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President’s Report

Michael Palau

(B, 1959-1964)

My second year started at the AGM Dinner

25th March 2017. We praised the ten-year

leavers who came back in good numbers.

We praised the longevity and loyalty

of Richard Whittington and Theodor

Abrahamsen and the seamless continuity

of Michael Cox’s attendance (53 and

counting). So what is the Society up to? It

is still all about reunions, dinners, lunches

and new projects. Our Hon. Sec. has a full

programme of university visits, Birmingham

and Bristol being the latest, accompanied

by our new Alumni Relations Officer,

Jenny McCarter. The purpose of these is

to provide a thread of contact for those

who choose to stay in touch and ready

responders for when the School invites

the five-year leavers to return to regale

the Sixth Form with their experiences

and exploits since leaving. In April, your

President found his way to the Golf Spring

Meeting at Worplesdon, the OSE Music

Day in the wondrous new Music School

with one of the Ensemble Rooms donated

by The Society, the Cricketer Cup Dinner

which was well attended by our cricketing

Martyrs and the David Drake-Brockman

vs School XI Memorial Match. Rhubarb at

the Rickety proved a fertile meeting for the

planning of a drama event in November,

David Aldred and Will Bailey in attendance.

In June John Wiggins made the valiant

drive north to the NW Lunch which was

most enjoyable, but staying for less than

three hours does not really do it justice -

apologies for that – followed by the Henley

Tea Party. Progress in the Cricketer Cup

was frustrated by Stowe - this may not

happen again! The Summer Golf Meeting

took place at Frilford Heath incorporating

a match vs. the School. Your President

missed some cricket but made the London

Golf Meeting where there was a healthy

attendance for the inaugural competition

for the Palau Bucket at Royal Wimbledon

in early July.

September brought the Martyrs

Autumn Sports Day and a successful

Girls' Reunion, co-incidentally with an

extra game of OSE rugby (10-a-side)

which proved a most successful warm-up

game for the School XV and their vintage

performance vs Rugby. Later in September,

Peter Swainson led the Martyrs’ Hockey

team to win back the Haileybury Sixes

and in October Grace Robinson led her

team to win the Dean Close Sixes. Your

President would have witnessed both but

a wedding got in the way of the latter and

taking our goalie Tanaka to A&E meant

missing the final of the former. All OSE

will be impressed with this remarkable

double. Hurrah! Late September featured

a trip to Hunstanton as our team led by

Peter Neal had qualified for the finals of

the Grafton Morrish. We had a tough

opening match vs Bedford - better luck

next year. Your President has a record of

missing our OSE crews on the river. He

either gets to the wrong part of the river,

up too late or picks a day (particularly

drizzly) when the Martyrs did not feature.

In the meantime your Hon. Sec., AJW,

chalks up the occasional victory which

he is modest about (Masters E Doubles

at the Upper Thames Head with Andy

Knight). November saw Rhubarb at The

Retreat, remembering our Rhubarb on

the Rocks with Ian Stuart, and a vintage

outing Rhubarb Goes to Town with a really

healthy turn out, the core of which enjoyed

a meal at Chutney Mary afterwards. My

year was rounded off at the OSE Carol

Service in early December, the wondrous

music leaving me uplifted and well-primed

for Christmas.

There was an early quarterly

Committee meeting in January at the East

India Club. It always produces a variety of

ideas and comments. New and ongoing

projects are discussed, costs estimated and

approved: Readers Make Leaders T-shirts

for participants; sponsoring the programme

for the St Edward’s Symphony Orchestra,

Concert Band, Chapel Choir and Brass

Band at St John’s Smith Square; helping

our archivist Chris Nathan with his display

to celebrate the RAF’s 100th Anniversary

and digitising Jack Gauntlett’s photos from

glass negatives. The Warden reports record

results and there is hearty discussion as

to how The Society can further support

young OSE.

Michael Palau

Special Gaudies

We have received several enquiries

recently about the forthcoming

programme for Special Gaudies. Over

recent years, we have asked for and

listened to OSE feedback. This has

highlighted that there is still high demand

for regular Special Gaudies for those at

the School before 1970, but that OSE

who were here after that time prefer a

more varied programme of formal and

informal reunions.

Construction on the exciting

new Quad Development has begun

and is expected to take 18 months.

Consequently we will also be adjusting the

format of large events in School during this

period. Watch this space! Needless to say,

as soon as the development is complete

we will be planning a special Special Gaudy

for all OSE to see the stunning new facility.

We will be surveying OSE again this

year to gain further feedback on what

kind of events you want from 2019

onwards. Please take the time to let us

know what interests you and we will

endeavour to make it happen!​