Page 1

Summer 2021

The Notes The official journal of The Dunstonian Association


2

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

The

NOTES

CONTENTS Page 3

Committee 2020-21:

Welcome from the Chair

David C Edwards (Chairman) ‘83 dunstonians@stdunstans.org.uk

Dunstonian News & Scrapbook

4

Peter L Brown ‘61

Archive News

6

Calendar of Events

9

Tom P Coling ‘01 Malachi A Connolly ‘11 Jemima M Davenport ‘14

Sport Round up

10

Fred J Platford ‘88

Spotlight on...

14

Iain Macdowall '81 Dunstonian Officer

Announcements

20

Sara Hopkins Treasurer

Then & Now - From the Air

26

The Spirit of Formula 1

28

Databases and SDConnect

30

Robin Austin SDC Staff member

Member Survey Results

31

Alex Brewer SDC Head of Sixth Form

The Albam Exorna Award

32

We are not alone

33

St Dunstan's College News

34

Development & Fundraising

40

SDC Enterprise

43

Isabelle Blake-James SDC Director of Marketing, Admissions and Development 020 85167308 dunstonians@stdunstans.org.uk

Nicola Rich SDC Head of Careers Rebecca Watkins SDC Director of Sports

Dunstonian office & Archives: dunstonians@stdunstans.org.uk


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

Welcome from the Chair One possible translation might be (with apologies to those Latin scholars amongst our readers):-

fell in both world wars, Arthur adorned the white throughout his life. His knowledge of those Dunstonians who made the ultimate sacrifice was unparalleled such that every committee meeting was made to feel like a history lesson that you never wanted to end! He will be much missed.

“Follow better things, keep the faith, always dare, not for oneself but for others, search for virtue, onwards, rise up, we are strong together”

The creator of the house mottos did not know either Martin or Arthur but they are very relevant to both gentlemen, albeit in very different ways.

As we begin to emerge from the isolation and challenges of the past fifteen months these words of hope and encouragement have never seemed so relevant.

It was a delight to see a number of Dunstonians attend this year’s Commemoration Service at Southwark Cathedral and afterwards at a reception at Glaziers Hall. Even though Covid restrictions inevitably meant that proceedings were not quite as they should be, it was wonderful to see the return of a semblance of normality. Let us hope that 2022 will see a full cathedral once again and a resounding “Hail Thee Festival Day!”.

Audete” (Griffiths), “Non Sibi Sed Alias” (Johnson), “Virtutem Quaere” (Lane), “Progedere” (Ross), “Surgite” (Thomas), “Concordia Valemus” (Wilson)

M

ay I welcome you to the 2021 Summer edition of The Notes. I very much hope that there will be something of interest for all our readers, from the reminiscences of former pupils to news of the continuing developments at the College which will create memories for future generations of Dunstonians. On a recent visit to the College I took a moment to remind myself of the inscription “ALBAM EXORNARUNT” (trans. “THEY ADORNED THE WHITE”) on the World War 1 memorial in the Great Hall and how it is flanked on either side by the eight house shields and their mottos. The latter are replicated on this edition’s front cover. I for one had never appreciated that a connection could be made between the house mottos and the well known College motto “Albam Exorna”, in short how the mottos could be seen as guidance to how we might “adorn the white”. As Iain Macdowall explained in his history of the house shields in the December 2020 edition, the eight mottos read “Meliora Sequor” (Bennett), “Fidem Serva” (Goosey), “Semper

Talking of hope and encouragement, those of you like me who had the good fortune to be taught by Martin Preston will be particularly interested in the news of The Martin Preston Fund, set up in the wake of Martin’s death last year (see Martin’s obituary on page 24). Even though he would probably have been embarrassed by all the tributes, Martin would surely have been delighted to see that a new drama studio is to be named after him – a tangible and lasting legacy to a courageous individual who contributed so much colour and energy to College life. Another individual who made a huge contribution to Dunstonian life was Arthur Jackson (his obituary can be found on page 23). Whether it was as a sportsman, particularly on the rugby pitch, or as a devoted member of the Old Dunstonian Lodge, of which he was Master three times, or as a researcher into the history of Dunstonians who

Finally, may I encourage you to read the article on page 40 regarding the College’s bursary scheme. The scheme provides the opportunity to a number of children every year to participate in and benefit from an education at St Dunstan’s. Such an education can be life changing for the individual and therefore beneficial for society as a whole. Any contribution that you are able to make to the scheme will be very welcome and will make a difference. Albam Exorna!

David Edwards (’83) Chair of The Dunstonian Association

3


THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

NEWS DUNSTONIAN

& Scrapbook

DUNSTONIAN TALKS We have started hosting regular online Dunstonian Talks and Greg Holder ('10) inaugurated the series in December with his fascinating lecture on Sharks and Marine Conservation. Ian Pressney and Richard Boyle also contributed to one of our Opening Mind lectures, aimed at current parents and students. Ralph Salmins ('82) pictured below, agreed to run a hugely successful musical workshop as part of the St Dunstan's Festival at the end of June.

DUNSTONIAN LECTURE Sharks AND Marine Conservation Join DUNSTONIAN Greg HOLDER, Free-diver and Scuba Instructor, as he talks about the importance of sharks in the ocean and marine conservation. how can WE help turn the tide on the decline of these incredible animals?

TUESDAY 1 DECEMBER

1830 GMT

LIVE STREAMED ON FACEBOOK

www.facebook.com/DunstonianAssociation

TALK FOLLOWED BY A LIVE Q&A The

Dunstonian Association

ST DUNSTAN’S PRESENTS

OPENING MINDS LECTURES

Opening Minds is a series of themed lectures, debates and masterclasses. Keynote speakers discuss and share their views on what is important in their chosen field. The talks will be on Teams. They are linked with our Scholar’s programme, but are suitable for all Senior School students and interested members of the St Dunstan’s community.

MUSIC MASTERCLASS Leading drummer Ralph Salmins will be talking about his career working with an amazing range of musicians from Van Morrison to Paul McCartney, Jacob Collier to Wynton Marsalis, on film soundtracks such as James Bond and Harry Potter, and at the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. Covid restrictions mean he will be joining us over Teams from his studio in Paris, but he will still be able to show us how it’s done and will be working with some St Dunstan’s drummers.

MONDAY

4

JUNE

28

1900 TEAMS

To reserve a place email: collegeoffice@stdunstans.org.uk

ST DUNSTAN’S

FESTIVAL 2021

CAREERS EVENT

W After leaving St Dunstan’s College I went straight into a Sports and Exercise Science degree at the University of Exeter. After a stint as a personal trainer in London I decided to pursue a career focused around the ocean and wildlife: I became a scuba dive instructor in Mozambique before becoming a Shark Educator for a Shark conservation organisation in South Africa where I taught interns and visitors the importance of sharks in the ocean life cycle as well as shark’s anatomy, behaviour and identification of species. On returning to the UK in March 2020 I started up Gingeunderthesea, my personal marine conservation brand, where I have been giving live talks to schools, groups and organisations and sharing as much knowledge and information on sharks and marine conservation as I can.

e are very grateful to all Dunstonians who have volunteered as mentors or career advisors for our Sixth Formers. More and more are coming forward wanting to give back to the younger generation and our virtual Careers Events proved very popular with our current students. Huge thanks go to the following Dunstonian speakers and mentors for making it happen: David Hall Nils Hoppe Jaldeep Katwala Alexandra Lattimore Chris Pearman Mark Illis Michael Isles Clodagh McGuire Martyn Wright Tim Bett Andy Bennett Andrew McIver

DUNSTONIAN TOURS

Thanks to the easing of lockdown, we have hosted a series of Dunstonian Tours round the College with over 50 Dunstonians attending over three tours. It is our intention to run further tours alongside an exciting calendar of events in the months to come.


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

Albert Kagwa (’32)

OD LODGE 5662 Consecrated 24 September 1937

A

W

e were recently contacted by Jeffrey Green, author of the book “Black Edwardians”, after he noted in a 1942 issue of the American weekly magazine “The Black Dispatch” a reference to Albert Kagwa (son of Apollo Kagwa, a renowned Ugandan statesman) ”studying at the London Hospital and educated at St Dunstan's school, Catford”. Apollo Kagwa’s reputation as a statesman and ethnographer continues to this day. He was one of the two African representatives from Uganda in Britain for the coronation of Edward VII and died in 1927. His son Albert Kagwa, after attending St Dunstan’s, became a house

surgeon at the London Hospital, and represented the hospital as a sprinter in the United Hospitals athletics competition. A Ugandan website indicates he was in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War II. He married Ann Still in mid-1944, in Brentford. After some research in the Archives Room at the College, we discovered that in the 1963 Chronicle, a reference was made to a Dr A. Kagwa moving from Mbale to Kampala. He died very shortly thereafter, but news of this did not reach the College until 1967, when the following was published in the obituaries section of the school magazine:

“A. Kagwa ('32) Coming to St. Dunstan's from Uganda in the late 'twenties, he soon found his feet in the strange surroundings as a most cheerful and popular member of an English school. He qualified in medicine and returned to do excellent work in Uganda, first as an ordinary doctor and later as a specialist in the nutrition problems of his people. News of his death on April 17, 1963, has only just reached us and we must offer apologies for the late announcement. He was a Life Member of the Association”.

s another year passes, we are still in the throes of covid. As a Lodge we have not met since last September, the meeting itself reduced to 6 Lodge members to carry out vital Lodge business only, with no festive board or social interaction afterwards. However, we have continued to support charities close to our hearts with generous donations from Lodge Members. With the lockdown drawing to a close and the slow resumption of Masonic activities we are once again allowed to meet and resume our Masonic Ceremonies and social functions, although we now have a backlog of ceremonies to conduct and advance our junior members. The Old Dunstonian Lodge is open for business and welcomes any prospective members or enquiries from anyone interested to find out more about Freemasonry, who we are, what we do, and do not wish to simply rely on word of mouth or information found on the internet. Please feel free to contact the Lodge Secretary Russell Mady – 07803 000 691 any time, even for a brief chat.

5


6

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

NEWS ARCHIVE

Digital Archives

P

Archive Scientific Equipment

A

side from the digital archives, we unearthed a vast amount of historical scientific equipment when the science departments moved from the old laboratories to the new STEM block and we are in the process of cataloguing them. These include a telescope gifted by the widow of CM Stuart, the first headmaster, as well as various instruments ranging from the Victorian ages, all the way up to the 1970s.

Old Uniform Further to our appeal regarding old uniform for a display in our new College shop situated in the atrium of the STEM block, we have received numerous donations from as far away as Ottawa. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Dunstonian Office should you wish to donate an item to the Archives by sending an email to dunstonians@stdunstans. org.uk. We are always keen to grow the collection of historical archive artefacts we have at the College.

