Dear Old Dovorian
Welcome to the 2016 Newsletter. Most of you will receive this via our website or email. The privileged few will still receive this by “snail mail”. If you know of any ODs who have not received this letter and would like to, please forward a copy to them and ask that they contact us through the school or email so that we may keep in contact with them in future. Contact details can be found at the end of this newsletter.
The Old Dovorian Club was formed back in the 1880’s, and one of its main purposes is to maintain and foster friendship amongst members through sporting and social events. In addition, we seek to support activities and objectives of Dover College. A very recent example of this has been the replacement of the Chapel Organ this year with the last one dying somewhat unexpectedly. The Old Dovorian Trust was only too pleased to assist with a donation of £20,000. Going back, the War Memorial Trust was created by Old Dovorians back in the 1920’s in order to raise money to buy the College from its original owners, and create the charity foundation that we see today. In the late 1940’s the OD Club revived the Fund to restore the College on its return from Poltimore House in Devon after World War II. There are very many instances over the years where the Old Dovorian Club and Old Dovorians have actively assisted the College pecuniary or otherwise, and this is certain to continue. The Old Dovorian Trust, www.odtrust.org is a registered charity setup to facilitate such assistance.
We have many Old Dovorians who are known for one reason or another. Captain Billie Neville who led the charge in World War I with the football. A lesser known OD is Dr Reginald Koettlitz, a polar explorer who has a glacier in Antarctica named after him. A blue plaque was affixed to the gatepost of the Folkestone Road entrance commemorating him this year. And in more recent times, many of you will have heard of Simon Cowell, who attended Dover College in the 1970’s and benefited from the pastoral care of George and Penny Matthews.
Dover College 1st XI enjoyed the wind and rain in December last year beating our OD XI 9 – 6. The match was closer than the score suggested with some end to end action. It seemed the DC 1st XI fitness paid dividends scoring 6 of their 9 goals in the second half. Tom Butt is the new director of Sport at Dover College. Lets see how well his boys play this year. I have requested sunshine without wind for the weather, Tom has offered hot coffee and bacon sandwiches as an alternative. I am looking forward to both and of course a good match.
Through the kind offices of Budgie Sargent (Martins 1970-75) we were able to continue using the facilities of the RAF Club in Piccadilly for our annual January London party. Happily, we were able to welcome this year’s prefects as well as many other OD faces that we had not seen for some time. A trio of Leamington lads, Steve Margetts, Guy Evans and Jean-Luc Le Tocq, teamed up to represent the 1984 leavers. This year, Budgie has been called away to work in the Congo, on government matters, so will not be able to be involved. Richard Owen (Martins 1963-68) has stepped into the breach, to be responsible for all ODs attending the RAF Club. Brave man indeed, but no stranger to keeping calm under pressure – he used to fly Concorde! The next London party will be Friday 20 January 2017. Recent leavers who are paid up members of the Old Dovorian Club receive one free ticket in the immediate 3 years of leaving. Contact [email protected] for details of free tickets. For the rest of us, tickets are £25 per head if booked before 13 January 2017 www.olddovorians.com. Please do book early to assist us with catering and more importantly Champagne arrangements.
The OD sports in March were a contrast to those in December in many ways. The main one being that both the OD Girls won at Netball 23 – 12, and the OD boys at Hockey 8 – 5. 3 Howkins sisters teamed up to turn the OD girls into a netball team to be reckoned with. James Whybrow (School 2005–12) is to be commended for scoring a hat trick. Our OD secretary would normally have earned similar praise for his 3 goals, although this was subsequently removed on account of his dodgy shorts. Next year we will be looking for volunteers to play touch Rugby 7’s on the Close instead of Hockey. Girls netball will still take place as before. Details will be available on our website www.olddovorians.com.
At our AGM, we were pleased to appoint Rear Admiral Simon Charlier CBE (School 1971-76) as our new President to the Club. Simon is possibly the only OD to have arrived at the school by helicopter, landing on the Close. Although I have heard reference to an OD landing a Wellington Bomber at Farthingloe when coming to visit his son at school. Does anyone have information on this? If so I would like to hear more. He takes over from Roger Hovell (School 1953-58), who has given two years of dedicated support and service to the OD Club.
I was reminded by friends the other day, that in Chinese lunar years, we are currently experiencing the year of the monkey. In previous years of the monkey, odd events and decisions occur. These are usually attributed to the “monkey”. This year of the monkey does not appear to be an exception. Brexit and Trump being obvious contenders for unexpected events. As for ODs, events beyond our control meant our annual OD cricket match could not take place this year. This is the first year the cricket match has been cancelled. Tom Carr (Leamington 1994-2000) winner of the man of the match last year, therefore has another opportunity to claim his prize – 2 tickets to the London drinks party. Contact me if you are interested. This all pales into insignificance when compared with the atrocities that continue in Syria and other acts of terrorism around the world. I do not believe we can blame this on the “monkey”.
As the Michaelmas term started, the Dover College Alumni was launched. Mike Vanderhoeven (Staff 1989-2011) is the liaison officer intent on gathering as much news about us all as possible and widening the net to include staff, parents and anyone else who has had an association with Dover College. Mike will be attending the London drinks party 20 January 2017, where many of you will have the opportunity to test his memory for names and faces.
Tony and Julia Robin organised yet another successful Cranleigh dinner. This gave Gareth, the Head Master the opportunity to update those ODs present on developments at the school. The re-introduction of rugby is particularly welcome to the older ODs. If you would like to go to next year’s Cranleigh dinner you can contact Tony on [email protected].
Finally, Michael Goodridge MBE (St Martins 1959-64), has been unanimously elected as Chair of the Governors. Michael recently retired as a lawyer and Deputy District Judge. As you can see, he still has his black boater from school days, pictured at the Dover College prize day, in the summer of 2014. Michael will be at this year’s London party.
We strive to stay in contact with as many of you as possible. Please do send your updated contact details to Lesley, our administrator, [email protected]. Nobody else can or will do this for you! Not least, a thank you to all those not mentioned who have taken part or assisted in the organisation of OD events this past year. And on behalf of our committee, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at a future OD event.