OL Committee meeting minutes

Peel Room, Taylor Hall

3 October 2019

Meeting commenced at 7.00pm


In attendance: Nick Marchant (NM), Alistair Mitchelhill (AM), John Isaac (JI), Ellis Gill (EG), Danielle Sharma (DS), Nick Jones (NJ), Anthony Medhurst (AME), Tom Moulton (TM)

Apologies: James Barden, Antony Spencer, Claire Jostins, Marie Winter, Alfredo Furmenak, Bruce Gear, Mark Dunnachie, Kelly Jury, John Yonge

NM said that JB had stepped down as OL President although officially was still in office. NM would therefore be an acting OL President until the AGM when a new President would be formally elected.

Minutes from previous meeting: NM and the Committee agreed that the Minutes were a true reflection of the previous meeting. There were not any matters arising that are not already covered on the agenda.

Events 2019-2020:

AME reported on the events undertaken since the last meeting and those that were confirmed in the diary for the rest of the academic year.

Timeline Project – AME said 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 board will be erected by the exit from the Dining Hall which outlines the location of each portrait of St Lawrence Headmaster within this room and with brief explanatory text.  The board will enable the reader to see which Headmaster is represented in paintings on the far walls of the Dining Hall. 

House of Lords event – AME reported that almost 250 alumni and guests attended the 140th Anniversary reception which made it a sell-out event.  The names of OLs attending were put on the website and many OLs used this as a useful point of reference for finding friends.   The School will keep future events at an affordable level in order to encourage high levels of participation.

The School will also be identifying new and exciting venues for annual events that may be made available at discounted or complimentary rates through the alumni network.  AME outlined examples of Katy Offley who uses iconic locations for the production of promotional films, as well as Governor and barrister, Melissa Millin, who has offered the use of her legal chambers.  DS reported that female OLs remained connected with each other but not necessarily with the School. A house specific event eg a Bellerby-only activity could work well to engage them. NM suggested involving former House Masters as part of the draw to events eg John Harper and John Clifford, especially for boarders because of the depth of their relationship with the School.

AleFest June 2019

The Alefest had over 500 people attending on the day including OLs and other members of the School community.

Exeter reunion lunch 28th September 2019

The event was held for the third year running on Saturday 28th September with help from Malcolm Jones.  The venue was The Mill on the Exe in Exeter.  The event was well attended with 17 people there including acting OL President, Nick Marchant, and Anthony Medhurst.  The ticket price was £18 per head.

OL Annual dinner 9th November 2019

AME reported that the OL Dinner will be held at SLC and that help will be needed from the OL Committee in generating additional numbers. Fifty places have already been sold.  AME explained that a discount is available for any OLs wanting to stay at the Pegwell Bay Hotel.  A contingent of Courtenay boys have already booked in this year and will be staying at that hotel.  Tickets prices are £35.  NJ and AM said that they will miss the event due to planned holidays. A conversation about profitability was held including the use of discounted tickets for staff and OLs. The Committee said that too many concessions are offered and that these should be limited to keynote speakers and no more than 1-2 special guests.  The OL Committee agreed that many OLs could afford tickets and shouldn’t be offered discounted tickets unless the events were in London and the Committee was looking to attract young OLs.

Founder’s day 16 November 2019

AME explained that Old Lawrentians will also be able to view their commemorative tiles on the wall of the classroom block on 16 November 2019.  These tiles would be displayed adjacent to the leavers’ tiles purchased by ‘new’ OLs whose names are recorded within the colonnade of North Gate.  There were 51 tiles engraved for the 2019 leavers and 44 for 2018.  The cost of each tile is £150. Over £20,000 has been generated from the purchase of tiles to date.  Ellis and Nick said that they plan to buy their own tiles. The Committee agreed that it was a good project.  AME said that it helps to create a tangible culture of giving within the College.

AME 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-£9,999. The board will be entitled the ‘Governors’ Circle’ and will include donors such as James Barden.  Another board bearing the title of ‘Fellow of St Lawrence College’ will include the names of those who have given £10,000-£49,999.  This will include the names of OLs such as David Chong who has recently pledged £20,000 towards the Sports Pavilion.

The event will also include a speech of thanks and acknowledgement from the Principal and the Head of School who has benefited from a Scholarship and hopes to go to Oxford. 

OL Portrait Exhibition Friday 20th September

AME explained that a series of high quality photographic portraits which were taken by Kent Baker in March are being displayed in the Canon Perfect Centre on Exhibition boards.  The images will also be in presented in a special 140th Anniversary supplement of the Old Lawrentian magazine.

Events 2019-2020

AME summarised the programme of events for the forthcoming academic year.  This included:-


Parents Breakfast event, 14 September 2019                                                      

Exhibition of Old Lawrentian portraits, Friday 20 September                       

South West alumni reunion, Saturday 28 September                                                                      

Old Lawrentian Dinner, Sat 9 November                                                               

Remembrance Service, 10 November                                                    

1879 Society lunch, 10 November                                                                           

Founders Day – an annual celebration of giving, 16 November

80s Tribute Night, Friday 22 November                 

Christmas Carol Service, Sunday 8 December 2019                                            

Parents Breakfast, Saturday 11 January 2020                                                       

London Drinks, Wednesday 5 Feb 2020                                                                  

Quiz Night, Friday 6 March 2020                                                                                                

OL Day/AGM (Careers morning+ big sports match) Sat 21 March                               

Fundraising event for Sport (eg a Ball etc) TBC                                                    

A major donor cultivation event (eg a lunch at the Goring Hotel)

Ladies Networking Day (Afternoon Tea in London?) Wed 3 June 2020       

OL Cricket afternoon from 4pm, Friday 19 June 2020

Speech Day, Saturday 20 June 2020 (Quod sumus Laurentes)                      

AleFest, Saturday 27 June 2020  


Female only OL events:

The Committee agreed that two core groups - young OLs 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. 

NM requested details of the menu for the OL Dinner. NM requested that rolls were to be included with the dinner and that he be included in the selection process for the wine.

The Old Lawrentian magazine:

AME stated that the Old Lawrentian magazine is currently at the printers but will be circulated on 17 October. It was requested that any reports and photographs can be accommodated on the OL Society website.  Everyone under the age of 40 will receive an electronic copy unless they request a hard copy.

Following a conversation about dwindling numbers of OL shooters, AM said that he would like to meet Nick Hill re the OL Rifle Club.

New Committee members

NM noted that very few people from the OL Committee turned up to meetings and that steps should be taken to recruit new, more active members. NM proposed Malcolm Watson who taught at the School for many years and Robert Brown. AM said that the Committee should also look to take off people who do not turn up.  AME said that all Committee members should be active, enthusiastic and engaged. EG felt that most potential Committee members either live or work in London and that a London venue for an event would work well.  EG stated that drinks receptions are more attractive than dinners because people can drop in and drop out with flexibility. TM suggested a summer event in September where people can socialise in an outdoor environment. NJ suggested doing an event which attracts young OLs who are 2-3 years since leaving the School or University and try to attract them to joining the Committee. The Committee agreed that young OLs will also be attracted by free beer.

James Barden farewell/thank you gift ideas

NM proposed a silver plate with the years 2013-19 and James’s name engraved on it. The Committee will pay for it. KJJ will send options of silver salvers to NM.  Once paid for, it will be presented at the OL Dinner if James is available or on an alternative occasion if not.


None raised.  

Next meeting dates

Thursday 23 January

The meeting concluded at 8.35pm.

Copyright St Lawrence College 2018