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Issue No. 30, August 2006 News from Pembroke College

Staff Long Service Awards Eights Week Pembrokian Paints Portrait of the Master


The Pembrokian

Staircase 16 Refurbished


In Brief Recognition of Distinction Many congratulations to Pembroke Fellows Dr Lynda Mugglestone and Dr Raphael Hauser. Effective from 1 October 2006, Dr Mugglestone has been appointed Professor of History of English and Dr Hauser appointed Reader in Computer Science. Pembrokian Awarded Fulbright Scholarship Well done to Neil Mahapatra (1999), a former President of the Oxford Union, who has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study for an MBA at Harvard University. Neil will begin his course this September. Annual Report When we produce our next Annual Report, for the financial year 1 August 2005 to 31 July 2006, we plan to include a list of those who have donated to the College during that period. Gift amounts will not be disclosed. Please let Kam Miles in the Development Office (kam.miles@ or 01865 276417) know by the end of October if you are happy for your name to be included. If we do not hear from you we will not publish your name.

Leung Family Visits College

On Wednesday 5 July, the College welcomed Foundation Fellow Michael Leung for a special event. Other guests included Michael’s partner Tracy Mak, his son Eugene (1995) and wife Zoe, younger son Vincent (1996) and fiancée Carrie Tang, his daughter Charlotte and her husband KK Wong, members of the Benenden School Hong Kong Trust Group and College representatives. After a tour of the College, the party assembled at Staircase 18, which has recently been thoroughly refurbished. This work was greatly facilitated by the generosity of the Leung family. A plaque to that effect was unveiled in the foyer of the staircase by Michael Leung. He then cut a ribbon to formally open the Leung Room, a large Michael & Tracy plant the tree seminar room on the (photograph taken by Sophie Elkan) ground floor. Following a viewing of the room and an impromptu photo opportunity the party adjourned to the Staircase’s garden, where Michael and Tracy planted a tree before lunch was served in Broadgates Hall. At lunch the Master made a speech, in which he again thanked the family for their continuing support for Pembroke and wished Vincent Leung and Carrie Tang well for their forthcoming marriage. It was a great honour to welcome the family and their guests back to College for the ceremony.

Pembroke Golf Society

Dr Jeff Bissenden (1963) has suceeded Richard Thompson (1956), as Secretary of the Pembroke Golf Society. Richard founded the Society and has given sterling service to it and all its members. The College is truly grateful for all his hard work and dedication. We wish him all the best for the future. Members of the Society meet several times a year. The year begins with the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Tournament at Frilford Heath in April, followed by a match against Royal Ashdown, Sussex in May. This year’s Annual Summer Meeting was held in June at Huntercombe near Henley-on-Thames and the final venue is Southfields (Oxford) in September to coincide with the Pembroke Society Dinner. The Society has a range of handicaps, from single figures to the high 20s and the days are very social. You are welcome to play in all or just one of the events. For information, email the Secretary, Jeff Bissenden on:

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Pembrokian Paints Master’s Portrait Pembroke alumnus, Jeremy Sutton (1979) has presented the College with the gift of a portrait of the Master, Giles Henderson. Producing the portrait was a two year process for Jeremy, who first decided to paint it during a visit by the Master to the US in 2004. Jeremy, who is based in San Francisco, attended a reception for Pembrokians in the city in September 2004. Here he met the Master, and discussed the possibility of painting his portrait. The following day Jeremy unveiling his work the Master visited Jeremy’s studio, where Jeremy did some preliminary sketches. The next stage in the process was a photo shoot in June 2005 and finally the portrait was completed in June 2006. Jeremy attended the recent Gaudy for Matriculation Years 1979-1984 and took this opportunity to present the portrait to the College. An official unveiling ceremony took place in the Master’s Lodgings during the afternoon tea reception for Gaudy attendees. The painting is an example of Jeremy’s collage portrayal approach to portraiture and captures many aspects of the Master’s life, both personal and professional. Included in the painting are views of him working at his desk, a The Master contemplates the portrait photograph of his wife and children, his beloved dog Ellie, the College Crest, Chapel Quad and a rugby ball. The College would like to extend warm thanks to Jeremy for his kind gift. The portrait has since been hung in the Alms House outside the Development Office. To view the portrait, please pop along to the Development Office during your next visit to Oxford, or see Jeremy’s website at

