THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER 2014/2015
THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER 2014/2015
The Elizabethan Newsletter is produced annually by the Development Office of Westminster School. Letters are positively encouraged and should be sent to: The Development Office Westminster School 17a Deanâ€™s Yard, London SW1P 3PB +44 (0)20 7963 1115 email@example.com
SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 2015
OW Calendar 2015/16 Get out your diaries and save the dates of the events you’d like to attend! More gatherings will be added to the calendar and advertised on the website in due course. Invitations are generally sent by email six weeks before the event. If you do not have access to email and wish to attend one of the events listed please do call us on 020 7963 1115 to register your interest and we will ensure you receive details and booking information. All dates are correct at the time of going to press and we recommend that you visit www.oldwestminster. org.uk to keep up-to-date with event details and any potential changes. You can also book tickets and see a list of attendees at each event via the website.
15th September Young Gaudy 24th September Old Grantite Club AGM 20th or 21st October * New York Reunion NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2015
Above: Little Dean’s Yard.
3rd November OW Abbey Tour 5th November Elizabethan Club Dinner 20th November Commem Worldwide 26th November Busby Society Dinner 14th December Carol Service 2016 DATES 12th February February * 17th March June *
OW Lawyers’ Dinner FfW Thank You Event Decade Gaudy OW Business Drinks * date to be confirmed
Above: Guests at the Elizabethan Club Dinner. Above left (top): Simon Randall (RR, 1957–62) and guest at the OW Lawyers’ Dinner. Above left (bottom): Young Gaudy Emma Kavanagh (RR, 2004–06), Helen Hodges (PP, 2003–05).
Above: Pavillion with Big Ben and the London Eye in the background.
CONTENTS From the School
Head Master • The Dean • Bursar Westminster Development • Fund for Westminster Projects • End of Capital Campaign • Legacies House Reports
OW Social To advertise in next year’s Elizabethan Newsletter, please contact: The Development Office, Westminster School 17a Dean’s Yard, London SW1P 3PB +44 (0)20 7963 1115 firstname.lastname@example.org Head of Alumni Relations/Editor: Olwen Sisupalan/Katharine Robinson Design: Tam Ying Wah Photographs: Alex Choi, Sandy Crole, Andrew Dunsmore, Angie Garvich, Sean Spurvey, Iain Weir, Elizabeth Wignall and the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey
The Elizabethan Club • Lawyers’ Dinner School Society • Medics’ Drinks • Henley Drinks Big Commem 2014 • 1950s Decade Gaudy OW Women’s Network • Oxford Drinks House Societies
New York Reunions • US Universities Tour Commem Worldwide
Printed by: The Lavenham Press
Athletics • Cricket • Fives • Football Golf • Tennis • Real Tennis • Water
OW Articles First published by Westminster School, 2015 © Westminster School All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any shape or form by any means electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of Westminster School. The views and opinions expressed by writers within The Elizabethan Newsletter do not necessarily reflect those of Westminster School. No responsibility is assumed by the publisher for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the material herein.
Neville Walton Travel Award • Metz Award From the Archives • Careers and Mentoring
Head of Alumni Relations • 2014 Leavers’ Notes 2014 Young Gaudy Notes • OW Updates and Publications • Letters to the Editor Oli Bennett Charitable Trust • Obituaries and Deaths
FROM THE SCHOOL Get in touch • Patrick Derham (Head Master) email@example.com • The Very Reverend Dr John Hall (Dean of Westminster) firstname.lastname@example.org • Chris Silcock (Bursar) email@example.com
• Angie Garvich (Director of Development) firstname.lastname@example.org
Big Commem was a very moving occasion and an opportunity for me to reflect on the purpose of a Westminster education
Patrick Derham, Head Master
Read more about Patrick
Derham’s first year at Westminster on page 4
I feel a real sense of privilege in having the opportunity to lead the foremost academic school in the UK
Head Master’s Report Patrick Derham Head Master In September 1868, Gladstone published A Chapter of Autobiography. The book was published at a sensitive time in British politics and Gladstone was justifying why he felt it necessary to disestablish the Irish Church. Perhaps the most accessible part of the book is the opening. Gladstone wrote, “Autobiography is commonly interesting; but there can, I suppose, be little doubt that, as a general rule, it should be posthumous.” In writing this I am therefore going against the wise words of the Grand Old Man! Above (top): Head Master at the Greaze 2015. Above (right): Head Master in Yard. Above (bottom): Patrick Derham on the Arethusa.
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Unlike Gladstone, my educational background was varied and interesting. I went to 7 different schools before I was 12 and for a variety of reasons it was decided at that stage that I should go to a boarding school. I was sent to the training ship Arethusa, an old four-masted barque moored on the River Medway. This, euphemistically, was a “character forming” experience for a twelve year old! The ship
was run by the Shaftesbury Homes and I was unusual in having two parents, a fact which did not endear me to all my peers. The experience of living on-board a ship, sleeping in a hammock, the drill and the routine, have left their mark. If the Arethusa had not closed in 1974, I suspect I would have ended up in the Navy. Thanks to generous bursary support I found myself in October 1974 being sent to Pangbourne College, formerly a Nautical College, but at that time an independent school which retained vestiges of its nautical past. I was lucky in the Division (House) I was in and thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and for my final year was Head of School. I went to Pembroke College, Cambridge, in the year that has become the turning point of modern British politics, 1979. I read History and, apart from the normal student activities, I started the Cambridge University Irish Study Group. We produced two pamphlets advocat-
ing a radical solution to the Irish problem. We learned a good deal about the world of journalism when a journalist from the Sunday Times wrote up most of our conclusion a few days before our publication. The other (and, she would argue, the most important) highlight of Cambridge was meeting Alison, my future wife, who studied English and Drama at Homerton. I graduated in the Summer of 1982 and despite suggestions that I stay on and do research, I knew that I wanted to go straight into teaching. I spent two years at Cheam, a boarding prep school near the site of Greenham Common. From there we moved to Radley College and stayed for twelve years. In that time I was Head of History (twice) and a Tutor (Housemaster), as well as being heavily involved with crosscountry, athletics and rugby. In 1996 we moved to the day school world when I was appointed >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 5
Westminster must continue to move forwards but it must not lose sight of its tradition and heritage
Head Master of Solihull School, a large day school of just over one thousand pupils aged from 7–18. In 2001, we returned to boarding when I followed in the footsteps of Dr Arnold by becoming Head Master of Rugby School. My legacy is arguably the creation of the Arnold Foundation which was set up in 2003 to provide fully funded places to pupils who would gain from a boarding education but who could not afford the fees. This in turn lead to the establishing of the SpringBoard Bursary Foundation in 2013, a powerful, ambitious and innovative approach for the provision of fully funded bursary places at independent and state boarding schools for children from disadvantaged circumstances. In moving from Rugby to Westminster, the reverse of what Walter Hamilton did in 1957, I feel a real sense of privilege in having the opportunity to lead the foremost academic school in the UK. At the beginning of my second term I can safely say that Westminster is no ordinary place. I am very conscious of the fine inheritance from Stephen Spurr under whose leadership the School has gone from strength to strength. The Westminster community could not have been more helpful and welcoming. It is the fact that Westminster is a thriving and successful community that struck me most in my visits before we moved. That is the mark of a great institution and is one of the key areas that I want to maintain and improve upon in the years ahead. A number of you have asked me what plans I have for the next stage of Westminster’s development. I think it is always dangerous to take on a post with a preconceived master plan without getting a real feel for the way an institution operates. Therefore my main task in the short term is to get to know the School community. Westminster is an outstanding School but it cannot afford to be complacent and to rest on its laurels. Westminster must continue to move forwards but it must not lose
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Above and right: Head Master at Big Commem.
sight of its tradition and heritage. Continuity of purpose and values has served the School well since the Elizabethan Charter of 1560 and it will be the basis on which Westminster meets the many challenges that lie ahead. The highlight of my first term was undoubtedly Big Commem in Abbey on 21st November. This was a very moving occasion and an opportunity for me to reflect on the purpose of a Westminster education. I said this towards the end of my Address: Although Westminster wears its traditions lightly, what we are doing tonight is a significant Westminster custom, and one that is set out in the 1560s statutes. The Statutes say “Commemoration shall be made of the most noble Queen Elizabeth, the Foundress of this great college…”. It is clear what Elizabeth wanted – that the Westminster youth should be educated for the “greater honour of the state”, in other words to use the benefit of their liberal education for the greater good. This to me is a key part of the Westminster tradition and is something that must never be neglected.
One month before he was assassinated, on 26th October 1963, John F. Kennedy spoke at Amherst College to commemorate the life of Robert Frost, the great American poet, who had worked on and off for 40 years at Amherst. It is a remarkable speech in which President Kennedy talks of the connection between poverty and education, and the barriers that kept poor children from attending institutions like Amherst. After telling the students and alumni that Woodrow Wilson had once said, “What good is a political party unless it is serving a great national purpose?” he asked, “and what good is a private college or university unless it is serving a great national purpose?” In the best part of the speech JFK declared that “privilege is here, and with privilege goes responsibility.” And the challenge he gave on that October day is one I would echo 51 years on: “and unless the graduates of this college and other colleges like it who are given a running start in life – unless they are willing to put back into our society these talents…. to put those qualities back into the service of the great republic…. Then obviously the presuppositions upon which our democracy is based are bound to be fallible.” That has been my motivation
throughout my time as a Head Master. It is not a bad message for all of us, though. JFK’s challenge all those years ago is something that I believe is the cornerstone of the education provided in all great schools, be they in the independent or maintained sector. After all, I passionately believe that without the capacity to serve others, a formal education counts for very little. I started with Gladstone and I would like to end with an extract from a speech made by his great mentor Peel in 1826 when Edward Goodenough was Head Master of Westminster. The sentiments Peel expressed are very much in keeping with my thoughts as I embark on the challenge ahead. Peel referred to his “legitimate ambition to leave behind some record of trust I have held, which may outlive the fleeting discharge of the mere duties of ordinary routine, and (that my work may be) connected with permanent improvements…”. I look forward to meeting many of you at future events. Floreat. March 2015 THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 7
Below and right: The Commonwealth Day Observance in the Abbey attended by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, together with other members of the royal family.
A group of pupils came to the Commonwealth Day Observance in the Abbey
The Dean’s Report The Very Reverend Dr John Hall Dean of Westminster
The story of every school is told at least in part in the history of its Head Masters. Westminster looks back with awe and amazement at the headship of Richard Busby and his maintaining his position through the dramatic changes of the 17th century. When I meet an OW I am as likely as not to enquire during whose headship he or she was at the School. Last year I paid tribute in the Elizabethan Newsletter to Dr Stephen Spurr’s distinguished headship, the first to have been initiated in the third millennium. Now as Patrick Derham’s first year as Head Master winds into its third term it is a pleasure to reflect briefly on his account to me of what he found on arriving at Westminster. First, and most importantly, I was encouraged by his telling me that he had never encountered teaching as consistently good and exciting as it is at Westminster. Secondly, I was given a firm impression that the School offers an extraordinarily rich and busy time beyond the formal curriculum. Much of this I knew, but it was good to have it confirmed. These early 8 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
impressions were based on an extremely energetic approach to getting to know the School quickly. Patrick Derham has been in and out of classrooms, enjoying what he has seen, and has tracked at least one 6th Form pupil through a whole day, from early in the morning to late in the evening. There has been much more but it should be for him to tell. Particular events I have attended I have greatly enjoyed. I was pleased to attend a performance of Guys and Dolls up School and was reminded of the comment last year about the performance of Fiddler on the Roof at St James’s Theatre, ‘There must be something in the water at Westminster School… The cast are talented and magnetic, and once again they have created absolutely enchanting theatre.’ Guys and Dolls too displayed talent and magnetism with some magnificent individual performances. An unusual event of great charm and quality was a performance by the School choir in the Abbey under the direction of our Organist and Master of the Choristers James O’Donnell with
St James’s Baroque of which he is also director. The programme of Bach motets, a Cantata and the Lutheran Mass was of exceptional quality and very well received. On a different note, a group of pupils came to the Commonwealth Day Observance in the Abbey on the second Monday in March, attended by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, together with the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. That morning I enjoyed breakfast with the John Stace Geography Society reflecting on the significance of the Commonwealth, a happy occasion. The regular pattern of engagement between School and Abbey continues unabated, with twice weekly Abbey worship, a growing number of Houses attending compline in St Faith’s Chapel, the annual Commemoration of the Foundress, a brilliantly managed Big Commem in 2014, the annual confirmation by The Lord Bishop of London, always on sparkling form, and the Queen’s Scholars attending Sunday
morning worship five times through the year, one of them reading the lesson. In addition, the Carol Service seems to be better attended and presented each year, with a seriously devout atmosphere of joyful anticipation of the great Feast of Christmas. The services for new parents in September and for Leavers at the end of the Election Term are also now greatly appreciated. There is much more … tours of the Abbey for this group and that, and this year for the first time a decanal tour of the Abbey roof for the Monitors. Meanwhile the Abbey has enjoyed its own particular moments, most of which can be discovered through the Abbey website. Here I shall mention just three. 4th August 2014 marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Extensive discussion about how the nation would mark the occasion concluded that a Vigil Service would be held in the Abbey, following a time of reflection at the Saint Symphorien burial ground in Belgium. The Duchess of Cornwall >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 9
Below: The Duchess of Cornwall attended the Vigil Service.
Bursar’s Report Chris Silcock Above: The refurbished Under School Main Hall.
came to the Abbey service, which reflected the words of Sir Edward Grey the Foreign Secretary in 1914 that the lamps were going out all over Europe and that it would be a long time before they would be lit again. The hour’s Vigil
The new galleries will afford spectacular views inside and beyond the Abbey
culminated at 11.00pm, the moment at which the ultimatum ran out and the United Kingdom was at war with Germany, with the last lamp in the Abbey being extinguished. The television viewer then saw the Easter candle alight in the Lady Chapel and heard words reminding us that the light of Christ shines in the darkest places and that there is always hope. A quite different moment was when we heard that no objections had been received to the Dean and Chapter’s plans to build a sevenstorey tower outside Poets’ Corner to create access to the Eastern Triforium in order to open it to the public as The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries. Planning permission was granted and the work will go 10 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
ahead in 2016/17. The new galleries will afford spectacular views inside and beyond the Abbey and allow us to display much Abbey treasure that cannot now be seen in the rather cramped 11th century museum off Dark Cloister. In the meantime, we are developing a new Song School, a practice suite for the Abbey choir, in the house and garden at 2 The Cloister, work which necessitates a builders’ yard in the north-east corner of Dean’s Yard. A more recent moment occurred when, under the aegis of the Westminster Abbey Institute in its second year, we invited all newly elected Members of Parliament to Evensong, followed by a tour and reception, during their induction programme. A very good number of new MPs attended, accompanied by senior officials of the House of Commons. A particularly impressive number of the new Scottish MPs were there, as well as new MPs from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This occasion was unprecedented and seemed to mark a new step in the strongly developing relationship the Institute is achieving for the Abbey with our immediate neighbours around Parliament Square, which we might denote for simplicity in American terms, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
Visitors to the School for OW dinners or Gaudys will have seen repaving work in Yard. We have not looked our best for the last 6 months but I am pleased to say that work is complete bar a spot of final tidying up. Old hands will recall that parts of Yard were refurbished some years ago but areas had become increasingly shabby and/or unsafe for anyone crossing Yard or playing football. Our architect, Ptolemy Dean, reviewed plans for Little Dean’s Yard going back to 1682, and he was also advised on the archaeology by Tim Tatton-Brown (Tim is writing a book about the archaeology which will be of interest to anyone keen on the School’s history) and by Kevin Blockley of Cambrian Archaeology. Ptolemy’s design bears note, as I shall explain below. Yard has been re-laid with a combination of new York paving stones from the Rand and Asquith quarry in West Yorkshire and existing, re-dressed paving stones taken from the front of College and Ashburnham House. The original Purbeck Stone paths crossing and edging Yard have been retained. Use of some old paving stones was not a Bursar-led savings exercise but a deliberate decision to allow there to be a clear contrast of old and new. What this contrast
will show is a ‘pathway’ of old stones leading from Arch to the dark cloister entrance. This represents the original Little Dean’s Yard which was, in effect, no more than a walkway for the Abbey from Great Dean’s Yard to the Cloister walk. The wide, open Yard we now know and love was not always such. In earlier times this area was covered by buildings and garden frontages. The contrasting stones reflect that bit of Yard’s history. A few stones have already been engraved with names of OWW, complementing the names on the Burlington Arch and steps going up School which boys would pay Abbey masons to engrave. We have already sold 49 stones which has gone a very long way towards funding this important project. It is hoped that more stones will be sold and the proceeds put towards our fundraising efforts. If, when you next visit Little Dean’s Yard, you like what you see and want to buy an engraved stone get in touch with Angie Garvich on angie.garvich@ westminster.org.uk or 020 7963 1111. If you have not seen what they look like here is an example recording the OW, House and year of leaving the School. >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 11
In summary, Yard and Ashburnham Garden now look as they should and it is hoped that they will last us well into the next century. The Under School’s Main Hall was refurbished last Summer and the space now has retractable raked seating, a gallery on 3 sides, new sound and lighting box, and new drapes. It is a splendid assembly hall, theatre, concert space and, when seating is retracted, exams hall. The Rowing Suite in the Sports Centre was improved by having two ergo rooms knocked into one. This was made possible by a generous donation by a former parent. Future work continues to keep me off the streets: as planned, the old Chaplaincy in the basement of the Master of the Queen’s Scholars’ house will be converted to a new surgery this year. The ailing and lame will no longer have to negotiate the stairs and corridors to the back of Grant’s. The old surgery will be converted to four bed studies, and these are likely to be used for girl boarders. Grant’s will join Busby’s and Liddell’s in having both girl and boy boarders. The Robert Hooke Science Centre is now over 30 years old. Whilst teaching spaces have been regularly upgraded to meet modern teaching needs, more laboratory/classroom space is required and general refurbishment necessary, not least to cure the roof ’s leaks and upgrade the windows. Consent has been received so it is hoped that work will begin this Summer. Plans are being drawn up to convert the old gym into a flexible space which can be used primarily for exams but also for parents’ evenings, pupils’ societies, lectures and the like. We hope to create a mezzanine floor which will be accessed from School and Room 37. Finally, we are no further forward on the Adrian Boult Centre, but the Head Master has
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Above (top): Ashburnham panoramic view. Above: Engraved Yard Stone.
asked for a comprehensive audit of our space needs (last done 8 years ago) which will determine how best to use this important area and any other space not being optimally employed.
Angie Garvich Director of Development
I have just completed my annual round of bursary visits and assessments for new pupils joining at 11+, 13+ and 16+ in September 2015. The number of very worthy bursary candidates continues to rise each year: at 16+ we had 109 applications among the 500+ candidates and at 11+ we had 60 eligible applications amongst the 460+ candidates. Interest in Westminster is stronger than ever and it is heartening to be able to award bursaries to any pupil who makes the academic grade who would never otherwise be able to come to a school like this. Income from our Milne and other endowed legacies, and generous donations from the Westminster School Society and also from OWW, parents and Friends during our annual fundraising, allow us to award more than £1million in bursaries each year. If we are to maintain or increase our bursary provision, we need our wider Westminster community to continue supporting us generously. I end as ever by saying that finances are sound and that applications to the Great School and the Under School greatly exceed our capacity – once again, Dat Deus Incrementum. We are very fortunate indeed and grateful for it. Floreat!
Each school year at Westminster is an adventure, and I am pleased to say that 2014/15 was no exception. This past September, marked by a collective sigh of relief that could be heard from Dean’s Yard to Putney, we successfully closed our Building on Excellence Capital Appeal. It was the largest fundraising campaign in Westminster history and represented a true partnership between the School and its Community. As our parents, OWW and Friends were contributing a staggering amount in donations, the School was working hard to realise as much as possible from the sale of property replaced by our new acquisitions, primarily the old Purcell’s buildings in Barton Street. The sale of these for a little over £6million was confirmed over the Summer, and when added to the over £17million raised through donations and the commitments to sponsored paving stones for the coming year, we were able to sail past the finish line. The Building on Excellence Campaign was not only the largest appeal in the School’s history, it was also the most inclusive, and you should be extremely proud of the role OWW have played in its success. The very last bit of building work associated with the Campaign was completed over the
Above: A newly refurbished Little Dean’s Yard.
February half-term when the final stone was placed in the gorgeously renovated Little Dean’s Yard. Outside of making everything else now look slightly shabby (and when has that ever bothered Westminster?), not even the Bursar could find fault with the beautiful new paving, and as the stones bearing the names of OWW have been gradually added they truly do look like they have been there forever. There are still plenty of great spots left, so do get in touch to secure your own piece of Westminster history! Still, there is no rest for the weary, at least where fundraising is concerned, and without missing a beat we were on to making sure our 2014 Fund for Westminster appeal raised as much as possible for the Westminster School Bursary Programme. As a new crop of brave Westminster callers took their places for our OW and Parent Telethons, you showed us once again just how committed you remain to the >>
The Building on Excellence Campaign was not only the largest appeal in the School’s history, it was also the most inclusive
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WUS staff helped to make sure everyone had an amazing evening. As you may know, it is the habit of your intrepid Development Team to pinch every penny until it screams, but after hours spent gluing paper wings onto Ferrero Rocher to create Golden Snitches, I believe one take-away lesson is that some things are better outsourced.
Above: Guests at the Under School Fundraising Dinner.
future of your School. Each year our Westminster Community never fails to surprise me with its dedication to this extremely worthy cause and as we prepare to close the books on our current appeal at the end of May, the total looks to be well over £750,000. To put this into perspective, that’s enough to fund four 100% 11+ bursaries, or fourteen full-fees Sixth Form places – an amazing accomplishment in only the Fund’s sixth year in existence. Another way we’ve worked to increase bursary funding was with the introduction of our first ever Westminster Under School Spring Fundraising Dinner. This May, just over 100 WUS parents gathered at Adrian and George Houses for an evening of Alice in Wonderland cocktails, Famous Five scotch eggs and James’s giant chocolate peaches, and together raised just shy of £100,000 for Under School bursaries. The live auction was a particular success and now that I know that afternoon tea with The Dean is capable of going for £6,000 I am extremely close to laying in a job-lot of PG Tips and Battenberg and putting him to work full time! The boys added their own special touches, creating decorations around our literary theme, and
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There were also a number of exciting happenings for our OWW. The OW Women’s Group continues to gain momentum, and our March Panel Event was a real highlight. It was interesting to hear how things have changed for Westminster girls over the decades and to see generations of OW Women forming valuable connections. Also this March we bade a not-so-fond farewell to braving the risk of spring weather in New York when the decision was taken to move our annual US Reunion to October. I wouldn’t say that my six hours spent sitting on the tarmac in a frozen airplane had anything at all to do with the move, but there will certainly be no tears shed on this end for the change! An October date will also allow us to combine the current pupils’ US universities tour with the Reunion, giving all of you American-based alums the chance to regale them with stories of life across the pond. Big announcements to look for in the coming year include the renovation of the Hooke Science Centre (I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kevin Walsh as excited about anything as he is about the prospect of getting an observatory!) and the latest in our series of Bursary Galas, this time to be held in the fabulous Art Deco surroundings of the Westminster Sports Centre. It’s definitely set to be another adventure of a year!
Items and projects funded
Fund for Westminster Thank You Event
Project Reports 26th February 2015
Our annual Donor Thank You Event is always a calendar highlight, with pupils and teachers joining parents, former parents and OWW up School to see what their generosity has helped to purchase. A few lucky pupils got to show off their amazing new bits of kit and demonstrate the difference these new tools are making in the classroom.
Above (top): Product design: vampire clocks. Above (bottom): NAO Academic Teaching Robot. Above (right top): New Greek and Latin Reference Dictionaries for Classics. Above (right bottom): DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter for the Under School Geography Department.
A High Speed/Slow Motion Video Camera to enable pupils to record video clips and produce high-resolution slow motion videos to really bring subjects to life A new Vacuum Former for our Product Design department to allow pupils in the Upper Shell to create professional quality products from high impact polystyrene A NAO Academic Teaching Robot (probably our most popular item!) to help pupils at all learning stages increase their knowledge of programming A DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter for the Under School Geography Department to allow pupils to take valuable high-quality images for project work (it is also coming in very handy for recording sporting events!) The restoration of damaged books, survivors of the bombing during WWII, in the Busby Library New Greek and Latin Reference Dictionaries for Classics, making sure the Busby Library remains a place for Classics teaching and learning at the highest level. A new Viscount Envoy 33-DFD Organ at the Under School is encouraging budding musical talent and has taken pride of place in the School’s newly refurbished Great Hall We are very grateful to everyone who made these purchases possible and very much hope we can count on your support for this year’s Appeal, kicking off in July! THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 15
A true highlight was the unveiling by the Head Master of our Building on Excellence Campaign Donor Board
End of Capital Campaign Event
Grand Re-opening of Little Dean’s Yard 24th June 2015 Little Dean’s Yard
Above (top): A special brass fanfare by our own Westminster School musicians. Above (bottom): The Bursar with Professor Sir Christopher Edwards.
It isn’t often that the weather matches the occasion (especially for Westminster events!), but we couldn’t have wished for a better night to officially celebrate the close of our fantastic Building on Excellence Capital Appeal and the Grand Re-Opening of Little Dean’s Yard. On a balmy summer evening in June, Westminster School staff and Governors were joined by not only the generous donors who had made the Appeal such a success, but also those whose hard labour has resulted in the beautifully renovated space that now graces the heart of the School. With a menu of Pimm’s, strawberries and cream, and fish and chips, the summer spirit was in full flow. We were delighted to see our hard-working contractors raising a glass with the Bursar, all memories of rain delays and stone shortages forgotten! Some of our stone sponsors also had the chance to chat with the skilled craftspeople who had completed their >>
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Above: The unveiling by the Head Master of our Building on Excellence Campaign Donor Board. Above (right): Guests at the Grand Re-opening event.
engravings. A true highlight was the unveiling by the Head Master of our Building on Excellence Campaign Donor Board, strikingly marked by a special brass fanfare by our own Westminster School musicians. The true stars of the evening, however, were the fantastic new engraved paving stones, representing OWW spanning all the way from 1917 to 2014. Even the most sceptical of our architectural purists had to admit that the new arrivals looked as if they had always been there and it is our hope that as more are added this revived tradition will encourage others to leave their own mark on their School, while at the same time helping us to raise vital funds for the Westminster Bursary Programme.
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Busby left funds to build and stock a library hence ‘the Busby Library’
A Legacy Gift in 1693 and Today Dr Richard Busby, Head Master 1639–1695, famously reclines in Westminster Abbey above the inscription “Richard Busby of Lincolnshire, S.T.P. [Professor of Sacred Theology]. Born at Lutton 1606 Sep.22. Head Master of Westminster School 1640 Dec.23. Installed Prebendary in the Church of Westminster 1660 Jul. 5. Installed Treasurer at Wells [Cathedral] 1660 Aug.11. Died 1695 Apr.5”. OWW will be familiar with much of the fact and fiction associated with his time at Westminster but may not be aware of the gift which he gave the School when he died. Busby left funds to build and stock a library, hence ‘the Busby Library’. He left an estate at Willen in Buckinghamshire of the net yearly value of £501, and personal property to the amount of £5,565 5s. 6d. His will, dated 10th July 1693, and the first four codicils thereto, were proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 19th February 1697 by Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Aylesford (qv), and John Needham. The Busby Trust is now administered by the Receiver General of Westminster Abbey, who is ex officio the Secretary and Receiver, under a 18 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
Above: Sir Richard Busby. Opposite page: College girl laying rose on Busby’s statue in Westminster Abbey, Big Commem 2014.
scheme approved by the Charity Commissioners on 10th December 1887 and subsequently amended on a number of occasions. The capital of the Charity is invested, and the yearly income is applied under the scheme by Trustees, thirteen in number, in payment of: (1) the annual sum of £60 for providing a dinner or dinners for the Trustees (an increase of £50 over that prescribed in the Will); (2) the annual sum of £110 to the Vicar “who has the Cure of Souls at Willen”; (3) an annual sum of money to the North Bucks Clerical Society for the purchase of books, this money being the income from the insurance received on the destruction of the Charity’s Library; (4) an annual sum of not less than £200 in grants “for the relief of poor ministers of the Church of England beneficed in the counties of Lincoln, Oxford, Middlesex or Buckingham”. Subject to these payments the Trustees are empowered to apply the residuary income of
the Charity in making grants to, or for the benefit of the widows and children of, poor clergymen of the Church of England “who have been benefices in one of the four counties aforesaid, and of whose need of assistance the Trustees shall have satisfied themselves”. The gross income of the charity at the date of the approved scheme amounted to approximately £1,100 per annum. At present, apart from small sums paid for administration, for the annual dinner, and to the Vicar of Willen, the Charity distributes over £6,000 annually to those priests of the Church of England, their widows and daughters, within the Dioceses of Lincoln and Oxford and in the county of Buckinghamshire, who are in need. The Busby Trustees, still thirteen in number, are always Old Westminsters. They meet twice a year for the transaction of business, and dine together in the Jerusalem Chamber after what is now the July meeting.
General notes on leaving a legacy to the School:
For the purpose of a legacy gift, the School’s full legal name for inclusion in your will or codicil is “St Peter’s College (otherwise known as Westminster School), registered charity number 312728”. To discuss options for directing a legacy gift or for further information please contact the Development Office on email@example.com or 020 7963 1115. Westminster School is recognised as a charity by HM Revenue & Customs and therefore pays no tax on gifts of money or property made either during your lifetime or upon your death. Bequests made to such tax-exempt beneficiaries are entirely free of Inheritance Tax, meaning Westminster will receive 100% of the value of your gift.
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of the most important lessons in life is often missed here – failure. We have learnt that it truly is the taking part that counts. Our indomitable House spirit can withstand any series of sporting setbacks and despite these struggles an excellent trade-in of blondes has at the very least quadrupled our musicality as a House, resulting in retaining the House Singing trophy for the fifth year in a row. College
2015 has been a year to remember for the team in green, with more House triumphs than ever before. We took a well-deserved victory in the newly-fledged House MUN and House debating competitions, and showed domination in House badminton. This wasn’t the limit of our sporting achievement however, as we retained the fiercely competitive House netball trophy, thanks to our killer shooting combo, and we once again triumphed in the senior category of the gruelling Towpath race. Perhaps most notable, however, was our performance in the House chess competition, where our fearsome fivesome took the cup with ease for an incredible fifth year on the trot. Extracts from House Reports produced for The Elizabethan (June 2015)
House Reports Ashburnham
Above: Images of life at Westminster over the 2014/15 academic year.
If there’s one thing being in Ashburnham teaches you to cope with, it’s failure. Well, that and the smell. Astonishingly, the traditional horde of cheerful defeats has been supplemented this year by some very real almost-victories. From establishing ourselves as the dominant sporting force of Dean’s Yard in the first round of Senior House Football to an awe-inspiring near-podium finish of 4th in House MUN, Ashburnham has, unsurprisingly, been the three syllables on everyone’s lips this year. Not content with asserting our Olympian prowess in the world of athletics, we put together a House concert that has since passed into legend for its breathtaking virtuosity – the age of Ashburnham has begun. Busby’s
Whilst many lesser Houses trouble themselves with the juvenile pursuit of chasing trophies, Busby’s this year has decided to seek greater goals. Given that Westminster is a school of high achievers, one 20 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
Another highlight of the year was the visit of Lord Lloyd-Webber, who after a rousing Compline service was treated to a small showcase of the House’s musical talent. Lord Lloyd-Webber was suitably impressed, and followed the showcase with a few anecdotes from his time as a QS. The College concert promises to be even better than last year, if that is at all possible. The event is both a chance for the virtuosi to leave the crowd amazed, and also for our House spirit to shine through. Amici usque ad aras will be roared with pride as always, and will bring an end to a brilliant year. Dryden’s
Dryden’s statement that “genius must be born and can never be taught” has never had greater veracity than in this academic year. The House threw itself into the extra-curricular scene from the start of the academic year with a House play. Performing Tom Stoppard’s Dogg’s Hamlet and Cahoot’s Macbeth, the actors excelled in speaking a jumbled English all assembled by the play’s directors. Mr Edlin’s House Nativity ‘event’ at the end of the Play Term was a memorable extension of our festive carol singing tradition and talent, again,
was out in force at the House concert in January in which Harvey Parker and William Shirras impressed with their individual pieces. Ensemble work was displayed in the jazz band and choir arranged by Mr Au and Miss French. As everyone knows, there is nothing quite like House football at Westminster. Mr HemsleyBrown and Mr Edlin managed to shout every football cliché from the side lines yet crushingly, it was not enough. The Red Army was confronted with a corridor clash in the semi-finals against Wren’s in which a Jasper Baines goal sent us to the final. As we have only just ordered a new trophy cabinet from IKEA and had nowhere to keep the trophy, we allowed Rigaud’s to win the final this year! Grant’s
Lesser Houses tend to boast victory over their peers. Fortunately, the inhabitants of Little Deans Yard’s second-oldest residence are a cut above. Even now we resist the temptation to trumpet our triumph in Girls’ House Football; we decline to shout our success in House Swimming; we object to flaunting our fantasticness at Rock Climbing or to vaunting our victory in Senior House Tennis. However, one solitary shout of Habemus Dining Room must go to Upper Shell James Mann for winning this year’s Greaze with the entire pancake. Other honourable mentions go to the netball team for finishing second, the 11-a-side football team for finishing third and to our valiant chess team, who felt that showcasing our mental, as well as physical, superiority would simply be too much for the other Houses to bear. The Grant’s House concert was the highlight of the musical year (sorry Barbican participants, but it’s true) with special mentions going to a stellar performance from Boy Better Know complete with balaclavas and a smoke machine; the glamorous Grant’s Girls’ Choir, and finally to a rousing rendition of Dancing in the Moonlight which topped off a true festival of sound. Hakluyt’s
Anti-social, awkward, nerdy… that is a Hakluyt’s of the past. Or at least, this year Hakluyt’s temporarily shook off our usual useless selves and went BIG. To CD Riches’s dismay it seems Hakluyt’s may throw off the inhibiting shackles of the term ‘that rowing house’, becoming more and more one where both running and chess are allowed to >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 21
flourish, and in which our hobby-sport, football, takes centre-stage in an unexpected turn of events. The girls came in and had the difficult job of befriending the numerous recluses who make up Hakluyt’s, yet not only did they bring welcome company, but they also added to the ever-growing sporting prestige of the House. The Bringsty Relay was taken by storm and, prior to this, Hakluyt’s took a try at the Towpath. Our sporting prowess came into full effect as we ran to an overall first place in the competition, the junior team performing particularly outstandingly.
The House concert displayed the rich tapestry of musical taste in Rigaud’s. On the sporting field we charged out with our usual panache, cruising to victory in Senior House Sixes with Sasha Foss’s wonder strike goal from inside his own half. Efforts in other athletic spheres were slightly less successful yet no less valiant, and Election term will hopefully see Rigaud’s hold on to some of our often-won Summer Station silverware.
Chess is often hailed as the highlight of the sporting calendar. It would be a travesty to understate the importance and status of the chess competition. Heads down and fingers at the ready, our team systematically dispatched each new opponent. We then faced College in the final and I leave the rest to your powers of deduction.
and George Salmon’s persistent difficulties), our previously glorious long distance running record was somewhat tarnished this year. Despite boasting a line-up containing three-time Brinksty/Towpath double winners, a fresh crop of eager Fifth Form and new girls, we had to settle for a noble third this year. Likewise, House football proved unfruitful.
The House football eleven-a-side competition saw a team of true sportsmen, equipped with both physical grace and fine minds, send out shockwaves.
This change of fortune rightly inspired our musicians in the House concert, which went surprisingly well. On the charity scene, Milnites showed once again their supreme selflessness, which epitomises the House. We wiped the board and came a charitable second (being too selfless to come first) in terms of funds raised on September Saturday, quadrupling last year’s total with a generous £900. The joint Milne’s-Rigaud’s House play, The Long Christmas Dinner directed flawlessly by Harlan Epstein, entertained and showed that Milne’s isn’t afraid to lend a hand to the lesser Houses!
It has been another extraordinary year in Liddell’s. Involvement in drama, music and sport has occurred at the expense of scene-stealing House victories. We have certainly built on last year’s agonising second place at Sports Day, where we won the Boys’ part of the competition. With an extremely capable group of Fifth Form footballers we won the Junior House six-a-sides, promising much for future years, while the senior ‘Lid Army’ finished runners-up in the House eleven-a-side. There has been a continuation of extremely credible running performances and Mr Law and Ms Barry organised an excellent House concert. Most importantly we managed to turn out a chess team for the first time in anyone’s memory. We showed ourselves to be second only to College in intellectual pursuits, finishing second in both House debating and MUN. Our cricket attempts, however, remain even worse than England’s ODI World Cup campaigns! Milne’s
If “Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something”, as a House we are well set for the future. Beset on all sides by injury (Nick Clanchy 22 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
Finally, Purcell’s is a full House, with members in all years, and we are taking over the School. Our purple and white stripes are seen increasingly around Yard and Purcellites are dominating the inter-House arena. Some star athletes emerged this year, including Maxim Postolovsky racing ahead in School events and finishing first at London Schools for Cross Country, Neha Madhotra and Chet Johal won Doubles Badminton, bringing Purcell’s to second place in the House Badminton competion, and Purcell’s rowers represented the School in external competitions. Many Purcellites were involved in musical endeavours like the Barbican Concert in the Lent
As Dr Williams moves on to Tonbridge, we can look back at his time as Housemaster with fond memories. He has managed to guide another generation through the School, all whilst raising his two young children (and the other 75 in the House.) Let’s hope Tonbridge value him as much as we do. Ipsu Rasu. Above: Images of life at Westminster over the 2014/15 academic year.
Term, and we have heard remarkable singers from Purcell’s in the Carol Service and in Abbey every week. We also saw many familiar faces in the cast of Guys and Dolls, following a colourful rendition of Let it Go in our House Concert. We went all the way to the finals in House Debating and came third in House Chess and House MUN! Many members of our Sixth Form were either placed or highly commended in the annual Gumbleton Prize for Creative Writing, with Jack Marsh winning first place. Many Purcellites have given talks in societies ranging from Political Society, Law Society, English Society and of course, Feminist Society. Our September Saturday stall with games and face-painting was also a success. Rigaud’s
Dr Williams’ final year as Housemaster saw Rigaud’s excel across the board. With September came the return of the House play, this time a collaborative effort with Milne’s, at which, after only two weeks’ rehearsal a determined cast from various years recreated the ageing of a family over a century, a realistic reminder of the transient nature of life for the packed auditorium.
Our consistent superiority over all other Houses in a wide range of competitions continued this year, despite the loss of last year’s impressive Remove. Arguably the most prestigious victory came in House shooting. Armed with a collection of SDW’s finest running spikes, the Bringsty Relay trophy was also ours, with the senior team romping to victory and strong performances from the Juniors and the Girls. One of the individual highlights of the year was Oscar Frith’s breathtaking performance – if you’ll pardon the pun – in the ‘underwater dash’ at House swimming, where he achieved an incredible 45 metres without surfacing. In our attempts to discourage the other Houses from withdrawing from future competitions, we did not win either form of House football. Another competition we did win, however, was House cricket, at the end of last year. Unusually, we were not seen as the favourites by any measure: a motley crew, billed as underdogs in the quarters, semis and the final, ours was a team built around one halfdecent bowler. Every member of the squad played their part but, fittingly, the crucial wickets in the final were taken by diminutive Fifth Former, James Bates, who dismissed two 1st XI batsmen. If any collection of performances could sum up the spirit among Wrenites, it would surely be this.
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Women’s Network Panel Event. Dabin Kwon (PP, 2011–13), Alexandra Leigh (PP, 2010–12) and Olivia Knutson (PP, 2010–12).
Below: 1950s Gaudy: Christopher Bartlett (BB, 1951–56) and Alan Griffin (AHH, 1951–55).
OW SOCIAL Elizabethan Club Committee Members • Jonathan Carey (GG, 1964–69) President • Tim Brocklebank-Fowler (RR, 1976–80) Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org • Jessica Chichester (GG, 2000–02) Secretary email@example.com
The wonderful setting was, however, upstaged by an extremely amusing and insightful speech by Evening Standard columnist Rosamund Urwin (WW, 2000–02) who provided candid insight into the world of journalism
Read more about
OW Women’s Network on page 37
• Artin Basirov (GG, 1989–94) Treasurer firstname.lastname@example.org • Matthew Webb (BB, 1999–2004) OW Sports Representative email@example.com • Avalon Lee-Bacon (GG, 2007–09) Young OW Representative Avalon.firstname.lastname@example.org
• James Kershen (WW, 1981–86 and Master i/c Station) Common Room Representative email@example.com • Tarun Mathur (AHH, 1988–93) firstname.lastname@example.org • Gavin Griffiths (WW, 1967–72) email@example.com Vice-Presidents: • Nick Brown (RR, 1968–73) • David Roy (AHH, 1955–61) • Michael Rugman (GG, 1955–60) • Tim Woods (GG, 1969–74)
The Club’s finances have been much improved and this has enabled us to offer a greater number of higher quality events
Elizabethan Club Annual Report
Above: Matt Frei (RR, 1978–81), Guest of Honour at the 2013 Annual Dinner. Left (opposite page): Guests at the Elizabethan Club Dinner.
Tim Brocklebank-Fowler (RR, 1976–80) As presented to the AGM on Thursday, 18th September 2014 by the Chairman, Tim Brocklebank-Fowler. The Club offered a full calendar of social and sporting events over the last year which were planned to appeal to OWW from all age groups and encourage men and women to participate in equally high numbers. I am pleased to say that a poorly attended annual dinner overpopulated by men of a certain age seems to be a thing of the past. However, there is no room for complacency and your Committee continues to strive to improve the offering so that as many OWW as possible remain involved with the School. Social Events
Matt Frei (RR, 1978–81) was our Guest of Honour at the 2013 Annual Dinner and entertained us with some amusing stories about his experiences as Washington Correspondent and his travels around the world. Dr Stephen Spurr addressed us for the last time as Head Master, commenting on what a pleasure it had 26 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
been to attend the annual dinners. By bringing Club subscription fees to a similar level to other comparable schools, the Club’s finances have been much improved and this has enabled us to offer a greater number of higher quality events. The Committee was delighted to host a Retirement Dinner for Dr Spurr in January 2014 at The Carlton Club, and we wish Stephen and Susanna all the very best for the future. A summary of other 2013/14 events included the Golf Society Dinner, Lawyers’ Dinner, a New York Reunion Dinner, the 1970s Decade Gaudy, the ever popular OW Abbey Tour, a Cambridge Drinks Party at Trinity College, a 1930s and 40s Decade Gaudy lunch, and various House Society parties, including an inaugural Purcell’s Roof Terrace Drinks, hosted by Evening Standard Columnist Rosamund Urwin (WW, 2000–02). The highlight for many watermen was the Henley Drinks Party, followed by a row-past in The Queen’s Rowbarge, Glorianna, crewed by Westminster’s most successful Henley Oarsmen from the last thirty years.
We are thrilled to announce that actress Alice Eve (RR, 1998–2000) will be joining us as our guest speaker at this year’s Elizabethan Club Dinner and are delighted that she has been able to take time from her busy filming schedule to be with us. Alice developed her love of acting while undertaking an English degree at Oxford and went on to appear in television shows such as Entourage and The Rotters Club. Her film credits include Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Trek Into Darkness and Sex and the City 2, as well as British hit comedy Starter for Ten. Sports
The Club and School have agreed that in return for a contribution towards the running costs of the new indoor Sports Centre, OWW participating in team sports will be guaranteed Wednesday evening access. This has proved to be a valuable facility for those involved with OW football, cricket, athletics and water amongst others. The AGM is now attended by OW Sports Club Secretaries who give a report on their activities and request grants from the Club. Finance
The Club’s investments have benefitted from favourable markets in recent years and our rules dictate that 20% of annual subscription income is retained in the capital account. The purpose of increasing the investment portfolio is not only to ensure that income grows at least as fast as inflation, but also to enable the Club to support projects which will benefit OWW as well as the School. We have recently changed the Club’s financial year to coincide with the School’s academic year and accounting period. Consequently the Treasurer has not had time to publish accounts before the September AGM this year and in future years it is proposed to delay the AGM until November to allow more time. The accounts will be published as soon as possible. >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 27
Right: Alexander Bradford (HH, 1997–02) and Jessica Chichester (GG, 2000–02). Opposite page (right): David Brigstocke (AHH, 1966–70), Patrick Derham and Tim Woods (GG, 1969–74).
The strength of the Club’s finances has also allowed us to make a substantial contribution towards the salary of a new member of the Archives staff who will be compiling an updated Record of Old Westminsters. This is a project which will interest and benefit all OWW and we are pleased to be able to contribute to this cost. Travel / Cultural Award
I am pleased to announce that Han-Xi Wang (DD, 2011–13) was chosen as this year’s winner of the Neville Walton Travel Award and we look forward to reading a report of her trip. In order to further broaden activities it is proposed that a new annual grant be offered to an OW under 25 years old for a project in the Arts. Further details on this will be published in 2015.
A new annual grant [will] be offered to an OW under 25 years old for a project in the Arts
The Development Office
We continue to rely on the Development Office for a huge amount of support and Katharine Robinson has done an excellent job for us. She has recently left on maternity leave and we offer our best wishes to her and her family. Until Katharine’s return, we will be assisted by Chris Conneely and Olwen Sisupalan and we wish them a warm welcome to Westminster School.
Young OW Committee position with responsibility for ensuring we have the right mix of events to encourage participation by relatively recent Leavers. She takes over from Charlotte Seymour (BB, 2006–08) who also deserves our gratitude for the work she has put in over the last year. I look forward to working with the existing and new members of the Committee for the final year of my tenure.
In accordance with the Club’s rules, we are due to make some changes to the Committee. First of all, Lord Neuberger (WW, 1961–65) has agreed to step down as President to be replaced by Jonathan Carey (GG, 1964–69), who has recently retired from Jupiter Asset Management. I would like to express my thanks to David Neuberger who has been a wonderful figurehead for the Club and has been as active as his incredibly busy schedule would allow. I know that Stephen and Susanna Spurr were particularly touched that he attended their farewell dinner. Nicholas Brown (RR, 1968–73) has been Hon Secretary for more years than he may 28 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
Above: Bertie Milward (WW, 2003–08), Shahryar Raza (AHH, 1997–2002), Edward Rich (BB, 2003–08).
care to remember and has made an immense contribution to the Club, for which we are very grateful. He stands down to be replaced by Jessica Chichester (GG, 2000–02), who has done an excellent job as Sports Secretary for the last few years. Matthew Webb (BB, 1999–2004) has agreed to take over the Sports Secretary role from Jessica and we wish him well with his new responsibilities. Avalon Lee-Bacon (GG, 2007–09) takes over the
In recognition of their contributions to the Club over many years and in accordance with our rules, the following have been asked to be Vice Presidents: Michael Rugman (GG, 1955–60), Tim Woods (GG, 1969–74), David Roy (AAH, 1955–61) and Nicholas Brown already mentioned. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Patrick Derham as Head Master. We all look forward to getting to know him, working with him and supporting him in every way that we can. Floreat.
School Society Report Michael Rugman (GG, 1955–60) The School Society continues to provide support for bursaries and music scholarships and sports activities, as well as concerts and lectures and the chapel in St. Edward’s House. The 2014 Tizard Lecture, which again received our sponsorship, entitled ‘Paradoxes in Science’, was given by theoretical physicist and broadcaster Professor Jim Al-Khalili. The 2014 lecture was the 52nd in the series. We also made grants to the library and for travel by pupils to study art in Beijing and St Petersburg. We are working with the School to identify further opportunities for co-operation on new initiatives.
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Above and left: Guests at the OW Lawyers’ Dinner.
The OW Lawyers’ Dinner
it was lovely to see such humility and lightheartedness, though the legal profession is often taken very seriously.
17th February 2015 The Buck’s Club
The annual OW Lawyers’ Dinner was held at the Buck’s Club, courtesy of John Furber QC (WW, 1963–67), where assembled guests had the pleasure of hearing from after dinner speaker His Honour Judge Andrew Gilbart QC (QSS, 1962–67).
Above: Guests at the OW Lawyers’ Dinner.
It was a privilege to receive such invaluable advice from distinguished lawyers as I embark on my own journey into the legal world Sara Lee (PP, Remove)
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This year marks organiser Simon Randall’s (RR, 1957–62) last year in charge of the event. Our thanks go to Simon for another wonderful dinner and for all his tireless work in putting this event on year after year. He has kindly agreed to assist his successor with next year’s dinner to ensure a smooth transition. Three pupils from the Remove were once again given the opportunity to meet with legal professionals and find out more about their chosen career – a fantastic experience, as demonstrated by their letters of thanks below: Daniel Bramley Carr (HH, Remove)
The Old Westminster Lawyer’s Dinner will remain one of my most memorable Westminster experiences. To hear so many noteworthy and prominent lawyers give their opinions not only on the modern legal system, but also
Conversations about the Greaze and legendary members of the Common Room really made me feel blessed to be part of such a wonderful community. their perspectives on the career path facing prospective lawyers, was fascinating. The Dinner was brilliantly organised by Simon Randall, and the after-dinner speech given by the Hon Mr Justice Gilbart was both enlightening and entertaining. The amiability of so many of the lawyers at the event, and their genuine desire to help a future generation of OWW, was truly inspiring and served to make the evening unforgettable. Sara Lee (PP, Remove)
I would like to express my thanks to the Elizabethan Club and Mr. Simon Randall for having me and my Remove peers at the OW Lawyers’ Dinner this year at the Buck’s Club.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and one day I hope to return as a qualified lawyer myself. Raaid Casoojee (BB, Remove)
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Old Westminster Lawyers’ Dinner and am grateful to have been invited. At the dinner table, I found it fascinating speaking with Old Westminsters who have pursued a career path that may well be similar to my own and their hospitality and generous offering of advice meant I couldn’t have been inspired more. I enjoyed my first encounter with the world of law and give my thanks to the Elizabethan Club and the Old Westminsters with whom I conversed for the opportunity.
It was a privilege to receive such invaluable advice from distinguished lawyers as I embark on my own journey into the legal world. The speech by Hon Mr Justice Gilbart was the highlight of our evening. It was incredibly interesting to learn about his experiences and THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 31
6th July 2014
Henley Drinks Guy Ingram (LL, 1985–90)
Organised by the ever-present Master in charge of Water, CD Riches, crew members from the 1990 and 1992 First Eights were reunited at the 2014 Henley Royal Regatta to celebrate the bi-centenary of the School Boat Club with a row over the regatta course during the Sunday afternoon tea break. Wonderfully, rather than contemporary racing boats, the use of Gloriana for the Westminster crew had been secured by CD. Gloriana was commissioned by Lord Sterling as a tribute to HM Queen Elizabeth II as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, was the lead vessel in the Thames Pageant, and took a noteworthy role in the Olympic torch relay that year. Lord Sterling joined the Head Master and other eminent guests, including the late Dan Topolski (WW, 1959–63), onboard in the sumptuous Regencystyle stern passenger salon. The 18-man Westminster crew distinguished themselves with fine oarsmanship, handling the heavy, authentic 18th century reproduction blades with skill as they powered the 9-ton vessel along the regatta course in fine style.”
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6th November 2014 Above (left): Gloriana and the Westminster crew. Above: Artin Basirov (GG, 1989–94) and guests at the Elizabethan Club Dinner.
Medics’ Drinks 19th June 2014 The Keeper’s House at the Royal Academy Simon Kilgour (RR, 1970–75)
In 2014 the Westminster Medics met at the bar in the Keeper’s House, an event which coincided with the Summer Exhibition. Thirty people came and the talk rarely revolved around medicine!
The Elizabethan Club Dinner Jessica Chichester (GG, 2000–02) The Elizabethan Club Dinner in 2014 was as good as ever! Alice Eve (RR, 1998–2000) was a big draw and guests looked forward to hearing her Hollywood stories. Her parents were also in attendance, fellow actors Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughan, and also her fiancée, who was her contemporary at School, Alex Cowper-Smith (MM, 1995–2000). It was a jolly occasion with drinks up School followed by dinner in College Hall before the speeches. It was also memorable as the new Head Master, Patrick Derham’s, first Elizabethan Club Dinner and it was very good to meet him and to hear him speak. Alice gave a great speech, balancing telling tales of her time at Westminster with how she got to be where she is today, having starred in some fantastic films and with more to come.
Above (top): Alice Eve speaking at the 2015 Elizabethan Club Dinner. Above (bottom): Guests at the Elizabethan Club Dinner.
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Commemoration of Benefactors 2014
Big Commem Tom Edlin (DD 1993–38) reflects on his experiences of Big Commem as pupil, teacher and, since 2011. Commem, one might imagine, should be about unbroken traditions and continuities; an established ritual standing firm at the heart of an evolving institution. My fellow Old Westminsters who return for the service perhaps expect – consciously or not – to be stepping back into the footsteps of their own younger selves, for we all know (do we not?) that how things were done when we were at School is of course the right and natural way and should be established fast forever.
meaning perhaps rather implicit, but the twilit magnificence of a full Abbey lent it an atmosphere which has stayed with me. By the time I reached the Sixth Form and Commem 1996, John Arthur had taken on the role and was beginning, with a subtle flair, to enhance the ‘narrative’ of the event, with a greater emphasis on the staged ‘journey’ of thanksgiving, of the Roses from the Great West Door to the tomb of the Foundress. One hymn in English (by an Old Westminster) was included, a tradition we still retain, slightly reducing the amount of congregational Latin, but with the essentials (Angularis Fundamentum, Psalm 150, a Te Deum, Gloriosi Salvatoris) still in place.
And yet the service has changed, subtly but continuously. My own first experience of Commem was in 1993, as an impressionable Fifth Former perhaps faintly mystified by the vast tracts of Latin comprehensible only to those who had been attentive during weeks of practice in Abbey. That was John Field’s last year in charge of the service; under his custodianship the ritual was intense and the
I did not return to Commem until 2008, as a member of the Common Room. Much was familiar, and my response must have been rather positive, as by 2010 (with our new biennial cycle) I found myself as JECA’s assistant and designated successor, with 2012 as my first service at the helm. 2014 was thus something akin to my ‘difficult second album’. I had made my small innovations: a role for the College
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Above (left): Choir Introit. Above (right): Acolytes lined up. Above: Roses being placed on tomb.
Our hope is that we can continue to enhance the meaning of what is and should remain a unique and moving event
girls, laying single roses on the graves or monuments of some of our later benefactors in the Abbey during the Te Deum; the return of verses from Psalm 148, part of the old nineteenth century Commedatio service, in a new setting by composer Sinan Savaskan; a little streamlining (I hoped) of the processions and pauses for prayer on the ‘journey’ of the Roses. Of course, something always goes wrong – a delayed cue, a microphone on the wrong switch, a minor stumble – and the Master in charge is doomed to notice only those things and never really enjoy the service itself. But our hope is that we can continue to enhance the meaning of what is and should remain a unique and moving event, resonant of both past and present – and to ensure that this meaning has a resilience and a logic within the life of the School today. Floreat THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 35
1950s Gaudy: Gordon Turner (AA, 1952–55), Justin Thomas (AA, 1953–58) and Alastair Lauder (AA, 1950–55).
OW Women’s Network Decade Gaudies
1950s Gaudy 12th March 2015 Camden and Gibbon Rooms A sizeable group attended the 1950s Gaudy held on Thursday 12th March. The evening was mild and allowed early arrivals the opportunity for a short stroll around the newly-refurbished Yard. Guests enjoyed drinks and canapés in the Camden Room and archive materials sparked many animated and amusing conversations around the room! Above (right): Jeremy Berkoff (WW, 1956–60), Andrew Evans (QS, 1954–59) and Suzanne Evans. Right: Edward Raw (WW, 1951–56) and Colin Brough (AHH, 1959–63).
The OW Women’s Network has hosted two events. Our Rooftop Drinks up Purcell’s in July 2014 was a chance for Westminster Women to network in a relaxed environment with many attendees being sure to get a photo with the fabulous view. The wonderful setting was, however, upstaged by an extremely amusing and insightful speech by Evening Standard columnist Rosamund Urwin (WW, 2000–02) who provided candid insight into the world of journalism. Then in March 2015 we hosted a panel event “From Westminster to the Workplace” in the Manoukian Music Centre featuring a panel of four OW women talking about their career paths and how life at Westminster had prepared them for the working world.
We encourage you to get involved as a mentor, mentee or both
Our OW Women’s Network is still in its early stages, and as such we would love to hear your ideas for future events – what would be of the most interest to you? Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. uk with your ideas.
36 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
Rooftop Drinks 3rd July 2014 Purcell’s House Panel Event 24th March 2015 Manoukian Music Centre
Above: Guests at the OW Women’s Network Rooftop Drinks.
We’d love to recruit more female mentors to our OW Careers and Mentoring Programme, (read more on page 78). We have mentors at every level, from Managing Directors with a wealth of professional experience behind them to recent Leavers who can advise others on topics such as the applications processes and interviews for specific careers. We encourage you to get involved as a mentor, mentee or both; you can find out more and sign up on our website.
THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 37
13th May 2015 The Deanery, Christ Church, Oxford
38 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
By Angus Roy (AHH, 1993–98)
By Matthew Webb (BB, 1999–2004)
The Society has continued to support the House and this year, rather than the usual annual photographic competition, sponsored the refurbishment of the girls’ communal areas. This has created a much improved space for the girls in the House to get changed and has enabled them to have their own Day Room. Space was made by converting the former boys’ changing room, next to the table tennis room.
The Busby Society has enjoyed another strong year and, with the help of the committee: Julian Lyne-Pirkis (BB, 1969–73; Chairman), Christian Wells (BB, 1968–73; Treasurer), Adrian Lloyd-Thomas (BB, 1967–72), Peter Gysin (BB, 1967– 72), Wilf Hashimi (BB, 1971–75) and Paul Botton (Busby’s Housemaster), the Society has been focusing on developing new events and keeping in touch with more Old Busbites than ever before. The Society’s annual dinner will be held in College Hall on Thursday 26th November and a guest speaker is being confirmed. Formal invitations will follow in due course but please put the date in your diary.
The Society is still pleased to offer its annual bursary of up to £500 to Ashburnhamites in their final two years at School and in the first few years after they have left. Last year we awarded this bursary to James Baty (AHH, VI), a pupil about to enter the Remove. James used the money to travel to Germany in August 2014 to explore his interest in the artist Kathe Kollwitz, specifically the impact losing her son in the First World War had on her work. We hope that the bursary will be used again this year by an Ashburnhamite or former Ashburnhamite for a project (whether travel, music, arts or otherwise) which they would, without the bursary, not have been able to do.
Our 2015 Oxford Drinks event was held in the Deanery at Christ Church. Our sincere thanks go to our excellent hosts, the Very Revd. Prof. Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, and The Revd Dr Emma Percy. We were pleased to be joined by a number of recent Leavers currently studying at Oxford, as well as OWW who call the area home. The event began in the garden where our hosts showed us the window where Alice Liddell, daughter of Dean Liddell, once looked out to see a cat in the branches of the tree at the end of the garden. Little Alice would later be the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and the cat in the tree the Cheshire Cat. As the evening became cooler guests moved inside to the Drawing Room, where they were able to continue catching up under the watchful eye of a rather wonderful van Dyck painting of Charles I!
Above: Guests in the garden at the Deanery, Christ Church.
Little Alice would later be the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and the cat in the tree the Cheshire Cat
The Society would like to build on the success of its big events in 2012 to expand its activities. We have had some ideas already, but please do get in touch with the Development Office if there is something in particular you would like to attend. In this regard, the Society is trying to expand its Committee, and if anyone is interested in joining or simply helping as a link to their contemporaries, then please contact Angus Roy. Angus Roy (AHH, 1993–98) email@example.com 01923 842538
The latest edition of The College Street Clarion (the Busby’s House Newsletter) is being published shortly and if you would like to receive a copy, or if you would like to request a copy of a recent edition, please do not hesitate to contact the Secretary via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07771 825746. The Society is keen to organise more social events in the coming year and if any Old Busbites have ideas for events they would like to attend or if there are any ideas for projects which might benefit the Old Busbite community, please do not hesitate to contact the Secretary. Julian Lyne-Pirkis (BB, 1969–73) email@example.com Matthew Webb firstname.lastname@example.org 07771 825746
THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 39
Left, below and right: Images of life and events at Westminster over the 2014/15 academic year.
Liddell’s Society By Tom Weisselberg (LL, 1984–89)
The Liddell’s Society held an informal meeting at the Westminster Arms on 20th January 2015 and is looking to arrange a larger event later in the year.
Rigaud’s Society By Matthew Rhodes (RR, 1987–91)
By Duncan Matthews (QS, 1974–79)
The next scheduled dinner of the College Society will be in the Autumn of 2015 together with our AGM, date TBC. The Committee will be meeting shortly to organise further events for the coming 12 months. Work is in progress to arrange the first female speaker for the College Society Lecture. We are always open to suggestions for speakers and indeed for events which might be popular, so please do get in touch with us if you have any ideas you would like us to consider. Similarly, do please visit our webpage www.oldwestminster.org.uk/college_ society_home. We welcome any suggestions for improvement! Duncan Matthews (QS, 1974–79) email@example.com For membership details Charles Low (QS, 1967–72) firstname.lastname@example.org 40 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
If you would like to get in touch with the Society or have any suggestions for events, please contact: Aqib Aslam (DD, 1994–99) email@example.com Leo Xenakis (DD, 1994–99) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Society continues to take an active role in supporting the House. 2014 saw us grant a number of travel awards to pupils in the Remove, and we also made possible the purchase of a piano to be used by pupils in their common room. The Housemaster, Huw Williams, relates that he knew it had been a worthwhile acquisition when he heard it accompanying a rap version of Latin Prayers… At last year’s Gaudy, members of the Society and their guests attended a private tour of the Abbey led by Tom Edlin (DD, 1993–98). This was followed by champagne in Ashburnham Garden by the fives courts, accompanied by jazz performed by some of the pupils. This year we held a black tie, valedictory dinner for Huw Williams on 11th June in College Hall. Attending ORR and their guests gave him a fantastic send off.
If you would like to get in touch with the Society or have any suggestions for events, please contact:
With thanks, as ever, to Huw and to the Development Office for all their support over the year. Ipsu Rasu!
Nick Poole (HH, 1987–92) email@example.com
Matthew Rhodes firstname.lastname@example.org
All Liddellites are invited to consider putting themselves forward to participate in the Society. We would particularly welcome indications of interest from any recent(ish) departees and any senior(ish) OWW who would be interested in joining the Committee. The Society was formed by Dave Brown (LL, 1960–64) in 2004 and over the years we have arranged drinks parties, tours of the Abbey, tours of the House (after its recent refurbishment and travel bursaries for members of the House. The objects of the Society are: (a) to assist and promote the welfare of Liddell’s and of all present and former Liddellites, Liddell’s staff and the spouses, parents and children of Liddellites or Liddell’s staff; (b) to maintain, create and foster links between Liddellites and Liddell’s staff; and (c) to support individual Liddellites. For further details, please contact Tom Weisselberg (Hon Sec) on email@example.com. David Eaton Turner (LL, 1974–79) firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Weisselberg (LL, 1984–89) email@example.com
THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 41
Milne’s Society If you would like to get in touch with the Society or have any suggestions for events, please contact:
Old Grantite Club Report
Above: Barbican concert 2015.
Alasdair Donaldson (MM, 1994–99) firstname.lastname@example.org Neil Fisher (MM, 1994–99) email@example.com
By Peter Cole (GG, 1993–98) Above: Views of the Abbey in the Winter and Summer.
Following on from the large and successful event held on the House of Commons terrace in 2013, the Club had a quieter year with just two smaller events in 2014. The annual drinks and canapés evening for this year’s Leavers was held in May and gave the Committee an opportunity to bid farewell to the outgoing Housemaster, David Hargreaves. The Club and its Committee are extremely grateful to David for his cooperation and input throughout his tenure. The 2014 AGM was held on 25th September, and drinks and canapés were served in the Camden Room after the meeting. The year 2014–15 welcomes a new Housemaster in Nick Fair, and we look forward to building on a good working relationship with him over the coming years.
42 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
Thomas Munby (MM, 1994–99) TMunby@maitlandchambers.com
It just remains to say that the Committee is determined to continue its work in communicating with and arranging events for all Old Grantites. To make the Club fit for purpose however, we need to hear from our members of all ages and to understand what is expected of us.
Please do contact us if you have any suggestions as to potential future speakers at Old Grantite Club Dinners. We would also like to hear from any Old Grantite who feels that they can help develop the future of the Club by playing a role within the Committee.
The Purcell’s Society has been a little quiet over the past year but if you have comments or suggestions on future events please get in touch.
Dean Chatterjee continues to run the Wren’s Society, but new Committee members are actively being sought so please contact him if you would like to be involved. All former Wrenites are automatically considered to be members of the Society and are not required to pay an annual subscription fee. Please contact alumni@ westminster.org.uk to register your interest.
To contact the Club or to gain more information on its activities please contact the Chairman, Peter Cole. firstname.lastname@example.org
Krystyna Kosciuszko (PP, 2005–07) email@example.com
THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 43
Bangkok Commem (L to R): Adriano Castoro (LL, 1993–94) and Peyton Burnett (GG, 1990–95).
Below: New York City.
INTERNATIONAL OWW International OW Representatives
It was the first time most had met the new Head Master, who took the opportunity to impress us all with his knowledge and understanding of Westminster
Olga Polunina (QS, 2004–06) Read more about the
New York Reunion Dinner on page 46
Amsterdam, The Netherlands • Zac Woolfitt (DD, 1980–84)
New York, USA • Olga Polunina (QS, 2004–06)
Athens, Greece • George Mangos (WW, 1993–98)
San Francisco, USA • Damini Satija (RR, 2009–11)
Bangkok, Thailand • Peyton Burnett (GG, 1990–1995)
Sydney, Australia • Max Burt (LL, 1977–82)
Dubai, UAE • Jon Breach (QS, 1982–86)
Toronto, Canada • Robert Jekyll (WW, 1948–51)
Hong Kong • Nicola Ho (PP, 2009–11)
Vancouver, Canada • Michael Madsen (AHH, 1960–65)
Hong Kong • Nicola Ho (PP, 2009–11)
Washington DC, USA • Dan Owen (BB, 1979–83)
Melbourne, Australia • Emma Poole (WW, 1989–91)
Tokyo, Japan • Annabel James (PP, 2007–09)
Monte Carlo, Monaco • James Arnold (WW, 1988–93)
Singapore • Carolyn Lek (PP, 1997–99) To contact any of the representatives listed above or to find out more about acting as a representative in your country or region please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We had OWW from various places on the East Coast, some coming from as far as DC
New York Reunion
US Universities Tour
The 21 Club By Olga Polunina (QS, 2004–06) On 7th March, New York OWW gathered for excellent food, drinks and Westminster-style entertainment at the 21 Club. After singing Grace (in Westminster Latin, of course), the tables competed over knowledge of obscure School trivia – “Did Beau Brummell go here?”; “Alice in Wonderland was definitely Alice Liddell – how can you not know that?!”; “Ooh… who is that architect… we can totally look that up on Wikipedia!” coming from all directions as the guests tried to solve the Westminster puzzles. For all of us, it was a great chance to meet fellow OWW in the city and environs – we had OWW from various places on the East Coast, some coming from as far as DC, and several having recently moved to the city from other states or countries. And of course, it was the first time most had met the new Head Master, who took the opportunity to impress us all with his knowledge and understanding of Westminster. We’ll be excited to follow his and the School’s progress as his vision unfolds and, of course, hearing about it at future reunions. 46 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
The Union Club In what has now become an annual fixture in the School calendar, the Directors of the Westminster School Foundation US welcomed a group of 12 Sixth Form pupils who were making a tour of the East Coast in preparation for the process of selecting and applying for universities.
Above: New York City. Opposite page (right): US Universities Tours.
The event, which took place in October 2014 at the Union Club on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, was also attended by a number of recent Leavers who had just started their studies at various US universities. Pupils had the opportunity to hear first-hand about their predecessors’ experiences and ask questions about the US Higher Education system more generally. One pupil, Matteo Pozzi (AHH, 2011–VI), thoroughly enjoyed the trip saying, “I think it is very important to visit US universities in order to get a feeling of what it’s like to be a part of them – something you just can’t get from pictures or websites. The reception with Old Westminsters was fantastic and it was very nice to see how they’re finding life in the States.”
THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 47
A diverse and fascinating group of alumni with many stories of old and opinions of new made for a lively event!
Above: Dubai Commem: L to R: Jon Breach (QS, 1982–86), Susanne Breach, Emmanuel Zolotas (AAH, 1990–95), Alina Zambarakji, Tarek Zambarakji (HH, 1988–92), Nadia Dajani, Zoe Dajani, Tareq Dajani (WW, 1985–89).
2014: Locations worldwide
Left: Monaco Commem: L to R: James Arnold (WW, 1988–93), Nicholas Granby (AHH, 1959–63), Masa Pajkovic (RR, 1995–97) and guest Mark Madden, Saman Ahsani (QS, 1987–92), Jesse Marre (BB, 1998–2003).
As the Abbey thronged with pupils past and present for Big Commem, smaller groups of OWW gathered for celebrations in cities across the globe. Thank you to all of our overseas representatives who helped to bring together OWW in celebration of the School.
OW Rep: George Mangos (WW, 1993–98) Location: Zefyros Fish Restaurant, Piraeus “Commem Worldwide 2014 was a most enjoyable affair. It was held beside the sea in Piraeus, accompanied by delectable seafood, with wine and stories of merriment and bygone schooldays flowing equally. Though our local OW contact base has increased since 2013, on this occasion our numbers were unfortunately diminished due to travel commitments, so we are considering hosting a follow-up dinner in early 2015, when hopefully many more will be able to attend. Though the path of life that each OW has followed may vary considerably (albeit less so in the Greek chapter where most, somehow, seem linked to the sea), such occasions definitely reinforce the spirit of camaraderie and shared memories across the generations making it truly an experience to cherish.” 48 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
Above (top): Athens Commem L to R: Leo A. Polemis (WW, 1992–97); Vangelis Pateras (WW, 1980–84); Nikolas Katsikis (AHH, 1982–86); George Pateras (BB, 1971–76); George Mangos (WW, 1993–98); Simon Morgan (GG, 1971–75). Above (bottom): Bangkok Commem L to R: Adriano Castoro (LL, 1993–94) and Peyton Burnett (GG, 1990–95).
OW Rep: Peyton Burnett (GG,1990–95) Location: Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok “The inaugural Thailand Commem Worldwide gathering was held at the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Only two out of three known OWW in the country attended, Adriano Castoro (LL, 1993–94) and Peyton Burnett (GG, 1990–95).
If any other OWW are in Thailand please get in touch via the Development Office at alumni@ westminster.org.uk.” Dubai, UAE
OW Rep: Jon Breach (QS, 1982–86) Location: Rivington Bar & Grill “Middle East OWW met for the third year at the Rivington Bar & Grill in Madinat Jumeirah – chosen for being a small slice of London in Dubai – for drinks and dinner overlooking the Burj Al Arab. As ever, a diverse and fascinating group of alumni with many stories of old and opinions of new made for a lively event! We now know of 11 OWW in the Gulf (unfortunately a few were unable to make it this time) and we are keen to meet more next year...”
Monte Carlo, Monaco
OW Rep: James Arnold (WW, 1988–93) Location: Cipriani Restaurant, Monte Carlo “The buzz of Friday evening at Cipriani was a perfect backdrop to celebrate Commem Worldwide, reminisce and consider the evolution of this outstanding institution over the half-century.”
Such occasions definitely reinforce the spirit of camaraderie and shared memories Athens Commem
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Alumni gathered for drinks and a tour of the collection at the Rubin Museum of Art New York Commem
Above: New York Commem (L-R): Nancy Jenks (Guest of Craig and Bruce Jenks), Bruce Jenks (GG, 1968–72), Craig Jenks (GG, 1965–69), Olga Polunina (QS, 2004–2006), Cecilia Mortimore (BB, 1995–97), Ankur Sancheti (DD, 2005–07), Tiana Sahadeo (Guest of Ankur Sancheti).
Above (left): Washington Commem: L to R Sas Gharai (LL, 1978–82), Dan Owen (BB, 1979–83), Harshavardhan Sancheti (MM, 2002–04).
Right: San Francisco Commem (L-R): Damini Satija (RR, 2009–11), Michael McManus (AHH, 2007–09), David Bowen (AHH 1968–68), Guy Francis (RR, 1950–55).
Above: Hong Kong Commem. Left: Toronto Commem (L to R): Robert Jekyll (WW, 1948–51); Holly Patrick (Stephen’s wife); John McLeary (QS, 1953–58); and Stephen Patrick (LL, 1961–63).
New York, USA
OW Rep: Olga Polunina (CC, 2004–06) Location: Rubin Museum of Art, New York “For this year’s Commemoration, the New York Westminster alumni gathered for drinks and a tour of the collection at the Rubin Museum of Art. The tour focused on Tibetan artefacts and religious symbols and as always with an OW crowd, led to some interesting debates and speculations. Our group was relatively small but attendees spanned multiple generations of School days and memories. A very informative and interesting evening for all, and we are looking forward to more events and opportunities to mingle in the coming year.”
Above: Sydney Commem (L to R): Max Burt (LL, 1977–82), Simon Target (QS, 1975–79).
San Francisco, USA
OW Rep: Damini Satija (RR, 2009–11) “For Big Commem, four OWW gathered in San Francisco for an evening of drinks and reminiscences. There was huge diversity in age, two of us having left Westminster within the last few years and the other two from a time when girls still weren’t admitted! We had a fantastic time looking at Guy Francis’ album of Rigaud’s House photos and his rowing days at Cambridge. Hopefully more of the Californian OWW will connect soon!” 50 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
OW Rep: Max Burt (LL, 1977–82) Location: Sydney Harbour “Sydney-based OWW were unfortunately a little thin on the ground this year so it was left to Max Burt and Simon Target (QS, 1975–79) to fly the flag. We enjoyed a dinner with our respective spouses and are hopeful of a larger crowd next time around.”
Washington, DC, USA
OW Rep: Robert Jekyll (WW, 1948–51) Location: Downtown Toronto “Unfortunately, Stephen Patrick’s brother Julian (LL, 1958–59) had a last minute conflict and could not join us. We also had a number of regrets. Nevertheless, a good time was had by our little group. Discussion ranged from travels – John McLeary (QS, 1953–58) had just returned from Wales – to a recently opened exhibition at Toronto’s Ryerson University entitled ‘Remembering the Real Winnie: The World’s Most Famous Bear Turns 100’. More about this show will be reported shortly.
OW Rep: Dan Owen (BB, 1979–83) Location: Bethesda, Maryland “The roll call of OWW in the Washington DC/ Maryland/Virginia area seems to be growing, as do the litany of dramas and common influenzas that whittled away the attendance list for this second annual gathering of area OWW for the 2014 Commem Worldwide. The intrepid souls who made an appearance at my house to raise a glass were Sas Gharai (LL, 1978–82), Harshavardhan Sancheti (MM, 2002–04) and myself, Dan Owen (BB, 1979–1983). We decided that next year we will give serious consideration to convene for an OW pedicure or midday Rusty Nail to see if either option might inspire better attendance. We had a very enjoyable evening with a return to fond reminiscing of Westminster years and contrary to what our photos might suggest, we haven’t yet gone to the dogs! Floreat Westmon!”
An abundant spread of meats, cheeses, crackers, veggies and fruit was paired with red wines from Australia and a white from Chile, which encouraged animated conversation. John’s son Mark kindly took a break from his university studies to be with us towards the end of the evening and to manage the camera for our photo-op.”
THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 51
Below: Sports Pavillion at Vincent Square.
Below: Hugo Ramambason [QS, 2009–14] representing Cambridge University Boat Club presenting the Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother Cup to Sam Meijer and the Westminster VIII for winning Championship eights at the National Schools Regatta in May.
OW SPORTS ANGLING • Chris Manderson (GG, 1957–62) email@example.com
FOOTBALL: 2ND XI • Tom Surr (DD, 2004–09) firstname.lastname@example.org
ATHLETICS • John Goodbody (LL, 1956–61) email@example.com • Jim Forrest (AHH, 1957–62) firstname.lastname@example.org
GOLF SOCIETY • David Roy (AHH, 1955–61) email@example.com
CRICKET • Jake Robson (AHH, 2001–06) firstname.lastname@example.org • Alexander Asher (LL, 2001–06) email@example.com
He [Dan Topolski] was a revered and inspirational figure for generations of Westminster and Old Westminster oarsmen, and a familiar sight at the annual Henley Drinks. Rowing is the poorer for his death
Oliver Cox (HH, 1997–2002) Read more under
OW Water on page 63
FIVES • Chris Watts (DD, 1985–89) firstname.lastname@example.org FOOTBALL: 1ST XI • George Burnett (RR, 2002–07) email@example.com
REAL TENNIS • Simon Marshall (DD, 1990–95) firstname.lastname@example.org • Edwin Richards (AHH, 1977–81) email@example.com TENNIS • Tristan Vanhegan (HH, 1994–99) firstname.lastname@example.org WATER • Sam Scheuringer (DD, 1997–2002) email@example.com • Jack Holborn (LL, 1997–2002) firstname.lastname@example.org
Cricket by Alexander Asher (LL, 2001–06)
Athletics by John Goodbody (LL, 1956–61)
The annual Towpath Cup, a 3.3 mile course run from just beyond Barnes Railway Bridge to the Boat House at Putney, has become a fixture in the OW calendar. First held in 1963, it has regularly featured the OWW against the School, and has also included guests of both eccentricity and distinction, including Olympic medallists. In recent years it has settled down, under the inspirational direction of Simon Wurr, the master-in-charge of athletics, to become a triangular between the OWW, the School and the Common Room, with handicaps provided to allow the slower runners a chance of finishing higher up the field than they otherwise would have done. This year, the event was held on 19th April with Nick Clanchy (MM, Remove) leading the School home in 19 minutes 19 seconds, with another pupil Tibo Rushbrooke (QS, VI) a second slower. Third was the first Old Westminster, Tom Jelly (QS, 2002–07), in 19 minutes 39 seconds. 54 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
Above: OW Running Club from left to right are Jim Forrest (AHH, 1957–62), Miles Copeland (BB, 1993–98), Tristan Vanhegan (HH, 1994–99), Toby Vanhegan (WW, 1986–91), Will Sweet (RR, 1997–2002) and Graham Ball (RR, 1962–66).
There were some notable performances further down the field. Eloise Davison (WW, VI) ran 20 minutes 1 second to set a girls’ record, while for the OWW, David McKee (BB, 1983–87) took the handicap prize, just two seconds ahead of another OW Richard O’Hara (AHH, 1980–84). Charles Doxat (AHH, 1955–59), many times national triathlon champion in his age-group and current Middlesex cross-country champion, set an over 70s course record with 23 minutes 28 seconds. In the team event, the School won with seven points, followed by the OW A team, then the School B, the OW B and finally, in fifth place, the Common Room. Altogether 27 athletes participated. Any OW interested in taking part in crosscountry events, such as the Inter Old Boys Race on Wimbledon Common on Saturday 12th December, should contact Jim Forrest on Forr. Jim@gmail.com.
In contrast to the touring Sri Lankans, in 2014 OWWCC showed themselves to prefer the warmer climes of high Summer, as a sluggish start to the season demonstrated. The Pink Elephants shrewdly foresaw this and brought the opening game of the season forward to early May, eliciting a generally rusty OW performance. By June, the arrival of MCC saw OWWCC emerge from hibernation somewhat, in time to face a savage display of batting from MCC’s opener, who hit 120 in an hour and a half before lunch. Spinners Alex Scott (LL, 2003–08) (4–92) and Alex Campbell (WW, 1989–94) (4–40) pulled things back admirably, leaving us with a relatively gettable total to chase. There were contributions throughout, but no one quite managed to build the big innings required for a successful chase, despite the efforts of Scott (43). There followed an exciting game against the School 1st XI, in which Scott (46) and Dan Brodie (WW, 2001–06) (37) saw OWWCC set a total that looked to be par at best. However, disciplined bowling from Kit Winder (LL, 2008–13) (1–27), Robin Low (LL, 1999–2004) (3–20) and Scott (2–31) drew the chase out to the penultimate ball of the innings, with the School holding its nerve to just get over the line. Later that week, we made the journey up to Denstone for the first round of the recently enlarged Cricketer Trophy. Our top order mostly managed to get in and get out in the face of disciplined and skilful bowling, leaving Alexander Asher (45*) to push us towards a total of sorts.
Early wickets for Winder (2–29) fired hopes of a glorious turnaround; however these were extinguished, as we were forced to attack, leaving gaps and opportunities to score quickly. Cricket Week saw a change in fortunes for OWWCC. Eton Ramblers, sore from their crushing defeat in 2013, returned with a much stronger team, and posted a competitive total in quick time, before their ringer opening bowler ran through our top order. Asher (88*) carried his bat to save the draw, ably supported by Matt Cornes (DD, 1988–93) (44) and Charlie Cooke (LL, 2000–05) (40*). Victory soon followed against the Lord Gnomes, as Alexander Fisken (AHH, 2004–09) (46) and Asher (39), along with some wagging by the tail, set the Gnomes a competitive chase. Brodie (3–21) rolled back the years with the new ball to rip out the heart of the Gnomes’ lineup, an advantage which Imran Coomaraswamy (QS, 1996–2001) (3–28) drove home, to see OWWCC win by 31 runs. The Butterflies brought OWWCC back down to earth, as a close-fought match just failed to provide the grandstand finish that it had promised. Cooke (3–55), Dan Bamford (LL, 1999–2004) (2–37) and Joe Ireland (Master of Classics) (2–50) had bowled well to restrict the Butterflies, but despite the efforts of Asher (36), Bamford (74) and Cooke (28), OWWCC ran out of wickets, with plenty of time still remaining in the game. Indeed, it was two defeats in two days, as the Free Foresters turned up with a particularly strong side, boasting, amongst others, the Sri Lanka U19 Captain. Nonetheless, Winder >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 55
(4–54) bowled a magnificent opening spell to leave the Free Foresters in trouble after the first hour. Determined and judicious hitting from their lower order rescued them to a total that proved beyond the reach of OWWCC, as scoreboard pressure told, and only Winder (40) posted anything of substance. After a day of rest, OWWCC began the second half of Cricket Week with significantly greater success: Joe Smith (MM, 2002–07) (3–27) led a disciplined bowling effort against the HAC, the merit of which was proved by the freedom with which Cooke (114*) scored in chasing down the required runs. A defeat against the Old Amplefordians followed, with OWWCC never in much danger of winning the game. Two victories over the second weekend ended Cricket Week on the right note. First, strong performances from James MacDonald (HH, 1993–98) (7–27) and Rajiv Patel (LL, 2001–06) (62) saw OWWCC just get over the line by one wicket against Kensington. Winder (3–6) and Hugo Flaux (BB, 2002–07) (3–34) ran through Marlborough Blues, before Jeremy Holt (QS, 2004–09) (51) and Brodie (62*) chased the runs in clinical fashion. However, the season ended with OWWCC seduced by the allure of a short boundary at HAC, to the detriment of shot selection, with only Brodie (34) making a significant contribution with the bat; local knowledge clearly benefitted the HAC, as they knocked off the runs with little fuss. OWWCC is, as ever, very grateful to Franklin Barrett not just for his role in preparing Vincent Square, but also for the friendly atmosphere and enthusiasm for the game that he brings to it; he has also proved a valuable and welcome addition to the squad. Cricket is nothing without lunch and tea, and we are very lucky to enjoy Gloria’s cooking at Vincent Square, which is always wonderful. OWWCC would also like to thank the School and the Elizabethan Club. Any OWW wishing to join OWWCC should contact Jake Robson (Fixtures Secretary) or Alexander Asher (Treasurer).
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Fives by Laurie Brock (BB, 2003–08) and Christopher Watts (DD, 1985–89)
League-wise, this has been a tough season for the division 1 side, with a combination of illness/injury and other teams’ annoying tactic of bringing in ringers, meaning that whilst there were a lot of close matches, wins were hard to come by. Notable results however were a 3–0 win against North Oxford, with Laurie Brock (BB, 2003–08) and Ed Rose (LL, 1995–2000) beating the strong pair of Sam Little and Jonny Ho 3–1 at first pair, and a 2–1 win away against the mighty Old Olavians (eventual league winners). The highlight of the latter victory was Sam Williams (RR, 2005–10) and Shaneil Patel’s (WW, 2005–10) epic 3–2 triumph over Sanjay Ranasinghe and Joey Prior at third pair. Having lost the first set, they recovered well to take the next two. In the fourth, they trailed 11–6 before fighting back heroically to draw level at 11–11. Unfortunately, the Olavians then rallied and the set slipped agonisingly away 14–12. However, they brushed off such disappointment to charge into an 8–0 lead in the decider. With the clock against them (management wanted to shut the courts), a few nerves crept in as the Olavians recovered from 10–2 down to reach 10–8, but some nerveless back court hitting saw them finally close out the match 7–12, 12–7, 12–8, 12–14, 12–8. The league aside, this has been a magnificent season for two of the club’s younger players in particular: Elana Osen (PP, 2007–09) and Riki Houlden (DD, 2008–13), who happened, by pure chance, to be paired together in this year’s Westminster Cup, won by Neil Margerison (CC, 1966–71) and Alistair Stewart (RR, 2008–14), and who were both deservedly nominated for “Best Young Player” at the EFA Awards on 9 May.
Above: The Westminster Cup 2014 won by Neil Margerison (QS, 1966–71) and Alistair Stewart (RR, 2008–14).
Player profile: Elana Osen (PP, 2007–09) This year has seen the culmination of years of hard work and improvement for Elana. A semifinal appearance in the Under 25 competition was followed by a superb win, alongside fellow Old Westminster Olivia Prankerd-Smith, for Cambridge in the Universities Competition. She then teamed up with Riki (see also below) to win the mixed universities tournament, before pairing up with Olivia again to deliver an emphatic victory in the Varsity Match at first pair and reach the quarter finals of the Ladies Championship. Player profile: Riki Houlden (DD, 2008–13) Meanwhile, Riki’s season has been nothing short of spectacular; he has this season emerged as an upcoming star, not just of our club, but of the game in general. He has won, in some considerable style, the Under 21 (beating the eventual national schools’ champions in the final), Universities and Mixed Universities Titles (with Elana) and led Cambridge at first pair to victory in the Varsity Match 3–0. But perhaps most significantly, in the Kinnaird, Riki defied experience and seeding to reach the quarter final, beating the sixth seeds along the way and taking a set (and very nearly two) off third seeds Howard Wiseman and Ed Taylor in that quarter final.
The strength and depth at the young end of the club was also emphasised by the line-up in this year’s Varsity Match, which contained no fewer than nine Old Westminsters (with four appearing at first pair). This is testament to the fantastic work being done by long time School coach and three-time Kinnaird winner Matt Wiseman, whose efforts were further borne out this year by the performance of School first pair Matthew Lewin (DD, Remove) and Ismail Salim (RR, Remove), who both won the Kinnaird Plate competition and produced the School’s best ever result at the National Schools’ Championships, reaching the semi-finals. Elsewhere, in division 2 the team also had a good season with notable wins over Berkhamsted, Old Stoics and Old Ipswichians. The highlight of the season was probably a very tight and hard fought game against the Old Etonians who went on to top the division. Court time was dominated by Freddie Krespi (DD, 2000–05), Alfred Jackson (QS, 2003–08), Conrad Shawcross (GG, 1991–95) and Will Illingworth (RR, 2000–05), although it was also good to see the return of Nick Fry after a lengthy absence having babies. We were also very pleased to welcome Elana as the first lady to play in a competitive league game for the club – helping to defeat Berkhamsted in a 3–0 away whitewash. All in all, the future looks bright indeed!
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Football 1st XI by George Burnett (RR, 2002–07)
2014/15 has not, it is fair to say, been a particularly memorable or successful season for the OWFC 1st XI. Efforts in league and cup competitions have been blighted by a dwindling pool of regulars and several forced, long-term absences from senior players. Things started brightly when, under the guidance of Westminster School 1st XI coach, Paul Barnes (who we must congratulate on his recent promotion to the role of Assistant Coach at Welling United FC), OWW took maximum points from their first three games, building on an impressive pre-season. It wasn’t until October that we suffered our first reverse, a tight 2–1 defeat at the hands of a wellorganised Malvern side. Once the wheels came off, however, they stayed firmly off and the loss of Mr Barnes’ services in mid-
Autumn precipitated a catastrophic loss of form that yielded only five points from twelve games. As a result, the team now finds itself locked in a four-way relegation scrap, needing at least one win from our last three league games to guarantee survival. Marginally more impressive form was saved for the Arthur Dunn Cup although, following a home walkover and a victory over lower league opposition, OWW were eventually knocked out in the quarter-finals by a Repton side who obviously felt more at home on the boggy Derbyshire pitch than their cosmopolitan opponents, several of whom had been working on a cryptic crossword in the minibus only moments before kick-off. A glimmer of future promise came in January when OWW thumped perennial Division 1ers Aldenham 10–3 away from home. Amongst our number that day were Forrest Clancy (HH, 2007–12), Oliver Iselin (BB, 2009–14), Ben Cooke (DD,
2007–12), Kwesi Peterson (QS, 2008–13) and Richard ‘two-goals-a-game’ Downey (DD, 2006–11). We may have to wait a few more seasons before these students can commit on a more regular basis but the performance that day provided evidence of the quality players that James Kershen (Master i/c Station and WW, 1981–86) and the School football staff continue to churn out. Long may it continue!
Even if the results have been pretty dreary, the atmosphere within the OW camp has remained positive throughout the season. I thank all those who have given so much time and effort. Particular thanks must go to Vice-Captain Ian Clancy (HH, 2003–08), Treasurer Richard Downey and Club Secretary David Weinstein-Linder (HH, 1998–2003), who is stepping down from administrative duties after many years of committed service. We send our best to club stalwart Sam Sasaki (LL, 2003–08), who is currently recovering from a nasty knee injury. Finally, our sincerest thanks to the Elizabethan Club for its enormously generous support, without which the Club would cease to exist. OWFC is always on the look-out for new recruits. If you are keen for regular (or even semi-regular) 11-a-side football then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are particularly keen to hear from recent Leavers. Contact me on email@example.com
Football 2nd XI by Edar Mullan (HH/RR, 1996–2001)
Following relegation in the very last game of 2013/2014, OWFC 2nd XI held high hopes of bouncing straight back up at the first time of asking. Alas this was not to be, the league campaign petering out into the type of disappointment familiar to followers of the national team. A move to AstroTurf aimed at helping the team expand to a Barcelona-lite possessionbased game proved misguided, the squad demonstrably more comfortable slugging it out on grassy bogs. All our wins came on the natural stuff away from home. With captaincy duties shared between myself and Thomaz Steuerman (DD, 2001–06), the Seconds set out with much
the same squad as last year. A strong spine of seasoned pro’s, Daniel Cavanagh (RR, 1993–98) and Jojo Gunnell (AHH, 1993–98) in the middle and Archie Mackay (HH, 1991–96) at the back was further fortified with new blood, although injury robbed OWFC 2nd XI of the services of Robin McPherson (RR, 2002–07) and Alex Hall (HH, 2001–06) for the majority of the season. Ben Collis (WW, 2004–09) made the #1 jersey his own while in front of him a veritable who’s-who of former Westminster centre-backs rotated fluently between their natural position and right-back on a weekly basis, featuring Max Ziemer (HH, 2002– 07), Jeremy Holt (CC, 2004–09), Nat >> Above: The Second Eleven
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Gordon (GG, 2001–06) and my good self, with the rampaging Eddie Knox (LL, 2002– 07) to their left. Screening in front of these were Tom Surr (DD, 2004–09) and ‘king of assists’ Hugh Logan-Ellis (MM, 2002–07), with more advanced berths occupied by an assortment of Thomaz Steuerman (DD, 2001–06), Tommy Cattell (MM, 2001–06), Arthur Campbell (HH, 2002–07), Will Miles (RR, 2005–10) and TJ Jordan (BB, 2009–14). Overall scoring did not come as easily to the team as last season, but Tom Brutton (AHH, 2002–07) kept up a fine ratio of one goal per game after coming in mid-way through the campaign. ‘Man of the Match’ votes were spread reasonably evenly across the squad, which is promising. A tentative start meant it took until the third game of the season to secure a three point haul, courtesy of a 4–3 victory at Old Oundelians. Games against this opposition were particularly thrilling for the neutral, the other two fixtures providing a 6–7 defeat at home and another 4–3 triumph. Unfortunately, results did not generally mirror the performance on the pitch against other teams, as evidenced by close defeats to champions Old Alleynians and runners-up Old Millhillians, and promotion ultimately eluded us. Better luck was to be had in cup competitions, however. OWFC 2nd XI played for 45 minutes with 10 men at a strong Old Forresters III side in the Junior League Cup and lost 3–1 on penalties after 120 minutes left the sides deadlocked at 3–3. Nonetheless, the team put that disappointment behind them and are progressing well through the DW Trophy, having most recently vanquished Old Amplefordians from the division above 2–0. The team remains on the look-out for fresh talent, so if you are interested in 11-a-side Saturday football please do get in touch through the excellent Old Westminster website.
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Golf by David Roy (AHH, 1955–61)
The Club played in five old pupils’ competitions during the year. In the Halford Hewitt we lost in the 1st Round to King’s Canterbury but in the plate competition we reached the quarter-finals beating Forest 2–1, Downside 2 ½ – ½ before losing 1–2 to Loretto. In the Grafton Morrish we qualified in 1st place for the Finals with 90 pts at Royal Wimbledon and the Finals are played at the beginning of October. The scores were as follows: Edward Cartwright (DD, 1979–83) and Ilya Kondrashov (AHH, 2002–04): 28 pts Henry Kingsbury (HH,1991–96) and David Weinstein-Linder (HH, 1998–03): 28 pts Carl Rietschel (GG, 2009–11) and Tom Smith (DD, 1998–03): 34 pts In the Old Boys Putting we reached the Final and came 2nd. The team was Edward Cartwright, Henry Kingsbury, Tom Smith and David Weinstein-Linder. In the Bernard Darwin we lost to Highgate and in the Senior Darwin we defeated Clifton 2–1 in the 1st round and then lost to Malvern. This year the Society has so far played six inter old pupils’ matches. We have defeated the Old Canfordians and the Old Radleians, halved with the Old Uppinghamians and lost to the Old Wykehamists, Old Marlburians, Old Paulines and Old Reptonians. The Society played the School at Royal Mid Surrey in March and won 4–0. The Spring and Summer Meetings were well attended.
Tennis by Tristan Vanhegan (HH, 1994–99)
This year’s highlights included the inaugural Alec Melville Cup, 10 friendly matches, our most ever, and excellent events at the All England, the Garrick Club and Boisdale. The season got off to a strong start with Marc Baghdadi (HH, 2001–06) and Chris Anguelov (GG, 2003–08) beating all other pairs in our round robin group of the D’Abernon Cup (Eton, Oundle, Lancing, Bradfield and Harrow). However, unable to field three of our top four players, Marc and Tristan Vanhegan, and James Notaras (LL, 1995–97) and Alex Michaelis (BB, 1979–83) were knocked out in straight sets in the quarter finals to the Old Paulines. The highlight of the season was the excellent inaugural Alec Melville Cup in memory of our dear friend and OWLTC member who passed away two years ago. This doubles tournament involved 20 Old Westminsters of all standards, half regular members and half very welcome new players, divided into evenly matched pairs. Food and drink was available throughout the day and the winning pair, Honorary President
Above (top): The inaugural Alec Melville Cup and is Henrietta Williams (RR, 1995–97) Giles Atkinson (friend of the club), Tim Brocklebank-Fowler (RR, 1976–80), Alex Perry (RR, 1996–2001), Simon Brocklebank-Fowler (WW, 1975–78), Jerome Lussan (AHH, 1986–91), and Marc Baghdadi (HH, 2001–06). Above (bottom): The Club’s end of season dinner and AGM at Boisdale. It is: Leslie Tucker (RR, 1958–62), Alex McKensie (QS, 1996–2001), Christopher Clement-Davis (AHH, 1975–78), Simon Clement-Davis (WW, 1975–78), Matthew Webb (BB, 1999–2004), Giles Atkinson (guest), James Notaras (LL, 1995–97), Tristan Vanhegan (HH, 1994– 99), Duncan Matthews (QS, 1974–79), Henrietta Williams (RR, 1995–97), Tom Sooke (LL, 1958–63), Alex Perry (RR, 1996–2001), and Nick Perry (RR, 1964–67).
Duncan Matthews (QS, 1974–79) and Tim Brocklebank-Fowler (RR, 1976–80), won bottles of champagne and their names were etched on the magnificent trophy. There were also runners-up (bottles of wine) and third place >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 61
prizes (OWLTC polo shirts, kindly donated by Simon Brocklebank-Fowler (WW, 1975–78)) for the next two pairs. A huge thank you to Matt Webb (BB, 1999–04) for taking on the bulk of the organisation for a really fantastic event. We played 10 friendly matches this season and it was great to see so many members getting involved. We won one (UCS Old Boys), drew three (Old Etonians, Old Wykhamists twice), and lost six, including against the School. It was promising to see some very strong players at the School and we look forward to Aleksander Mardinian (PP, 2012–14) adding to the strength of our D’Abernon Cup side next season. Thank you to all the members who played in friendlies this season, including CJ Morrell (GG, 1979–84), Jimmy Notaras, Simon Clement-Davies (WW, 1975–78), Matt Webb, Harry De Quetteville (LL, 1988– 93), Alex Mackenzie (QS, 1996–2001), Giles Atkinson, Heneage Stevenson (RR, 1991–96), Charlie Stevenson (GG, 1993– 98), Caspar Melville, Johnny Goldsmith (QS, 1996–2001), Nick Marston (WW, 1976–80), and Yash Rajan (RR, 1992–97). On the social side, we kicked-off the season with our regular pre-season pizza and drinks in Covent Garden in April. A big thank you then goes to Duncan for hosting another fantastic evening at the Garrick Club. Special thanks also go to Nick (RR, 1964–67) and Alex (RR, 1996–2001) Perry for hosting another tremendous day at the Wimbledon Championships followed by an excellent dinner, always a real highlight of the season! Finally, thank you to Simon Clement-Davies for organising a thoroughly enjoyable end of season dinner at Boisdale. As ever, Saturday morning sessions at Vincent Square will continue as long as the weather permits, usually well into December. Please do come along!
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Captain Tim Jones raised the Alleynian Cup, our fourth victory in six years
by Oliver Cox (HH, 1997–2002)
2014 proved an exciting and ultimately successful year for the Elizabethan Boat Club. Our now annual trip to Monaco for the Prince Albert II coastal rowing challenge was disrupted in 2014 by weekend storms with two of the six intended crew unable to make the journey. Calmer conditions on the Med, experienced coxing from Charlie Howell (BB, 2003–08) and some hastily-recruited local support helped Tim Jones (LL, 1992–97), Oliver Cox (HH, 1997– 2002) and CD Riches (Master i/c of Water) to a bronze-medal time – sadly a time penalty for non-matching kit (!) then knocked us down to fourth. John Mehrzad (BB, 1992–97) then completed an Odyssean journey to make it for Saturday night and Sunday morning’s racing. It was a great trip, and plans were made for 2015. Blustery conditions resumed in England in March in time for the Head of the River Race (HORR), when EBC fielded one of its strongest ever HORR crews – only for the race to be cancelled as we waited for the start at Chiswick. A strong cross-generational coxless four for Henley Royal Regatta was drawn from John Mehrzad, Tim Jones, Rufus Dobson (HH, 2009–14) and Tom Cassidy, an associate member of the Club. Sadly, the caprices of the Henley draw put EBC alongside Tideway Scullers School (TSS) “A” on Wednesday morning: TSS went on to be disqualified finalists. Nevertheless, some of the crew and other Elizabethans got their time in front of the Henley crowds, a stately row-past in Her Majesty the Queen’s rowbarge Gloriana honoured two hundred years of Westminster rowing. The final high-point of the year came with the Alleynian Regatta in September: some tough sprint racing against various alumni crews, including a very strong Dulwich
Above and left: At the Alleynian Regatta. Bottom left: The Gloriana rowpast at Henley.
Dulwich “A” was a great end, clawing back a half-length Dulwich lead, we put our nose in front as Dulwich faded with mere seconds to spare. Captain Tim Jones raised the Alleynian Cup, our fourth victory in six years. Sadly, 2015 has begun with a great loss. Dan Topolski, whose achievements are too numerous to properly summarise here, died this February aged 69. He was a revered and inspirational figure for generations of Westminster and Old Westminster oarsmen, and a familiar sight at the annual Henley Drinks. Rowing is the poorer for his death.
College that had been training specifically to beat us. Twice our opponents sought to trump our traditional fast start with sprints off the line; twice we pulled it back, taking seat after seat as the course ran out. Our final against
EBC has been in action again since the beginning of 2015, including a spectacular and successful further trip to Monaco. We now have a new racing four for our use. Our club exists for the use of all Old Westminsters who want to pick up rowing again: we can accommodate both competitive spirits and those looking for a more occasional commitment. We are keen to boost our numbers as work and family commitments begin to erode the current membership. If you are interested in getting involved, or in supporting the Club, please do get in touch.
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Below: Geghard Monastery interior, Georgia.
Below: Little Dean’s Yard, c.1930s.
OW ARTICLES Get in touch If you would like to submit an article for inclusion in the next issue of the Elizabethan Newsletter, please send details to the Editor: The Elizabethan Newsletter The Development Office 17a Dean’s Yard, London SW1P 3PB E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 020 7963 1115
Our infuriated driver took revenge with the most terrifying car journey, swerving aggressively at 80mph through the empty backstreets of Tbilisi
George Grylls (HH, 2008–13)
Read more about the
Metz Award Winner’s Report to Georgia on page 70
Neville Walton Travel Award
Lessons on Architecture from Japan by Han-xi Wang (DD, 2011–13)
On Working I landed in Tokyo Narita Airport on 25th May, 2014. The city looked similar yet different. I had sold myself into architecture slavery. Surprisingly, this slavery is what I have been dreaming of doing for the past few years of my life. “I want to see Japan” was a thought that deeply embedded itself in my head, about the time I started my fascination with architecture. In the book stacks of the library at the Royal Institute of British Architects I started my exploration of Japanese architecture, and found a vision of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I went to work on the second day I arrived in Tokyo. Ishigami Junya Architectural Office is located in Roppongi, in the basement of a 6-storey building. The office was in an unimaginable state, the walls were white and sparse with mysterious patches of brickwork and tiles; the tables were plywood boards on top of metal tripods, and the stairway to the basement in the centre of the room was a giant hole in the ground. Moreover, the office seemed almost completely empty despite it being noon. Picking my way carefully around the giant hole, I explained in Japanese that I was the new intern and was immediately presented with a USB and a desk. 66 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
A day in the office typically began around 1pm and ended around 2am for the interns. The staff would sometimes sleep over at the office and the interns would be greeted by the sight of people sprawled across tables, chairs, staircases and the floor as we entered the door. I often found one of my bosses asleep on his chair, his head tipped over unnaturally on one side with a toothbrush sticking out of his mouth. The work was hard. For the two months that I worked at the office I was in a different world than I had ever been in before; it was good and bad, enjoyable and irritating, strange and yet felt perfectly natural, it brought me bonds and friends. I was disappointed and impressed all the time. I could hardly find time to do anything except sleep, but during the weekends I was free, I walked around Tokyo and thought. I took apart and reorganised myself, taking in the new experiences and tried to come to understandings with architecture and myself. That process continues today. On Greater Complexity Japan had felt to me a pure and simple choice for the architecture, but for, perhaps, a very clichéd reason, I also felt somewhat worried before this journey. I am Chinese, I grew up
‘ and was educated until my adolescence in China, my grandfather was a soldier in the People’s Army, and although he was still too young to have fought in a war against Japan, the history of war between the two countries made it difficult to be completely blasé about the Japanese. It was not hard to imagine Japanese people who had grown-up in a similar way regarding Chinese people likewise. In Japan, I never hesitated to say I was Chinese when asked, nor did I receive any prejudice for it, however there was often a change in the atmosphere (kouki, as the Japanese put it), a strange interest. To my surprise, the conversation about our peculiar relationship was not avoided. I had the same conversation again and again, with people of different origins and experiences, and for my part I think no matter how much people try to think rationally about history and the present, it is the instinct part of us that never quite forgets. No matter if it is a student, for example, Oozawa-san, who lives in Tokyo and had studied at the University of Pennsylvania for three years or the old carpenter I met in the >>
At the Royal Institute of British Architects I started my exploration of Japanese architecture, and found a vision of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life
Top (left): Old house of the Mikami family. Top (right): Arashiyama, Kyoto. Middle (left): Office Rooftop BBQ after competition victory. Above: Streetside ‘gardens’, Tokyo.
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outskirts of Kyoto who has probably never been outside of Japan, the conversation reached the same conclusion: no matter how the countries fight, when it comes down to two people facing each other, everything is just fine. However as the old carpenter got progressively more drunk, he told me of his father’s time as a soldier in Manchuria, how he was scarred with cigarette burns. He cried and asked me again and again, as if he had forgotten my previous answers, “日本人が嫌いか” (“Do you hate Japan?”). Things are always very hard to explain and one can hardly use any words that won’t be proven false. Events and relationships morph and are constantly in flux; understanding comes from facts and experiences but changes into expectations and stereotypes. The journey for me has been one of constant battle between expectations and reality. In the end, what I understood was that nothing is ever very clearly defined. Lessons on Architecture Architecturally, I came to believe in the importance of vagueness, of having imperfect empty spaces that allow for opportunities. We perceive the world through “our envelope”: our skin, the nerve endings in our eyes, the sensors in our tongue and our nostrils and our ears and we cannot perceive anything that occurs outside of the boundary of our senses. We can only perceive the rays of light that come to touch our eyes and the atoms of substances that come to touch our sensors. In other words, the “real” world that we think we share is but the individual and very partial projections of it upon our “envelope”. These are “facts”. However, in order to extract more information about this world, our brains find patterns, form conjectures and enable us to know things that are not directly in contact with us. These are “expectations”, imaginary things that have a high probability of being real. Our reality is a blend of the two. We are all living in parallel in the same world, but with
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Above (left): Arashiyama JR station. Above (right): Kamogawa River, Kyoto. Right: St Mary’s Cathedral, Kenzo Tange, Interior.
our own individual colour-blindness. It follows that when we consider something from multiple angles, maybe we are not perceiving one thing more completely, but perceiving many realities that are equally valid at once. Therefore, reality is not only hard to comprehend for its vast and changing nature but also for its multiplicity.
I saw the famous Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, which were lovely but too disturbed and too protected for me to stay long. What really touched me was the experience of visiting old houses that are protected by the state. These old houses, such as the old house of the Mikami family in Amanohashidate near Kyoto, seemed to be rarely visited, and were not so old and so rare, that we could not take off our shoes and go inside. There was a friendly obaa-san looking after the house who handed me a cup of iced barley tea and a fan. It was an old wine merchant’s house. I sat on the cool wooden flooring with my cold tea while the old lady’s grandson told me about the house in childish but practiced sentences. He also showed me the pair of turtles in the pond of the garden, which had spawned eight tiny turtles. The place was preserved but alive. On a hot Summer’s day, I was able to sit for what seemed like hours in
This is something that an architect does well to appreciate. Architecture as a profession has always had a tendency towards obsessivecompulsive disorder. We have a need to control because we need to have logic and reason behind why we build things in certain ways, and this logic and reason must all fit together to create a coherent whole. We want to systemise and simplify. We want architecture to be the one simple, efficient sentence that defines people’s lives. Someone once said that a poem is the most accurate description of the world. How can that be when poems are often so vague and abstract? I think the answer is that a poem tries to capture the spirit of a thing, which is often vague, hazy and changing. A poem works in symbols, which allude to the whole rather than trying to define (limit) it. The best Japanese home is like that to me. I felt this most strongly while travelling in Kyoto.
We have a need to control because we need to have logic and reason behind why we build things in certain ways
the tearoom that branched out of the main body of the house. Of course the house wasn’t air-conditioned, lukewarm air flowed slowly, but the shade of the room cooled me. The ability to feel my legs next to the rest of my body made me relax. The pattern of the columns on the wall and the peculiar, unsymmetrical placements of the openings made little sense to me. The room didn’t explain itself, it only radiated stillness. I want to return to Kyoto again if only to nap again on the veranda of temples. While it brought me moments of great calm and rest, this journey had also stirred me up and confused me a great deal. I believe that was the most valuable thing I gained from that Summer. I miss the time I spent in Japan very much, and I eagerly await the next journey. THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 69
Metz Award Winner’s Report
A pilgrimage to Georgia by George Grylls (HH, 2008–13)
Our pilgrimage began sandwiched between two malodorous, lumbering retrievers in a tall house in North Oxford. My tutorial partners and I were studying the Romantic narrative poem Mtsyri by Mikhail Lermontov, the tale of a trainee monk (Mtsyri means ‘novice monk’ in Georgian) who escapes the confines of a Caucasian monastery to follow the call of the wild. The disparity between a grey February day in Oxford and the lusty heat of Lermontov’s imagery, between Tarquin’s slobbery head on my essay and the bristling snow leopard of the text, inspired something of a simultaneous wanderlust in us three. “There isn’t a real monastery on which the poem is based?” asked Tom intrepidly. “Yes, I believe there is in Georgia,” replied our tutor, oblivious to the string of drool, which had just rendered my second paragraph illegible. So we had an aim, and over the next couple of months something of a joke became a reality; we would trace Mtsyri to this Jvari Monastery, fifteen miles West of Tbilisi, at the confluence of the Aragva and Kuri rivers. Flying to Tbilisi requires a stop-off, and given that neither Naomi, nor Tom nor I had ever 70 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
been to Istanbul, a short stay on the Bosphorus soon became part of the itinerary. Inevitably we commenced our four-day layover by checking off the Hagia Sophia. I must say, stressed a little by the laxness of the queue and the twirl of a nearby selfie-stick, I did not notice the enormity of this awesome building until I was inside. It is quite simply one of the wonders of the world. Two days were then hectically spent marvelling the bitterness of pomegranate juice, scaling the steep slopes of Beyoğlu and contemplating whether or not to buy a rip-off Galatasaray shirt. A personal highlight was the trip to an out-of-the-way hammam. Tom and I chivalrously left Naomi to read in a park, stripped to a tea towel, and endured a pummelling from a non-communicative Turkish masseur. As I sat in the sauna waiting for Tom to emerge from his waterboarding, I managed to gesticulate sufficiently to my neighbour to understand that he was a purveyor of the fake sportswear I had just been eyeing up in the bazaar. As is a prerequisite in any foreign excursions, we managed to randomly bump into a couple of OWW – Sacha Mehta (QS, 2007–12) and
Opposite page (left): Confluence of Kura and Aragvi rivers below Jvari Monastery. Above: Geghard Monastery. Right: An oval adjaruli khachapuri dripping in cheese.
Eddie Millett (BB, 2007–12) – in the queue to the Basilica Cistern. Ambling into this watery cavern we all caught up and commented on the ingenious decision to accompany this feat of Justinian engineering with lurid pink spotlights and the music of South American pan pipes. It transpired that Sacha and Eddie were similarly heading to the Caucasus. They joined us on our final day in Istanbul as we compared and contrasted the parallels in our trips and our respective preferences for the strips of obscure Caucasian football teams. Our night flight to Tbilisi touched down at about 3 am. A sudden vicissitude in the Georgian economy, or more likely, the senility of our guidebooks, meant that we had the advantage of genuine underestimation in the tiring haggle for a taxi and unknowingly secured a very reasonable price. Our infuriated driver took revenge with the most terrifying car journey, swerving aggressively at 80mph through the empty backstreets of Tbilisi as
George Michael incongruously and yet appropriately encouraged him to wake us up before he go-go through the radio. Tbilisi is truly gorgeous. A recent spate of building toiletryinspired landmarks has not yet destroyed its 19th century feel; it is a city with all the charm of a Caucasian village. The ramshackle wooden houses of the Old Town cling to the bottom of a steep ridge, atop which sits a Ferris Wheel, a fantastically Soviet statue of ‘Mother Georgia’ and a 16th century fort. Whilst there, Tom and I finally secured the football shirt we had long craved from the National Stadium, which was not only home to the Georgian national football team, but also to a furniture store and a pack of wild dogs. Needless to say everywhere we went the food was superb; glorious oval adjaruli khachapuri dripping in cheese were washed down with full-bodied red wines. >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 71
There where, like two sisters, the flowing Aragva and Kura embrace, was a monastery. (Lermontov)
Opposite page (far left and left): Geghard Monastery. Left: Geghard Monastery interior. Below Tbilisi panorama.
The Georgians do not really cater for the subtle palate. However, our journey did not end in Tbilisi. Naomi’s invitation to stay at the British Residency in Yerevan (which was kindly extended to Tom and me) prompted us to take a creaking Soviet night-train, replete with overly officious but fundamentally useless ticket inspectors, 180 miles South to the Armenian capital. Yerevan, unlike Tbilisi, did not escape the Soviet bulldozer; it is formed of ordered monolithic blocks around which teem spluttering Ladas on their last legs. Its neoclassical opera house, on closer inspection, is made entirely of concrete. However the 4th century Geghard monastery, which is carved into the cool mountain rock twenty miles from Yerevan provided some blessed relief from the oppressive 40C heat of the city and a chance to see a more profound and spiritual side of this, the oldest Christian nation in the world. A phalanx of babushakas sat guarding the monastery selling gata, a beautiful circular honey bread a foot-long in diameter. Later that day we enjoyed a slightly less exotic Victoria Sponge at an embassy high tea, where we were supposed to be encouraging Armenians to apply to study in the UK. Our whistlestop
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tour of Armenia was concluded by a stunning day-long drive in a marshrutka (something between a bus and a cab) back over jagged mountains and tumbleweed plateaus to Tbilisi. And so we had one more day back in Georgia. We hired a cab and drove towards Gori, birthplace of Stalin. As the car skirted the southern border of South Ossetia, an autonomous republic invaded by Russia in 2008, our driver waved his arm laconically towards the mountains on our right and spat, “Russians.” The Stalin museum was predictably odd and uncomfortable, made more so by our guide’s liberal interpretation of history. We left time however on the way back to Tbilisi for the crowning glory, the aim of our quest, the Jvari monastery. Quoting obscure Lermontov couplets, we dodged a terrifying snake blocking the path to ascend to the church at the end of the precipitous promontory. Our pilgrimage was completed by a simultaneously symbolic and meaningless candle-lighting ceremony; a beautifully cliché sunset accompanied our farewell to Georgia. Now our thoughts could turn to the flight back via Kiev, which was rather worryingly dipping into the airspace of the Donetsk People’s Republic…
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From the Archives by Elizabeth Wells Westminster School Archivist Westminster School and the First World War
During the First World War 224 OWW lost their lives fighting. I have given much thought as to how to commemorate this loss of life and remember the sacrifices made by those who remained on the Home Front. Nationally, remembrance is being focused on key anniversaries which fall over the 2014–2018 period. However, I was keen to take the chance to approach the commemoration in real time – marking each death on its centenary and following the development of the conflict as those at the School would have done. So many of our ideas about the First World War have been shaped by the historiography of the 1960s and filtered through the lens of popular culture from Oh! What a Lovely War to Blackadder Goes Forth. This project affords the opportunity to revisit the events as they occurred and, through doing so, reveal a more nuanced version of the conflict. Recent statistical analysis has shown that fatality rates amongst alumni from Public Schools serving in the Army were significantly higher – this is largely due to their tendency to enter military service at the lower officer ranks of Second Lieutenant where they were often stationed at the Front. However, plenty of the Old Westminsters who lost their lives were older, 74 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
Left: Fifth Form pupils look at record of the First World War in the Archive. Above: Numbered pins marking the sites of death of Old Westminsters.
experienced soldiers. Nor were the fatalities limited to the Western Front, or even the European theatre of war. Our Commemoration
The School’s commemoration has two forms. A website acts as an online ‘Roll of Honour’ with details of each of the 224 fallen. On the centenary of each of the deaths a full biography is posted which can be read by anyone, anywhere in the world. Meanwhile a printed version is placed on a display within the School which all of our pupils walk past on a daily basis. Often left blank for weeks at a time, this exhibition acts as a very visible reminder of the shock friends and relatives would have felt when hearing that a loved one had died as well as the periods of nervous anticipation many suffered for months at a time during the conflict. The fatalities cease to be inevitable and, instead of
a statistic, each Old Westminster becomes an individual once more. The approach has given us the time to focus on each OW who died in the conflict and involve pupils in the project. For the past two years Fifth Form pupils have each completed research into the lives of one of the fallen, providing the initial basis for the full biography. They have also had the chance to visit the Archive to look at some of the original documents relating to those who died, whilst learning what life was like for the pupils at School at the time. Some Remove volunteers have helped to write and edit the detailed entries. Maps, both online and as part of the in School display, mark the sites where OWW died. Watching the number of pins grow on these maps is a poignant sight. Although there is an inevitable cluster on the Western Front, pins will mark spots
from South Africa, Nigeria and Tanzania in the South to Iraq and India in the East, emphasising the global nature of the conflict. Visiting the Graves
A parallel project is being organised by David Riches to, before 2018, visit each of the graves or memorials of the 224 and lay poppy wreaths. Photographs will be added to the webpages as each site is visited. Some of the memorials are in areas of modern day conflict, such as Gaza and Basra. If any OW would like to help with this endeavour we would be delighted to hear from them. Photographs
House photographs are one of our most regularly used collections. However, there are some gaps in our photographic record of each House. It is possible photographs were not taken in the >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 75
First World War Example OW Biography An example of one of the biographies from the site is printed below. All 224 biographies will be posted in due course – check the website for regular updates: http://firstworldwar.westminster.org.uk Frederick Roger John Tomlinson (GG, 1905–10) Frederick Roger John Tomlinson attended Westminster from 1905 to 1910, boarding in Grant’s for a number of years with Lawrence Tanner, whose diaries tell us a lot about Tomlinson’s time at the School. He was not really one for sports, but he did make a stir by winning The Greaze two years in a row, even appearing on the front cover of the Daily Graphic after the second victory. Tanner also tells us that he broke a window up Grant’s with a snowball, and got into a number of fights while he was at the School. At Trinity College, Cambridge, he continued to make an impression where he was apparently an ardent motorist, originally driving a car The Elizabethan reported as being “of dubious make and more dubious date; it is bizarre”. Later in his time at Cambridge, he rowed for his college and focused more on motorbikes, which he was very passionate about. In 1912 he is described as sporting a very impressive moustache, though sadly we have no photographs of him from this time. >>
missing years; the 70s in particular seems to have been a poor decade for photography at the School. If you have any of the missing images detailed below please do get in touch. Oral History
For more than four years we have been collecting Oral History recordings with former pupils, staff and other individuals connected with the School. During the Lent Term we started placing short excerpts from the interviews online on the School’s YouTube Channel. Have a listen at www.youtube.com/ user/WestminsterSchoolUK.
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We know that Tomlinson was first involved in the Army through the cadet corps at Westminster, in which he was made a LanceCorporal, in November 1908. He received a commission and went out to Belgium early in the War, probably landing in Zeebrugge on 6th October 1914 as part of the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment. The Division they were with was tasked with assisting with the defence of Antwerp, but the city was already falling to German forces when they arrived. Instead, they aided with the evacuation of the Belgian army before moving to Ypres. Tomlinson was killed on 26th October 1914, just a few days after his 23rd birthday. Casualties at that time were incredibly high, and there was confusion surrounding his fate. He was reported in The Times as wounded, and The Elizabethan of June 1915 says this: “In October he was reported missing. It is now known that he was wounded, and while he was on the way to the field hospital, was struck by a shot or splinter and killed.” He has no known grave, and is commemorated with 54,000 others on the Menin Gate in Ypres. Biography compiled by Alice Hall (PP, Remove)
Your biography in The Record of Old Westminsters
Since the 1920s there has been a tradition of publishing biographies of former pupils in The Record of Old Westminsters. Every person known to have been educated at the School “from the earliest times” until the present day will have an entry. This work of reference has been an invaluable resource for pupil researchers, academics and family historians alike. In order that The Record remains as comprehensive and accurate as possible, OWW have the opportunity to contribute towards their own entry. Your input will ensure that you are correctly and meaningfully represented amongst all the former pupils of the School. Please take a few minutes to fill in the form included with this
Some salient gaps in our collection of House photographs… College: 1955–1959; 1961–1967; 1972–1982 Above: Tomlinson following his second Greaze win. The white section by his cheek is his collar which must have been dislodged during the scramble for the pancake. Right: Wreath laid by the School for Thomas Reginald Dawson OW who died on 4th February 1916 at the Empire Hospital, Vincent Square, Westminster. His grave is unknown but his name is recorded on the Arras memorial.
Grant’s: 1967–1970; 1975–1977; 1981–1983; 2000–2005 Rigaud’s: 1946–1952; 1955–1957; 1962–1970; 1972–1980
magazine, or visit intranet.westminster.org. uk/OwwVolumeV/owwRecordForm.asp# to update your details online.
Ashburnham: 1964–1969; 1971–1973; 1975–1976; 2006–2008
Busby’s: 1955–1956; 1971–1974; 1976–1978
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all OWW who have donated time, records and artefacts to the School’s collection over the past year. Particular thanks are due to those who responded to last year’s appeal for unofficial School magazines and have helped identify individuals in House photographs. It is always exciting to add something new to the collections, which are used by researchers both within and outside of the School. Please keep the donations coming!
Wren’s: 1981–1985 Liddell’s: 1962–1973; 1975–1982; 1984–1986 Dryden’s: 1976–1981
Elizabeth Wells, Archivist email@example.com 020 7963 1110 THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 77
Nick Brown (RR, 1968–73) is a Partner at Bircham, Dyson and Bell, and has been with the firm, at their St James’ Park office, for over 35 years. He signed up to OW Careers and Mentoring five years ago and has mentored 8 recent Leavers. For Nick it’s a role he finds interesting, in his words “seeing how a new generation of OWW are brought out and hearing their views offers me a fresh perspective”. Mentees who get in touch are either about to go to university, at university or in the midst of Law Society exams. Careers and Mentoring
Mentor and Mentee Profiles by Olwen Sisupalan Head of Alumni Relations
Above: Mentoring Alessia de Qincey (MM, 2005–07) and Martine Sobey (LL, 2002–04).
The Careers and Mentoring Programme was re-launched in 2012 and aims to assist recent Leavers with their future careers by putting them in touch with OW mentors. More than 100 mentors have registered with us and they offer their support in the form of advice about their profession or sector, be it a description of day-to-day tasks or tips on qualifications and training that might prove useful. In today’s highly competitive employment market this is a great way to gain a realistic insight into a particular job, and our mentors say that they enjoy the opportunity to share their expertise with fellow OWW.
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Top 10 sectors with the most mentors Medicine/Medical Services
Media 8 Architecture/Design 7 Arts/Entertainment 7 Consultancy 6 Civil Service
Nick offers to meet mentees with an interest in pursuing a career in Law, for a chat over coffee. He typically meets around two or three mentees each year and asks each to prepare a list of questions for him to answer at the meeting. He hosts the meetings at the offices of Bircham, Dyson and Bell, a calculated move designed to introduce the OW to a legal office and allow them to navigate reception and experience a meeting in a professional environment. “It helps me, too, as it only takes 40 minutes or so out of my day” says Nick, but he’s clearly aiming to give his young mentees a taste of the workplace, something he believes is essential for a young person embarking upon their career. At the meetings he answers the questions put to him and tries to help the mentee get an idea of the Law. “Some mentees are fixed on being lawyers and others are looking for varied experiences to help them make informed choices about their future careers and to learn something of the Law”, he tells me. “Mentees usually dress-up and look smart, I find that impressive”.
“Is Law a worthwhile career to pursue?” Oh, and is being a Solicitor an interesting career?” Nick’s answer to both questions is that you need to spend time in a legal office, or, if you want to be a Barrister, at Chambers. “Mentoring should be encouraged” says Nick, when I ask if he enjoys it. “If you like dealing with young people and helping them to solve problems, which is why you become a Lawyer in the first place, to solve problems and try to make people happy, at most it’s an hour out of one’s day, it’s interesting, a decent thing to do and it’s giving something back. Westminster looked after me and [mentoring] means I can give something back to the School. To a mentee I’d say grab the opportunity, it’s 30 minutes of free advice even if you learn that the Law isn’t for you!”. “I have a selfish motivation too”, he jokes, “I use the opportunity as a good advert for my firm.” In my view that’s good business and Nick is a great advert for the benefits of
Mentees who get in touch are either about to go to university, at university or in the midst of Law Society exams
mentoring. I am grateful to Nick and all the mentors who are investing in the futures of young OWW. If you’d like to become a mentor or need careers advice please contact the development office on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I ask Nick which are the most common questions asked of him and, after thinking about it he says,
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Below: Young Gaudy Mark Jerjian (HH, 2008–13) Kwesi Peterson (QS, 2008–13).
Below: At Big Commem.
OW NEWS Get in touch If you have any news you would like to share with your contemporaries, please send details to the Editor: The Elizabethan Newsletter The Development Office 17a Dean’s Yard, London SW1P 3PB E: email@example.com T: 020 7963 1115
Best memory? ‘Singing in Westminster Abbey (especially Big Commem and the Carol Service)’ Jessica Liu (WW, 2012–14)
Read more about the
2014 Leavers’ Memories on page 84
Below: OW Women’s Network Panel Event. Panellists Neisha Santamaria (BB, 1997–99) and Anita De (GG, 1985–87).
But don’t just take my word for it! As part of our aim to include current pupils in OW events we invited members of the School’s Feminist Society and Head Girl, Sofya Shchukina, put it far better than I could in her thank you email:
Report from the Head of Alumni Relations Report by Olwen Sisupalan Head of Alumni Relations (interim)
There have been a number of changes in the Development Office and in March 2015, with Katharine Robinson away on maternity leave, I arrived as Head of Alumni Relations until Katharine returns in July. I joined another new arrival, Elizabeth Wignall, who herself joined the team last August as Development Officer for Annual Fund and Events. Yaman Mustafa has just arrived, taking over from Reene Pal as Development Officer for Database and Website. Time has whirled by and it has been a privilege to learn about Westminster, its history and traditions and to meet pupils past and present. 82 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
Above: Panellist Ina De (GG, 1981–83), far left, with attendees.
My role here has allowed me the opportunity to run the excellent schedule of OW events, many of which, I notice, are part of a Westminster tradition taking place annually or biannually like the Oxford and Cambridge Drinks and the Ben Jonson Drinks. As well as embracing tradition the School also encourages fresh ideas and thinking. For me, a particular success and highlight was the introduction of an OW Women’s Network Panel Event, which took the form of a discussion on the broad theme ‘From Westminster to workplace’ and featured a panel of four Westminster women who each have followed different career paths covering the financial, technology and cultural sectors. The panellists skilfully discussed their professions, with the audience and each other, offering advice and recanting experiences with intellect and wit to an attentive audience of OW women and current pupils – it was a stimulating evening!
“I would like to thank you all on behalf of the current Westminster pupils for the absolutely wonderful panel discussion you held at the OW Women’s Networking event this Tuesday. It was really inspiring to hear such accomplished women talk about their careers, and I felt like the comfortable atmosphere of the event meant you could all give honest information about what it’s like in the workplace, which is obviously of huge interest to us! I loved the example about the woman who was able to control big boardroom meetings by ‘conducting’ them rather than by shouting – definitely a lead to follow! Some fellow pupils commented to me that they felt empowered after hearing your advice about being able to raise your voice and recognise your own achievements, which they felt to be practical advice they could even use in school!” Events are one way for OWW to stay connected with their School and peers but I’ve also been impressed by the young OWW who’ve signed up as callers for the School’s Annual Fund telethon campaigns.
The Annual Fund raises money for bursary provision and special projects and for the last six years Westminster has run two telethons each year. Each telethon involves a team of 8 to 12 callers, all OW recent Leavers, contacting Alumni, Parents and Former Parents to encourage them to support the School. Callers are essential to our ability to raise funds and the opportunity offers them the chance to give something back to their School. The atmosphere in the calling room is fantastic; a healthy mixture of team work and competition ensures that the campaigns have grown in strength year on year. It really is a fantastic effort from callers and donors alike! We’ve got lots more great events planned over the next year and I hope many of you will come along to catch up with friends, make new ones, network, discover something new and, of course, enjoy yourselves. Visit our website, www.oldwestminster.org.uk, to find out about upcoming events and what’s going on in the world of OWW. Please do get in touch if you have any ideas or suggestions for new events or if you would like to suggest any improvements, news or updates – we’d really love to hear from you! Katharine will have returned from maternity leave as this year’s magazine arrives with you, and you can contact her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 83
2014 Leavers’ Best School Memories
Nick Kenny (MM, 2009–14)
Best memory? Westminster in the snow. Best teacher? The entire Classics department – they were all astonishing! Though all the teachers were pretty brilliant.
Above: Young Gaudy Sammy Talalay (HH, 2004–09), Edward Myung (LL, 2004–09), Oliver Rees (GG, 2004–09). Opposite page (left): 2014 Leavers.
Ffion Dash (GG, 2012–14)
To welcome our newest OWW, the 2014 Leavers to the fold, we’d like to share some of their best School memories here: Alexander Christie (GG, 2009–14)
Best memory? The undeniably hilarious experience of travelling on the fencing team bus. Best teacher? Dr Agyare-Kwabi. A great teacher and always willing to help out, no matter what the problem. Rachel Musoki (LL, 2012–14)
Best memory? PHAB –so much fun over 5 days so naturally, we were all knackered by the end of it. Best teacher? Mr Botton – that cheeky smile he gave when he knew something was up. Atalanta Arden-Miller (AHH, 2012–14)
Best memory? Mr Tomkins reading Donne’s poetry. Best teacher? Invidious question – they are all fabulous. Yumeya Yamamori (GG, 2012–14)
Best memory? Getting full Pinks. Best teacher? Ransford Agyare-Kwabi – knows that being a teenager is the best. Lucy Fleming-Brown (MM, 2012–14)
Best memory? The Paris History of Art trip. Best teacher? Mr Walton for his Renaissance course and guidance in Venice.
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Jessica Liu (WW, 2012–14)
Best memory? Singing in Westminster Abbey (especially Big Commem and the Carol Service). Best teacher? All were great teachers but Mr Coward helped me a lot outside of lesson times, especially with his new Chemistry Forum, which is very helpful. Alistair Stewart (RR, 2009–14)
Best memory? Playing three hours of Yard cricket in the sun the day before Pre-U English – and the exam went beautifully. Best teacher? Mr Berg – incredible language skills (speaker of five fluently at the moment), helped me enormously with my university application. Harry Spillane (DD, 2012–14)
Best memory? Being stood in the centre of the Abbey holding up the bible for Dr Spurr to read from while the Abbey was in darkness all holding candles. Best teacher? Mr Edlin – from the impressions to the star chart and, of course, the poems, each lesson was a pleasure.
Best memory? It has to be meeting HRH Queen Elizabeth – one of many great memories. Best teacher? David Hargreaves, my Grant’s Housemaster, because he made me aware of time keeping! (And was a great teacher).
Stefan Marjanovic (MM, 2008–13)
Alexander Thomas (MM, 2009–14)
Callum Bungey (HH, 2007–12)
Best memory? Walking into School as a competitor in the Greaze. The noise and atmosphere was so supportive and intense yet friendly too. Best teacher? Mr Robinson for providing the ideal mix of exam-specific teaching, extracurricular discussion and enjoyable class atmosphere.
Notes from the 2014 Young Gaudy Young Gaudy: 4th September 2014 Around 200 young OWW came back up School to catch-up with friends and meet the new Head Master Patrick Derham.
Watching a chicken being chased around the library. Clambering up Mount Etna on expedition. Ally Leigh (PP, 2010–12)
That time I got a week’s worth of detention for wearing nail varnish. Rosie Carpenter (LL, 2009–11)
Realising how incredible the teaching was from the very first day. Bill Gewanter (WW, 2006–11)
House Singing – where else could one find a crowd of ascetic teenagers chanting Christopher Wren’s name to the rafters? Steven Jerjian (HH, 2006–11)
Yard on a sunny day.
Chi-Chi Shi (LL, 2009–11)
Arthur the cat.
We asked guests to share their best School memories with us and below we’ve included a selection of our favourites:
Ivo Tedbury (HH, 2006–11)
James Adams (LL, 2008–13)
Neeraj Mashru (WW, 2005–10)
Cantoring the Allegri Miserere in Westminster Abbey.
Singing satirical songs in Latin at the Election Dinner. The primeval tribalism of the House Music Competition.
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OW Updates and Publications Tamiko Dooley (PP, 2001–03) and Benjamin Dooley
Celebrated the arrival of Vincent Tomohiro Dooley, born 9th December 2014. Simon Wroe (BB, 1995–2000)
Published Chop Chop (Penguin, 2014). The story follows a young graduate behind the scenes of a coarse and raucous Camden gastropub. The book received good notices in the UK and US, including a New York Times review which praised its “wit, vigour and gleeful, necessary profanity”. Simon adds: “I’d like to thank all my English teachers at Westminster, and to retroactively state that any profanity in my writing, including homework assignments, was deemed necessary by the New York Times.” Robert Insall (QS, 1978–82)
Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in April 2014. Paul Castle (QS, 1976–80)
Completed a certificate in African Studies at Basel University, Switzerland and continues to commentate on international rowing (broadcast and print). Vivian Woodall (QS, 1975–79)
Welcomed a new addition to the family, becoming an uncle for the first time in 2014. Christopher Catherwood (AAH, 1968–72)
Published an e-book on the history of Allenby’s conquest of Jerusalem and Damascus in 1917 and 1918 respectively. The book is priced at £1.99 and details can be found on Amazon. Felix Barber (WW, 1966–70)
Published Collaboration Strategy: How to Get What You Want from Employees, Suppliers and Business Partners (Bloomsbury, 2014). Richard Pine (AHH, 1962–66)
Curating the Durrell Library (www.durrelllibrarycorfu.org) and editing its website. Published The Disappointed Bridge: Ireland and the Post-Colonial World (2014). 86 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
Richard Hall (WW, 1958–63)
Justin Harmer (RR, 1985–90)
Author of Theatres of War, which was announced the winner of The People’s Book Prize (Fiction) 2013/14. Further details may be found at www. peoplesbookprize.com.
Andrew Fusek Peters (BB, 1979–84)
Michael Davies (AHH, 1957–63)
Published International Organisations, A Companion (2014) jointly with Richard Woodward (University of Hull). It is designed as a core text for undergraduates studying international organisations and its main emphasis is to examine international organisations in practice, to look at the issues they have confronted and access their challenges. Jonathan Fenby (LL, 1956–60)
Published the following in 2014: Will China Dominate the 21st Century? The Battle of Tsingtao On the Brink – France in the New Century Andrew Chadwick (BB, 1956–60)
Was married at St Mary’s, Clapham on 13th July 2013. His new book Dip, Wild Swims from the Borderlands, was released by Rider Books, Random House, on the 27th April, launching at the Wenlock Poetry Festival. It is a lyrical exploration of water and landscape told through a year of wild swimming. It is a beautiful hardback production (also Kindle) that is already garnering publicity. Andrew states, “The writing is inspired by my heroes of old: Edward Thomas, Richard Jefferies, Gerard Manley Hopkins and newer voices such as Alice Oswald and the late (and great) Roger Deakin. For my book, I swum in Welsh waterfalls in January, deep in a semi-submerged mine shaft underneath Shropshire and high in a WW2 filled in bomb crater above Kerry Ridgeway as the dusk turned this little lake into the last blink of day.
My current other work included a Radio 4 play about a family surviving depression calledThe Man Who Turned Into A Sofa, written with my wife Polly and daughter Rosalind. My picture book The Colour Thief, was published by Hodder. My first wildlife photography book Wild will be published in hardback by Fairacre Art Press.” Robin Barrow (RR, 1958–63)
Celebrated his 70th birthday. A festschrift was published in his honour entitled Education and the Common Good: Essays in Honour of Robin Barrow, edited by John Gingell. Routledge: London and New York). A reception was also held for him at the Garrick Club where many Old Westminsters were among the 100 or so guests. His most recent book Plato, Continuum: London was republished in paperback by Bloomsbury.
Designed an aircon-less office for 1000 staff in India (Andrew is Principal at Chadwick International architecture firm). Jan Simon (BB, 1953–56)
Awarded a Fellowship by the University of Hertfordshire in 2013. Frank Herrmann (BB, 1940–1945)
Donated to the School library a collection of works by George Bernard Shaw, and critical books about him; also a small collection of first editions of novels by D.H. Lawrence and a folio volume (1675) containing the collected sermons of John Hacket (OW), Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. Frank also provided the following personal and professional update: “I presented the Wallace Collection with my many files of research papers, assembled for my book, The English as Collectors: a Documentary Chrestomathy (1972, 1999, 2002), and in part for my Sotheby’s: Portrait of an Auction House (1980). The Wallace Collection has kindly offered to preserve them in a specific Frank Herrmann archive. My wife and I [celebrated] our Diamond Wedding in October 2014. We have four children and eight grandchildren, all of them – unlike me – disturbingly computerate.”
Letters to the Editor Please send letters to: The Development Office, Westminster School, 17a Dean’s Yard, London SW1P 3PB or email email@example.com “Having just received the latest magazine I was saddened to see that Michael Hugill passed away last year. The memories of my education are dominated by five mathematics teachers, all great in different ways and Pure Mathematics A’ Level with Mr Hugill was always a joy, especially the diversions off the curriculum into the history of mathematics and his ability to convey the beauty of the subject. I still remember the moment (maybe one that many mathematicians share in various ways) when Euler’s Identity first appeared. I would, however, ask that you publish a correction. Unless my memory is much at fault, Mr Hugill’s name was spelt Hugill, and not
OW Detective Work Keeping track of the whereabouts of Old Westminsters is an ongoing task and we are always delighted when we find ‘lost OWW’. Help us play detective by taking a look at a list of ‘Lost Alumni’ on our website www.oldwestminster.org.uk/Lost_OWW and if you spot any names you recognise please do ask them to get in touch with the Development Office on firstname.lastname@example.org
Hughill. I am not very likely to have forgotten, having been a member, in about 1975, of a very short-lived society called the Hallites Union of Grant’s Including Lagging Listees – at the time Mr Hugill was also a tutor at Grant’s!” David Nutting (GG, 1975–78) >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 87
“I enjoy reading the Elizabethan Newsletter. I was fortunate to go to Westminster and some of the masters were inspirational. Mr Mike Thorne was not a master, but he was a very good teacher, of how to row and how to behave. Mike Thorne, Westminster School Boatman 1959–93, (obituary Elizabethan Newsletter, July 2014) taught me and many others how to scull, towing us in our fixed seat clinker sculling boats and encouraging us from his dinghy. He coached the Colts Second VIII. With a look, he could convey “I expect better of you” or “well done”. A loyal servant of Westminster School and an exemplary gentleman, may the soil rest gently on his ashes.” John Sprigge (RR, 1961–65)
“Thank you for the last issue (2013/14), of much more interest than usual, produced to an even higher standard and remarkably topical. Given the captions to the photos in the Head Master’s report it was amusing that it arrived the day we visited the NPG where a T-shirt was prominently displayed.” Colin Cohen (GG, 1958–63)
Update from the
Oli Bennett Charitable Trust By Kieron Connolly (GG, 1985–90)
When explaining the work of the Oli Bennett Charitable Trust, I always used to say that Oli had talked about one day starting his own business, perhaps opening a bar or nightclub, but that his life was cut short in the September 11 attacks. So, after his death at 29, his family and friends set up the charity to help other enterprising people between the ages of 18 and 30 get their business ideas off the ground. Oli had been denied that opportunity, but we would support others. That’s all true, but 13 years since we began, I’ve come to see it a little differently. Firstly, though, what does the charity do? Since 2002, it has awarded more than £110,000 in equipment and funding to more than 88 new businesses. Not quite “You name it, we’ve backed it,” but we’ve supported dog groomers and cake bakers, furniture makers and ceramicists, wood recyclers and community radio producers, among many others. Oli’s parents, Joy and Adrian Bennett (RR, 1954– 59), his godmother, their friends and Oli’s friends from School and university run the charity – holding fundraisers, organising art fairs, discussing 88 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
business plans with applicants, awarding grants, doing the accounts and willing on the work of young entrepreneurs across wildly different fields. So what’s changed my thinking about the charity? Addressing our fundraiser in 2014, Luke Mugliston (DD, 1985–90), with whom Oli had knocked around business ideas while at Westminster and on into their twenties, pointed out that Oli did, in fact, start a business: it’s this charity. Better than that, he didn’t just start one business, but helped more than 80 other fledgling enterprises. And we, his friends and family who miss him, now find ourselves in the privileged position of working for Oli, for his business, on these quirky, varied ventures. We think he’d have liked that. For more information on the charity’s work and future events visit www.olibennett.org.uk.
Obituaries lastair Service CBE MVO A (WW, 1947–51) Died 20th March 2013 Obituary by Nicholas Service (GG, 1975–80) Alastair was born to a Scottish family that had settled in London’s Hampstead. Educated at Westminster and Queen’s College, Oxford, he should have been destined for a career in banking or the Navy. But two years in the Royal Navy Reserves partly stationed in rough seas around Cuxhaven and a year as a trainee in Lazards were enough to convince him that his future should take a different direction. At Oxford, he had developed an enduring passion for opera and classical music, and a burning ambition to do something useful in the world. At Oxford he had also met Louisa Hemming, his first wife, with whom he had a much-loved son, Nicholas (GG, 1974–80), and daughter, Sophie. Through Louisa and her mother, he became acquainted with the Women’s Movement which resulted in involvement in the mid-sixties to mid-seventies in a series of parliamentary campaigns for the 1967 Abortion Act, Divorce Law Reform, the NHS Reorganisation Act, the Town and Country Amenities Act, the Children’s Act and Public Lending Rights for Authors. He was also on the national committee of the Victorian Society and Chair of its Publications Committee. His health-related work led to appointments as General Secretary of the Family Planning Association, Vice Chairman of the Health Education Council and later the Health Education Authority. Most of all, Alastair saw himself as a writer and it was through his work as author of some fifteen published books overall that he achieved his greatest fulfilment. And it was his interest in archaeology and especially in the stone-age monuments of the Neolithic, that brought him – in the early 1980s – to Avebury, Wiltshire with his second wife, Zandria. Here, he embarked on a novel set in Neolithic times while continuing to work as Vice-Chairman of
the Wessex Regional Health Authority and then Chairman of the Wiltshire Health Authority. At Avebury, with a thriving local community interested in music and the arts, Alastair was able to take up new challenges. He wrote the libretto of The Angel Cantata, which was performed in Marlborough College Chapel in 2003. He also collaborated on a work to mark the bicentenary of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, again writing the libretto for Brunel’s Kingdom, which was performed in 2005. In his later years his garden, music and writing poetry became his passions. He liked the bizarre. In his garden he had built a rustic cloister, a chambered mound, and a sarsen stone turret (designed by Sir Denys Lasdun of South Bank notoriety). His illness – Lewy Body Disease and Parkinson’s – was devastating for he could no longer read, write or take part in the stimulating debate and discussion that he craved. But he bore his illness with dignity and fortitude. The loving care and support of his wife and children meant that Alastair was able to stay at his home to the end of his life. Alastair wanted to make a difference, to do something worthwhile, and he did that. His work on social reforms contributed to major health improvements, particularly for women. He was made a Commander of the British Empire for services to public health. His work on Edwardian architecture broke new ground in identifying and recognising some of the finest buildings in the land. His work for the Prince’s Foundation helped to promote regeneration through heritage and he was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order for distinguished personal service. In his unpublished memoirs Alastair noted that, if necessary in his defence, he would point out to St Peter that he wrote two rather good books. A somewhat modest account from a charismatic man who led a fascinating, and sometimes starry life of literary achievement and significant public service and who was much loved. >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 89
Joe Hyam (RR, 1947–52)
Richard Cremer (RR, 1938–42) Died 25th January 2014 Obituary extracted from The Telegraph Richard Cremer, who has died aged 89, was the doctor who discovered the curative value of sunlight on jaundiced babies, which led to the use of phototherapy machines in neonatal wards across the world. Richard Cremer was born on 4th January1925 in Blean, Kent. After school Richard Cremer studied Medicine at King’s College London and on graduation he was posted, on National Service, to Kenya, a country he grew to love. It was here that, as a Royal Army Medical Corps doctor, he first tended to newborn babies. Cremer followed his eureka moment at Rochford with extensive research. Alongside Perryman and Richards, he discovered that wavelengths of light in the blue spectrum of sunlight changed bilirubin – which can be dangerous to the newborn brain – into a non-toxic isomer (the same molecular formula but in a different chemical structure). They proved that it was the wavelength and not the attendant heat from the sun which had the healing effect. They then charted the results of sunlight on blood taken from babies given short intermittent exposure to sunshine. After investigating the effects of sunlight they turned their focus to the potential benefits of artificial light sources. The first models were ominous-looking Heath Robinson style contraptions: reflective stainless-steel lids to which eight blue-light fluorescent tubes were fixed, were lowered over cots. Cremer, Perryman and Richard’s pioneering work was chronicled in The Lancet (1958) and, later, in an article in Archives of Disease in Childhood (1975). Their research led to the worldwide use of phototherapy for babies who are jaundiced, greatly reducing the need for exchange transfusion and reducing a common cause of infant brain damage. They noted, however, that jaundice due to Rhesus incompatibility would still need exchange transfusion.
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Dr Richard Cremer married, in 1958, Dr Patricia Hegarty, an anaesthetist, who he met whilst working in Tunbridge Wells before his appointment to Rochford. His wife survives him with their two daughters and a son. John Town (BB, 1949–52) Died 14th February 2014 Obituary by Terence Bendixson (BB, 1948–52) John Town was one of the unsung bright lights of Busby’s in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He was very popular amongst a small circle of friends who loved his lively, smiling character, his blonde good looks and his unusual understanding of what made us all tick. He brought with him to Westminster the marks of a difficult childhood (he never got on with this father), sensitivity and an ability to act that made him one of the stars of a ‘Buskins House Play’ – Noel Coward’s Peace in Our Time. The latter was, though I for one did not know it, a pointer to his future. After school he went off to Hollywood where he made a living first as a salesman and then by working his way up the managerial hierarchy of I Magnin’s, a department store. But it was in amateur dramatics that he found fulfilment. And just as future film stars were said, in the Los Angeles of the 1960s, to be found waiting to be discovered while working in gas stations, so the theatre too was full of talent, life and fun. John’s interest in the human condition led him into astrology. It was, he explained to his untutored English friends, an ancient precursor of psychology – an early attempt to define systematically the strange vagaries of the human character. He knew all our birthdays, did all our charts, and read us like books. As for himself, he burnt brightly and, having been born on the day of a new moon, John contrived, after a series of ailments and considerable pain, to die on the day of a full moon. He was tended to devotedly and to the end by Lee Lohnes, his partner for nearly forty years.
Died 10th March 2014 Obituary extracted from Caterer and Hotelkeeper Joe Hyam, who left an indelible mark on the hospitality industry, has passed away at the age of 80. The most high profile event he was responsible for within his industry was the launch in 1984 of the Catey Awards, for which he himself was presented the Special Award at the 1991 Cateys. He also founded conferences for chefs and housekeepers, and initiated the prestigious Hotelier of the Year Award, which is now entering its 32nd year. In his retirement, Hyam was a prolific blogger, writing more than 3,000 entries since 2005. He also wrote poetry and short stories. In his final post, written the day before he died, he wrote: “Cheerfulness is my chief object in life even when it seems to be a fleeting virtue. I find myself hoping that people will make allowances for its present frailty.” Hyam also grew vegetables in a walled garden belonging to a neighbour and was an enthusiastic cook and entertainer. Hyam’s partner of more than 20 years, Heidi, passed away in December 2013. He leaves two children, Pippa and Toby, and five grandchildren. Alexander Wedderspoon (LL, 1945–49) Died 10th June 2014 Obituary extracted from The Telegraph The Very Rev Alexander Wedderspoon, who has died aged 83, was Dean of Guildford Cathedral from 1987 to 2001, after serving 17 years as a Canon Residentiary of Winchester Cathedral. Alexander Gillan Wedderspoon, the son of a Church of Scotland minister serving in Glasgow, was born on 3rd April 1931 and educated at Westminster before doing National Service in the Royal Artillery, in which he was commissioned. After Jesus College, Oxford, he
taught for several years before responding to a call to ordination. He was trained at Cuddesdon Theological College, and from 1961 to 1963 served as a curate at Kingston upon Thames parish church. He was also a Territorial Army chaplain with the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment. He was then a lecturer at London University’s Institute for Education, and three years later joined the Church of England’s Schools Council. His primary responsibility during the next three years was that of secretary of a commission that, under the chairmanship of the Bishop of Durham, Ian Ramsey, produced a major report on religious education in schools under the title The Fourth R (1970). At the same time Wedderspoon gave part-time assistance at St Margaret’s, Westminster; and when its rector, Michael Stancliffe, departed for the Deanery of Winchester in 1969 he became priest-in-charge of the church for a year while a successor was found. Wedderspoon then followed Stancliffe to Winchester as a Canon Residentiary. In the office of Treasurer, he soon applied his mind to the modernisation of the cathedral’s finances, as well as those of its Pilgrims’ School, and steered both through the inflationary crises of the mid-1970s. From 1975 to 1985 he was chairman of the national Cathedrals’ Finance Conference. Although reluctant to leave Winchester (he had previously declined the Deanery of Peterborough), Wedderspoon was soon at home in Guildford. Worship and preaching of the highest standard was his aim, and — while always ready to delegate responsibility to colleagues, and provide them with strong support — he kept his finger on the pulse of every part of the cathedral’s life. He was prepared to be bold, as when he secured the appointment of Dr Maureen Palmer as a Canon Residentiary, long before women were considered suitable for such posts. >>
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He retired to Cranleigh in 2001, assisting in the Surrey parishes and maintaining contact with a wide circle of friends and former colleagues, including Martin Neary, whom he had strongly supported during the crisis created by his controversial dismissal from the post of Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey. He is survived by his wife, Judith, and by a son and a daughter. Theo Zinn (former Classics Master) Died 19th January 2015 Obituary extracted from The Telegraph Theodore Zinn, known affectionately as Theo, who has died aged 92, was an inspirational teacher of Latin and Greek, but there were many other remarkable strings to his bow. At Westminster School, where he taught from 1950 until 1983, he was revered and adored not just by budding classicists, but by all those fortunate enough to get to know him. Small boys just out of prep school, accustomed to think of Latin as a higher species of crossword puzzle, on hearing Theo’s mesmerically theatrical renditions of chunks of the Aeneid or Horace’s invocation of Mount Soracte, understood for the first time that this was great literature. At the other end of their school careers, pupils being prepared for their scholarship exams for Oxford (Theo was unpersuaded of the merits of Classics at Cambridge) were treated as if they were already unusually gifted undergraduates. For many, the only drawback was a subsequent sense of disappointment at the tuition they received at university.
was motivated by a sense that he should be devoting himself to a responsible course of study at a time when the world was overwhelmed by the turmoil of war. However, he soon returned to Classics, and took a dazzling First in Mods, although on his own admission he found less to engage him in Greats.
Westminster had had a long tradition of putting on Latin plays (Queen Elizabeth I had attended one in 1564), but it had fallen into abeyance. In 1954, with Terence’s Phormio, and thereafter every other year, Zinn revived the practice with further plays by Terence and Plautus.
His war service was spent in India in the Intelligence Corps as a Japanese specialist. His work involved the decipherment of coded messages in Japanese, which required him to master the language from scratch and to attain a high level of fluency. He spoke little about this chapter of his life, but with characteristic generosity continued to support several generations of the family of his Indian “bearer” for decades after the war.
The action of Latin comedies is set in the street outside a protagonist’s house, so the idea of dispensing with a stage and scenery and instead using the School’s natural forum, Little Dean’s Yard, for outdoor Summer performances was an obvious – if at the same time inspired – move.
On his return, he completed his degree at Oxford, and then elected to become a teacher from among many possible career paths. In 1950 he became the Seventh Form Classics Master at Westminster, where he was to remain for more than three decades. In those distant days, when the world was in less of a hurry, many pupils stayed on after taking their A’ Levels in what was called the Seventh Form. At least in the case of his star pupils, the linguistic requirements of the Oxbridge exams had as a rule already been mastered by this juncture (above all thanks to the exacting grammatical attentions of his colleague and fellow Old Carthusian, Denis Moylan, who was the punctilious yin to Zinn’s charismatic yang), and the study of literature and ideas more generally could take centre stage.
Theodore Lionel Zinn was born in London 21st March 1922 of Russian Jewish parents, and retained strong elements of this dual identity, being well versed from his childhood in both Russian and Hebrew. After a brilliant school career as a classicist at Charterhouse, he went up to New College, Oxford, in 1940 to read PPE.
Both in the company of his cat Grubby in his book-lined flat (he was a noted bibliophile with a fine collection) and in the equally book-lined 17th century haven of the Busby Library, which served as his classroom, Zinn was in his element, and like all the best teachers he not only inspired his charges with a love of his subject, but also with a whole private vocabulary (“frankly”, “Spiel”, “Stimmung”) indissolubly linked with the memories of those times.
Ironically, in view of his later heroic championing of Classics against attacks on its supposed irrelevance in the modern world, his decision
Zinn was nothing if not enterprising in his willingness to undertake – and triumphantly bring off – the highest of high-wire acts.
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In addition to persuading large audiences of pupils, common room colleagues, and parents to sit through an evening’s entertainment which most of them were entirely unable to follow, Zinn unfailingly wrote a topical Prologue and Epilogue in Latin (a translation was printed in the programme). Their most memorable feature was execrable puns whereby Latin words doubled as English ones: in the year of the retirement of the Headmaster, John Carleton, his virtual catchphrase “Have a sherry” was Latinised as “aves heri” (the birds yesterday…). When Carleton’s successor, the media-savvy John Rae, allowed a televsion documentary to be made about Westminster in 1979, Zinn all but stole the show with a sparkling and impassioned defence of Classics. In retirement he settled at Godalming, which had long been a second home, where he continued to share his life with Peter Fennymore, his close friend, and later also with Peter’s wife Jacqueline. He returned to teaching part-time at Charterhouse, and also gave private lessons at home. A passionate lover of music, Zinn once composed a Requiem. In his eighties, he wrote three inspiring Latin textbooks, and in 2006, in celebration of his 84th birthday, he was presented with a volume of essays covering an impressive range of classical and other subjects under the title Theo Doron (A Gift to Theo) by his former pupils, who over the years had become his devoted and grateful friends. “The School was my pupils” was how he once summed up his teaching career.
Dan Topolski (WW, 1959–63) Died 21st February 2015 Obituary extracted from The Telegraph Daniel Topolski, who has died aged 69, had a lifelong passion for rowing and, as Oxford’s coach, led the Dark Blues to an unprecedented 10 straight wins in the Boat Race between 1976 and 1985. In 1987 he was involved in one of the greatest controversies in rowing history, the rebellion by American crewmembers that became known as the “Oxford mutiny”. He was also a journalist, travel writer, broadcaster, motivational guru, raconteur, photographer and art curator. Topolski’s love affair with rowing began when his father taught him to scull in an old wooden boat on the lake at Regent’s Park. At school he captained the First VIII, but on arrival at New College, Oxford, in 1964 he found his slight frame a disadvantage when competing with the behemoths who filled the Blue Boat. It did not help that he contracted glandular fever in his first year, possibly from one of his many girlfriends. In those days the chief coach of the University Boat Club was Ronnie Howard, who weeded out undersized candidates with the words: “I don’t know why you bother, you’re much too small for this kind of thing.” To compensate, the 10st 4lb Topolski fed himself a preparation called “Bodybulk”, which raised his weight to 12st. Hugh “Jumbo” Edwards, another member of the coaching team in this period, selected Topolski for the 1967 Blue Boat. Asked why he had included this comparatively lightweight oarsman, Edwards said: “It’s simple. When he’s in, the boat goes faster.” Topolski rowed twice in the Boat Race, winning in 1967 and losing the year after. Long-haired and bohemian, Topolski stood out from the traditional crewcut image of the Oxford Blue. He later confessed that he had been embarrassed by rowing’s hearty image, but he overcame this. “Finally,” he recalled, “I admitted to myself the fantastic kick I got out of it. The enormous satisfaction of immense physical effort and working in a team.” He brought a novel sense of style-consciousness to Oxford rowing, arranging for the New College >> THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 93
Boat Club singlets to be designed by Biba. Despite his dedication to sport, Topolski also achieved academic distinction at Oxford, taking the last Fourth Class degree awarded by the university for Geography before the classification was abolished. After going down, he continued to row, while pursuing a career initially as a journalist at the BBC and later as a photographer and commentator. International honours followed, including a gold medal at the World Championships in 1977. Topolski’s obsession with the Boat Race led him to take the job of Chief Rowing Coach to the Oxford Blue Boat, an unpaid post that he held from 1972 to 1987. Under his leadership Oxford rose from being perpetual also-rans in the Boat Race to the status of constant victors, winning 10 times in succession between 1976 and 1985 (Oxford’s best-ever run). Topolski was highly regarded as a motivator of athletes. His engagingly laddish and laid-back manner – he might supervise training from the towpath dressed in blue velvet trousers and black patent leather boots – masked hardnosed determination. His philosophy was simple: “I like to win and I like to win by as much as I can.” Then in 1987 came the notorious Boat Race “mutiny”, when several American postgraduates who had been selected for the Blue Boat squad refused to row under Topolski’s direction and resigned. Tempers became so frayed at one point that one of the mutineers threw a cup of tomato soup over Topolski at the Thames Rowing Club in Henley. Despite the resignations, Oxford went on to beat Cambridge by four lengths, rowing with a crew of reserves and the remaining Blues in the middle of a thunderstorm. It was to be Topolski’s last triumph as coach. Bruised by the whole affair, he turned down the job of Assistant Coach for the following year, saying: “I’ve no regrets. It’s a hard slog, unpaid, for about 140 days a year, and if it’s not a pleasure, it’s not worth it.”
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The son of the Polish painter and cartoonist Feliks Topolski and the actress Marian Everall, Daniel Topolski was born 4th June 1945. Topolski was educated at the French Lycée, then Westminster and New College. At Westminster he was teased about his immigrant background, but took his revenge by being good at games, becoming Captain of Boats: “I was the little punk Pole, a nifty little sculler who kept on coming round and beating the big guys.” After university he worked as a researcher for the BBC, but did not endear himself to his employers by indulging an urge to travel at the expense of his duties. He left the corporation in 1973, returning in 1990 as a commentator on the Boat Race. In 1972 Topolski made an eight-month trip alone through Africa financed by a doublepage photo spread in Time magazine. He later described the journey in his first book, Muzungu: One Man’s Africa (1976). He travelled to the Hindu Kush in northern Pakistan in 1975, to live among the Kalash tribes, but this adventure was cut short when he was told to return for selection trials for the Montreal Olympics. In 1981 he spent six months touring South America with his father. He was arrested in Paraguay in a police dragnet after a political assassination and imprisoned, prompting the British ambassador to protest to the Paraguayan government. The tour was filmed and shown in 1982 on the BBC television programme The World About Us. It subsequently appeared as a book, Travels with My Father: A South American Journey (1983). He represented Great Britain at rowing five times between 1969 and 1978, winning a silver medal at the 1975 World Championships in Nottingham (Coxless Fours) and a gold medal at the 1977 World Championships in Amsterdam (Eights). He won four Henley Medals and was proud of having appeared 74 times at the Regatta; only Chris Drury had raced the course more. He also coached the Great Britain women’s eight from 1978 to 1980. Topolski wrote on rowing for The Observer for more than 20 years, ending in 2012; his final commentary duties for the BBC were for the
Boat Race of 2013. Recently he had devoted his energies to collecting and exhibiting his father’s work, and he was a trustee of the Mark Lees Foundation, a charity which supports young rowers. In the mid-1990s he returned as a consultant to the Oxford squad. In 2013 he was made an Honorary Fellow of New College. Dan Topolski is survived by his wife, the actress Susan Gilmore, two daughters and a son. Andrew Aitken (WW, 1967–71) Died April 2015 Obituary extracted from the Eton Fives Association website. It is with great sadness that I have to record here, Andrew’s death in April after a long heroic and totally uncomplaining painful battle with cancer. Andrew went to Westminster, Oxford and then the law firm Ellis Piers. Andrew joined the nascent Galleries when it was outlined in a dummy of faux latin and mocked up with hand drawn maps of London. Andrew Aitken was secretary of the Old Westminsters (OWW) Eton Fives Club for over 30 years and transformed the club. Paul Hooper (GG, 1968–72) Everyone at Westminster had to play football when they arrived at School in the winter Play Term. Andrew arrived in Play ’67 and I met him in the following Lent Term. By now Andrew, had already eschewed ‘the beautiful game’ in favour of the fives courts and showed an innate talent for keeping his eye on the ball.
until one match when we set off to Emmanuel, unaccompanied by the master in charge. Andrew and I played and won as did the other pairs. We both remembered it for the smile of pleasure on Jumbo’s face when we reported back the next day – it was our most famous victory. Neil Marjerison (QS, 1966–71) Andrew oversaw the rebuilding of closer links with the School and the recruitment of players after university and made additions to the Club year on year. He also saw the opportunities available in league fives for regular competitive matches to drive standards up and to slowly build the standing and reputation of the Club. The annual OW magazine The Elizabethan Newsletter featured reports from pupils’ sporting clubs. Andrew was always generous to others in these reports and his dry sense of humour always raised a smile. It was clear that the Club was always friendly and welcoming – and this came in no small part from him. Secretaries from other clubs over the years will have their own memories of Andrew. He was unfussy and practical; not particularly drawn to the higher echelons of the game – though a shrewd and wry observer. His fives legacy is in the strength of the OW Club – over many years now – and in the pleasure and enjoyment so many of us experienced on the court (and in the pub) over three decades. A legend.
We were both novices under the tutelage of Jumbo Wilson and started as third pair in our first School match against Orpington. It was the first of many we lost together. Andrew was far better at fives than I am but we became friends and despite my monicker of ‘iron legs’, on the court he stuck by me to the sometime chagrin of Jumbo. We continued to play through the pairs most of the time. Andrew became Captain of the School team, when we played together we had a less than glorious record and Jumbo, I think, abandoned hope THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015 | 95
Memorial Service: Ron French In 2013 a memorial service was held at the School for Ron French, former Ashburnham Housemaster, who died in 2011. His career at Westminster lasted from 1951 to 1986 and many people attended to pay their respects at a service in St Edward’s Chapel. The service was followed by a screening of A Major Influence a film by Andrew Botterill about the life and times of Ron French at the School. A collection was taken and £1200 was raised which has been entrusted to the Housemaster
of Rigaud’s and the Rigaud’s Society to help any pupil from Rigaud’s who is going on an Exploration Trip. He or she will be supported with a donation of £200 and encouraged to watch A Major Influence. If anybody would like a copy of the film (on DVD) please contact Elizabeth Wells, the School Archivist on email@example.com. Alternatively you can view the film online at https://vimeo.com/106576562 password: ronfrench2013.
Deaths Alastair Service Wren’s 1947–51
David Renshaw King’s Scholar 1948–53
Christopher Latham Queen’s Scholar 1960–64
d. 20th March 2013
d. 8th September 2014
d. 23rd December 2014
Richard Cremer Rigaud’s 1938–42
John Shepherdly Busby’s 1951–55
Gerald Poole Rigaud’s 1953–57
d. 25th January 2014
d. 15th September 2014
d. 5th January 2015
John Town Busbys 1949–52
Thomas Richter Wren’s 1951–55
Keith Harrison Ashburnham 1947–52
d. 14th February 2014
d. 24th September 2014
d. 31st January 2015
Joe Hyam Rigaud’s 1947–52
Antony Havers Rigaud’s 1932–35
Daniel Topolski Wren’s 1959–63
d. 10th March 2014
d. 13th October 2014
d. 21st February 2015
Stephen Craske Rigaud’s 1947–52
Stanley Underwood Busby’s 1939–41
Andrew Medlicott Wren’s 1956–61
d. 17th April 2014
d. 18th October 2014
d. 1st April 2015
Alexander Wedderspoon Liddell’s 1945–49
Roger Pope Busby’s 1948– 51
Andrew Aitken Wren’s 1967–71
d. 10th June 2014
d. 25th October 2014
d. April 2015
Charles Strachey Busby’s 1947–52
Guy Standring Busby’s 1958–62
d. 18th June 2014
d. 17th November 2014
Former members of staff
Vernon Murphy Busby’s 1957–62
Mark Lushington Queen’s Scholar 1956–60
Mary Hopwood Matron
d. 14th July 2014
d. 16th December 2014
d. 1st December 2014
Richard MacCormac Busby’s 1952–57
John Freeman Busby’s 1928–33
d. 26th July 2014
Theo Zinn Master of Classics
d. 20th December 2014
d. 19th January 2015
96 | THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER | 2014/2015
SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 2015
OW Calendar 2015/16 Get out your diaries and save the dates of the events you’d like to attend! More gatherings will be added to the calendar and advertised on the website in due course. Invitations are generally sent by email six weeks before the event. If you do not have access to email and wish to attend one of the events listed please do call us on 020 7963 1115 to register your interest and we will ensure you receive details and booking information. All dates are correct at the time of going to press and we recommend that you visit www.oldwestminster. org.uk to keep up-to-date with event details and any potential changes. You can also book tickets and see a list of attendees at each event via the website.
15th September Young Gaudy 24th September Old Grantite Club AGM 20th or 21st October * New York Reunion NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2015
Above: Little Dean’s Yard.
3rd November OW Abbey Tour 5th November Elizabethan Club Dinner 20th November Commem Worldwide 26th November Busby Society Dinner 14th December Carol Service 2016 DATES 12th February February * 17th March June *
OW Lawyers’ Dinner FfW Thank You Event Decade Gaudy OW Business Drinks * date to be confirmed
Above: Guests at the Elizabethan Club Dinner. Above left (top): Simon Randall (RR, 1957–62) and guest at the OW Lawyers’ Dinner. Above left (bottom): Young Gaudy Emma Kavanagh (RR, 2004–06), Helen Hodges (PP, 2003–05).
Above: Pavillion with Big Ben and the London Eye in the background.
THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER 2014/2015
THE ELIZABETHAN NEWSLETTER 2014/2015
The Elizabethan Newsletter is produced annually by the Development Office of Westminster School. Letters are positively encouraged and should be sent to: The Development Office Westminster School 17a Deanâ€™s Yard, London SW1P 3PB +44 (0)20 7963 1115 firstname.lastname@example.org