At just short of 100 guests, the 2000 London Branch dinner, held on Friday 6 October, the actual Scotch foundation day, was a superb start to the 150th anniversary celebrations.
Now relocated to the sumptuous Caledonian Club, Scotch Family members were delighted to welcome special guests Dr Gordon Donaldson, OSCA Executive Director Leigh McGregor and OSCA President Michael Stillwell, all in the UK to officiate at the historical church service and torch lighting ceremony at Leochel Cushnie in Scotland.
The evening's formalities began with a torch ceremony, where oldest class representative Ian Gordon ('38) re-lit the ceremonial torch for Michael Stillwell to formally present to the London Branch. The torch was then passed from guest to guest to the accompaniment of a piper, before being extinguished by youngest old boy Ben Healy ('99).
Dinner began with grace by Rob Logie-Smith ('60) followed by an excellent McGregor-led ceremonial haggis. John Cotton ('77) proposed the toast to the School, remarking on the three endearing qualities of 'goodly heritage, proud traditions and cherished memories'. Dr Donaldson, in response, presented the evening's main address and spoke of the influence Scotland has had on Scotch and its early leaders. He gave a full account of the Leochel Cushnie service and an update on activities back in Melbourne, confirming to guests that the School is in very good shape financially, academically, in sport and in extra-curricular activities. Michael Stillwell wrapped up formalities by congratulating Dr Donaldson on his recently awarded AM and commented on the positive effect OSCA continues to have on Scotch.
News filtered through of several old boys who had joined the service in Aberdeen, including Don Gillam ('43) en route from his home in Sweden to the London dinner. Others who had travelled considerable distances were Alex Buirski ('95), Matthew Sigley ('92) and James Greenall ('93). The dinner was again well supported by Old Boys who happened to be passing through London at the time including, from Australia, Donald Beaurepaire ('65), Roger Gillespie ('68) and Michael Scott ('44). Other regulars were Sean Corr ('81), Peter Robinson ('72) and Alan Chuck ('69), while two large groups were pulled together by Andrew Jackson ('90) and Anthony Teasdale ('94). Most represented class was that of 1990 with 7 attendees.
The new venue, the special guests and the huge attendance served to kick off the 150th anniversary celebrations with great gusto. The evening concluded on a very enthusiastic note with the ceremonial torch bid a fond farewell, bound for the OSCA Perth dinner.
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)