If anyone thought the departure of Dr Seldon would also signal the departure of the camera crews and hacks we’ve grown used to seeing around the College they were wrong. After what seemed like only a few minutes in the job, Richard Cairns marked the Chinese New Year by making Mandarin Chinese (Puotonghuà as it is called in Chinese) compulsory for all new pupils at the College and instantly he was the lead item on national news broadcasts across Asia – and CNN, the BBC, most of Europe... Hits to the College website reached their monthly average in one day, calls from diplomats and government departments, not to mention prospective parents, from across the world flooded the College switchboard.
The College is the first British school to make Chinese a core subject alongside Latin, French and Spanish, reflecting the international flavour of the community but also providing the best possible preparation for the modern world. We just pray the compulsory element doesn’t reach former Brighton College pupils….
If you have not yet received your copy of The Pelican, please be patient. Copies are being sent out during the second and third weeks of February, but the electronic version can be downloaded from the website (here >>). You will see some new features such as The Beak, an irreverent column written by an anonymous OB (it may not always be the same one). This is the start of a new design review which is being prepared for the second issue of 2006 and we would welcome your feedback as always.
If 2006 marks a special anniversary of your departure from Brighton College, why not consider helping to organise a reunion of your former classmates? We are pleased to assist either with a special unique event or you can take advantage of one of our regular events such as OB Day (16 September) or the Annual Dinner (25 November) to get people together. If you’re in London, why not join us for the informal London Drinks (9 May at Rocket in Mayfair, owned by an OB) and invite your friends along too. The Class of 1981 is already organising a Silver Jubilee reunion at the Annual Dinner following the huge success of the Class of 1980’s example in 2005. It would be great if there were others to give them a run for their money.
All OBA events are open to spouses, friends and family. We also have a reciprocal arrangement with the Family Society. Even if you don’t know anyone, I guarantee that by the time you go home you’ll have made new friends!
Later this year I will be launching a new initiative for Old Brightonians living and working abroad. I would be delighted to hear from any OBs, wherever they are in the world, who might be interested in receiving more details when they are available. This will be an exciting innovation and will be even more important as the College embraces the international community ever more warmly.