THE PLAQUES AROUND THE COLLEGE

Extensive work will be carried out during July and August 2021 in order to create the Plaza at the back of the College which will host an outdoor amphitheatre and a CCF parade square. The Fives courts will be relocated at the back of our existing Sport and Leisure Centre as a result. We have salvaged all commemorative plaques from around the College (including the Music Block plaque and the Fives courts plaques) and please be assured that we will display them again once the building work is finished.

hase 1 of the digitalisation of the Chronicles from 1960 to the present day was a huge success in 2020 and we have since commissioned the same company to digitalise all Chronicles from 1923 to 1959. Our Archives Room at the College is thriving with regular donations, small and large, from Dunstonians all over the world and we were particularly grateful to Robert Porrer (‘62) for sharing some fencing photos. He writes: "Congratulations on making the archives available to ODs. Seeing the photos of sports and school plays prompted me to look in my archive (now digitised) to see if I had any photos from my time at SDC.I have found a number of pictures of Fencing (1961 and 1962) and also a few of the school play in1962 (Hamlet, if my memory serves me right). I finished at SDC in December 1962 before going on to Oxford University in October 1963 to read Modern Languages."


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

5

FAMILY CONNECTIONS LAID TO REST By Roy Payton ('53)

N

early two years ago there was extensive media coverage explaining the story of three British soldiers' remains from the First World War being discovered in a garden in Northern France. By using DNA and a uniform badge worn by one of the soldiers, they were traced back to their homes and the badge belonged to a Private Henry Wallington, who lived in Brownhill Road, Catford. Unbelievably, I discovered that Henry Wallington was my late wife Christine's, uncle. My mother-in-law, Dorothy Wallington, was Henry's sister and the family had lived on Brownhill Road in Catford. Interestingly, before I won my scholarship to St Dunstan's, I used to walk past Henry's house on my way to Brownhill Road Primary School every day. What a small world!

The BBC held a service for the three soldiers and Henry's family was represented by a half sister, because they had no idea of my wife's existence, nor of myself. Details of the images shown: 1) The burial service of the three soldiers. 2) The marriage certificate of Henry's Mother and Father dated 15th February 1892 - I actually have the original copy in my desk! 3) The return Rail tickets to Paris when Dorothy Wallington married her husband George Lee my Wife's Father. 4) Dorothy Wallington Henry's sister and my late wife's mother. 5) Henry Wallington himself in uniform, probably showing the very badge which they were able to trace him from, all the way back to to his home in Brownhill Road, Catford.

2

3

POETRY FOR CHARITY

D

unstonian Roy Payton (’53) pictured above, has recently published a collection of some of his poems written with pathos and humour demonstrating that life is a journey and not a destination. The anthology is entitled “Poetry in Motion” and can be purchased on his justgiving page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/roy-payton3. All proceeds will go to Dementia UK.

1

4

7


8

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

The Very Reverend Dr John Hall KCVO FSA FCIS ('67)

D

r Hall contacted us in January 2021 to let us know that he retired from his position as Dean of Westminster on 1st November 2019 after 13 happy years at Westminster Abbey. He retired to the Chichester diocese. The Queen appointed him a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) on his retirement.

SIMON RAWLE ('84) James Lyall SWORD OF HONOUR

S

imon Rawle (‘84) recently contacted us after reading one of our regular newsletters and he writes: “Having just received your e mail which included a photograph of the lobby which you said may rekindle some memories, it certainly did for me - here is a picture of me in the lobby nearly 40 years ago having been the first recipient of the sword of honour. I still remember the occasion so well as Jim’s life and time at school was celebrated and it was clear he’d been a good friend and role model to so many. The evening was particularly poignant for me as I’d been badly injured in the accident which so sadly claimed Jim’s life.

I’m now settled in Oxfordshire with my wife Rebecca and two children. I spent a good number of years in Hong Kong as a town planner before coming back to the UK and requalifying as a solicitor and now work as a Financial Ombudsman.” Editor’s note: Simon’s recollection references the tragic road accident at the 1983 CCF summer camp which claimed the lives of two students, James Lyall and Conrad Bard, and caused serious injuries to several others. The James Lyall Sword of Honour has been presented every year since then to the Senior Army Cadet (the RSM).

GREETINGS FROM THE USA! Ed Lister (‘59) writes:

I

left school in ‘59 and went to Chelsea Art School for four years. I returned to teach printmaking and life drawing for 10 years. I came to California in the mid 70’s, bringing with me the prints that are now on exhibit in Santa Barbara. After a full life in Hollywood, painting backdrops for the theatre, movies and TV, I moved to Santa Barbara where I continue painting.

He is actively involved in education and other matters and chairs the Council of the Royal School of Church Music and is Dean of the Priory of England & the Islands in the Order of St John - thus a trustee of St John Ambulance, amongst other things.

Stuart Andrews (’51) writes: “It was kind of you to contact me about the need for a part-time volunteer archivist. If I was still living in London, I might have been tempted - even though I am only a couple of months short of my 89th birthday! But I left London 60 years ago at the end of my four years at the College as Head of History and Librarian I now live in Wells in Somerset where I have been Hon. Librarian at the Wells and Mendip Museum for the past 15 years. You will perhaps be amused to hear that my link with the St Dunstan’s College Library goes back to 1945 when I returned from wartime evacuation as a member of the 3rd Form and was enlisted as a schoolboy volunteer assistant in the old school library. Eleven years later I returned to preside over the new library in September 1956. None of which information is any help to you in finding a suitable volunteer for the present post  But it was a much appreciated courtesy to prompt me to recall my library affiliations of so many years gone by.”


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

The

Dunstonian Association

PROVISIONAL CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2021-22

DATE

EVENT

VENUE

4 September 2021

Dunstonian Day (including displays of Archives)

College

17 September 2021

GRAND OPENING of New Building, Plaza & PAC

College

29 September 2021

Opening of the Ben Chudleigh Recital Room

College

12 November 2021

Opening of the Martin Preston Drama Studio

College

22 November 2021

AGM

Park Langley

November 2021 (TBC)

Nigel Higgins Lecture

College

December 2021

Xmas drinks with 2010s-2020s leavers

TBC

February 2022*

Black Tie Dinner for all year groups

College

Spring 2022*

Northern France WW1/ WW2 trip

France

March 2022

Rediscover St Dunstan’s tour

College

March 2022*

CCF Dinner

Oriental Club

May 2022*

Legal profession dinner

Oriental Club

May-June 2022

Rediscover St Dunstan’s tours

College

27 May 2022

Commemoration Day

Southwark Cathedral

*These events have not yet been confirmed

9


10 4

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

Sport

ROUND UP CRICKET I

hope you and all your family and friends are all safe and well following a testing winter. It will be great to see everyone back down at the club in the not- too-distant future! Despite a Winter of staying at home, no socials, no winter nets and no Indoor Cricket, there has been significant work completed at the club since the end of last season. Inside the clubhouse, the changing rooms have been painted and new flooring has been installed in the bar area, meanwhile outside, the patio has been extended, the bridge across to the Warren fixed and upgraded, and flowers planted around the clubhouse and car park. The ground looks in great shape ahead of the new season, and we would like to thank all of those that have helped in doing this, mainly Andy Rouse, Mark Coles and Gordon Coles who have done a marvellous job. In addition, using the funds raised last year, a new heavy roller has been purchased that should see an improvement in the playing surfaces on both the main square, and on the Warren. We can’t promise a road in May, but the pitches should hopefully have a little more bounce in them than last year! Sadly, the club lost stalwart Brian Cantle who passed away in October following a long battle with Cancer. His witty comments, waffly old stories and batting advice will be sorely missed. A Memorial game took place for Brian on Friday 4th of June between OD CUACO and Old Wilsonians, featuring guests from Brian’s beloved Old Olavians side. For those that are not playing members, or who want to contribute towards the club in other ways, you could become a match ball

sponsor or a social member. To do this, please email the Chairman (andyrouse3333@gmail.com) saying you would like to sponsor/ join socially, and submit a payment of £30 to the club via bank transfer, with your name as a reference (A/c 40432628, Sort Code 20-49-81)


11 5

Throwback report: T20 XI v Blackheath 2020 RESULT Knockout competition, August 31st 2020 OD CUACO

117 – 8 (20.0)

Blackheath

100 - 10 (19.3)

OD CUACO win by 17 runs PLAYERS OF THE MATCH Andrew Ainger (33, 2-21) Mike Parr (20, 3-18) A 5pm start time in late August, with the threat of batting in the pitch black late on in the 2nd innings spelt one thing. Win toss bat - that’s what skipper Chris Webster did. Mixing things up from the first 2020 game against OWs, youngsters Loader and East W went out to open the batting, before an early mix up running between the wickets saw the inseparable two walking in different directions. The skip entered at number 3 and hit some early PowerPlay boundaries before falling on a sticky wicket. Parr entered the fray and tried to settle the nerves, but a caught behind appeal from Blackheath against Isaac saw uproar on the pitch and the sidelines. Shouts of “Just walk”, “Get out of here” and “You’re a cheat” at our young prodigy were right out of order, and we let them know from the sidelines. Simple points about being good blokes on and off the field fell on deaf Blackheath ears, so there was only one thing we could do. Smash them. Isaac eventually fell, followed by a send-off, then sturdy middle overs batting from Ainger and Parr elevated the ODs total towards three figures. Those two departed, along with Boyden

and Hamilton with all four trying to accelerate the run rate, before Nick Worsley finished off the innings with a 16 not out. One particular highlight was his last ball, which he smashed to the keeper and stood there after the controversy of ‘if you don’t walk you’re a cheat’. The umpire didn’t give him out, so Nick announced this, then walked off the pitch, adding to his average and leaving ODs on 117. Following a quick turnaround, ODs took to the field. Mr. Chatterbox (one particularly mouthy Blackheath fielder) opened the batting and its safe to say, ODs went in hard. It was very easy to criticise the bloke given he reached just 2 runs off 14 balls before shnicking off Will East’s bowling to the skipper at slip. From here on in, ODs controlled the innings beautifully, with well- set fields backed up by some fantastic bowling. Spinners East, Ainger and Parr took vital wickets throughout, while not leaking many runs, leaving the rate rising. 7s, 8s, 9s. In almost pitch black conditions, ODs had to defend 17 off the last over with just 1 Blackheath wicket remaining, with Baylis charging in with the pink nut. Dot. Wicket – Huge celebrations. ODs won the game by 17 runs, how’s that for a response to the early ruckus? Jubilant, ODs marched off the pitch and onto Spice Society for a very satisfactory curry!

Tour to Worcester 25th July to 28th July OD CUACO are pleased to announce that we will be returning to Worcester for our cricket tour this Summer following a year away last season. If club members would like to attend, please pay the £50 deposit to the club account and message Daniel Baylis once you have done so. More details, including our Tour fixtures, are detailed in the posters later on in the newsletter.


12

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

GOLF Old Dunstonians GS Autumn meeting report - Saunton Golf Club 20/21 September 2020

T

he ODGS made an early autumn tour to North Devon which included representatives of the OD Popes Golfing Society. In a breakaway from the normal Home Counties venue, the two day trip centred on the 36 holes of links golf at Saunton Golf Club situated at the mouth of the Taw and Torridge estuaries in Devon, and home course of the captain elect. It was decided to play for the spring meeting trophy on the second day of the tour following missing Rye earlier in the year because of COVID. 16 members of both Societies converged at Saunton, the weather far exceeding the quality of golf with 48 hours of glorious sunshine welcoming the players to the famous links.

