School photo

Andrew Billington
Lodge 1966

I did not excel at SLC but I was one of the first students to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme at the school, run by a young teacher called RD Harley.  I  received my Gold Award in November 1966. The award scheme was a real encouragement to me as a 17 year old. My expedition was probably the best part! I cycled 200 miles: Bromley-Portsmouth-Bournemouth-Poole-Dorchester and ending in Clevedon. I spent several nights under  canvas… a great time! This probably awakened my spirit of adventure as a few years later I hitch-hiked from London to Uganda in East Africa, spending a short while in an Egyptian prison as I accidently broke a curfew!

When the Duke of Edinburgh scheme celebrated its 50th Anniversary they chose one gold recipient to represent each of the 50 years to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace and I was chosen for 1966.

To complete my link with the scheme, in about 2007, when the Duke was getting a little older, he invited individuals (normally celebrities!) to present the awards with him at St James Palace and on this occasion I was invited to do the honours. Sadly I don’t think any SLC students were there.

I hope the school continues to offer this valuable programme to young people as it helped me to find my feet as young man.

2018 Photo

Copyright St Lawrence College 2018