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2013 Winter Reunion

Wednesday, 8 January, 2014 -- Helen Wilson

The afternoon started with a drinks reception in Central Hall for the OEs and their guests who were attending the formal lunch.  Danny and Geraldine Cooper attended the lunch, prior to their retirement at the end of term, as guests of the Development Office. Headmaster, Paul Henderson and his wife Maryta also attended for what will be their last OE Winter Reunion.  Lunch in Room 1 followed the drinks reception, with one OE commenting on the fact that this had been his form room during his time at the school!

The reunion then moved outside to the rugby fields and netballs courts as the afternoon’s matches commenced. The rugby seven’s tournament, organised by Adrian Thomas was a well contested affair with Andrew Velasco’s team, the returning champions, triumphing again, narrowly beating off the challenges of teams organised by Chris Chan and Michael Faulder. Everyone agreed that rugby was the winner and then watched the recent leavers play the school and were glad that their matches had been touch rugby!

The Eltham College First XV, led by Will Foster, took on the recent OE Leavers, in a very competitive and exciting match. With the successes the First XV has enjoyed in the last three years, this was always going to be a very good game. With a big forward pack and hard hitting backs, the OEs repeatedly stopped the advances of the Eltham College team at every turn and a brace from Hamish Hamilton (Bristol), playing at fly half, as well as converting both of his own tries, saw the OEs lead 14-0 at half time. As the game went on the First XV began to tire, due in part to playing and beating St Olave’s only 24 hours previously, and a further try for Ralph Weir (Oxford) killed the game off and gave the OEs a 19-0 win.   It was a well-deserved win for the OE’s and captain Jack Robertson (Loughborough), with Hamish Hamilton also collecting the Pinkham Cup for the best performance on the day.

15 past and present Eltham College girls joined together to play a netball match. This included six girls who left in 2012 (Francesca Baily, Ellie Austerberry, Jenny Townsend, Emily Clarke, Ella Paterson and Natalie Sullivan) and three who in July 2013 (Emily Gander, Hannah Dow and Jess Megan.) This meant that the two teams playing were a mixture of the past 3 years - with one team mainly consisting of current Sixth formers and the other of the OEs. The game was amusing and very tight between the teams as some of the girls hadn’t played netball for a while. The overall score was 23-20 to the team containing of the present girls.

After all the matches had finished, supporters and players all headed into King George’s Hall for afternoon tea, which was very well received after a few hours in the wind in rain! Paul Henderson and OEAL President Adrian Baulf presented all the cups at the end of the afternoon.  Simon McGrahan and Sean Thomson then headed to the Royal pub (sadly the Porcupine is no more) where the reunion carried on for a few more hours.

Images from the reunion can be viewed on Flickr.

A date for the diary is the 2015 reunion which will be held at Eltham College on Sunday 14 December.