We are delighted to welcome Mat Ellis (Du. 1984-89) as the new president of the Old Brightonians.
Letters from the President
Welcome to the Old Brightonians, founded in 1882. We are lucky to have an active network, and we are proud of our long and industrious relationship with Brighton College.
The College will swing wide the gates this evening to welcome all to the Midnight Mass in the Chapel. Many of those attending will end up sitting in the wings of the Chapel that were added by Sir Thomas Jackson after the Great War.
Christmas is a time of giving and of time spent with loved ones, and wherever you are this Christmas I wish you well. I am tremendously proud of my connection with the College, and especially with the Old Brightonians. This year I read with great pride about not only the achievements of the school, which are nothing less than astonishing, but also of the wonderful acts of kindness and generosity within the Brightonian community. In his end of term letter Richard Cairns wrote of the sense of community that the College enjoys; 'I want everyone who leaves here to feel that by their presence they can make the world a little bit better. I want them to recognise that they can make a difference and should.' I would like to urge my fellow OBs to embrace this philosophy.
The College is currently enjoying unparalleled success under Head Master Richard Cairns and his team, something which we can all be proud of whenever we were at the College. It has somewhat put the College on the map as it were. It has also been a memorable year for the Old Brightonians, for completely different reasons. The year started with a memorial for Sgt Major Chris O'Connell when a few hundred OBs turned up on a freezing January morning to pay their respects to a man who had inspired and been a father figure to many. It had already been a year since Chris O'Connell died, but the effect that he had upon the pupils under his guidance was as palpable as ever.
Brighton College continues to give us all cause for celebration, gaining this year not only the best results in Sussex but also being named the ‘Sunday Times UK Independent School of the Year 2011-12’. The Head Master Richard Cairns and his staff are to be congratulated upon this achievement and of course all of the pupils and staff, past and present, who have contributed to this accolade. It is an achievement that all Old Brightonians should celebrate, and as President of the Old Brightonians I would like to pass on my congratulations for your efforts. We all have different memories of our time at the College, but it is truly a school that we can all be proud of.
Welcome to the Old Brightonians, founded in 1882. We are lucky to have an active network, and we are proud of our long and industrious relationship with Brighton College. I attended Brighton College as a Lyon Scholar in 1952 and left with both wonderful memories and a fine education which I furthered at Pembroke College, Cambridge.
It hardly seems three years since David Gold asked me to put myself forward as your President and that my tenure is almost at its end. During this time I have much enjoyed re-connecting with OBs whom I first knew at the college and those many others from both before and after my time on the College staff. I have had much pleasure in presiding over and representing you at various functions and reunions, here at the college or away in London and New York, as well as being generally associated with the college at a time of growth and continuing pre-eminence.
As the end of another summer term at the College approaches and a new cohort of leavers is about to join the ranks of the Association, I thought it appropriate to write to you, wishing you and your families well, wherever you may be.
I attended the recent Speech Day in the Dome in Brighton, which is now the regular venue for this prestigious event, the original School Hall being too small to accommodate the ever burgeoning numbers at the College. It is evident that the school is in very fine fettle and achieving excellence on all fronts.
This has been a year of innovation for the Association, especially in the way we communicate with our members and the College community. The Association website, which is now updated almost daily, has been totally revamped with the addition of a community notice board, photo gallery, and an expanded OB Hall of Fame. We are registering an average of more than 150 hits a day on the website and many OBs are emerging from the woodwork to provide us with news. Going forwards, we are developing a new membership page, and looking for greater expansion of the Directory of OB Businesses and Services. My thanks go to our web designer, Alex Bremer (R. 1979-83) for all his hard work and constant enthusiasm which goes well beyond the call of duty.
This is just a note in my new capacity as President of the Association to say hello, and thank you to Richard for all his hard work over the past two years; he is a hard act to follow. I am pleased to be the first woman president particularly in the run up to celebrating 30 years of girls at the College.
We had a good year last year in relation to the OBA, there was an especially successful reunion dinner to celebrate the 30 years of co-education in the College. The Association is still working to foster a partnership relationship with the College which is going well so far, we had a successful Old Brightonians Day in September which was the first of many we hope, since the College has now adopted Commemoration Day for its speech day and graduation ceremony, so we will see how the OB day works in the next few years. We would like to stress that all OBs are still welcome to attend the St Peter's Day service on commemoration day, despite the day not being dedicated in the same way to Old Brightonians. Any feedback on events would be appreciated.