OL Committee meeting minutes

Peel Room, Taylor Hall

13th June 2019 - Meeting commenced at 7.15pm



In attendance: James Barden (JB), Nick Marchant (NM), Alistair Mitchelhill (AM), Danielle Sharma (DS), John Isaac (JI), Antony Spencer (AS), Anthony Medhurst (AME), Kelly Jury (KJJ) Tom Moulton (TM) John Yonge (JY)

Apologies: Claire Jostins, Marie Winter, Alfredo Furmenak, Nick Jones, Bruce Gear,

The previous minutes were proposed by James Barden and seconded by John Isaac and Tom Moulton.

The OL President offered his congratulations to Danielle Sharma who is expecting her first baby in November. Condolences were also given to Anthony Medhurst and Nick Marchant following the recent loss of family members.


House of Lords event – KJJ reported that 225 alumni had registered to attend the 140th Anniversary reception with more people still booking in. 250 is the full capacity.  The names of OLs attending have been put on the website and many OLs have been using this as a useful point of reference for finding friends. 

KJJ said that the OL afternoon tea for OL Ladies was cancelled ultimately due to lack of numbers.  The Committee agreed that it was proving difficult to reconnect OLs ladies with the school.  KJJ reported that she had conversations with two different OL ladies from different decades but both of whom felt the pressure of demonstrating a successful life and career after SLC to their fellow OLs.  Both OLs attended the House of Lords event precisely because it was not on site.  JB suggested that something similar to the ‘London drinks’ event should be done but for female OLs only.  Anthony Spencer suggested that German Gymnasium event be offered to OL ladies in the first instance with the others attending afterwards. Alternatively the first hour could be just for OL ladies.  JB confirmed that London is a more realistic location for young alumni.

It was agreed that young and female alumni need the most attention especially as young alumni typically do not tend to come back until 5 - 10 years after they have left.  The Committee confirmed that the Old Lawrentian magazine is an important device by which to retain contact, including to have it accessible on the website, email etc in order to be relevant and to manage costs.   It was considered sensible to find some strong female OLs to help provide a focal point for their contemporaries. 

The Alefest was discussed.  KJJ reported that the event is open to all alumni and other members of the St Lawrence community.  It is anticipated that 500 people will attend.  Any more than 500 people takes the event to a different level with H & S.

 Exeter reunion lunch 28th September 2019

The event will be held for the third year running on Saturday 28th September with help from Malcolm Jones.  The venue is The Mill on the Exe in Exeter.  Promotional emails will be going out after the AleFest.  The ticket price will remain at £18 per head.

Twickenham 12th October 2019

The event’s venue has changed from Lords to Twickenham and is open to all OLs as well as parents/friends of SLC.  Advertising will be around school, on the website and via social media.  NM reported that he has struggled to get a table together.  He said that with the wide range of events this year, there may be an excessive number of dinners and reunions.  KJJ reported that discounted rooms will be available at the Marriott for £80 per room on the Friday night. Breakfast could also be available in the President’s suite where screens would show the England vs France World Cup game.  A bar will also open from breakfast onwards ahead of pre-lunch drinks reception at 12pm.  20 rooms are being held by the Marriott hotel.

80’s Tribute night 18th October 2019 – Open to all – Taylor Hall

The event starts at 7.30pm with a disco and buffet from 8.30pm.  Live music comes from Go Span Duran will start at 9.30pm.  There will be a prize for the ‘Best dressed’ 80’s man and woman.

 OL Annual dinner 9th November 2019

This will be held at SLC.  We have a discount code for the Pegwell Bay Hotel for any OLs wanting to stay in the area.  The Courtenay boys have booked in this year and will be staying at that hotel.  Tickets prices are to be confirmed. Prices are normally in the region of £30-£35.

