Last night, the 16th November, one hundred and fifty Old Bedfordians, staff, and their partners gathered for the Club’s Annual Dinner. The Vintners’ Hall was fabulous setting and all of the staff made us feel most welcome. Some alumni organisations struggle to keep these sort of events going, but we were delighted that this was a sell-out and it was good to see OBs aged 18 to 85 supporting the Club. Patrick Shorten (41-50), John Holley (43-50), and George Ridnell (44-50) all got a special mention as they left the School in 1950, and were the senior OBs present.
The President of the Club, David Murray (69-76) welcomed all, in particular, the Head Master, his wife, Rachel, and the Guest of Honour, Richard Watling (57-67), who is coming to the end of his tenure as the Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers. Richard is a great supporter of the Club and School and had been instrumental in securing this wonderful venue for the Dinner. David Murray made a number of ‘thank yous’ and mentioned a number of highlights from throughout the year. In particular, he congratulated the OB Cricket Team for progressing so far in the Cricketer Cup Tournament. He wished them well for the 2018 Season.
The Head Master gave a light-hearted and pacey review of the year at the School. In particular, he was delighted with the improving academic results but stressed that these did not come at the expense of developing other key qualities. He thanked the OB community for their support to the School which takes many forms, from returning to give a lecture to supporting the important work of the Foundation – he gave a special thanks to Budge Rogers (49-57) one of England’s most iconic rugby players who recently visited the School to tell boys and parents about his career. Richard Watling then gave us a fascinating insight into the world of Livery Companies; he told us about his involvement (and what he had got out of it) and how those present could take part in many different ways. It was apparent that Richard and Sarah have had an extremely busy year with numerous duties to fulfil, and we hope they don’t find life a little dull in the coming months once things get back to normal! Throughout the evening, there was a fantastic atmosphere in the room, which included some hearty singing of the School Hymn and School Song as the evening drew to a close, kindly led by Christopher Burr (58-69).
Thank you to all for attending, particularly to those (young or old!) who were coming to their first OB event since leaving School – you are all most welcome and we hope that you will all join us at future reunions and gatherings. We always try to offer a broad range of activities that will appeal to all ages – you can keep up to date with all our news and events via our website.
Finally, it was great to see Finn Longinotto (57-62) at the Dinner. Finn had come all the way from Miami, where he is the Club’s DVP, and is kindly running a reunion there in February 2018 which all OBs are invited to – for more information and to sign-up please visit the Club website. It promises to be a fantastic few days.