ANNUAL REUNION 2012
– The gathering of the Clan
Review of the Annual Reunion compiled by Mike Finch
A SOSA Reunion is a little bit like the ‘gathering of the Clans’ – suddenly, from nowhere, old friends gather to renew long established friendships, made over several decades that have served the test of time. We come together to celebrate our heritage of which we are justly proud. We return to see how the School has progressed; how it has changed; and warming to news of its future. We are part of a large family that had its routes laid down the best part of two hundred years ago. We also come to exchange our different views on life and how it has affected us as we have grown together from childhood into old age. The one constant is that the Spirit of Sibford is very strong and our annual return nurtures it forward.
Left to right: Janet Steed, Russell Steed, Chris Grimes and Pat Grimes
A few of us actually meet-up on the Friday night before the Reunion to firstly attend a SOSA Committee meeting to finalise arrangements for the next day and then along with a few others we enjoyed a splendid meal provided by our hosts at Holmby House.
Supper at Holmby House: Russell Steed, Sophie Frost, Edd Frost
Saturday dawned reasonably bright and for once it was an optimistic weather forecast which came as a great relief after experiencing one of the wettest summers on record. Our first job of the day was to get the SOSA Marquee set-up for the day’s events. Our President, Erica Strofton had put on a display of her art work which was most impressive. The morning was taken up with Erica welcoming old friends and visitors; viewing the splendid displays around the School on its Open Day; and attending events organised by the School.
The SOSA Annual General Meeting took place in the Oliver Studio at 12 noon, a different time to past meetings but a time that seemed far more suitable for our present day needs. Despite a hefty programme we managed to conclude the meeting in an hour and quarter – we are getting really efficient these days!
At the AGM: Peter Robinson, Mike Finch, Erica Strofton and Paul Frampton prepare for action!
After lunch, with most of us picnicking around the Marquee, organised tours took place around the Campus to show those of us who haven’t witnessed the changes that have occurred in recent years such as the building of the Art and Music schools. We were very grateful to Peter Robinson and Ali Bromhall for organising this event which they managed to squeeze in despite their heavy schedule. Those who did the tour around were well impressed. Those who didn’t go were happy to spend the time viewing the School’s Sports Day or just chatting.
Mike Finch, Eddie Bell (Bezant) and Wendy Finch (half hidden) get stuck in to the strawberries.
After an excellent cream tea held in the Marquee and provided by the School, we trooped off to the Oliver Studio to attend the Leslie Baily Address, happily reintroduced this year into our programme. We were entertained to a humorous and witty hour by Mel Rees who entitled his address “My family and other setbacks”. Mel is a renowned speaker at many W.I. organisations as well as being a prolific author.
Mel Rees delivers the Leslie Baily address.
We then had some time to clear up the Marquee before getting ready for the evening Presidential Dinner which was held in the School’s Dining Hall. It was a really splendid five star catering event to the forty or so who attended what was a thoroughly enjoyable occasion. After Erica had given thanks to all who had worked and planned for this highly successful Reunion we were treated to an hilarious fifteen minutes as Michael Goodwin explained to us that as a termly piece of fun a ‘Golden Shoe Award’ (which really is a shoe sprayed with gold paint) was presented each term to the member of staff who had committed the biggest gaffe during the term. Michael had been the recipient during the summer term for managing to spill coffee over one of the School’s Inspector’s! Erica presented the award after considerable laughter. The evening was rounded-up with a traditional rendering of ‘Rockets’, which hadn’t been performed for a year or two and came as a great shock to one or two members who had never witnessed it before (shame).
Left to right: Lori Spencer (Rollett) and Liz Belcher(Tew)
Many of us then retired to the comfort of Holmby House for more chat and some late night beverages.
Sunday dawned bright and cheerful after a heavy shower. Many of us had stayed over to attend morning meeting at Sibford Gower Meeting House, which for many of us is the time when we can give thanks in a place that is close to our hearts. This meeting was no exception and the theme centred around the Quaker Advice and Queries number 17 “ Think it possible you may be mistaken” – it provoked a great deal of thought and inspired some excellent ministry.
After Meeting many took their leave but a few rambled over to the Wykham Arms for a farewell drink before we all left on our separate journeys hoping to meet up again next year on June 15th 2013. The Spirit of Sibford had been suitably rekindled.
The farewell drink at The Wykham Arms
Amongst those attending the Reunion or who were seen during the weekend were the following (with apologies if we’ve missed anybody):
Gill Bamforth & John Barrett, Judith (Bunce) & Colin Beeby, Liz Belcher (Tew), Nick & Chloe Bennett, Edwina Bell (Bezant) & Tony MacKenzie, Jean Bolton (Moon), George & Margaret (Scaife) Bunney, David Chowne, Liz Cordiner (Hockley) & Keith Nichols, Rachel Davies (Edwards), Martin Dodsworth, Jan Elias, June Ellis, Anne Evans (Tucker), Michael Farr, David Foulds, Mike & Wendy Finch, Ruth Fletcher (Harrison), Paul Frampton, Elisabeth Francis, Edd & Sophie Frost, Helen Frewer (White), Xandra Gilchrist, Clyde Goodwin, Michael & Veronika Goodwin, Chris & Pat (Baker) Grimes, John & Hilary (Thornton) Haddleton, Nancy Hall, David Handley, Stuart & Yvonne Hedley, Brian & Jane Holliday, Jackie Howell, Richard Hughes, Fiona Ives (Findlay), David & Eileen Laity, Chris Leo, Jon Leo with Lucy, Andy & Dawn, Jeanne Little (Darling), John Lloyd, Hugh & Daphne Maw, Mark Mercer, Caroline (Bond) & Paul Mills, Philip Morris, Kingsley Paine, Debbie (Brown) & Graham Phillips, Patricia Phillips (Williams), Pam Pickering, Mel Rees, Eleri (Williams) & Ivano Ricci, Ruth Rickets, Samuel Ross, Ashley Shirlin, Joan Shields, Linda Smith (Heming), David Carlton Smith, Ann Smith (White), Lori Spencer (Rollett), Janet & Russell Steed, Barbara Sterry (Herbert), Erica (Eden) & Nigel Strofton, John & Doreen Taylor, Karen Turburfield, Bryony Veysey, John Watson, Ian Weatherhead, Judith Weeks, Michael Williams & Lucy Hamer, Rebecca Wilson & David Melia, Anne Wilson, Adam Woolmer.
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