Silver Assay Tuesday 27 June 2006 witnessed one of those rare expressions of Pembroke elegant opulence, when all the College Silver, beautifully polished and arranged in serried ranks by category, was displayed in the Hall. The need to conduct an audit provided a marvellous opportunity for a few guests and staff members to enjoy handling and feasting their eyes on these wonderful works of art, a great many of them donated by former students, Fellows and benefactors. Among the guests, who enjoyed a finger buffet lunch, it was a particular pleasure to welcome Margaret McCallum, whose husband was Master The silver on display in the Hall (photograph taken by Joanne Bowley) from 1955 to 1968, Nigel and Jean Rose, Alice and Chris Idle, Sheila Bradbury, Margaret Manthorpe, Angela Alban and Tim Wilson from the Ashmolean. Guiding us through it all, sharing with us his encyclopaedic knowledge of the history, design and source of each piece, was the redoubtable Brian Wilson (1948), whose ‘Gentle History’ of the Silver Collection can be purchased from the Development Office for £10. Pembrokian August 2006


In Brief Two Pembroke Students Named in The Oxford Student Who’s Who Two Pembroke students have been named in The Oxford Student Who’s Who. The list claims to be ‘the definitive list of the next generation of politicians, actors, journalists, athletes and contestants for I’m a Celebrity.’ Kerry Norman (2003) was at number 48 on the list for showing ‘real originality and initiative in the face of mounting debt.’ His fundraising schemes included using eBay to sell advertising space on his head for £50 and his last shred of dignity for £67. Making it to number 4 on the list was John Gethin (2003) for his winning appearance on the E4 television game show Beauty and the Geek. The series saw seven male, socially inept ‘geeks’ teamed up with seven beautiful, but intellectually challenged girls. The contestants were split into pairs for a series of challenges. Gethin and his partner won the show, sharing the £40,000 prize money. Cuppers Victory The Women’s Basketball team have won Cuppers for the third consecutive year. Well done to the team! 

On the Return to China Ingrid Li (2001)

My first book, Zhang Xin: On the Return to China, was published by New York-based Pinto Books in May. It’s now available at online bookstores including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Zhang Xin is co-founder and co-CEO of Beijingbased SOHO China, a real estate developer that ‘aims to provide innovative living spaces Image provided by Ingrid Li and create fashionable lifestyles for people who appreciate the finer things in life.’ In 2002 she won the Silver Lion Award at the prestigious Venice Biennale, an arts festival celebrating film, theatre, architecture and music. Zhang was selected by the World Economic Forum in 2005 as one of the Young Global Leaders. The book, part of the Working Biographies series, chronicles Zhang Xin’s meteoric rise from being a run-of-the-mill Wall Street banker to the poster child of China’s new business elite. Coming full circle from an impoverished childhood in the shadow of Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China to the campus of Sussex and Cambridge in “green and pleasant” England to the frontline of international finance and back to her home town, Beijing, Zhang’s personal odyssey can be read as a vignette for both the generation of Chinese who followed a similar trajectory and a modern China that is coming of age. Her personal and professional odyssey is a stunning testimony to the exuberant and increasingly entrepreneurial nation China is becoming. The book also opens a window onto the psychology of Zhang’s peers who remain in the West, their struggle to manage their identity and adjust to the new China. For more information, please see:

London Reception

The College will be hosting a London Reception this November. The drinks and canapés reception will take place at the Oxford and Cambridge Club. The Club is conveniently located in the heart of London, close to St James’ Palace. This will be an excellent opportunity for alumni based in or around London to attend a College event, without the need to travel to Oxford; offering an informal setting in which alumni can catch-up with friends and former classmates. Tickets will be charged at £25 per person. Guests are welcome. There is an invitation enclosed with this magazine, and anyone wanting to attend should fill out the reply slip and return it to the Development Office. If you require further information on this event, or any other alumni events, please contact Kirsty Ramage on, or on (01865) 286080.

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Eisteddfod from a Different Angle Blue MacAskill (1996)

I am currently in Swansea, working on a project commissioned for the Eisteddfod by the National Waterfront Museum and Cywaith Cymru. I arrived in April to start research into women in the Tin Plate Industry over the last 100 years. Sadly, very few women survive to tell the story of their work in the tin plate industry. The tin plate story is one I have become especially interested in because it is quite exceptional to Swansea and unlike any other industry involving women. If these women’s stories are not told now, they might be lost from Welsh history for ever. During my research I have been welcomed into many homes and eaten many welsh cakes over a good yarn. I hope to bring this all together in a very special exhibition, displaying an otherwise hidden part of Welsh social history. The exhibition reflects the personal memories of women “Tin Girls © 1957” series C Print from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution right Photograph Blue MacAskill 2006 through to today and beyond into the future. I started with archived photographs of early tin plate workers and finished with exhibits on contemporary tinplate workers and the lives they lead in today’s Swansea. This exhibition is about the personal stories, lives and journeys experienced by women struggling to compete and work in a traditionally male industry. I hope that the show will express the intense personal relationship I have had with the area of Swansea and its people over the past three months. I want visitors to engage with my ideas, thoughts and reflections and to ponder their own. The Exhibition runs at the Eisteddfod until 12 August 2006 in Swansea and then continues at The National Waterfront Museum, Swansea till the end of October 2006.

Staff Long Service Awards This year the College introduced a policy to recognise long service by staff members. Staff receive a Long Service Award once they have completed 10, 15 and 25 years at College. This year’s event took place on Friday 5 May in Broadgates’ Hall. Twenty six staff members qualified for a Long Service Award and each was presented with an engraved gift by the Master during the ceremony. Our sincerest congratulations and thanks go to those who received awards.

Scout Gurmito pictured with her award. (photograph taken by Joanne Bowley)

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Capture the Oxford Moment Joanna Rogers (2003)

‘Capture the Oxford Moment’ is a student-led, charitable initiative that Hayley Burwell (St. Hildas) and I founded last year, and which has resulted in the publication of a unique photographic diary of Oxford student life. The book, entitled ‘Our Oxford: The Real Student Life’, is compiled from photographs taken by students from over thirty different colleges, and each photograph is accompanied by a caption written by the author of the shot. The photographs were chosen as the winning entries from a university-wide photographic competition, which ran throughout Michaelmas 2005. We received an overwhelming response, and had to sift through many iconic shots depicting all aspects of student life, from sporting triumphs to punting picnics. Adam HartDavis kindly volunteered to judge the winning shot and the runner-up, and he was impressed by the overall quality of the photography. The final collection shows the University of Oxford, and its students, in a wonderful light, and emphasises its great diversity. The project has been a charitable venture, and has relied on the generous support of many people in order to achieve its success so far. Lord ‘Early Rising’ Heseltine (1951) responded enthusiastically to our plea for a foreword, (photograph taken by and has provided the book with some very interesting anecdotes. The Pembrokian, Ian Robertson proceeds from the sale of the book will be shared between five local (2004)) Oxford charities, and will hopefully bring recognition and financial aid to some otherwise under-funded causes. Information on each charity can be found on our website, or can be found at the back of the book itself. The project so far has been full of surprises and has been very exciting. We have enjoyed organising the photographic competition, designing the book and even planning a black tie fundraising event at Frevd. It has been a pleasure to work with the rest of the committee during this busy time, of whom two out of three are fellow Pembrokians. ‘Our Oxford’ contains many photographs taken by Pembroke students, including a double page spread capturing the victorious Pembroke Cricket Cuppers Team in action. I hope that Pembrokians will enjoy the book, and its insights into student life, and that current students and alumni alike will recognise some of the timeless shots of life at Oxford. The book is now on sale. For information on stockists, please see:

Leavers’ Dinner Over 110 people attended the first annual Leavers’ Dinner held in Hall for all undergraduate leavers on Monday 19 June. The dinner was preceded by a drinks reception in Broadgates Hall, before guests tucked into a delicious meal, prepared by Head Chef, Derrick Cox. During the dinner speeches were given by four leaving students, Catherine Newton (2003), Tristan de Souza (2003), Kate Adlington (2002) and Tim Follett (2003), who all spoke extremely warmly about their time at Pembroke. The Master also gave a speech, in which he wished the leavers good fortune in whichever path their post-Pembroke ‘Leaver’ Tristan de Souza (2003) lives take them. speaking at the dinner (photograph taken by Catherine McMillan)

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Returning to Phi Phi Naomi Bowman (2001)

