SOUTHERN GRAMMAR SCHOOL FOR BOYS PORTSMOUTH 1888-1975
Reproduced below is the most recent Newsletter. If you are an Old Secundrian and have not received yours it probably means one of two things. Either you are not on our database or you have changed your e-mail address and not advised us!! To correct either of these "sins" please contact Clive Williams (Contacts)
It’s the grand British summer again and time for our annual Old Secundrians Newsletter. I hope it provides you all with some interest and information during what is normally a relatively news free period. Not this year however, what with all the Brezit excitement and now the Olympics which are currently taking place as I write this, there’s so much going on. Let me cover first of all a point to note regarding the Old Secundrians email address. We are currently having problems with the original navatac system, so please use the email address above to contact us until we notify you all differently. It would also be helpful if you are able to address your correspondence to the appropriate committee member within the email. Details of which member for which subject are available within the ‘contacts’ section of our website.
As per usual let me first of all confirm that next year’s reunion dinner will take place again at the Brookfield Hotel on FRIDAY 5th MAY , so please make an appropriate note of it to avoid any unnecessary future clashes with other possible events. Let’s make next year yet another successful evening by getting as many of you as possible there. Again, when you receive your invitation, we would much appreciate you replying early, both to ensure that you get a place and also so that we can see what numbers we will be catering for at the earliest opportunity. Those of you who normally stay overnight can start to book with the Brookfield as soon as you want. You don't have to wait for the formal dinner invitations to arrive. We have a number of reserved rooms at discounted prices and I'm afraid it's first come first served, so it's up to you.
Another successful reunion was held in May at the Brookfield Hotel. We hope that those of you who were there enjoyed the evening. From the positive feedback from quite a few of you who attended we believe that you did. This year we were back up on numbers with 114 of us attending. I didn’t personally receive any adverse comments regarding space at the tables so I presume we all found the elbow room adequate for our needs. We’re now looking forward to next year’s dinner when we certainly hope to see you all again with, hopefully, lots of new faces as well.
I know it's terribly repetitious but we yet again managed to choose a fine evening, which meant that those who wished to do so were out in the garden for pre-dinner drinks and also meant we were all able to gather outside for the now traditional group photo. Joining us once again was our Father of the House, Len Russell, who joined the old school in 1934 and looked as sprightly as ever when he received his now customary bottle of champagne.
What can I say about our speaker.... stupendous! Those of us who were there will find it hard to forget the impact of his short but moving rendition. Len Russell, yes our Father of the House at 93 years old, gave a slightly modified version of the veterans speech he gave to the assembly gathered in Portsmouth Guildhall Square for the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day in August 2015. Len had volunteered for active service from his reserved occupation in HM Dockyard and became a bomber pilot on B24 Liberators in the Far East. A bit of a difference to his subsequent successful teaching career. A copy of Len's speech can be seen by going to the "Old Sec's" section of this website and clicking on "2016 dinner".
As per usual images of the dinner can be seen on the website at www.southerngrammar.com. Just go to the "Old Sec's" section and then click on "2016 dinner".
Well, this just gets more and more popular with 21 ladies this year. It was 16 last year, 14 the year before that. The numbers just seem to be going up and up. From the feedback I received at the time everybody was really enjoying themselves. Long may this continue.
School Buildings Visit - Highlands Road
A change this year and one for the older, old boys. On the afternoon of the dinner, 16 of you went to the old school premises at Highlands Road (now Craneswater Park Junior School ), and were given a conducted tour by one of the current administrative staff. Feedback from those who attended was extremely favourable and the school were so delighted with the visit that they have expressed a wish to have the Old Secs return next year and for 2 or 3 of us to give talks to their pupils prior to any tour. They're looking for short talks on what it was like being taught at the school in the "olden days". So volunteers please gentlemen. Please contact us at the email address at the start of this newsletter, attention Chris Vincent
Many thanks again to Chris for organising this and to one particular member of the staff at the school for really pulling out the stops and making us so welcome. The least we could do was to send her a large bouquet in recognition of her effort. It was much appreciated.
We are continuing the provision of a permanent tribute by recording the passing of former pupils and staff on the annual dinner menu card and then inviting friends to lodge obituaries on the website. Sadly, yet again, we have had our fair share of deaths to report this year and we would welcome as many obituaries as possible from those who best knew them. If you would like to record a tribute for any of those who have passed away please do contact Peter Higgins(see Contacts section - currently firstname.lastname@example.org) or post to him at 33 Highfield Drive, West Wickham, Kent BR4 9NJ.
