I am pleased to submit my third report on the activities of The Old Cicestrians’ and the Committee for the past year. 2020 was a challenging and difficult year for us all. Covid-19 has transformed society and all normal arrangements. As I write news of a successful vaccine may mean 2021 will mark a return to a new “Normal”.
Finance and Membership are looked after by Richard Wood-Kneller and Jonathan Harry. The membership list currently stands at 148 compared to 138 in 2019, a modest yet welcome rise. Most of our members are now recorded on e-mail, which smooths communication. Anyone who feels they can be added to the list please contact Jonathan on firstname.lastname@example.org The Association continues to have a healthy reserve including a prudent purchase of postage stamps!
The summer event for members, spouses and friends once more was travel based. This time ambitiously we ventured to Jersey in the Channel Islands. September was a providential choice of time for the trip as the Virus was relatively quiescent and our travel arrangements were fine. Our small group were blessed with excellent warm weather, a good hotel & food and enjoyed visiting some of the features of this Island. Geoff Wills, the local resident, and John Child superbly organised the trip, for which the tour members were very grateful. A full report on the trip is available on the OC Website https://www.oldcicestrians.co.uk/ Hopefully we can look forward to new horizons for our summer outing in 2021, virus permitting. Suggestions for next year from members welcome to email@example.com
Sadly our annual Christmas Lunch, due be addressed by Andrew Berriman and latterly Alan Green, had to be cancelled in view of the current guidance from Government on the virus situation. Consequently, the decision was taken to also postpone the AGM of The Old Cicestrians to 2021. We will all miss our usual opportunity to meet and reminisce. Joint organisers John Wood and Dennis Sheppard continue their excellent work in making the arrangements for the luncheon. And our thanks go to The Park Hotel, who look after us so well, for their assistance and flexibility this year. Your committee will discuss the possibility of planning a luncheon in the Spring or early Summer in 2021 when hopefully the circumstances will so permit.
Our thanks to John Child who has maintained contact with the new Chichester High School. Plans for helping at the school remain on our agenda awaiting developments in 2021.
The Archive – Alan Green has reported that new items have reduced to a trickle and are mostly photographs. We are grateful for Alan’s careful attention to the archive and the significant time he has spent on getting this material catalogued and safely stored at the Records Office
While the Website and Facebook page remain excellent vehicles for communication between members, and Richard Wood-Kneller (Webmaster) and Scot Baston (Website Designer) are commended for their work on the site, however, I repeat our request from last year more urgently for a fresh face to help or take over the site. Websites are an important communication resource for members. Please let Richard or the Chairman know if you can help via firstname.lastname@example.org
The Facebook page remains active and we thank members for their material posted on the page. Richard oversees the entries.
The Golf Tournament remains mothballed and will only revive if members express an interest and commitment to running the day.
Our committee meetings have been held in the earlier part of the year at the Chichester Gymnastics Academy, The Tim Peake Sports & Conference Centre. We are grateful to Darryl Wulff for his continuing support at this venue. When Covid-19 curtailed face to face meetings we successfully employed the Zoom platform.
I thank a supportive and active committee, Vice Chairman – Alan Green, Richard Wood-Kneller, Nigel Smith as a diligent secretary, John Wood and Dennis Sheppard, Jonathan Harry overseeing membership and acting as E-mail postmaster, and not least John Child and Geoff Wills (The President) for their wisdom and long-standing knowledge of the OCs.
Sadly Maurice Hall has resigned from the committee – Maurice, known by so many as a former teacher at the school, always gave wise guidance and depth of school knowledge in committee discussions. We hope to see him at events in the future.
At the conclusion of the 2019 AGM Colin Snook did not stand for re-election to the Committee, Colin served the OC’s as President, and under our old constitution chaired the Committee and he was for many years the Summer Event co-ordinator. His most notable achievement was the research and authorship of “The Fallen”, the account of all the Boys and one Staff member who were killed in serving the Country in WW2. A most fitting legacy for Colin.
I am, your Chairman
Dr Bill Allen OBE