On Boxing Day 2004, the Thai Island of Phi Phi Don was devastated by giant waves that hit both sides of the island at around 10.30am. People on the island had been partying for two days, celebrating Christmas, and nobody was prepared for what happened. Some people hadn’t even heard of a tsunami, although the word is common knowledge now. A friend of mine opened his door to see dark brown water rushing towards him. He thought it was sewage but didn’t have time to close the door before his whole bungalow was flattened by a wave. He thought the world was ending. Another friend, further into the centre of the island and unable to see the waves, just saw more and more water flooding the town and thought the island was sinking. As I ran from the beach and was taken under the water I thought; ‘this is a tidal wave’. In the water my spine and ribs were fractured, my forehead split open and two huge gashes were cut into the top of my left leg and bottom of my back, down to the bone. Later, when my friend Tom tried to pick me up, he lost his entire forearm in my larger cut. I returned to Phi Phi two weeks after my finals in June 2005. I had no initial emotions as we approached by boat because it Naomi pictured on Phi Phi looked nothing like the island I remembered. I volunteered with (photograph provided by an organization called Hi Phi Phi, formed entirely from volunteers and Naomi Bowman) donations, which rebuilt the island with amazing speed. At the same time I was able to find projects for the money I had raised in England and helped to open restaurants, rebuild taxi-boats, pay medical bills, give pocket money to orphans, provide a new water-tank system for the school, and many other projects. My unending gratitude goes to everyone who helped with their donations. My time on Phi Phi has been far from selfless however. The warm weather reduces the pain in my injuries, and with the help of my boyfriend, I am able to go rock climbing and on long walks whenever I want to improve the strength in my leg. The community here is close and generous and seeing the way life has gone on after such a disaster has helped me in many ways. I have also been able to meet people who helped me during the Tsunami and been able to fill in missing information. A few hours after the waves, Jeab, a Thai man I didn’t know, brought me water and stayed with me until he had to leave to collect his brother’s body. When I returned to the island he spotted me in the market and turned white. He didn’t expect me to be alive, and was speechless to see me walking. Now he calls me ‘little sister’. The island is still far from recovered. Before, it was so built up there were only two paths to walk between the beaches on either side of the island. Now you can cross almost anywhere. I am still raising money, this time to rebuild a badly damaged guesthouse, partly destroyed by the Tsunami, and partly afterwards by people who were jealous that their buildings were gone and this was still standing. My injuries are still causing me problems and I am told I will have a permanent disability. However, the tourists are back, the feeling here is warm and welcoming, and the island is perhaps more beautiful with so much returned to nature. I’m also told by my city-working friends that living on a Thai island and working in a rock climbing shop is the coolest job any of us got after graduating! Anyone wishing to contact me can email me on

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Renovation of Staircase 16 Donald Insall Associates

Those who remember Staircase 16 will recall that it is in reality an amalgamation of several houses fronting Pembroke Street. These houses, ranging in date from the late 16th to the early 19th centuries, were connected internally during the major work of the late 1950s. This culminated with the creation of North Quad in 1961 by the College’s acquisition of the former Beef Lane. In order to make this possible a number of rear wings were taken down, the garden divisions removed and the south elevations of the houses themselves unified whilst retaining as much of their character as possible. In the case of No.19 Pembroke Street an entirely new rear wing was added and the small courtyard entered from an archway off Pembroke Street was built over to connect it to No. 20. The accommodation was typical for its time, with a total of 22 bedsitting rooms, one Fellow’s set on the first floor and all the showers and lavatories packed into a rather depressing basement. Following the successful conversions of the former 13 & 14 Pembroke Street (now Staircase 18) and Staircase 8, the College turned its attention to the potential for achieving a similar standard of accommodation in Staircase 16. Layouts produced early in 2005 by Donald Insall Associates, architects, showed that if a group of rooms at the centre of The exterior of the renovated Staircase 16 each floor (photograph taken by Joanne Bowley) could share a shower and WC, the majority of the remaining rooms could be provided with an en-suite bathroom as had been achieved in the other two buildings. This enabled the basement to be freed up to become a generous shared kitchen and still offer four tutorial rooms on the ground floor (where nocturnal street noise had previously made them unpopular). A refurbished student room (photograph taken by Joanne Bowley)

Construction work began in mid-October 2005, once more carried out by E W Beard who had demonstrated their competence on the two previous projects. Structural problems were not expected to rival the drama seen in No. 13 Pembroke Street, since the buildings had been overhauled half a century earlier, but once again the unusual mid-17th century bay windows proved to be the Achilles heel. This possibility had been anticipated, fortunately, and so the complete rebuilding of the Pembroke Street bays on new piled foundations was not unduly disruptive to the programme. In the event Beard completed the work only a fortnight later than anticipated despite this and other challenges, ready to receive a regular College conference at the start of July. The building now offers four tutorial rooms of varying size, a shared kitchen and twelve fully en-suite rooms together with a further six rooms sharing two showers and WCs.

