It is now just over nine weeks since I was installed as President of the Old Boltonians’ Association for 2017 by Sir Philip Craven, and four days since my first function in that role which was the annual Alumni Cambridge Dinner, held at Jesus College. This was a very pleasant evening with good food and wine and plenty of interesting conversation. It was pleasing to see a good turnout of current Cambridge students as well as to meet up with old friends from rather longer ago.
My connection with Bolton School began 53 years ago when I joined the Boys' Division staff as a young physics teacher, a job I continued until my retirement 38 years later, although by the last 17 of those years my teaching was done alongside the role of Deputy Headmaster. In all of those years, I came to know a great many pupils: my estimate is that about 5,500 were pupils at the School in my time. Of course, I did not teach all of them, but I knew a high proportion by name. Over the years I was involved in badminton, fell walking, the choir, the annual camp of Year 8 boys at Saundersfoot and house sport, especially Harwood House, which no longer exists but which, in the period when I was Senior or Assistant Housemaster, won the Lyde Cup in six consecutive years.
All of these experiences mean that when I go to the many events in which I shall be involved this year, I will always meet some of those I knew in School. Add to this the seven years I spent as Old Boltonians’ Liaison Officer after my retirement, and there is a tranche of Old Boys of my own age or older whom I also look forward to meeting again. As the recent Cambridge event showed, me there will also be plenty of opportunity to meet much younger Old Boys and I shall be interested to hear of their experiences, too.
If you are an Old Boy who has never returned to the school or who has never attended one of our "away" events, then please consider making this the year in which you will make contact again. You will be guaranteed to meet people who remember you and with whom you will be able to chew over the old days, as well as sharing more recent experiences. Each year we hold a joint Old Boy and Old Girl reunion for the seven decades of leavers whose leaving date ends in the same number as the current year, guaranteeing that all who attend from each year group will have been contemporaries. This year it will be at School, on Saturday 13th May, and will cater for the seven ‘7’ classes, from 1947 to 2007. The event is always held on the equivalent Saturday and many Alumni bring along their families.
If anyone would like to make contact with me please do so via the Development Office http://bit.ly/2aldWOP at School and I will reply to their email or letter.
To close, I see this year as a great honour and I am looking forward to all that it entails.
David E Shaw
Old Boltonians’ Association President, 2017