The recent great successes enjoyed by the College – surely a source of joy to all of us who love the place – have caused the Press to suggest that it was previously a ‘backwater’. So it seems right to refer to the work done in the last fifty years, that work itself laid on earlier foundations. After all, the decade before then produced Lord Alexander, Lord Skidelsky and Bishop Bavin (to say nothing of Sir John Chilcot) among others! And these last fifty years began with a visit from the Queen. Backwater...?!?
TAG: John Leach (Headmaster 1987)
Simon Smith has decided to retire at the end of the academic year after 38 years of outstanding service to the college, for the past eleven as Second Master. He has been a wonderful support to me in my five years as Head Master, providing wise counsel, good humour and kindly reassurance throughout. My predecessors, Bill Blackshaw, John Leach and Anthony Seldon, also owe him a terrific debt of gratitude. He has served each of them with great loyalty. Above all, Simon has served this community. He has made time for colleagues and pupils in equal measure, supporting them when times are tough and admonishing them only when necessary.
For my report on this year’s Commemoration day, I had resolved not to begin by mentioning the weather - as it seems I so often do. It would, however, be ungracious not to acknowledge the surprising and un-forecast sunshine that bathed Brighton College on 22nd June 2008. Whilst the rest of the UK was apparently awash with the accurately predicted wind and rain, Brighton was beautifully sunny and warm - so there... I’ve mentioned it.
What an evening! If you don't believe me then just take a look the ‘photos on this website, you will see plenty of animated smiling faces which, for me, sums up the purpose of events like this. Mind you with a combination of Ann Widdecombe as guest speaker, over 150 guests and a large contingent of 1981’ers what more could one expect?
"A Meeting Down Under" - Rev W W Davidson (H. 1934-39) meets Gordon Fenwick (W. & C. 1933-37) in Australia
It was between 8 and 9 am on Thursday 16th April that I received a telephone call. A voice- unfamiliar - announced that he was speaking from Adelaide, South Australia.
All the efforts in planning and training were put under threat by doubts over our departure day due to the strike by South African Airways. A phone call at 11am on the morning of departure gave us the go ahead. The tour was up and running. However, another obstacle awaited us is Johannesburg in the form of passport control, which took two and half hours to clear. This put enormous pressure on catching our connecting flight to Cape Town and only the pleadings of an old man and the size of the party allowed us to win the day and board the plane half an hour late.