On the first day, the East course was played and local member and Society Captain, Trevor Smith, claiming top spot for the Reardon Cup with 41 points shading Paul Bailey into second 34 points. Closest to the sixth in two was Ian Pressney and nearest the pin on the beautiful 13th was Trevor Smith with a fantastic shot to get inside some earlier super shots. The society was held in high regard by onlookers at the terrace bar by the 18th green as the ODGS returned to the clubhouse in style. First, Paul King holed a chip shot from 20 yards off the green to riotous applause to seal a tight match. Not to be outdone, the captain Trevor Smith subsequently holed out from the greenside bunker- much to Paul's delight and dismay in equal measure!

On the Sunday evening, supper was held at the Barnstaple Hotel, maintaining strict social distancing with tables of four. Many re-connections were made with the older members of the touring party re-establishing friendships dating back 38 years. New society members were awarded ties and multiple tales exchanged. It is rumoured some members found their way to bed approaching 1.30am. Monday morning saw the group reduced to ten playing members for the West course but enthusiasm was undimmed. It was shorts weather again as the society headed out first thing with some mixed displays. However, it was again the skipper Trevor Smith on home soil who took the Heaton Caffyn Trophy from Paul Bailey again in second. Nearest the pin at the 9th was a delightful effort from the secretary Keith Norman and nearest the 15th in two was Jeremy Scott- who’d saved his best two of the day for the same hole! With a final beer and farewell in the sunshine on the terrace, all members departed for the journey home. The next meeting will be held at Knole Park on Thursday 3rd December from 9.30 tee times and the Society welcomes all golfers to the Christmas Fayre and lunch to follow.

Trevor Smith Honorary Captain ODGS 2020

Dunstonian Golf Society


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

RUGBY T

owards the end of the 19/20 season there was a glimmer of hope that competitive rugby may actually get back into full swing by the start of the 20/21 campaign. But the Covid-19 pandemic raised it's head again, another full lockdown, and the RFU Return to Rugby Pathway was pushed back several steps. It was then confirmed there would be no structured season for 20/21. With that being the case the Club has put all of its efforts fully into training and inter club matches in line with RFU guidelines. Phil Ubee ( ‘71), Head Coach, and Anthony Smith (‘81), 1st XV Manager, have done a sterling job keeping the playing squad fit and on point for when we finally get an announcement that competitive rugby can resume. Here's hoping the 21/22 season will be more fruitful for action on the pitch.

13


14

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

Spotlight on... Tim Pratt

new teacher was much less structured than today and to a large extent you were left to your devices; I am glad that pupils during my early years were so tolerant of my errors and omissions. I was also fortunate to become a tutor in Griffiths House allowing me the opportunity to support individuals and activities over many years, although we rarely seemed to beat Bennett in the swimming relays!

im Pratt taught mathematics at St Dunstan’s from 1967 to 2004, serving as Deputy Head in the nineties. Here he shares his recollections of his time at the College.

My role at SDC changed regularly but classroom teaching always remained the main challenge and the most satisfying far more than any administration. However until the mid nineties I was responsible for the construction of the annual teaching timetable starting in the early seventies using a pinboard to represent the week’s 40 teaching periods and pins of slightly different colours to represent each member of the teaching staff. One year I recall that some of the pins had been reorganized overnight back into neat tidy rows of the same colour; I never found out who or why, but publication of the finished version was much delayed! With experience I changed to using pencil and paper (less chance of any sort of sabotage!) before in the nineties starting to use the assistance of early computer programs.

Teaching was a family tradition (my elder sister, both parents and some of my grandparents taught) but as a teenager I was keen to avoid following in their footsteps. During university that view changed as I sought a career with variety and social contact but also allowing me to make use of my mathematical knowledge. Being Leicester born, bred and educated, I had no knowledge of south east London, let alone St Dunstan’s, before undertaking my teacher training course where I was enthused by the changes in mathematics teaching pioneered by a small number of schools including St Dunstan’s. Some ODs may still remember the “spotty” maths textbooks of the sixties and seventies which introduced the student to the world of matrices, probability, sets, logic and much more. Feeling more than a little apprehensive walking up the steps of the imposing entrance to the College in September 1967 as a newly qualified teacher (salary £700 per annum – times have changed!), I was immediately struck by the warmth and friendliness of the welcome from staff and pupils. Indeed that relaxed atmosphere within an educational establishment requiring certain rules and regulations was a constant throughout my time at St Dunstan’s. Most of my first year’s teaching was in the tower room right at the top of the building, rarely used for lessons afterwards! Three flights of stairs improved my fitness but I soon learnt not to forget necessary books or teaching materials left in the Common Room on the ground floor. In those days, advice and guidance for a

In my view one of the strengths of SDC was the expectation that teachers were involved in the provision of a wide range of extra-curricular activities. I well remember the charity walks of the early seventies and the large discos - headlined on occasions by a Capital Radio DJ; events that today would probably fail most health and safety regulations. There were also the lunchtime charity fund raising concerts featuring surprising talents of many pupils. The star on one occasion was a 15 year old who was an excellent mimic; I along with a number of other colleagues recognized ourselves only too well. One of the most enjoyable long-term roles was as Treasurer of the Dramatic Society involving most of the front of house organization and attempting to keep control of the budget, easier with some producers than others. During this time productions ranged from King Lear to Oh What a Lovely War usually with a large cast and demonstrated the varied talents of many pupils and teachers on and off stage. I also recall in the early seventies organizing a group of Sixth Formers in a national competition where each school acted as the managing board of a fictitious company making decisions about income and expenditure for the forthcoming year for a total of five years. Well before the advent of computers, each decision was posted to the bank running the competition and returned within a week showing your company’s profit or loss over that year. Having beaten a number of exalted competitors, we reached the final on one occasion only to miscalculate greatly the effects of a production slump in Year 4 leaving us second overall despite being the most successful company in all the other years.

T


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

Involvement with sporting teams provide many memories. The 2nd XV usually trained with the 1st team so my role was more of a manager and referee than of coach. Two years stand out in the memory; firstly a season with a 100% record until the last couple of games or so when the team was disrupted totally by injuries and secondly a team with a very small set of forwards but quick backs capable of winning any game with only a small amount of possession much to the amazement of opposition players and coaches. My main sporting interest was cricket and I was fortunate to coach many exceptional players during their season as Senior Colts, a year when the appreciation of the finer points of the game ran alongside consolidating individual skills. Two memories stand out; firstly an individual who rarely batted and never bowled but was one of the stars in a very good team by his enthusiasm and outstanding fielding, secondly a superb game against an unbeaten Trinity when every result was possible before the last three balls were bowled. A question often asked is what changes did I see at SDC during my 37 years teaching. There were too many to recount fully here often reflecting changes in society but I will concentrate on those which in my view had the most impact or were of great personal interest – my apologies for any major omissions. The age range was extended to include pupils from age 4+; Saturday morning teaching was reduced and then abandoned; an earlier start to the teaching day (I have a vague memory that in my initial year school began at 0915); developments to provide more space for the Junior School and to improve specialist provision especially in science, music and the range of sporting activity; increased contact with parents through parents’ meetings and more regular reporting; use of technology in both teaching and administration, greater sophistication in the monitoring of pupils progress and in assisting them to set their own targets especially during my later years at St. Dunstan's; improving and raising the profile of pastoral care. Another difference in my view was that the average student worked far harder and with greater commitment at the end of my teaching career than at the start. My involvement with the timetable extended my interest in curriculum development. If my memory serves me correctly, a Year 9 pupil in the late sixties had a choice between latin and chemistry, did not study biology with most learning only French as a foreign language. The range of subjects at sixth form was very traditional with only a few students combining arts and science courses at A Level. Over time the curriculum range extended – additional foreign languages, more science and extra options in the middle school and extra A Level options – and was less rigid; there was a difficult balance to achieve between allowing pupils a totally free choice of optional subjects and department requirements regarding teaching group size and ability setting. The teaching timetable was constructed as far as possible by allowing pupils to select their combination of optional subjects and then trying to meet as many of those choices, rather than constructing the timetable first to include only a limited number of combinations. Each year required one or two conversations with disappointed students to suggest a change in their selected course of study. Undoubtedly the major change at St.Dunstan’s during my time was the decision in the early nineties to become co-educational. Considerable research was undertaken before the decision was finalized (a number of other similar schools had already made the change) followed by the planning of the necessary

changes to the routine, curriculum and fabric of the College as well as the vital task of communicating to all of the Dunstonian community, past, present and future. The lack of social media in those days made that communication a time consuming task but certainly ensured that informed discussion with many individuals was possible. Inevitably there some who disagreed with the decision, feeling that it would change the nature and some strengths of the College too much, but the vast majority of views were favourable. Nevertheless the next years were a risk as we needed to attract sufficient girls at the standard age entry points to join what was still a predominantly boys’ school. Needless to say, we probably worried unnecessarily as the pupils themselves were our best form of advertising and communication but it was still a relief to reach the stage where there were a significant number of girls in all years. Some activities diminished (less boys per year meant that competing with some traditional rivals was problematic) but others such as the range of music and drama increased and new opportunities appeared. To me the most pleasing aspect of the change was the retention and possible enhancement of that warm and friendly atmosphere that I had first encountered as a very green and new teacher over 25 years earlier. My teaching commitment decreased in the early nineties as the demands of Deputy Head and my involvement in the preparation for and change to full co-education took considerable time, occasionally it may have appeared to the exclusion of all else. I missed some of the teaching and the active participation in extra-curricular activities – being a spectator and supporter was not the same. This contrast was even more marked during my six months as Acting Head. I enjoyed being easily able to congratulate pupils on their successes, to commiserate with them on their misfortunes but was very aware that the detailed preparation of those activities was the work and responsibility of others. Even though I had a tremendous team to support me, some aspects of College planning, administration and publicity were less enjoyable especially when such matters dominated a working day to the exclusion of most pupil contact. I was fortunate that my last four years at St Dunstan’s allowed me to return to the classroom as a teacher without many other responsibilities. Not everything was perfect. Inevitably there were bad days when my response or reaction was inappropriate or when a lesson was totally misjudged; those days when I needed a calming influence in the evening be it family, gardening, reading or listening to folk music. The next day would always provide a new challenge and opportunity to remedy mistakes. The final recollection of my teaching career at SDC is being on field duty during lunchtime on the penultimate day of the summer term. It was warm and sunny and the fields were full of informal games of football and cricket and of pupils just sitting around relaxed and gossiping with all ages, genders, backgrounds, races and faiths mixing happily together. Long may it continue.

15


16

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

Stan Holt and Lyn Ashman, who all helped develop my lifelong love of rugby and, of course, the late lamented Martin Preston, drama director and RE tutor, who instilled into so many of us a sense of humanitarian enlightenment.

If you were able to go back in time, would you change anything about your time at the College?

Mark Newton (’77) Griffiths House

Left to right, Mark and his brothers Tim (’69) and Philip (’73)

If I could change anything, I would definitely choose not to study Economics at A Level! The arts of speed reading, shorthand and touch typing would have been really useful (if only we’d known, in the ’70s, how much we would become reliant on the keyboard and screens!). I also wish the College had been co-educational in our day and I recall thinking, at the time, that our cloistered all-male environment could risk creating a narrow and limiting perspective on life in the real world. I’m pleased to see that this has now been rectified.

