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2015 Annual Dinner




The OHA Annual Dinner, in this our 111th year, was another success. Although take up was slow to begin with, in the end 73 diners sat down, exactly the same as last year. Nick Williams, our Secretary, welcomed one and all to the Dinner, and began by thanking the musical students who had given up a Saturday night to play for us, on arrival and as a specific act after Dinner. He then made an astonishing announcement - this year, the furthest-flung traveller was NOT reigning champion Rob Nesbit, from Aberdeen! Instead, he had been well beaten by Dave Stones all the way from Spain!

Despite, or perhaps because of, the rainy weather, a great time was had by all. After Grace from David Gill, the SCCC catering team produced a fine meal and there were several periods of almost silence, as diners did themselves proud.

As ever, many prizes were donated to the raffle and the magnificent sum of £276 was raised this evening, split 50% each towards Prostate Cancer UK and a Bursary for a suitable college student.
Nick had a number of announcements to make:
* Those who had left in 1976 were invited in 2016 to a 40 year reunion in London, and most generously dinner then will be on an anonymous benefactor. Any OHA member wishing further information should contact Nick here.
* The committee were giving thought to switching the annual dinner to May and the annual Lunch to Novar / December. A quick straw poll suggested that the vote was pretty much 50 / 50 for / against the idea.
* There was sustained applause for the generosity of Porter Dodson Solicitors who had again kindly footed the bill for the Association's postage for the year.

Geraint Jones gave the vote of thanks to Kathryn Foyle and her music students form the College, on behalf of the Association. Nick thanked John Moore and Neil Trood for running the raffle again; and thanked John Abbott and all the staff of the college for their support to the Association across the year.

In his unavoidable absence, it fell to Kathryn to give the Association a brief update on the College year - the highlight was the spectacular completion of the café and social area, located where many of us recall the staff room. It is a fabulous dining area and the College can now host corporate events. There is to be no resting upon laurels - the next target is the £2.2 m new sports hall. This had now received planning permission and the diggers were poised, seeking a September 2016 completion. The 400th anniversary of the death of Richard Huish had been marked by a wonderful lecture given by Tom Mayberry from the Somerset Heritage Centre, and thanks were due to the OHA for supporting the event.

David Gill - you can't keep a good man down! - then spoke eloquently to say how much he had enjoyed the evening and how successful it had been, and the evening concluded with the singing of Auld Lang Syne at 9:45 pm.

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