Names of those who we have learnt have, sadly, passed on since our last Newsletter in Summer 2015, are:-
Irwin Rowland (1936), Bill Handyside (1939), Dennis Beckett (1938), Keith Thomas (1934), Alan Cornick (1959), Geoff Owen (ex staff), Ken Matthews (1953), Stewart McIntyre ( 1939), Mick Hoolihan (1936), Edward Young, Steve Williams (1966), Richard Leat (1956), Brian Greenaway (1945), Colin Campbell (1940), Laurie Moore (1940), John Osbaldeston (1945), Peter O'Leary (1940), Ron Sonnet (1945) and Wilf Seymour (1941).
New Members to the Association
We continue to be very keen to welcome all newcomers to our Association and, of course, to future dinners, particularly school joiners 1960 and beyond, also any older "old boys" who may only just have become aware of us. So all you 'youngsters' and not so young who have come to our annual dinners, both this year and before, if you know of anybody else of your vintage who might like to join us, please do encourage them. Please let Clive Williams [ contactable through the e-mail link at the top of the page or at 120 Hazleton Way, Cowplain, Waterlooville, PO8 9DW ] have details of names, addresses, phone and e-mail and we will ensure that they are sent a copy of our future newsletters and are sent an invitation to next year's dinner. Committee member Bob Guy-Hawthorne ( 1969 ), is also using his best endeavours to "hunt down" any more recent pupils that he can find.
As you are all aware, together with our Newsletters, the website (www.southerngrammar.com) continues to serve as our main means of communicating with members of the Association. So, do please check the site regularly for news. A good tip is to go to the Home and Message Board pages first. We are still looking for any new material you may have. We hear many stories being told - usually starting with the words "Do you remember when......?" - at the annual dinner and those tales would be of interest to readers so do put on your old school thinking caps and let us have your recollections and any photos or other memorabilia that you think might be of general interest. Items for inclusion (or any questions that you may have about the site) should be sent to Peter Higgins(see Contacts section - currently email@example.com) who will warmly welcome them.
Please look at the website from time to time - it is easy to spot the sections that have been updated by checking the dates at the bottom of each page.
These reunions have been taking place for many years now but numbers are understandably dropping off as the years pass by. So a reminder to all you sprightly 83 to 88 year olds who were evacuated to dear old Brockenhurst during the Second World War. Reunions are held on the second Wednesday of every March, June, September and December at 12 noon in the The Manor pub, Drayton. For further details please contact the organiser, Gordon Blackman, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 02392 786338.
59ers Annual Reunion
A reminder to the many 59ers that this year's event is on Saturday 12th November from 5pm at the normal venue of the Havant Park pavilion. Chris Vincent is, as per usual, the organiser. I would also ask that as many of you as possible also choose to attend the main event, our annual dinner, at the Brookfield Hotel each May. I'm sure you would once again like to exceed the numbers of 57ers who attend and claim the top Year of Entrance attendance spot!
A brighter update this year on the status of the old school Compton organ. The organ has now been restored and set up in the restorer's workshop in Devon. Unfortunately there is still no final resting place, but we continue to live in hope. We'll keep you posted.
Donations - Thank You
Again much thanks go to the many who continue to respond to our appeal for donations to fund the Association's activities. Once again, your generosity has been excellent. These donations enable us to ensure the continued financial viability of the Association so thank you again.
Old Secundrians Ties
At this point we have sold all ties from the previous batch we ordered some years ago now from our supplier. We are currently looking at the viability of updating the design before ordering our next batch. So watch this space for future information on this matter.
Thanks to your Committee
Finally, my thanks go to your Committee (Clive Williams, John Shaw, Chris Vincent, Ken Hales and Bob Guy-Hawthorne ) for all their work in both organising the dinner and for their efforts during the course of the year. For those of you who have experience in organising similar events you will know of the significant amount of work that goes into it. Thank you gentlemen.
Many thanks, once again, for all your continued support - without you there would be no Association or reunions - and we very much look forward to hearing from you and seeing as many as possible of you in May next year.
Martyn Robinson Chairman, Old Secundrians Association
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This page last modified on Thursday, December 15, 2016