The 2017 OB Weekend and Society AGM will be held on 2nd & 3rd September.
2016 OB Weekend Report
The 110th AGM was held in Bushell Hall on Saturday 3rd September 2016. 30 members were in attendance.
The Chairman, Roger Ewing, welcomed everyone to the 110th Old Birkonian Society AGM. He also welcomed the new Headmaster of Birkenhead School, Paul Vicars. He highlighted a couple of sad pieces of news relating to John Brown and Jack Hussey who had both recently died after battles with cancer. The former had recently donated a generous sum to the Endowment Fund and the latter, aged 19, had only recently left the School. Those present were asked to observe a moments silence.
In the absence of the President, Will Roberts (Hon. Secretary) read out a speech provided by Brian Boumphrey. He welcomed the new Headmaster and gave thanks to Dave Edmunds for the role he played during a difficult period for the school. He also mentioned the passing of Graham Hurton and Harold McCready. He also appealed to the new Headmaster to continue the “Welcome Back Dinners”. Finally he thanked the hard work of Council and all the other Old Birkonians who contribute so much to the wellbeing of the Society and the School.
The Chairman, Roger Ewing, gave his report for 2015-2016.
He thanked Council members for their work which included three new members.
He highlighted the new portrait of Admiral Sir Philip Jones who has become the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff at the age of 56. Both the School and OBS are proud of his success.
He highlighted the role of the Archives team of ten people who work three hours a week in the department. Some concentrate on archival matters while others focus on the database.
Communication remains key to the success and effective running of the Society so it is disappointing when a large number of magazines are returned to the team as the details of Old Birkonians change. Therefore, a greater focus will be on email going forward.
Membership currently stands at 2,810 of whom 95 are girls and 148 are overseas. It is difficult to reach them all so there is still work to do.
He also thanked those members actively involved in the various events held throughout the year: the London dinner, Liverpool lunches, the Pragmatists at Raby, the Golf Society, and the Rugby Club.
The Society still competes on the sports field with a golf team in the Public Schools Grafton Morrish trophy, the annual rugby match against Birkenhead Park, and rugby, hockey, netball and lacrosse teams over the course of the OBS weekends. The golf society has two events each year at Royal Liverpool Golf Club and Heswall Golf Club.
AROPS membership continues with a member of council due to attend a regional meeting later this year.
He highlighted the responsibility of care for the charity accounts which have helped the School over the years with refurbishing projects, hardship bursaries and scholarships, both academic and sporting. Donations and legacies remain important as well as income from investments.
To conclude, communication is important with the website available to keep up with events and update personal details. Social media is also getting more active.
The meeting elected the officers and members of Council for the next 12 months. One member had stood down, Paul Briscoe, and Andrew Maxwell was nominated to replace him. All other members were re-elected.
The Chairman then introduced the new Headmaster, Paul Vicars, who addressed the meeting.
He outlined the positive start to his tenure and the warm welcome he had received.
He reiterated the thanks given to Dave Edmunds for his recent role as Headmaster.
He highlighted the strong reputation the School has, strong identity and love of the School as well. However, it does undersell itself and he will work to address this.
He touched on the excellent A Level results but also mentioned the importance of an all round offering at School which is clearly appreciated by parents and children alike.
He is also very conscious of the strong Old Birkonian Society and is appreciative of the financial support it provides through bursaries and scholarships.
He stated he was looking forward to getting to know Old Birkonians individually and forging a strong relationship with the Society.
At the close of the AGM members retired to the 6th Form Centre where the School Catering Team had provided an excellent buffet.
Before the AGM as usual the Archives was open for visitors to have a look around, catch up with old friends and enjoy a cup of coffee.
As usual there were a number of sporting events between OBS sides and School. Unfortunately this year the weather was inclement but this did not dent the enthusiasm of the players or the spectators.
At Mac Field a strong OB side with Joe Hillyer, Matthew Rogers, Olly Mills and Ed Thomas outplayed the school side winning 8-4. The rain did not prevent a thoroughly entertaining match with the highlights being Elliot Casey’s goal for school, showing all of the predatory instincts of Luis Suarez, and being denied a second by an outstanding save from the OB keeper, Charlie McCullough.
Net Ball :
Held in the dry of the Sports’ Hall the netball match saw both teams starting off strongly with several goals being scored by each side. The “Old Girls were led well by Vicki Wilkinson – their team captain, but the current senior team played exceptionally well with excellent passing and feeding from Connie Sturgess, and superb shooting from Bella Wilde and Charlotte Cullen making the overall score 31-13 to school.
Noctorum was the venue for the afternoon’s inaugural OB v. School lacrosse match. Played in driving rain, an exceptionally strong OB team, fielding many of those who had come so close to winning the National school’s title won 16-6. Excellent play by Lucy Rogers, India Wild and Amy Durband amongst others was adequate revenge for the loss in the netball.
Hopefully, this will become an annual event.
The annual rugby match for the Pat Redmond Trophy proved successful for a well co-ordinated school team. There was a very good standard of rugby played in poor conditions and the result was in doubt until the last quarter of the game. A try by Matthew O’Hare and penalty by Jack Pritchard put the school 8-0 ahead and a Max Shah try for the OBs in the second half closed the gap to 8-5. Then the champagne moment of the match was provided by Jack Pritchard at fly half. His quick break and kick forward led to Tom Walker’s touchdown, followed by his conversion brought a final score of 15-5. Jack deservedly won the Noel Slater tankard for his performance in an excellent game.
The School catering team seen below had sustinence on hand for players and spectators at Noctorum.
Many parents and pupils young and old enjoyed a tremendous day of sport, and many thanks go to those staff and Paul Bibby (parent) who gave their time and support to referee/umpire all matches.
The Weekend ended with a Choral Evensong in the School Chapel on Sunday.