all around him were losing theirs!
I feel honoured to have been elected the President of the Association of Old Brightonians, although when David Gold asked me to put my name forward last June, my initial reaction was that I surely could not be eligible for the post, not having been to the College. David assured me that there were precedents for retired members of staff being elected President, and some quick research has shown me that the two very first Presidents were, perhaps not surprisingly, retired members of the Common Room. At least my thirty six years at the College have given me a distinct advantage over all my predecessors, in that I know personally far more former members of the College than any of them! Indeed it was a great pleasure for me to see so many familiar faces from the past at the recent OB Dinner, which was a fitting tribute to the many years of dedicated and multifarious service to the College of Philip Robinson.
I hope you are all thriving and enjoying the summer (if that is the season you are in!). I hope too that you have enjoyed reading the latest Brighton College Review recently sent out by the Headmaster, Richard Cairns, and learning of all the exciting developments taking place at your old school.
Having just glanced at the on-line Pelican, I have to admit to being somewhat ashamed at seeing that my last presidential letter to you was written well over six months ago! I hope that you have enjoyed a good Christmas, wherever you may have spent it, and I wish you the best of good fortune for 2009.
I hope you are enjoying the summer (if that is the season where you happen to be). I hope also that you are enjoying the new look website, and I am very grateful to Alex Bremer (R. 1979-83) for his efforts in bringing it into the 21st century.
I hope this finds you well and enjoying whatever season you may be in, although there has been little pleasure to be had in the recent British weather!