40 Years On (1981–1985 and 1982–1986)

4 July 2022

Old Collegians group gathered inside Strowan House for 40 Years On Reunion

Old Collegians group gathered inside Strowan House for the 40 Years On Reunion

On Friday 1 – Saturday 2 July, we hosted the Class of 1981 and 1982 at the College for their 40 Years On reunion. For the Class of 1981, it was fourth time lucky thanks to COVID-19.

Friday night saw 50 Old Collegians return to the campus, many for the first time since they left all those years ago, with many colourful characters amongst them. It was wonderful to see the faces of those who had not seen each other for so long, the boarders who had lived together in close confines who shared so many secrets…they all picked up exactly where they left off. Raucous laughter filled the Strowan House staff room as memories came flooding back, hilarious stories of antics were regaled, and retired and covert nicknames were reinstated. Some of the gentlemen who arrived early in the evening insisted that they didn’t need name badges as of course they knew each other. It didn’t take long to realise how long 40 years is but although looks may have changed, their friendships hadn’t wavered. Trying to get the mandatory ‘staircase’ photos was a bit like herding cats with this group but seeing how many of these Old Collegians had made the effort to attend from around the country to reunite, it was worth it. Kelvin Gin (OC 1986) had flown in from Dublin and Michael Hanning (OC 1986) was here from California, so their presence was much appreciated by all. Thanks also to Jill and John Irving, Wayne Milligan, Roland Burrows, Bill Hall and Rex Livingstone for coming back as our special guests.

On Saturday night we welcomed 48 Old Collegians and partners for the formal dinner. James Thomson (OC 1986) dusted off his bagpipes for the Address to the Haggis performed by Jonathan Wells (OC 1987). For many of the partners this was their first experience of this College tradition, so it was received with much applause. The evening was ably emceed by Richard Sidey (OC 1986), the Toast to the College was delivered by David West (OC 1986), and James Tapper (OC 2010) spoke on behalf of the Old Collegians Association. Thank you to Richard, James McGuckin and Andrew Logie (all OC 1986), and Richard Rose, Stu Jensen and Dougal Cockram (all OC 1985) for helping bring everyone together for what was a truly special weekend.

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