Have you kept friendships going since your time at St Dunstan’s?

Can you tell us more about your life since you left St Dunstan’s in 1977? After half a Gap Year in Hamburg, I studied Business Law at Coventry Poly and did summer holiday jobs including bin-man and milkman. A brief flirtation with a career in the law eventually led to property management, primarily at Dollond & Aitchison, the opticians (D&A), based in Birmingham and then at Boots, in Nottingham, after D&A merged with Boots Opticians. Finally, I managed the Barclays Bank property estate from the Birmingham office of CBRE, Surveyors, until retirement in 2016. Since retiring, I’ve continued to act as a trustee for the D&A pension scheme, became a governor at a primary school in South Birmingham and also a volunteer with Guide Dogs for the Blind, acting as a guide for a blind man once a week. I’ve lived in Birmingham since 1983, with my wife, Sally, a solicitor who I met at Law College in Guildford. We have two sons, Ben, an ex-soldier turned firefighter, and Sam, an actor. We also have two grandchildren, Lexi & Lennox.

Who were your most inspiring teachers and what impact did they have upon you? As most of my best recollections of school years relate to extra-curricular activities such as sports and dramas, I have fond memories of Simon Thorogood, John Gaskell,

Richard Sansom and I joined the College in Prep 2 having previously been together at Balgowan Primary School, Beckenham. We combined well on the rugby field (my 10 to his 12) and we even won a National Junior Sevens trophy at Rosslyn Park. After College, we were Best Man at each other’s weddings and we’ve been in regular contact over the years. We’ve both kept in touch with Paul Floyd, who has recently returned to the UK after many years living and working out in Dubai. Sadly, two of our close friends have now passed away, unexpectedly, and all too soon. I had worked with Gary Mays briefly, in the early 1980s, when he and a friend from Warwick University had set up a new business in Coventry in the fledgling world of home computer games. We both stayed in the Midlands and we met up from time to time. I also had regular correspondence and occasional catch-ups with James Malpas, renowned art historian and the most multi-talented person I have ever known. After meeting several old friends at James’ funeral in 2015, I collaborated with Ed Main and David Trew to organise the (40th) reunion of the Class of ’76, at the College in May 2016, which went really well. Since that time, I have seen or been in touch with a number of old friends including Chris Wright, Allan Sutton, Sam Lewis, Martin Larrington, Brian Taylor and Steve Sheppard. Colin Callaghan was away in Astana, Kazakhstan for the 2016 reunion but has now retired and returned home. Prior to lockdown, we caught up for a walk (and a pint) in the Peak District. Other friends abroad include Andrew Wade and Mazin Al-Muddaris (both now settled in Australia) and


www.stdunstans.org.uk/dunstonian-association

Richard Thompson (in New Zealand), all of whom I have been in touch with via email.

What advice would you give to our current Year 13 students? Your learning has only just begun; be prepared, open and willing to continue learning new skills or to develop existing ones throughout your life. Take care of yourself; learn how to breathe properly, sleep and eat well and move more (get away from that screen!). Try not to let ego dictate the course of your life. Avoid the pursuit of financial success for its own sake (as this could limit your horizons) but allow your personal ambitions to help you pursue and achieve the best you can in whichever path you chose. Follow your own path, not one that others might expect of you but focus on what you can do for others and your own success will take care of itself.

Has the pandemic and the various lockdowns reshaped your life in one way or another? During the first lockdown, Sally made the decision to join me in happy retirement and is now spared from the rigours of working from home. We both do yoga and have continued to follow the tutor on Zoom from our lounge and I’ve also continued to engage, via Zoom, as both a trustee and governor. We’ve also been joined by son Sam and his partner, Cat, which has enhanced the energy in the house and helped to improve my cooking skills and the quality and variety of our meals. The garden has also improved significantly, under Sally’s supervision, with the introduction of a vegetable patch and other improvements. Unfortunately, our regular excursions in an old campervan have been on hold this year but we have several trips planned for after lockdown. We are particularly looking forward to taking our new Corgi puppy onto the beaches of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire as soon as we’re allowed. A trip to Cornwall is also planned to visit my 92 year old mother, Sue, now based in St Ives and, hopefully, a family reunion with brothers Tim (TF ’69) and Philip (PM ’73) before too long. Sadly, we lost our father, John (JW ’44), to Alzheimer’s in 2012. The pandemic reminds us that we can’t predict the future with any certainty. Consequently, we need to appreciate the importance of living in the moment, being content with our lives and making the most of the time we have. Albam Exorna!

17


18

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

proudest moment. I loved wearing the full colours blazer even though it was so big on me. I did hold some school records for athletics but I am sure they have been surpassed by now.

Marcus Metcalfe (’96) Forder House

If you were able to go back in time, would you change anything about your time at the College? I would get involved in more clubs/activities now and also apply myself to my work. Looking back at my reports they were pretty bland, there is a common theme – Marcus is polite, well liked, but always ‘could do better’. I was very shy and didn’t have enough confidence – I didn’t want to stand out in any way. I turned down the solo in ‘Once in Royal David's City’ when I was about 11 which my mum still brings up now! The thought of singing in front of the whole school terrified me. I wished I’d had the confidence. I do have a confession: I once had a digital watch that could be programmed to control the class TV/ Video. Apologies to Mr Johncock (English 6th form), Mr Hunter and Mr Sharp as I disrupted quite a few lessons!

Have you kept friendships going since your time at St Dunstan’s?

You left St Dunstan’s in 1996; what have you done since leaving? I left in 1996 and went to Leeds Metropolitan university to study Leisure?! (all my friends were also studying leisure, no comment). I moved back down to London and have worked in the Pharmaceutical sector my whole career (as a medical rep, but mostly in recruitment). Today I live in York with my wife Jane and 2 daughters, Annabelle and Felicity.

Who were your most inspiring teachers and what impact did they have upon you? Looking back there were so many inspiring teachers which I didn’t fully appreciate at the time. From a Form perspective, I loved the 1st form with Mr Price and 6th form with Mr Hunter. Mr Hunter even invited his 6th form class over to his house for a bit of a party – I'm not sure if he regretted it after! An inspiring teacher, always immaculately dressed and good fun! I met him by chance years later and wished I'd told him how much of a positive impact he had had on me. I always struggled with Maths, but Mr Pratt and Mr Pickett really worked hard with me that I started to enjoy classes. Mr Sutcliffe in English.

What was your proudest moment at St Dunstan's? I would say winning full colours for Athletics was my

Yes – and this is one of the fantastic qualities of an Old Dunstonian – there is a bond for life. I feel anywhere I go, if I was to meet someone who went to St Dunstan's there is an instant connection. If you ask around, a lot of other people don’t feel this about their school. Nick Kirby, Ian Stewart, Jon Payne, Michael Barling, Andy Ryle, Jeremy Scott (he’ll sort you out a great deal on mortgages!) All good friends still

What advice would you give to our current Year 13 students? Follow your own path. Really look at what you are passionate about and what you are good at; and if you are lucky enough to find both, hopefully life will be good to you. It was much more important to ‘fit in’ with my friends when I was in year 13, I was afraid to make different choices, I didn’t want to be different. There’s a balance to be had – you can do both.

Has the pandemic set your life on an unexpected course? Not for me. I work in pharmaceutical recruitment and the sector has been busy throughout the pandemic, so I’ve been very lucky. Its been a horrendous time, but there have been positive changes. The biggest permanent shift has been the success of remote working and businesses willingness to continue it. Its huge! This trend will continue and if you work in the kind of job where this is possible, in theory you can live anywhere with an internet connection.


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

has put my worries about going out into perspective. To round off on the cliches, it has also made me appreciate the friends I have made and although last term wasn’t normal, it was lovely in another way because I got to have a more relaxed and wholesome time (workload remained blissfully unaffected, however). I also have modified online exams so that is a big win for me.

Have you kept friendships going since your time at St Dunstan’s? Yes definitely! Obviously for me it hasn’t been too long so we aren’t quite yet into the realms of not recognising each-other anyway. I slightly hate online communication so I keep up with people mainly through long phone calls every couple of months, and I know that things are already being planned for over the summer as well.

Aimee Montague (’19) Stuart House You left St Dunstan’s in 2019; what have you done since leaving? I’ve gotten halfway through my time at university, obviously with a few moves back home in between! I am lucky to have a ‘best of both worlds’ type situation - I feel very settled in Cambridge and have lots of fun when I’m there but I also have a safe and comfortable time at home when I’m back, with the luxury of a real kitchen and living room. I’ve also switched my degree title and become an editor for a student newspaper.

If you were able to go back in time, would you change anything about your time at the College? Honestly very little - perhaps to try and worry less about exams, but I’m aware that certainly for me that would be to take away a personality trait.

What advice would you give to our current Year 13 students? To not feel any pressure to ‘use’ this time or glean any important truths from a period that is quite objectively upsetting. School work is enough! Guilt can’t be a motivating force in itself, but I have found that there are other ways to give purpose to this time that aren’t learning how to code Google or running a marathon - you are allowed to feel accomplished just by finishing a fiction book or re-organising your room. There’s also a lot of interesting stuff being put online, so do some (leisurely) research into the degree / apprenticeship/ career you think you might be interested in.

Has the pandemic set your life on an unexpected course? To an extent yes, I am still quite (read: very) bitter about missing out on two terms at university - but I am avoiding spiralling about ‘the rest of my life’ - in that respect I have suffered infinitesimal damage in comparison to many people affected by the pandemic, and having a mum working on the covid wards

19


20

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

Announcements Obituaries 1930s Ronald Stuart “Tim” Thomas (‘39)

Tim died on 9th September 2020 following a fall resulting in a broken hip. He was 97 years old. Tim was born in 1923 and attended St Dunstan's College from 1933 – 1939. He then went to the Sir John Cass School of Navigation as a cadet officer in the Merchant navy. He survived 24 Atlantic crossings during the Battle of the Atlantic where he was torpedoed and bombed before being sent out to the Far East on oil tankers supplying the Royal Navy with fuel. He retired from the sea in 1949 and spent most of his life as a river inspector on the Norfolk Broads. He retired in 1987 and spent the rest of his life on our smallholding until having to go into a Care Home in 2019. Tim was a lifelong friend of Ronald Stanley Halls (see below). Received from Jennie Crohill (daughter).

Ronald Stanley Halls (‘39)

Ron Halls died at the age of 97 on 11th September 2020, just two days after Tim Thomas (see above) which seemed so fitting as they had been lifelong friends from the first days at the prep school. Ron was born in 1923 and attended St Dunstan's College from 1933 – 1939. He then joined the Fleet Air Arm and was a pioneer in setting up early radar stations in the Far East. After the war Ron qualified as an electrical engineer at Southampton University and worked as a design engineer with Mullard which was later taken over by Philips until his retirement. He never married but lived happily in an old ex-pub called 'The John Barleycorn' in East Grimstead near Salisbury. Received from Jennie Crohill (goddaughter).

Sydney Hulls (’39)

We have learnt from John Emly (1960) of

the death in May 2020 at the age 97 of Sydney Hulls, a fellow Old Dunstonian and friend for over 60 years A long life lived to the full right up to his death. Steeped in boxing by his father, who himself was a well known boxing promoter in the 1940s, Sydney became a giant in sporting journalism and was, for 35 years, the specialist Daily Express reporter on boxing and also on both athletics and swimming. He reported on these three sports over two decades of Olympic Games and met most of the world’s most famous participants in them. What was not well known was that Sydney was a war hero. In September 1944, as a gunner and radio operator, he was parachuted into Arnhem. While he battled through and survived this ill-fated operation, it was not until 2015 that his bravery was recognised and he finally received the three 1939/1945 medals for his bravery for which he was eligible. Sydney had a charming and genial personality, an infectious energy and a delightful sense of humour.- he was the life and soul of any social gathering. He was professionally resourceful in pursuit of new sporting contacts and a revealing interview. Wherever he was in the world he had a nose for news and the best restaurant in town! Sydney and his beloved wife, Brenda, lived in a beautiful house overlooking Blackheath. Following Brenda’s early death Sydney’s retirement years were spent socialising and relaxing at home and enjoying Matinee performances at London theatres followed by early suppers at his favourite restaurants. He enjoyed many cruises, especially over Christmas and New Year, his last one ending in January 2020. He also took great pleasure sailing his boat which he kept at Chichester. As a musician Sydney was a truly gifted pianist and not only relaxed playing his grand piano in his conservatory at home but also by giving great pleasure and playing to entertain others on his cruises and at his yacht club.

1940s Reg' Caygill ('41)

Passed away on 24 February 2021 at the age of 93. Reg died peacefully in Chorley hospital after a short illness. He had lived in Lancashire for the last 31 years. He leaves a son Ian and a daughter Janet, and one grandson Mark. Paul Stanley (son in law)

Dr George Gordon Betts (’44)

George died peacefully at home on 05/04/2021. He was aged 94 years. He joined St Dunstan’s in September 1937 and left in July 1944. He was in Lane House. He went to Downing College Cambridge 1944-45 RN short course Law and the University of Birmingham 1948-1951 Chemical Engineering. He worked for British Petroleum Chemicals in charge of Technical and Economic Evaluation of major new capital investment. He served in the Royal Navy at the end of the war. In the 1950’s he obtained the Management Diploma of the British Institute of Management. In retirement he obtained a PhD in Philosophy University of Kent 1999. He wrote and published 3 academic philosophical books.


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

His son writes: “My father told me his stories about his time at St Dunstan’s with great happiness. Even as an evacuee and being schooled at Reigate were all part of his adventures. He remembered Mr W. R. Hecker well, with respect at how innovative he was for the time. My father never lost his desire to learn or be interested in the futures of others which I believe St Dunstan’s taught him.”

Douglas Ford ('46)

I regret having to report the death of my father Douglas Ford on 3 April 2021 at

the age of 91. He joined St Dunstan’s at Reigate in the early years of the war and left rather abruptly in December 1946, following his parents’ divorce. He was proud of the fact that both of his sons, Stephan (’83) and Mark (’89) attended the college too, before both studying at Cambridge. After two years’ National Service in 1948/49, when he served in North Africa and Greece, he became a dedicated member of the ODRFC, and served several years as assistant treasurer. He worked his way up the teams to the First XV and was very proud when he was awarded a Pink Elephant tie for 100 appearances in the first team. He especially enjoyed the three visits he made with the club to Bordeaux, where

the games were against the university and teams from towns in the surrounding region. At one of these, Eauze, he first sampled Armagnac, which became his favourite post-prandial digestif for the rest of his life.

1960s

The story is told that, on one of these rugby trips to France, he and his OD teammates were very impressed at the level of hospitality provided by their French counterparts. The ODs were hosted by the French the night before the match with an excellent meal and lots of wine (and Armagnac) to wash it down. Anyway, the following morning, the OD team was feeling very much the worse for wear. They consoled themselves with the thought that the French team would be in just as bad a state. However, when the French team ran out, they were a different group of players to the ones who had entertained the ODs the night before!

Phil was my best friend and we shared many interests, (particularly Charlton Athletic, Bob Rangecroft would approve!) except golf! He was also godfather to my eldest daughter. I was given the privilege of making an address at his funeral, and I attach a copy of the speech which exposes the heresy that we were not rugby fans! I remember that in the late 60's there were a number of subversives who favoured the beautiful game, not just us. Everyone who met Phil knew him to be funny, kind and generous, and was such a great friend, he will be greatly missed.

He told the family that the time which gave him the most pleasure was the last few seasons of his playing career (and he played on until just before his 40th birthday), after having been elected captain of the EX-B team. He felt he was putting back something into the club which had afforded him so much pleasure. Stephan Ford (son)

1950s Anthony William Oliver (’58)

Passed away on 1 January 2021. He left school in 1958. That year he had a brain haemorrhage which left him disabled. However he led a full life working in the careers service helping disabled teenagers find training and jobs. He has 2 children a son who is an accountant and a daughter who is a doctor. He always followed the news from St Dunstan's. (Janet Oliver)

Phil Horsfield (‘69, Bennett House)

Died on 4 December after several years of ill health.

Phil leaves his wife Jenny after 40 years of marriage and a daughter, Clair. Received from Stafford (Taffy) Bunce ('68)

ERRATUM from Alun Evans (‘74) Upon reading the obituaries in the latest edition of the ODA update I noticed reference to " G 'Geoffrey' Cox ('73). I believe you might be referring to Graham Cox who died on 28th March 2020 and not Geoffrey, as I cannot recall anyone else with the surname in that school year. Graham Cox was a good friend of mine who moved to the IOM where he remained until his death earlier this year. He lived in Sevenoaks while at school and commuted each day by train to Catford.

21


22

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

David Anthony Matthews ('44) Those Beloved by the Gods When I was young I wished for days of gold And thought they were to be when I was old, For gold matched silver better, far, I knew Yet never knew my golden days Were passing in an unseen haze.

David Matthews passed away on 19 April, 2021. David followed in his brother Peter's footsteps with a scholarship to St Dunstan's and, later, to read English at Cambridge. His detailed journal of the school's evacuation to Reigate during the war, was donated to the school's archives, following a visit to his house in Wales, in 2019, by the archivist. David's love of books took him into a career in Librarianship, working first at the Westminster Library in London, then moving to Manchester to develop the National Library for the Blind, and then lastly to Wales, to lecture in the newly formed College of Librarianship, Wales, in Aberystwyth, where he taught until his retirement, followed by lecture tours of Nigeria and Canada and then holidays to Russia, the Silk Road, Cuba, and around Europe, broadening his education in the opportunities these journeys presented. In his final year at St Dunstan's, David edited the school literary magazine, Six, together with his good friends, John Adams, Malcom Ruel and John Coleman, and his English teacher and mentor Basil Harvey. In it he included a poem he wrote (top right). In November last year he drafted a letter to the school outlining his education and formative experiences. He wrote: Re English Studies In 1944 I was in the sixth form at St Dunstan's where I edited the school literary magazine, Six. In it I imagined myself as an old man. I wrote "When I was young I used to think that days of gold would come when I was old" and that I was failing to enjoy my youth. Now I am old and have had an enjoyable life, including two years in the Navy, two plus years at Cambridge, University College London and Strathclyde University.

Not silver am I now, but grey, And, oh! But lead's my day. Oh would I could but exchange my years - now few. For one brief hour my boyhood friends among, And live the life I should have lived when young, Which in my youth I never even knew.

In fact I have enjoyed all the stages of life: including travel in the Navy to Canada and to Hong Kong, and many visits to Europe. I am still enjoying life on the Welsh coast, with wife and three daughters, and many friends in the past. I wish all Dunstonians a happy life, David Matthews

David passed away on April 19th at home, two days after celebrating with a glass of champagne the birth of his first great grandchild, a girl, Amara. He was predeceased by his dear wife Celia on December 11th 2020. His daughters will miss his gentle and wise presence in their lives. His was a life well lived. David had followed in the footsteps of his brother, Peter (’37), who was proud to have won an Exhibition scholarship to St Dunstan's in 1930 and later, in 1934, the German prize of Buddenbrookes, by Thomas Mann. He went on to study English at Cambridge, continuing his Literature studies at the sanatorium in Switzerland, where he sadly died, aged 30. Both brothers owed a debt of gratitude and appreciation to St Dunstan's for the education and lifelong friendships that they forged during their times at the school.


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

Arthur Jackson ('62)

A

rthur Jackson (’62) who died on 19 December 2020 after a long illness was a fully committed Dunstonian who made a major contribution to many parts of the Association, as a rugby player, rugby supporter, Association committee member and President, and as a loyal servant of the OD Lodge. He grew up in Greenwich and at SDC he distinguished himself on the rugby field and the athletics track, winning colours for rugby. Whilst still at school he was introduced to the delights and challenges of OD rugby, quickly warming to the sport and social life at Langley Park. He went on to play 113 times for the ODRFC 1st XV, scoring 6 tries and gaining a reputation as a fearless second row forward. He particularly enjoyed – if that is the correct word – playing on Easter tour in Cornwall, where his robustness was put to the test. He developed a keen liking for Cornwall and returned there for Easter tours in later life with his family, sharing happy memories with his erstwhile opponents. After his playing days were over he continued to be an active supporter of OD Rugby, and could often be seen on the touchline offering vocal support and the occasional vociferous shout of criticism to later generations of forwards who were failing to perform in the manner to which he felt they should aspire. His interest in OD affairs led him to being elected to serve on the committee of what was then the Old Dunstonian Association. As an active committee member he was always constructive with

ideas and suggestions, working hard to preserve the Dunstonian heritage but also to make it relevant to the present day and to reflect the changes in the College membership. He was honoured to be elected President of the Association in the year 2014/15, and was also a member of the Board of OD Sports Clubs Ltd. Arthur became very interested in the history of the two World Wars, and of the many ODs who fell in them. He became particularly knowledgeable about the battlefield sites of WW I, researching details of where ODs fought and are commemorated. He arranged two tours of the battlefields, cemeteries and other memorials, leading one centred on the battle of Loos which was particularly poignant for the number of ODs who fought there and fell together. Regrettably ill health prevented him from leading the second tour, which was based in the Ypres area and visited the graves of some of the ODs after whom the old school houses were named, and also featured the Last Post at the Menin Gate. Another important aspect of Arthur’s OD life was the OD Lodge, into which he was initiated in September 1980. He quickly took to Freemasonry and rose through the various offices, becoming Master in 1986, and twice more, in 1996 and then 2007. For a time he was also Treasurer and then Secretary. His services to Freemasonry in general and the Old Dunstonian Lodge in particular were recognised by the Grand Lodge of England by his appointment to London Grand Rank and later to Senior London

Grand Rank. Arthur was a very popular and hard-working member of the Lodge and a great inspiration to newer members. There was more to Arthur’s life than being a Dunstonian. Through an OD friend in 1973 he joined Sealed Knot, a registered educational and historical charity dedicated to costumed reenactment of battles and events around the English Civil War. He rose through the ranks of one of the regiments, all the while involving his wife Jean and their three daughters. His great achievement in the Society, however, was becoming Chairman of the Board of Directors, which enabled him to oversee their business and charitable aspects which he did for many years and which were very important to him. He also became treasurer of the National Association of Re-enactment Societies and was passionate about re-enactment as a whole. He was often invited to engagements with the Army and the Battlefield Trust, travelling all over the country to help arrange events and support members in these endeavours. Arthur had a varied business career, in the money market in the City, and later Credit Management for a variety of companies, along the way making many friends and social contacts, to add to the wide circle of friends he built up from his time at school and with the OD Rugby Club.

23


THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

Martin Preston ('50)

T

he Rev James “Martin” Preston was a student at St Dunstan’s in the 1940s and, later, Head of Religious Studies at the College for many years. In addition to his teaching and pastoral responsibilities, he directed countless dramatic productions at the school with boundless energy and enthusiasm. The announcement of Martin’s death in December at the age of 89 prompted an unprecedented flood of tributes from Dunstonians. We are publishing here extracts from some of those personal tributes, which testify to Martin extraordinary kindness, warmth, wit and humanity, and to the positive influence he had on so many students during their formative years:

A formal obituary was published in the Church Times, which can be read here: https://www.churchtimes. co.uk/articles/2021/22january/gazette/obituaries/ obituary-the-revd-martinpreston.

“Martin Preston was a kind and gifted man and, like many of his colleagues in the Masters' Common Room of the ‘70s, a very fine teacher. He was forbearing, quick-witted and notably brave, indispensable traits when coming out as gay in front of an entire boys’ school during this time. He was one of a group of teachers who opened up the world of art and culture to me (I “acted” in his production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot) but without snobbery or a trace of elitism. He was an ordained, practicing minister of the Christian church who wore his faith with lightness and grace. As the official School Chaplain, he was a distinctive presence, personable, considerate and civil.

24

He was a “modern man” of his time who played a unique role in the life of the school as it adapted to the progressive challenges of the 1960s and 1970s and was a prominent and much-loved member of a distinguished and exceptional teaching staff for two decades. Above all, Martin Preston set an extraordinary example of tolerance, social liberalism and enlightened values long before it was fashionable to do so as an educator; he was a remarkable man. I am very sad indeed to hear of his death”.

“Martin Preston was an inspirational teacher and influential lead for the dramatic arts at St Dunstan’s”.

“above all he taught me the importance of caring, understanding and tolerance for those different to oneself”.


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

“I was lucky enough to be taught by Martin Preston back in the day and he was certainly a massive positive influence on me”.

“He was truly an inspirational man in so many ways and he had the courage to challenge a lot of the prevailing norms about life and values in an all boys' school at that time, which cannot have been easy”.

“Overall, my enduring memory is that Martin always seemed welcoming , smiling, a teacher one would go out of one’s way to talk to (and he to talk to you), and a great educator. He treated pupils as young adults”.

“Martin ran the community service alternative to the CCF. A fellow student and I would visit and talk to one particular old lady each week. One time Martin visited her and we talked later. What struck me was that he really and genuinely cared deeply for her. Obviously care and compassion are traits one develops with age, but learning from the example of a dedicated school teacher when you are 15 left a deep impression on me....”

“Martin was the first person to instil a social conscience in me”

“I am one of many of Martin Preston's pupils whose lives have been greatly enriched by his teaching and warmth”.

“I am sure I am not alone in being terribly saddened by the news of Martin’s death. And I am equally certain I am one among many students who were influenced greatly by Martin during his time teaching at the school. May I share two specific events?….. Firstly, as our music master, he took us into the wonderful world of classical music and in particular Beethoven symphonies. Maybe Beethoven was one of Martin’s favourite composers? For us 4th or 5th form students he presented Beethoven’s great 7th symphony and unpacked it for us in such a depth of detail that I was craving for more, hence my love of classical music…. The second event was towards the end of a 1964 school trip to Moscow and Leningrad (as it was then called). Martin was the leader of the trip as he spoke Russian……..The trip ended after our few days in beautiful Leningrad with a cruise home on the Baltica, a Russian cruise liner…..I was not feeling too good as the ship headed out into the North Sea gales. Martin was also in the cabin and I can remember having a conversation with him about our Christian faiths. It was a highly encouraging discussion which went some way to helping me, a 17-year-old new Christian, as I searched for answers to life’s big questions. Thank you, Martin. You had a positive influence on my life”.

The Association is very pleased to support an appeal by the College to fund the fit-out of a Drama Studio that will bear Martin's name, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the life of the school and the well-being of its students. If you would like to help fund the Martin Preston Drama Studio you can do so either online via SDConnect (www.dunstonians.org.uk/supportus) or email: development@stdunstans.org.uk and you will be sent a donation form.

25


26

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

FROM THE AIR Then & Now...

T

his extraordinary aerial photograph shows St Dunstan’s College under construction, circa 1886, and is almost certainly the earliest photograph of the College in existence. It is one of 76 photographs (mostly of south east London) taken from a hot air balloon by Cecil Victor Shadbolt between 1882 and 1892. They are the earliest known aerial photographs to be taken in the UK. The “Catford Bridge” train line can be seen running across the top of the photo (the “Catford” line was not built until the 1890s). The Shadbolt Collection of 76 glass lantern slides was found at a car boot sale and subsequently purchased at auction by Historic England in 2015. They can all be viewed on their website, which is well worth a visit. On 29 June 1892, Shadbolt took a flight in a gas balloon owned by his friend 'Captain' William D. Dale, at Crystal Palace. The balloon ripped during the initial ascent, at around 600 feet, and though those aboard dropped ballast, the basket crashed to the ground, immediately killing Dale. Shadbolt and the other passengers were taken to Norwood Cottage Hospital, but Shadbolt died on 8 July, aged 33. He is buried at West Norwood Cemetery.

From The Air, 1886


27


28

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

The Spirit of

FORMULA 1

W

e were contacted a few months ago by Graham Larder (’69) who now lives in South Africa regarding John Wickham. He writes: “John and I were very good friends at school and we have kept in touch over the years, despite the fact that I emigrated to South Africa in 1978 and John has lived in many locations during his long career with motor racing. He came to Johannesburg on, I think, three or four occasions during his tenure with Formula One and A1 racing and stayed with us and I visited him on more than a couple of occasions on my occasional trips back to the UK on business. In between, we communicated irregularly by email and skype and he was also a close friend of my sister. John was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in April 2019. He is now in a care home and is losing his physical faculties quite quickly. He is not a person to seek out the lime light and I am sure that he has not sent you his long article published in the July edition of Motorsport. I thought it appropriate to let you and his contemporaries know what a colourful and major force he was behind the scenes in motor racing. Even at school he was navigating for a friend of his in rallies and after a brief spell in banking, returned to his sport in a full time and professional capacity.” [extract from the July edition of Motorsport] John Wickham co-owned the Spirit Formula 1 team in the early 1980s, helped mastermind Audi’s successes in the British Touring Car Championship in the mid-1990s, was at the helm of the Bentley set-up that won the Le Mans 24 Hours in the 2000s, and went on to put

together and then run the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport over the second half of the same decade. John Wickham enjoyed an eclectic career of which those are just the highlights.

in motor sport rather than banking — he was employed at a National Westminster branch in Covent Garden after leaving school at 18 — was very much the aim for the young John Wickham.

Wickham worked across a range of racing arenas all around the globe for nearly 50 years. He managed teams in Formula 2, Formula 3000 and multiple touring car categories, and ran sports car programmes on both sides of the Atlantic. Brought up in Petts Wood near Bromley, Wickham had an early interest in motor sport.

“I saw a small ad for a position at the BARC,” John recalls. “I was mad about motor sport and thought it had to be more fun than banking. I remember hand-writing my application to [general manager] Grahame White.”

“My father had raced motorcycles between the wars at places like Crystal Palace and the original grass track at Brands Hatch,” he explains. “I was reading the magazines from the age of six, and then got the Scalextric set and started modifying the cars. I even organised a sweepstake on the result of Le Mans when I was 13 or 14.” His first involvement in motor sport came with junior membership of both the British Racing & Sports Car Club and the British Automobile Racing Club in his mid-teens, helping at nearby Brands and Crystal Palace. “I started working in the paddock before I was old enough to go trackside as a marshal,” he recalls. “I can recall being at the memorable races: the amazing drive from Pedro Rodríguez in one of the Gulf Porsche 917Ks at the BOAC 1000 in 1970; and the World Championship Victory Race in 1971 in which Jo Siffert died.” There was a short-lived dabble as a competitor, navigating on road rallies with a Mini-owning friend. But working

It might sound incongruous today, but the club’s offices were in Argyll Street in Soho, right next to the London Palladium. From the centre of London, the BARC’s new competitions manager helped organise 20 race meetings through 1972. The ambition, however, was to progress from running race meetings to running a race team: “Formula 2 or sports cars, I was thinking.” White’s departure from the BARC over the winter of 1972/73 made Wickham decide it was time to seek new pastures. Another ad in a mag resulted in a trip down to Edenbridge in Kent to see John Surtees, who was looking for a team manager for his F2 squad. “Surtees for some reason gave me the job, even though I’d never been near a race team,” recalls John. “The team was John, one mechanic for each car, a truckie and me.” Wickham oversaw a programme with a pair of TS15s powered by Hart-tuned Ford BDAs for Jochen Mass aboard the team’s lead car and a roster of drivers including Mike Hailwood, Carlos Pace and Derek Bell in the second. It was a busy schedule for the rookie team manager: Team Surtees raced in 16 of


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

the 17 rounds in the 1973 European F2 Championship. Mass won two of them and scored a further four podiums, though ended up a distant second in the championship to works March driver Jean- Pierre Jarier. There were some scrapes along the way, most notably when the German was disqualified from the two-heat Thruxton race in April. The next role in the pitlane for Wickham would also be in F2. Thruxton’s place on the European calendar meant Wickham was present at an F2 association meeting at the end of ’78. March co-founder Max Mosley asked if he might be interested in helping the team out: “I thought, perfect!” Wickham was a team manager again, but his remit this time went further. He also engineered one of the flotillas of works cars that March ran. In the 1980s, Wickham hooked up with former McLaren F1 designer Gordon Coppuck, to start what became Spirit Racing: “Kawamoto asked what we would call ourselves. We were driving somewhere in Tokyo, and I saw a Bridgestone advert that read, ‘Come on racing spirit’. I thought Spirit might be good.” Wickham’s involvement in motor racing carried on until the early 2010s.

29


30

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

DATABASES AND SDCONNECT

Data is the new oil– A Brief Summary of The Dunstonian Association’s Member Data “Data is the new oil” - this oft-repeated quote, credited to the mathematician Clive Humby, dates back to 2006 but picked up more steam after the Economist published a 2017 report titled “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”. There is ongoing debate in economic circles about the validity of the contention but it is certainly the case that the Dunstonian Association would not be able to function without its member data. In 2019 we began the process of transferring our membership records from a variety of sources (school rolls, Robert Rangecroft’s OD records etc) to SDConnect (www.dunstonians.org.uk), which serves as our website, database and communications hub. While there has been the odd grumble from members about the userfriendliness or otherwise of the website, it is an extremely powerful platform and a few minutes spent familiarising oneself with its functionality is probably time well-spent. The database contains a remarkably complete record of the students and staff who have ever attended or worked at the school since its foundation in 1888, comprising the names of approx. 12,200 pupils and 800 teachers (40 have attended the school in both capacities).

Of these, 2,400 are known to be deceased and are tagged as such in the database, although there will clearly be many, many more (thousands?) whose deaths we are unaware of. The perennial issue for us, and no doubt for all alumni associations, is the acquisition and maintenance of member contact data (primarily e-mail addresses). From a standing start in 2019, over 830 Dunstonians have registered on SDConnect to date, which is pleasing progress, and we can have a high confidence that the contact details entered by these users are up to date. We also have the e-mail addresses of a further 1,800 alumni (who have not yet registered on SDConnect) that we have uploaded from earlier alumni record systems. Some of these e-mail addresses, however, will no longer be current. Monthly updates and digital copies of The Notes are currently e-mailed to over 2,600 Dunstonians. Of these e-mails, SDConnect’s fiendishly clever analytics tells us that approximately 1,700 are opened by recipients and 160 are “hard bounces” (i.e. the e-mail addresses no longer exist). The balance will be a mixture of redundant/unused e-mail accounts, deceased members (whose deaths we are unaware of), and disinterested members who, for whatever reason, simply never open our communications.

SDCONNECT

Of course, there will be many more living alumni whose e-mail addresses we do NOT have (we estimate that there are more than 5,000 living Dunstonians), and we are always keen to extend our reach to the “missing”. In many cases where we do not have an e-mail address, we DO have a physical address on file (and hard copies of The Notes are still sent to a relatively small group of alumni), although we suspect that many of these are actually the addresses of parents, whose SDC offspring have long since flown the nest. If you have not already done so, we would be extremely grateful if you would register on SDConnect (www. dunstonians.org.uk), and spread the word to any of your contemporaries who you think we might have lost touch with. We are also keen to be made aware of any Dunstonians who have passed away, both for the purpose of maintaining our records and for marking their passing in The Notes (please e-mail dunstonians@ stdunstans.org.uk). Humby’s contention that “data is the new oil” was never meant to be just about the significance of data, of course; the comparison was really made because, like oil, data is valuable, but if unrefined it is of little use...

YOUR PROFILE: Register your new profile online or simply synch instantly from your existing Linkedin profile.

UPDATES: By registering you will receive email updates and the alumni magazine to your inbox

Congratulations

YOU ARE NOW A MEMBER OF OUR THRIVING WORLDWIDE DUNSTONIAN COMMUNITY!

https://dunstonians.org.uk.

DIRECTORY: Find old friends or invite new connections to join you for a reunion in the UK

or abroad.

JOBS and WORK EXPERIENCE: Connect with other Alumni who are offering work experience or advertising job opportunities online through the portal. EVENTS: Find out about the increasing number of events taking place at the College or at the Jubilee Ground. CLUBS: The DA runs various sports clubs which you are most welcome to get involved with. ARCHIVES: Some of the College’s archives have been digitalised and you will have access to them once you have signed up. MERCHANDISE: We intend to launch a range of branded merchandise in time for Christmas 2021, solely available on SDConnect. SUPPORT US: Check out our fundraising page for our 2021 campaign!


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

Member Survey Results 365 members completed the survey that was circulated in March of this year. The key findings are set out below. We are in the process of developing an Action Plan to address the results and comments, which will be published later in the year. These are the key findings:

55%

A clear majority of respondents (55%) feel a sense of belonging to the Association, although those under the age of 40 are far less likely to feel engaged. The VAST majority of respondents have a positive or neutral impression of the Association (less than 3% have a negative opinion); Satisfaction appears to peak with those aged between 50 and 69 years of age; Dunstonians living overseas are significantly more likely to have a positive opinion.

While all types of content had their supporters (across all age groups), “news about Dunstonians (including obituaries)”, and “archive material and historical information about the school” were of the most interest to respondents; “News and information about the Dunstonian sports club” was of the least interest to respondents. In terms of the Association’s functions, the communication of news (about the school or other Dunstonians), the facilitation of contact with other Dunstonians, and the arrangement of visits to the school site are valued significantly more than the arrangement of social or sporting events or talks/lectures; These results are, to some extent, a function of those not living in London/SE England being unable to easily attend events.

A very large majority of respondents (70%) consider that the breadth and quality of the Association’s communications have improved over the last year or two; Only 4% think they have deteriorated; Those under 30 and over 80 are the most likely to have NOT seen an improvement.

30%

2%

85%

70%

Most of those who have not yet registered on SDConnect (approx. 30% of respondents) have not yet done so either because they were not aware of the website’s existence or because they “haven’t got round to it yet”; Younger members have less awareness of the website’s existence. Less than 2% of respondents (and no one under the age of 60) expressed any dissatisfaction with the Association’s website, although many have confessed to not revisiting it since their original registration.

85% of respondents read some or all of The Notes; Readership levels are broadly constant across the age groups.

About 40% of those respondents who use Facebook follow the Association’s page. While Facebook use is near universal in the 30-39 age group, it declines gradually with age thereafter, and only 50% of very young respondents (18 – 29) use Facebook.

40%

31


32

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

THE ALBAM EXORNA AWARD T

he Albam Exorna Award was first established in 2014 by the College and the Old Dunstonian Association (known as The Dunstonian Association since November 2018), and has been made every year since then. The award is a generous cash prize of £1,000 for the winner and £250 for the runner up, both sponsored by The Dunstonian Association. The Award recognizes the student who best demonstrates that they have “adorned the white” during their time at St Dunstan’s. All final year students who will be attending a university course or other form of professional training or equivalent sponsorship are eligible to apply.

All eligible students who wish to be considered for the award should submit a written application to the Headmaster. There is no prescribed length to the application nor are there any set criteria. An application should set out the grounds on which the candidate considers they are worthy of the award. All contributions to College life will be relevant. These may include contributions to the academic, artistic, sporting, dramatic or musical life of the College but this list is not exhaustive. Involvement in community work or the CCF, for example, will also be relevant. Candidates should also include in their presentation how they envisage continuing to “adorn the white” after they have left the College. All written applications are then considered during the final week of Lent term 2021 by a panel that includes senior teaching staff and officers of The Dunstonian Association, and a short list of candidates will be drawn up. Short-listed candidates will be invited to support their applications with an oral presentation to the panel and to answer questions on their application and presentation. This year’s winners were announced on 18 June 2021 during the Graduation Ceremony that took place in the Great Hall for all Year 13 students. Denise Spielger was the winner with two runners up, namely Zain Shukur and Willow Fenner. Congratulations to all!


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

We are not alone... S

DC is far from being the only, or even the first, educational establishment to bear the name of the venerable Saint Dunstan. Dunstan (c. 909 – 19 May 988) was an English bishop (top right). He was successively Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, Bishop of Worcester, Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury, and later canonised as a saint. His work helped to restore monastic life in England and reform the English Church. St Dunstan was not only a great scholar and politician, but also a skilled artist. He is said to have excelled in writing, illuminating (illustrated writing incorporating gold and silver leaf) and music. While not strictly speaking an educational establishment, St. Dunstan’s Hostel for Blind Soldiers and Sailors enabled veterans “to learn to be blind” and is possibly the most well-known institution to bear St Dunstan’s name. It was founded in 1914 by Sir Arthur Pearson and John Fawcett to cater for the increasing numbers of British soldiers returning from the front lines during the First World War suffering from blindness (especially from mustard gas attacks). The intention was that, with training and assistance, they could go on to lead productive lives and would not have to depend on charity. The organisation, originally called the Hostel for Blinded Soldiers and Sailors, was at that time based in St. Dunstan’s Lodge in Regent’s Park and the organisation soon became generally known by the name of the building in which it was based. In 2000 the charity was renamed Blind Veterans UK. St Dunstan’s Lodge (now known as Winfield House) is currently the official residence of the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Having been born in Somerset, and being at one point the Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, it is perhaps unsurprising that Saint Dunstan should also have lent his name to the principal secondary school in Glastonbury, St. Dunstan’s School, which was founded in 1958. Another Somerset school also bore the name of Dunstan - St. Dunstan’s Prep School in Burnham-on-Sea (top left), which was founded in 1887 (pre-dating our own school by one year).

During the 1970’s this school frequently hosted SDC’s Lower School rugby team during its tours of south west England but, unfortunately, closed permanently in 1984. There are at least three primary schools in England that bear Dunstan’s name, two Catholic and one C of E. These are to be found in Birmingham, Woking and Cheam respectively. Further afield, St Dunstan’s University, founded originally as a seminary in 1855, was located on the northern outskirts of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The university merged with Prince of Wales College in 1969 to form the University of Prince Edward Island. Finally, we have another St. Dunstan’s College, this one located in Benoni, South Africa (below). Opening in 1918 with the motto “I serve” (and originally known as St Dunstan’s Memorial Diocesan School), it was founded to commemorate those who had given their lives in the Great War of 1914 – 1918. Today it bears many similarities to our own SDC, being an independent, co-educational school for those from pre-school age up to 18. While it has no links to our own SDC that I am aware of, its alumni association bears an uncanny resemblance to our own - alumni are called Dunstonians (fair enough), their alumni association is called the Dunstonian Association (well it would be, wouldn’t it), and their alumni magazine is called……The Chronicle!

33


34

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

SDC NEWS From the Headmaster

I

am writing this introduction amidst glorious sunshine; it is incredible what a difference is made to the spirit of a place when the sun burns brightly, and not least as we (hopefully) nudge ever closer to the end of what has been a particularly challenging 15 months for us all. I do hope very much that whatever individual challenges have been forced upon you and your families, you have been able to draw on that inimitable Dunstonian grit and come through it stronger. It has been a real pleasure to meet so many Dunstonians across the last few weeks, representing the full gamut of our Dunstonian community, both at the very popular tours of our new buildings that we have been running across Trinity Term, and also at the Commemoration Day event, held back in Southwark Cathedral after a year away, albeit with the majority of the College having to watch it beamed into their classrooms (the miracle of

technology!). I have been most grateful to you all for the enormous interest shown in the success the College is currently experiencing. It is without doubt the case that St Dunstan’s is plunging headfirst into a most exciting future chapter. With powerful external accolades and recognition behind us, we are transforming our facilities at breakneck speed, and we see unprecedented demand for the education at work here. Demand not just for an Independent school with the might and foresight to offer exceptional facilities and learning opportunities, but an independent school that seeks to chart an alternative course. A school that places values first and foremost in what it seeks to achieve by way of education in its fullest sense; young men and women who are at ease with themselves and with the diversity of life that surrounds them, who are able to embrace an uncertain world with courage, compassion and creativity, as much as they are able to present a suite of exceptional academic credentials. I am currently working with the Governing Body to look at the next phase of life for St Dunstan’s. We are at a crossroads, much as the country finds itself at a crossroads, post-crisis. I am determined that St Dunstan’s will go from strength to strength and will become the leading example of why there is still a place for independent schools in our contemporary educational thinking. And I want you to be a part of that journey with me. For too long the Dunstonian community has lacked

an overarching strategy and cohesion. A key part of the next phase of our development is to put an end to that. To carve out the uniqueness of our collective identity and to celebrate what it means to be a Dunstonian, past and present. Clearly the Dunstonian Association has a primary role to play in this, working with the Club House, the College, the Development Campaign Board, and the various other groups of Dunstonians who meet around the world, we must now work more closely with one another to ensure that St Dunstan’s fully capitalises on the extraordinary opportunity it has to become a leading school in the sector. Doing it our way and emblazoning the white shield with the colour and optimism of the bright, dynamic and ambitious community we were founded to be and that we strive to fulfil today. I am most grateful to all those who have contributed to this edition and encourage you all to re-engage with the College today and with your fellow Dunstonians at the range of events we now hold throughout year, be that at Park Langley, the College or in the numerous other venues we use to host social events. I very much look forward to meeting you at one or more of them

Nick Hewlett Headmaster


27 JUNE - 7 JULY

The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

ST DUNSTAN’S

FESTIVAL 2021

Festival News

S

t Dunstan’s Festival took place between 27 June and 7 July 2021 and was a resounding success. The Dunstonian Association became an official sponsor for the first time and supported a Winter’s Tale play as well as the Sixth Form Leavers’ Ball. Key events included a hugely popular Sports Dinner as well as an Open Air Cinema and a magical Concert on the last night. For the first time in the history of the Festival, all events took place at the Jubilee Ground, under a Big Top.

