Old Bostonian Association Annual Dinner 2016 – Report

As expected, there were fewer attendees at this year’s old Bostonian Association Annual Dinner than at last year’s. It was still a very respectable attendance of over 70 people; about average for the last few years.

Because of the reduced numbers we returned from the BGS assembly hall of last year to the comfortable surroundings of the Boston and County Club, near to the main entrance of Boston’s Central Park.

People started gathering in the bar at 6:30pm and after a while there was quite a crowd and the volume was increasing.

Three of the five members of 1967 school band,
Gotham City were together for the first time in 49 years:
David Wortley, Ty Dalby and Nick Flynn
Past OBA President, Tony Austin
and his wife, Jill
George Danby and his wife Pearl
with Ken Newham
Pat Everitt and David Wilson
While we were all in the bar, Peter Milsom produced a painting by former BGS staff member, Hubert “Tilly” Turpin (BGS 1927-1964), asking what the subject might be. I have since confirmed that it is Ely Cathedral.
Once the OBA President, Peter Sharman had worked out that the PA was indeed piped into the bar, he managed to call everyone through to the dining room at about 7:30pm for an excellent and well waited meal.

The top table, left to right: Thomas Vamplew (BGS student and quiz scorer), Smilte Matutionyte and Joe Dean (students and OBA museum curators), Peter Sharman (OBA President), Brig Bill Dunham CBE BSc (guest speaker), John McHenry (BGS head teacher), Harvey Potter (Head Boy), Damian Austen (Deputy Head Boy)
After dinner there was a short break before the speeches: time to mingle again.

Bill Stanwell and Stan Lawrence

Rod Dunn

David Wookey and Scott Palmer

Nigel Wainwright and Harvey Potter

Ken Newham and Pete Milsom

Pat Welberry and Gus Goor

Jim Ely and David May
After a brief introduction and loyal toast from OBA President, Peter Sharman, Richard Anderson took the microphone to introduce our guest speaker, Bill Dunham (BGS 1972-1979). Bill joined the Royal Marines in 1979 straight from BGS and had a long and varied career including command at every level up to Brigadier. His Career culminated in roles as Commandant of Commando Training Centre, as Chief of Staff of the NATO Training Mission in Kabul and finally Deputy Commandant General. He left the Corps on 31 March 2015 and now works as the Director of Strategy and Corporate Services at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Peter Sharman

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson

Brig. Bill Dunham
Bill’s speech was entertaining and thought provoking, relating with stories both serious and funny how his time at BGS and in Royal Marines training informed his later career, and indeed lessons real and tongue in cheek that we can all take from his experiences. He then went on to propose a toast to The School.

The response was provided by BGS head teacher, John McHenry, who acknowledged that the recent Ofsted report of the school indicated that continued improvement was necessary but balanced that with an explanation that while the inspectors had to show three years of improvement, they acknowledged the last two showed an “upward trajectory”. On the specific point made about the behaviour of students, he made a good argument that the two incidents referred to in the report were not significant. He also noted that the school is an academy but that the current drive is for schools to be involved in multi-institution academies. This need not mean the school being swallowed up into a larger organisation but does mean it needs to select partner schools, and select them wisely.

Brig. Bill Dunham

Bill Dunham and John McHenry

John McHenry
The official business was brought to a close by the Head Boy, Harvey Potter, who spoke of his view that speaking at the OBA Annual Dinner was one of the highlights of his year in office. He also acknowledged the honour he felt in following his brother Ellis Potter into the role; Ellis gave the response to the toast to The School at the dinner in 2014.

Those who attended the dinner were as follows.

Ron Abbott (73/98 Staff)
Richard Anderson (71/14 Staff)
Toni Anne Pain (Guest)
Damian Austen Deputy Head Boy
Jill Austin (Guest)
Tony Austin (56/62)
Pauline Borrett (Guest)
Robin Borrett (92/94 Staff)
Mark Bruntlett (78/85)
Marcus Cain (81/89)
Colin Clark (51/58)
Tyrone Dalby (58/66)
George Danby (59/64)
Pearl Danby (Guest)
Jack Davy (02/09)
Joe Dean  Student – OBA Museum
Bill Dunham Guest Speaker (72/79)
Rod Dunn (66/96 Staff)
Dan Elkington (97/03)
Jim Ely (59/64)
Pat Everitt (74/81)
Ian Fisher (83/89)
Nick Flynn (60/66)
Jamie Forman (78/84)
Gus Goor (57/62)
Nick Hiom (85/90)
Andrew Hladun (74/80)
James Hopper (83/91)
Robin Jackson (59/65)
Luke Johnston (02/09)
Philip Johnston (70/77 Staff)
Andy Lawrence (75/82)
Stan Lawrence (45/50)
Mark Leggott (75/81)
David Lenton (62/68)
Mark Locking ((82/89)
Smilte Matutionyte  Student – OBA Museum
David May (60/64)
John McHenry  Head Teacher
Simon Meeds (76/84)
Stan Meeds (38/43)
Pete Milsom (61/66)
Sue Milsom (Guest)
Darren Mitcham (82/89)
Ben Mountain (87/94)
Ken Newham (41/46)
Sara Nicol (Guest)
Trevor Page (49/55)
Scott Palmer (87/94)
Keith Phillips (72/79)
Colin Pickwell (60/65)
Harvey Potter Head Boy
Reg Priestley (45/46)
Peter Rawlings (53/58)
Peter Sharman     OBA President (59/64)
Don Sharpe
Bill Stanwell (43/47)
Bob Stanwell (54/61)
Don Stimson (51/56)
Judy Stimson (Guest)
Thomas Vamplew Student – OBA Quiz etc.
Nigel Wainwright (77/14 Staff)
Pat Walters (82/89)
Pat Welberry (59/62)
Roger Welberry (56/60)
Ken Whittle (52/89 Staff)
Pat Whittle (Guest)
David Wilson (74/81)
Stephen Wood (01/08)
Catharine Woodliffe (Guest)
Stephen Woodliffe (88/06 Staff)
David Wookey (81/89)
David Wortley (59/66)
Richard Wray (56/61)
Tony Wright (78/84)

Philip Johnston (BGS headmaster 1970-78) with Brig. Bill Dunham

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