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Inter-Collegiate Golf Tournament 2006 The ninth Inter-Collegiate Golf Tournament took place on Tuesday 18 April at Frilford Heath Golf Club. This year it was the turn of Pembroke to run the tournament and host the dinner. Thirteen colleges entered with teams of up to 10 players. Corpus Christi were clear winners with 204 points, with University and Merton Colleges joint runners-up with 197 points each. Pembroke, unfortunately, finished in 12th place, joint with New College, with 175 points. In the individual competition, the winners were Bill Ford of Merton on the Red Course, with an incredible score of 47 points and on the Blue Course, Terence Coghlin of St Edmund Hall with 40 points. That evening a prize-giving dinner was held in the Hall, which was attended by 85 competitors, their wives and Development Officers. This was preceded by a drinks reception in Broadgates Hall. The prizes were presented Graham McCallum (1944), pictured with by the Master. Graham McCallum spoke about the Martin Matthews of University College and origins and growth of the tournament. He then invited Adrian Roche of Keble Tom Hennessey, Committee Chairman, to present Norman Riley, the principal founder of the tournament, with a presentation volume of The History of the Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society; a subject very close to his heart.

Eights Week 2006 Eights Week 2006 started very well for Pembroke, with all five crews needing to qualify successfully rowing on. This resulted in ten crews, five men’s and five women’s, competing in Eights, the largest cohort of Pembroke rowers in the College’s history. Both the Men’s 1st VIII and the Women’s 1st VIII started the week in 3rd place. The Men began the week positively, by bumping Oriel on the Wednesday to take 2nd place. Not to be outdone, the Women bumped New College on the Thursday to also move up into 2nd place. On the Saturday, both Pembroke 1st VIIIs started in 2nd place, with many hopeful of an historic second ‘Double Headship.’ Alas, it was not to be, as The Men’s 1st VIII rowing in Thursday’s race the Women were bumped back down (photograph taken by Joanne Bowley) into 3rd place by New College. In the Men’s race, the Pembroke Crew managed to hold on to their position and will begin Eights 2007 in 2nd place on the river. The performances of the other boats were mixed, with five crews starting next year in lower positions, two in higher positions and one in the same place; the Men’s 2nd VIII managed to maintain their position as the highest placed 2nd crew on the river. A special mention also goes to the Men’s 4th VIII, who narrowly missed out on achieving Blades, after failing to bump on the Saturday. They finished the week in 9th place in Division V, having started in 1st place in Division VI. Pembrokian August 2006


From the Frying Pan to Retirement Joanne Bowley


o, you want to be a Chef, do you, my boy?” was the greeting, in 1956, from Pembroke Head Chef Eric Organ. Teenager Derrick Cox really did not know what he was letting himself in for but thought it best to reply in the affirmative. This year, after over fifty years of service in the Pembroke kitchens, thirty of these as Head Chef, Derrick Cox is retiring from the College.

boy but Derrick wanted an apprenticeship. He wanted a career and he came for an interview at Pembroke. He was first shown into the Manciple’s office where he was given a seemingly endless lecture on the College until the Head Chef,

Starting at Pembroke in April 1956, Derrick was offered the position of 3rd Chef at the age of 18, became 2nd Chef in about 1975 and, a term or two later, was interviewed for the position of Head Chef (succeeding Eric Organ) and was given a year’s trial to prove himself.

Derrick has seen many changes during his time at Pembroke. Six different College Masters have enjoyed his food Leaving school at (Ronald McCallum, the age of 15, it was George Pickering, suggested to Derrick Geoffrey Arthur, that he think about Roger Bannister, two or three different Robert Stevens and, jobs which he may currently, Giles wish to do. Derrick Henderson) along liked the idea of being with “umpteen a carpenter and joiner Bursars”. Derrick (or, more specifically, remembers one time, a cabinet maker) or when he was a young maybe a television apprentice, Bursar engineer (television George Bredin (who was new and had he describes as “a lots of potential) proper old country or, perhaps, a chef. gent … very polite He was instructed and old school”) to visit the Youth came down into the Employment Office kitchen with a brace and, although they had of pheasants in his Derrick receiving his Long Service Award from the Master (photograph taken by Joanne Bowley) no jobs in carpentry or hand. Head Chef Eric television engineering, Organ handed them there were three jobs advertised Eric Organ, who Derrick recalls to Derrick, who plucked and for kitchen workers – one at as being “short, clean shaven dressed the pheasants and was Lincoln, another at Worcester and stocky”, returned from the given a 10 shilling note by the and the last at Pembroke. market at about 11.30am and Bursar as his reward. He recalls that, as he earned 2 pounds a showed him into the kitchens. One of the other Colleges just week, this was “like winning offered a position as kitchen 10

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the football pools”. It could have been very different. In his early years at Pembroke, Derrick was also holding down two other jobs. At Pembroke in the morning until 1.45pm, he had to be at his second job for 2.15pm, return to the College to help with the evening meal and then be away by eight-ish to his third job! Derrick’s father tried to persuade him to get a job at the local car factory. Although others in the kitchen succumbed to the pull of the weightier pay packet, Derrick thinks he was right not to go, as he is very unlikely to have still been working there fifty years on. The Pembroke kitchens have been very demanding on Derrick’s social life, particularly in his year’s trial as Head Chef when he was guiding a new team and working a 60 hour week. He remembers, at one time, signing up for French lessons but only managing to make it to two classes. Also, one of Derrick’s great loves from the age of about 7 or 8 years was for archery. Aged 17 he was County Junior Champion but other pressures meant he missed out on the British Championship. However, Derrick did find time to marry, have children and now grandchildren, although he does recall that his youngest son would sometimes hide behind a chair when he returned from work, unable to recognise him! Now that he is leaving, many

created. However, he believes the main reason he has stayed so long at Pembroke is the atmosphere in the kitchens, one which was engendered by Eric Organ and which Derrick has tried to maintain during his time as Head Chef. Derrick says that the ambience is one of friendliness and of treating others how you would have them treat you. “I don’t believe in all that shouting, swearing and carry on,” says Derrick. “It’s good for television but not for staff morale”. Derrick as he will be remembered best (photograph taken by Joanne Bowley)

people ask Derrick “Would you do it all again?” He replies that, unless he was able to see the other path first, he would not risk it and would still come to Pembroke. Another thing that Derrick is now asked a lot is “What are you going to do?” He says that he has two allotments, just waiting for him to retire, as well as his interests in keeping Koi carp and supporting his local football team. Also, he is hoping to take up archery again and join a club once more, although now only for fun. He is looking forward to having the time to turn his thoughts to other projects and to be able to go away whenever he wants to, without worry. Derrick says that there is much job satisfaction as a Chef, actually seeing what you have

Derrick is succeeded by one of his second chefs, Kevin Dudley. Kevin comments “It’s been a pleasure and an honour to have worked with Mr Cox. With the knowledge gained from him I hope to be able to impress and follow in his footsteps”. Derrick is equally complimentary about his successor, saying “The College is left in good hands”. A special presentation of an engraved silver gallery tray was made to Derrick to celebrate his 50 years of service. Earlier this year, as he was giving out Long Service Awards to many members of staff, the Master commented that it is these staff members, who spend their lives working at Pembroke, who make the College what it is: such a friendly, welcoming environment.

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Pembrokian Performing Cures Desiree Cox-Maksimov (1987)


t’s Sunday. The atmosphere in the cafe is thick with the hum of chit-chat, laughter and the clicking heels of the pristine waitresses. I’m in New York, but I could be anywhere. Sitting here in this trendy cafe reminds me of my university days and of my time at Pembroke. When I won a Rhodes Scholarship (and became the first Bahamian Rhodes Scholar and the first woman from the British Caribbean to do so), I had no idea how much my life would change. Growing up in the slums of Nassau, Bahamas, as the daughter of a barber and a secretary, studying at Oxford seemed unattainable. Intelligence, focus and faith got me to McGill University, and during my final year one of my Chemistry professors suggested I apply for the Rhodes Scholarship. After winning the scholarship, the Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship Committee for Jamaica and the British Caribbean told me about his college and his Oxford An example of Desiree’s art (photograph taken by Desiree Cox)


experiences. He finished with the best possible advice: ‘When you choose your college, choose from the heart’. I fell in love with Pembroke. The gardens, the quads, the Chapel, the dining hall, the porters, living in the same room where Samuel Johnson lived and wrote his dictionary, everything was as I had imagined it to be. Most of all, Pembroke seemed to draw people who though interesting, talented, and clever, were down to earth; ‘real’ so to speak. I will always cherish my memories of those conversations at the MCR table at Formal Hall, that unforgettable Pembroke Port, and the care and attention shown to me by my first year scout Brenda. I read medicine at Pembroke, matriculating in 1987. I left in 1992 as a medical doctor, the recipient of two prizes, an Athletics Blue and a different person in more ways than I can express. I decided to explore other academic pursuits after medical school. I’d seen so many doctors who secretly dreamt of being published writers, musicians, performers, and artists have their dreams thwarted by rigid career structures and heavy on-call commitments. I vowed never to let this happen to

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me. I began with a Masters degree in the History of Medicine at Cambridge and was encouraged to follow my heart. My tutor asked me, “what do you love?” and the answer was music. I became interested in the Renaissance; a period when there were no boundaries between art, music, and medicine. I looked for a medical specialty that would give me some flexibility to enable me to write my PhD thesis. As a student, I had enjoyed my psychiatry attachment, so I applied to the training scheme at the Maudsley Hospital, London. I had been a singer until the age of 16. I loved it. There’s nothing like it. That magical moment when the lights go on, when you forget who you are, where you are, even the words of the song you’re about to sing. It’s a moment of total freedom and connection with spirit. Six months after I started working as a doctor at Maudsley, I had the urge to sing solo again. I employed a vocal trainer from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Singing was like breathing, taking in a new love of life. I felt completely free, with nothing to achieve, nowhere to get. In 2002 I had the idea of bringing joy and hope to health care communities through the performance of live music and drama in hospitals. I knew from my own experiences as


a doctor how the stressful atmosphere of a hospital can affect health-care professionals, patients and their families. I arranged the first livemusic day in October 2002 at Guys Hospital and then another at St Thomas’. They were an incredible success. In 2003, I established the charity Performing Cures to continue this work ( The same year, I was invited by the Prime Minister of the Bahamas to take up the post of consultant to a commission established to transform urban areas of the country. Seventeen years after coming up to Oxford, I returned to the country of my birth, as both a Bahamian and British citizen, a medical doctor, a professional jazz singer and founder of a charity. My job as a consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister is essentially the human side of urban renewal and human development. The Bahamian Urban Renewal initiative is an extremely innovative project. It began two years ago as a small government project in one of the oldest and most socially deprived areas of Nassau. Since then the initiative has expanded to over 14 urban areas on three different islands. My focus has been on empowering people through education. I and my team do this through what I’ve called ‘Re-Search’ – looking again at what we are manifesting in our daily lives, our physical environment and in nature. We

Desiree at work (image provided by Desiree Cox)

conduct small pilot studies, surveys and dig up secondary literature and publish papers on socio-demographic profiles, spiritual transformation, holistic education for children in urban communities and community development in the Haitian immigrant populations. My approach to leadership is to lead by example. Transformation for me is about being true to yourself, having the courage to explore the boundaries of the ‘Self’, and going wherever the journey takes you. For the past two and a half years, I’ve been exploring the boundaries of who I am as an artist. In June 2005, I released my first single, ‘Forbidden Love’. The single did very well. Immediately after completing the single, I began working on an album. The album, recorded in New York, on my own record label, Soul Imagination, is now complete. Excerpts from the album can be heard on-line at: A number of international gigs are planned for the Bahamas, UK, Europe and the US in the months leading up to the

release of the album in November 2006. The second project I’m working on is a collection of shortstories. When I first moved to Nassau in 2004, I began a weekly short-story column ‘People Transform’ in the Nassau Guardian. They were all new stories, based on personal experiences, and they proved to be very popular. The column ran for a year and the stories have been brought together as a collection, which should be finished by December 2006. I’ve also been working on a collection of my paintings for November 2006. The charitable organisation I set up in the UK, Performing Cures, has been evolving as an international organisation. The purpose of Performing Cures is to bring a spirit of joy and possibility to communities through the performance of live music and dramatic performances in public spaces of hospitals, health-care centres and half-way houses. Part of the proceeds from the sales of my album and art pieces will be donated to the Foundation. My time at Pembroke was a true and full exploration of love and life. It’s a time I shall never forget.

Pembrokian August 2006



Oxford North American Reunion

Thursday 30 March - Saturday 1 April 2006

Neil Arnold (1966) and his wife Jane (photograph taken by John Church)

At the end of March the Master, his wife Lynne, the Bursar and his wife Jo attended the Oxford University North American Reunion in New York. In addition to the University events, the College hosted two functions exclusively for Pembroke alumni a cocktail reception on Thursday 30 March and a dinner on Saturday 1 April. Before the dinner on the Saturday, the Master and Bursar gave a presentation on progress against the Strategic Plan. Both events were very well attended, attracting representatives across a wide range of matriculation years.

Gaudy, Matriculation Years 1997 & 1998 Friday 7 April 2006

In April the College was delighted to welcome back around 100 of our alumni from the matriculation years 1997 and 1998. It was the first Gaudy for these younger alumni and for many of the attendees it was their first time being in College since their graduation. The evening proved to be very successful, with everyone in understandably high spirits. After dinner the College bar was open, and the party continued well into the early hours of Saturday morning. We look forward to seeing everyone who attended in College again soon.

Sebastian Said (1998), Clare Llewellyn (1997) & Andrew Crank (1998)

Gaudy, Matriculation Years 1979-1984

Friday 23 June 2006

Peter Foulkes (1983), Anthony Burns (1983) & Karen Bye (1983)


Pembrokian August 2006

The College was delighted to welcome over 80 alumni to this lively Gaudy for Matriculation Years 1979 to 1984. Alumni attended from such far-flung destinations as Japan, Jordan, Kenya, France and the USA. After enjoying a delicious five course meal, prepared by Head Chef Derrick Cox, working his last Gaudy before retiring later this summer, guests retired to the College Bar. Here the partying continued until time was called at 2am. The action then relocated to Chapel Quad, with many revellers barely making it to bed before sunrise! We hope everyone who attended enjoyed themselves and look forward to welcoming them all back to College very soon.


Annual Garden Party Saturday 27 May 2006

The jazz band playing at the Garden Party (photograph taken by Joanne Bowley)

Towards the end of May, the College hosted the Annual Garden Party. Around 425 of the College’s alumni, friends, Fellows and staff attended, enjoying the day, despite the heavy rain. There was plenty of food and champagne, and the crowd was entertained by a jazz band featuring Pembrokian brothers William (1996) and Lewis Edwards (2000). The younger attendees braved the rain to sample the candy floss and try out the carousel. The event was followed by the traditional walk through Christchurch Meadow to watch the final day of Eights Week.

London Dinner

Thursday 4 May 2006 Our Annual London Dinner was held on Thursday 4 May. The venue was again the Clothworkers’ Hall, one of the twelve livery halls, located in the City of London. We were extremely pleased that over 135 alumni and their guests attended the dinner. Before dinner was served, guests had the opportunity to mingle with old friends and acquaintances amongst the grand surroundings of the elegant reception room. After dinner, guests were treated to an entertaining and enlightening speech given by the Rt. Hon Christopher Patten, The Lord Patten of Barnes, Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Visitor of Pembroke College. We were pleased to see so many of you at the event and hope to see you all again in the near future.

Brian Bevan (1953) & Gospatric Home (1954)

1977 Drinks Reception

Thursday 29 June 2006

George Davidson, Julian Schild & Victoria Schild (photograph taken by Dolf Kohnhorst)

Julian Schild and Dolf Kohnhorst, the Joint Year Group Leaders (YGLs) for Matriculation Year 1977, hosted a drinks party at Julian’s London home on Thursday 29 June. Almost 20 alumni and partners gathered for an informal opportunity to catch up with one another. Julian and Dolf were particularly pleased that the party coincided with Aman Rai’s visit to London from India. Other attendees included George Davidson, Andrew Devenport, Andrew Morris, Steve Pollard and John Woolman. The Master and his wife Lynne supported the event. Julian and Dolf are planning to hold a larger event in College in June 2007 to mark the 30 year anniversary of the 1977 year group’s matriculation.

Pembrokian August 2006



Diary Dates

All dates correct as of July 2006 but may be subject to change

2006 4 August 2 Sept 6 Sept 22 Sept 23 Sept 4 Nov 9 Nov

Jubilee Dinner, 1956 ‘40 Years-On’, 1965-1967 Tesdale Society Lunch Pembroke Society Dinner Pembroke Society Activity Day Parents’ Day London Reception

2007 27 Jan 30 March 13 April 20 April 12 May 26 May 23 June 3 August 10 August

Annual Meeting & YGL Meeting 1959 Dinner Gaudy, Years 1970-1974 Inter-Collegiate Golf Tournament Blackstone Lunch Garden Party 30 Years-On, 1977 Gaudy, Years up to 1956 Jubilee Dinner, 1957

Kam, John, Kirsty & Catherine (photograph taken by Joanne Bowley)

Contacting the Development Office John Barlow Development Officer Tel: (01865) 276473; Mob: 07932 172904 E-mail:

Looking for a venue for a conference or event? Why not try your old College?

Catherine McMillan Development Officer Tel: (01865) 276478 E-mail:

Pembroke has several meeting rooms on the main site for groups from 10 to 50. At the Sir Geoffrey Arthur Building, beside the river, the Rockefeller Room seats up to 110 theatre style.

Kam Miles Database Coordinator Tel: (01865) 276417 E-mail:

Dinners for a minimum of 20 people are possible throughout the year, with the Forte Room, a particularly special dinner venue for up to 34.

Kirsty Ramage Alumni Events & Communications Manager Tel: (01865) 286080 E-mail:

To check availability and for more information please email Heather Earwicker on, or Joanne Bowley on, or telephone 01865 276484.

Unless otherwise stated, all photographs in this publication were taken by Kirsty Ramage


Pembrokian August 2006

Development Office Pembroke College Oxford, OX1 1DW Fax: (01865) 276482 E-mail: Website:

Pembrokian 2006  

Pembrokian 2006

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