FROM THE PRESIDENT: a New Year's message.

Welcome to the New Year. Following some difficult times throughout the world, I sincerely hope that 2011 will be healthier all round. As President of the St. Beghian Society it is my farewell year in office. During the last two years I have re-kindled many friendships and have enjoyed the fellowship of OSBs from all eras at Branch and President’s events. At these times it has been most encouraging to hear individual comments and also to read emails from OSBs in the UK and abroad who have sent their best wishes for my Presidential initiatives. The adage ‘The more you put in, the more you get back’ is true. I have gained much from this experience and it is a privilege that I will never forget.


Since the last Bulletin, together with my wife Linda, I spent a most enjoyable September weekend at St Bees for OSB Day and The Black Tie and Tiara Ball. We stayed at The Queens Hotel and were delighted when OSBs drifted in and joined us for a drink on Friday night. Thanks to all of the organisers, the whole weekend was a great success for fellowship and fun, and highly recommended for the future. In October we attended the Yorkshire Branch Luncheon held in The Boar’s Head Hotel at Ripley. The event was extremely well organised by Steve Crossley-Smith. My apologies are sent to Steve, whom I wound up beforehand by showing him an extremely large bundle of notes for my speech. After seeing his mouth drop, I did promise him a short-form version! It all went extremely well and the food and fellowship were of the very best. It was great to hear other OSBs reminiscing and catching up on news, especially about people that we haven’t seen for a long time!

Bill Dove, Secretary of the North East Branch, worked wonders as usual with the Annual Dinner in November. It is always a great evening and this year was no exception. Visiting from the school with Headmaster Philip Capes and his wife Helen were Head Girl (Saoirse Jennings-Adams) and Head Boy (Isaac Moore).
I was seated next to Isaac, who told me that he really welcomed the opportunity to take part and experience the benefits of OSB fellowship. On the table next to us Daniel Pitchford (G 95-02) proudly mentioned to me that this was his eighth year of attendance at the North East Branch Dinner. Therefore, appropriately, I took a photograph of Daniel and other OSBs at his table. These included D. Bushby (SH 95-02), P.J.Drysdale (SH 95-02), K.A. Marshall (SH 98-05), J.R.A. Woodhouse (SH 99-02) and T. Pavey-Smith (G 01-08). Later, I asked Bill Dove how he manages such good attendances. “It’s not so much about sending out notices, it’s more about telephone call follow ups’’, Bill responded. “Apart from a few people who do reply, I think the mailing is a pure waste of postage.” On behalf of us all I say, well done Bill, who, incidentally, has now been Branch Secretary for thirty-seven years. What a record of service and devotion to the Society!

For my last year, there are two President’s Events planned. The first of these will be over by the time you receive this Bulletin. This is an outing to the home of The Falcons at Kingston Park Rugby Club, Newcastle on 9th January. As I write this, I believe their match against Sale Sharks will be well supported by a strong contingent of OSBs. The second event planned is for a return visit to Newcastle Races. Everyone that attended the last race meeting thoroughly enjoyed it; in fact so much so, I am encouraged to organise another during late spring or early summer. I understand there were a fair number of OSBs who would have liked to have attended the last event but did not receive any notice. Sorry, but all of this comes down to communication. Please provide current contact details and we will keep you informed by email, or express your interest now if you don’t have e-mail and I will contact you by telephone.

Apart from promoting fellowship, and being the founder of the Virtual Careers Forum, I hope most of all that I have been able to foster the fundamental importance of the St Beghian Society, and the well being of St. Bees School. Though each is a separate entity, they crucially support each other. Throughout the history of St. Bees, a host of dedicated people have given their expertise and experience to maintain this continuity. Many have given and continue to give their time without any thought of reward. In my capacity as President I have learnt humbly to appreciate all of this and all of these people and their well-meaning and positive support.

In summary, I am aware how immensely important ‘the back room people’ are with their generosity. Over the years of our existence, the Society has benefited from the legacies and gifts bequeathed through the generosity of OSBs and other benefactors. More than ever in a world of change in education these gifts and legacies are increasingly important for the best maintenance of our establishment. It is for this reason that I would very much like to thank everyone who has supported The St. Beghian Society in the past and also those that are in the process of becoming new benefactors. Any guidance about gifts and legacies may be obtained through the OSB administration office.

Please keep in touch and very best wishes for 2011.

Don H Williams MCIM 
President St. Beghian Society


The St. Beghian Society,    St. Bees School,    St. Bees,    Cumbria,    CA27 0DS.
Tel: 01946 828093     Email: