From the President:

It’s who and what you know that counts

Tempus fugit. Already we are into another year and the second since my appointment as President of the St. Beghian Society. My involvement with the OSB branches, the school’s governing body, and the senior management team has taken me along like a time traveller. Sometimes it has been a nostalgic journey through the past, but always there is the task of strengthening what can be achieved by the Society today, and then thinking about our future with great networking plans and benefits for OSB members and the school.

I am always interested to learn how life has treated others and have spent a bit of time with what I consider to be truly amazing people. Some of these are governors, who freely give their skills, specialist knowledge and time to ensure St Bees School, the management, teaching staff and everyone employed continue a tradition of providing the best all round education for its pupils. At the North East Branch Dinner, Dan Evans, the recently appointed deputy headmaster, mentioned to me that from his very first view of St Bees School he realised its unique nature. An outline of his first impressions, like all others, are valuable in gaining an understanding of the present perception of this picturesque place that has meant so much to St. Beghians over the last few centuries.

Whatever our academic achievements were at St Bees, we really learnt about making our way in any company and any situation. Someone told me that at a conference, a stranger’s manner and the way he conducted himself were convincing enough to suggest that he was an OSB. He introduced himself and the assumption was proved to be correct in that he had also been educated at St Bees. Now, more than at any other time in our history, it is important for us to network and assist those St. Beghians who are looking for a career or a new line of work, and to use our contacts and knowledge to advise them in the best way possible.

During the last year I have mentioned and have discussed with many of you my concept of the Virtual Careers Forum (V.C.F.). Well, thank you all for sharing my enthusiasm about this. Now, I am delighted to have been advised that there will be a page devoted to this on the St Bees School website at the beginning of 2010.  A link will also be created to the St. Beghian Society website. The objective is for OSB’s to complete details about areas of work in which advice can be given, together with current contact information. Then this will go into our database until there is a matching V.C.F. advice request. Your details will be appreciated, because all too often it is who and what you know that counts; so whatever you do, please help with this scheme.

Regarding other matters, I have been asked whether or not I will be organising another President’s Event in 2010. Well, the first President’s Event ever was a great success at Newcastle Races and there are two other possibilities being researched at the moment. One is a hospitality event at Newcastle Falcons and the other an event at Wetherby Races. In both situations we are using OSB contacts to get the most reasonably priced deals possible. It would be good to see OSB’s from Manchester, Yorkshire and other branches join in too! There already seems to be good potential support for both of these, but the venue dates will be between Bulletins. So, I say, chat to Pam, by ‘phone or email to find out what’s going on and ask for details to be sent to you.

Finally, I am so pleased when you let me know how much you have enjoyed the Branch dinners. However, real congratulations are to Branch Secretaries and everyone else, like you, who come along and bring added impetus and individual flavour to these events. I look forward to seeing you next time and best wishes for 2010.                                     

Don H Williams MCIM                                                                         

The St. Beghian Society, St. Bees School, St. Bees, Cumbria, CA27 0DS

tel: 01946 828093