Founder’s day 16 November 2019

AM reported that this year’s the annual celebration of giving will include the unveiling of a new honours board for donors that have given £5,000 or more. This will be followed by a lunch.  Old Lawrentians will also be able to view the tiles that they have purchased and that will be displayed on the classroom block by North Gate.  This would be in addition to the leavers’ tiles purchased by ‘new’ OLs whose names are recorded in the colonnade.  There were 51 tiles engraved for the 2019 leavers and 44 for 2018.  The cost of each tile is £150.

Timeline Project – AM reported that the School is looking to complete this project for Founders Day on 16 November.  The text has been prepared and designs being developed by a third party.  The boards will present a pictorial history from 1879 to present day and will be displayed on the walls outside the entrance to the Dining Hall.  In addition, a description of the portraits of Headmasters and accompanying images will be presented on a board by the exit from the Dining Hall.  This will enable the reader to see which Headmaster is represented in paintings on the far walls of the Dining Hall.

OL Portrait Exhibition Friday 20th September

High quality photographic portraits which were taken by Kent Baker in March are due to be displayed in the Canon Perfect Centre on display boards.  The images are to be 8ft high and will also be in presented in a special 140th Anniversary supplement of the Old Lawrentian magazine.

The Old Lawrentian News

A list of ‘Contents’ was handed out at the meeting.  This included:

A welcome from the OL President

  1. The Principal

  2. A School update – eg New houses since September 2018, the return of Deacon as additional boys day house and Clifford, the new girls day house

  3. A farewell to the OLs from the Principal

  4. OL Events

  5. Future events

  6. St Lawrence College in the 1970s by Humphrey Hawksley

  7. Old Lawrentian authors over the decades

  8. The 140th Anniversary

  9. It shouldn’t happen to a Lawrentian… - alternative recollections of St Lawrence College

  10. Alumni profiles and news

  11. Alumni Awards

  12. Weddings, births and obituaries

  13. Society Reports

  14. The OL Committee

    A discussion was held about capturing a permanent record of photographs held by OLs and the School. Nick Marchant said that he would send in a photo he has from ‘the Green Lats brigade’. James suggested a photo section of ‘Where are they now?’  Anthony said there is an aspiration to digitise photos within an archive section of the OL Society website but that work needed to be undertaken with Blackbaud, the providers of the database and website.  KJJ reported that Derek Scales and Andrew Brown were intending to help sort out the archives since being moved following the recent asbestos cleaning.  The duckett archive needs to be re-sorted since they have been put into bags.  AS said that putting the archive back into place would cost c£1,000 as well as digitising the collection throughout the holiday.  As said that his son Joe could do this with the help of Derek Scales and Andrew Brown.

James has requested to see the Supplement before it goes to print.

AME reported that the Old Lawrentian magazine will be sent to the designer after the House of Lords event at the end of the term. The draft will be ready to be sent out for September.  The future OL News will be sent out every September to run alongside the academic year.

Update from the Principal 

AS informed the committee that St Lawrence College would like to have a new music school in the future but the Sports Pavilion is the next main building project.  A budget was initially suggested for £1.25 million in order to provide a pavilion located on the corner of the hockey pitch, netball courts and to the side of the rugby/cricket pitches.  However there has been an opportunity to purchase an iconic building which was the visitor reception to the Millennium Dome/O2 arena with an original build cost of £6million.  It is in now in kit form and requires re-assembling but could be bought and installed for £400,000.  It is made of steel and glass and measures 40m x 20m.  The School could be buying it over the summer and will be putting in a request for OLs to contribute the additional £200,000+.  AS said that the new building is twice the size of the initial plans.  A glass wrap around design would enable spectators to view sports from 360 degrees. The basement will be dug out to provide changing rooms and solar panels will provide electricity. AS said that he was hoping to complete this project by Christmas.

JB said that Old Lawrentians have been very lucky to have a Principal who has been so involved with the OL Society, and who has offered support and attended OL meetings and events.  James and the committee would like to thank him for all the hard work and commitment given by Antony over the years.

The meeting concluded at 8.20pm.

Copyright St Lawrence College 2018