MAIN STAGE

Headline events for everyone

FRINGE

Diversity of thought

ARENA

Competitive activities

COURAGE

Try something new

CELEBRATING COURAGEOUS COMMUNITY The

Dunstonian Association

WWW.STDUNSTANS.ORG.UK #STDUNSTANSFESTIVAL

35


36

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

Commemoration Day & Glaziers Hall Reception

C

ommemoration day took place on Friday 28 May 2021 in Southwark Cathedral with restricted numbers of attendees due to ongoing Covid Restrictions. Prefects showed the way in at the start of the ceremony and the small congregation of Dunstonians present were entertained by some beautiful singing from Junior School pupils; the service was conducted under the auspice of the Bishop of Southwark. A reception ensued in nearby Glaziers Hall attended by many Dunstonians including Nigel Higgins, Nav Sheera, Shams Rahman, Sam Hibbs and Christopher Tooley to name but a few. Sandeep Katwala, officially launched our Development Boar and interviewed two of our Sixth Formers, who benefitted form receiving Bursaries at the College, Piotr and Shalom (Here is Shalom's response:)

St Dunstan's - an amazing institution. I’ve spent an extraordinary six years at St Dunstan's which is such a privilege. During my time here, I’ve been a recipient of immense staff support and pastoral care. I will forever be grateful for my St Dunstan's experience, where I have learnt to aim high and to keep exceeding with no limit on my aspirations. St Dunstan's has embedded the Forder programme into its curriculum, expanding the skillset, independence and character of every student. St Dunstan's upholds the belief that once you leave the school, your shield will be adorned, it is guaranteed you leave having built up courage, confidence, creativity, compassion and curiosity. I believe a higher level of education for young people is vital and if St Dunstan's hadn’t opened up the doors for me I wouldn’t have been able to experience it, which is why the opportunity of having a bursary is a privilege and it would be amazing if other local people were able to receive the same opportunity as me. Shalom (pictured above right)


37


38

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

New Building STEM Opening

W

e moved into our new state of the art Junior School, Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) Centre as well as into our Sixth Form Centre straight after the Easter exeat. It only took a few days to feel at home in this transformational building, which doubles the footprint of the College. Our next phase of development is the demolition of the Prep Block and Music Block during the summer in order to make way for a beautiful Plaza which will open up the back of the Victorian build beautifully. It will create a CCF rehearsal parade as well as an outdoor theatre when English weather permits. When hearing about the demolition in our monthly newsletter, Malcolm Watts (’75) reacted: What a surprise to learn that the music and physics block is being demolished. And an even greater surprise to discover that the Prep school has remained standing for so long! I’m old enough to remember the covered playground – reminiscent of a railway canopy – that previously stood on the site of the music block and of stomping around there on wet lunchtimes doing impersonations of Kenneth More playing Group Captain Douglas Bader in ‘Reach for the Sky’. The New Block (as I think it was then called) also contained the Sixth Form Study Centre though very little studying was ever done there – we spent most of our time comparing notes on our driving tests. Having joined the school in the First Form, I never had lessons in the Prep Block, but I do remember going there in search of our history master and being ordered out by the celebrated poet, Tom Earley. Another memory that might be of interest to some is of the student demo that interrupted the 1969 Prize Giving ceremony. I think it was something to do with fees or admissions and was apparently the only 1960s student demo that occurred in a school rather than a college or university. Sitting a couple of rows from the action as a member of the audience – I never came anywhere close to winning a prize – I found the whole thing very exciting. I read in one of the obituaries of the late (and very great) Martin Preston that he was quite sympathetic to the demonstrators. Good for him! I hope these recollections are of interest to some!


39


40

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

Development &

FUNDRAISING T

he aim of the Development Office is to help the College achieve its ambitious future plans for the radical and visionary development of the school’s facilities. In addition, it is our hope that the Office helps to establish productive long-term relationships across our wide-reaching community: Dunstonians at home and overseas, past and current parents, livery companies or corporations.

Help us support bright young minds

Bursaries at St Dunstan’s give bright children from all backgrounds the chance of an excellent, and often life-changing, education. We know from experience that bursary students also make an important contribution to our school community and last year we were able to support 59 talented children in this way. Bursaries are currently funded solely through school income. Each year, we strive to increase the number of bursaries we award, not only so that more bright children benefit but also to ensure that our student community is as dynamic and diverse as the world around it. This year, more families than ever are facing more challenging financial circumstances as result of a pandemic which has affected people’s income and livelihoods, and we want to be ready to respond. We want to dramatically increase the funds we have available to support talented children from lower-income families. This can only be done with significant help and we ask you to consider making a gift to help us extend the reach of our bursary programme.

By giving a gift to support bursary students: • • • •

More children with outstanding promise will be able to access an excellent education at St Dunstan’s beyond financial constraint. More young people will have the confidence to navigate their future effectively, with the compassion to understand and appreciate others. Our whole student community will benefit from the diversity of its members. More people will endorse the benefits of bursary giving, as we share more evidence of its impact.

There are opportunities to fund the whole school career of a student on a 100% bursary, or to contribute to our Bursary Fund to support students across a range of ages and bursary levels. All of these opportunities are transformational for the children who will benefit. By choosing to give a regular donation by Direct Debit, you will be helping us plan for future academic years with confidence. For example, if 50 donors committed to just £25 per month plus Gift Aid, your support could fund a pupil on 100% bursary for their entire senior school education.

How to contact the Development Office

THE MARTIN PRESTON FUND A

fter Martin Preston’s death was announced in the Winter edition of The Notes, we have been inundated with tributes from Dunstonians whose lives had been touched by Martin Preston himself. As you know, we are building a new Performing Arts Centre starting with the conversion of current Science Laboratories (which have been relocated to the new STEM facility) into a Music Department. It has been decided that a Drama Studio within the PAC should be named the Martin Preston Studio: it will be in regular use by children from across the College as they prepare for all manner of different artistic events that characterise our full calendar for the Performing Arts. It will no doubt be a vibrant hub for creativity and the expression of individuality, values close to Martin. We have received generous donations so far but this is not enough and we are making a further appeal today. By completing and sending back the enclosed donation form to development@stdunstans. org.uk, you will make this happen. We currently plan to hold an official opening of the Martin Preston Studio in November 2021, to which the Dunstonian community will be warmly invited.

If you would like to know more about our plans for the development of the College or learn how you can support us, please contact: St Dunstan’s Development Office, Mrs Isabelle Blake-James, Director of Development, Stanstead Road, London SE6 4TY Email: development@stdunstans.org.uk Tel: 020 8516 7308


41

Performing Arts Centre SUPPORT THE NEW THEATRE

S

t Dunstan’s has an impressive track record in staging inspiring and memorable live performances over its long history. From September 2021, our new Performing Arts Centre will include a theatre space to match up to the talent of our students.

By sponsoring a seat, you will be supporting a first-class resource that inspires and enthuses Dunstonian students for years to come. Our new theatre will also be a resource for professional, amateur and community groups, a hub for workshops, livestreaming and inspiring live shows.

The new theatre has been designed to be used as flexibly as possible. There will be 100 places on the premium raking seating, and 120 individual theatre chairs, able to be configured as each performance requires.

Behind every great performance...

Be the first to sponsor a seat in our new theatre...

Maybe you would like to celebrate your family’s part in the life of the school, or perhaps mark your own passion for theatre and performance?

A huge part of bringing successful shows to the stage remains behind the scenes. There are options to sponsor the theatre’s lighting, staging and backstage areas such as make-up and costume. Whatever you choose, you can be sure that you will be playing your own part in ensuring the very best of the performing arts at St Dunstan’s. Thank you!

Seat Sponsors For a one-off donation of £450, you will receive a personalised plaque in the Premium raked seating permanently installed in the theatre.

For a one-off donation of £350, you will receive a personalised plaque on an individual theatre chair.

Seat Sponsors will receive:

• • •

A certificate of thanks An invitation to a special drinks reception ahead of the theatre’s grand opening Named listing in the College’s Chronicle and the Alumni magazine, The Notes

Performance Sponsors For donations of £500 and above, you could become a Performance Sponsor, with your gift supporting: • •

The lighting and staging The make-up and costume dressing areas

Performance Sponsors will receive:

• • • •

Named listing on the donor board in the theatre foyer An invitation to a special drinks reception ahead of the theatre’s grand opening A backstage tour during rehearsals for the theatre’s first show with the director and performers Named listing in the College’s Chronicle and the Alumni magazine, The Notes

To support the theatre, please go onto your Wisepay account and donate online or email Mrs Isabelle Blake-James, Director of Development at: development@stdunstans.org.uk.

A few things for seat sponsors to consider:

• • • • •

You will need to supply the exact words you require on the plaque, to a maximum of 30 characters. Seat sponsorship is for a five-year period from the date of the theatre’s opening in September 2021. After this period, you will be given first refusal to renew the seat sponsorship with a further donation. Sponsoring a seat doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to sit in exactly that spot for each show. Please note that some of the standard individual seats may be removed for some shows, depending on seat configuration required for various performances. Please remember to add your Gift Aid declaration so your support can go even further towards supporting the performing arts at St Dunstan’s.


42

THE NOTES I SUMMER 2021

Editorial & Design Team: Isabelle Blake-James Iain Macdowall Jo Langthorne Thank you to all Dunstonians who have generously contributed to the Summer 2021 edition. If you would like to contribute to the Winter edition of The Notes 2021, please send your story or announcement to: dunstonians@stdunstans.org.uk by 1 November 2021. We are particularly interested in receiving items for the scrapbook, as well as announcements of engagements, weddings or births - even going back a few years.


The official journal of the Dunstonian Association

43


The

NOTES dunstonians@stdunstans.org.uk SDConnect at https://dunstonians.org.uk

Profile for St Dunstan's College

The Notes - Summer 2021  

Welcome to The Notes Summer 2021 - the official Journal of the Dunstonian Association.

The Notes - Summer 2021  

Welcome to The Notes Summer 2021 - the official Journal of the Dunstonian Association.

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded