Old Dovorian Club History
The Club was founded on 10th December 1887, on the occasion of the annual Old Boy winter visit to the school, largely through the efforts of R. Norris, who in 1876 had begun the raising of a team to play the school. Its first President was Canon W. Bell, the first headmaster.
The OD Club’s objective, amongst others, is for the benefit of all former pupils, past and present members of staff, as quoted from one of the Club’s original objectives, at its creation back in 1887, “To keep up friendly intercourse between Old Dovorians and to keep members informed in all matters interesting to Old Dovorians”.
It also administers the “Dover College War Memorial and Endowment Fund”. Under the provision of the Royal Charter of 1922. (Which has now been superseded by a new Royal Charter of 2023)
Since 1876, Old Boy teams have been put in the field to play the School at Cricket, Rugby Union, Football and Hockey, and more recently at Tennis, Squash Racquets and Golf. In addition, tours have been organised in all three of the major games, first as “Dover Wanderers”, then the O.D.R.U.F.C. and later (between the Wars) as the “London Old Dovorian R.U.F.C.” (whose tie is now the Club’s Town Tie). Mention must also be made of the Cricket tours in Sussex, and the Hockey tours in Europe and the Channel Isles, so admirably organised by R. Heathcote Hacker.
After World War II it was found more difficult to arrange a revival, but the O.D. Hockey Club kept going at the Folkestone Festival till 1965, and still played Sunday matches against other Old Boy sides at Bromley.
The Club had three gaps in holding meetings. The first was from the AGM held on 11th July 1914 to the AGM held on the 29th November 1919. The second was from the AGM held on 2nd July 1939 to a committee meeting held on 12th September 1946. The third occasion was July 2020 as a result of the Covid pandemic restrictions, placed on groups of people gathering, (This information comes from old minute books and recent notes within the 2021 AGM minutes).
After the First World War, the OD Club launched the War Memorial and Endowment Fund which raised money to buy the College from its original owners and turn into a charitable organisation under Royal Charter, granted in 1922, under the 1922 Royal Charter, at least one third of Governors must be OD’s.
However, under the new Royal Charter of 2023, in which status the College is now governed. The Governing body has to have a minimum of five ODs and a maximum of seven must be ODs.
In November 1947 after the end of the Second World War, the Club relaunched a fund to raise money for a War Memorial and to restore the College buildings. The fund remains in existence and still funds some activities at the College. The most recent is the purchase of the Captain Billie Neville statue unveiled on Armistice Day 2018, by the chairman of governors Mr Michael Goodridge, MBE, JP.