Ewellian Email Bulletin Content
As always, we hope this finds you well and enjoying the delights of autumn, wherever you may live in the world and wish you a happy Halloween and Thanks Giving, particularlarly if you live in the USA.
The majority of our Class of 2021 started university recently and we wish them well. This year group can be proud as they achieved Ewell Castle School's best-ever A-level results. They included students who are now studying Medicine, Business and Marketing, Music Management and Psychology. There were a handful who made other plans including taking a Gap Year or accepting internships and of course we wish them well also. The Class of 2021 were a particularly small year group, the Class of 2022 will comprise twice that many.
1980's OE Decade Rep - Position Vacant: Following the recent sad passing of Malcolm Sagar, the OE Association Committee are actively looking for a volunteer to be the 1980's Decade Representative. Minimal commitment is required, enthusiasm and ideas are the only role requirements. Email Carol to find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org
OE News Features: We love to hear from OEs and find out where you are and what you're doing in your lives. Are you still studying, what are you up to in your careers and your lives in general? We'd love to feature you in forthcoming e bulletins, so please drop us a line at email@example.com
Update Your Contact Details: Please let us know if you have recently changed any key contact details, especially your mobile number and your personal email address.
Best wishes on behalf of Carol and Lindsey (Marketing, Alumni and Development office).
We're hoping to arrange a summer reunion in 2022, date tbc . Until then all OEs are invited to attend informal drinks at the Spring Tavern in Ewell Village after the autumn and spring OE Association Committee meetings. The next meeting is this coming Tuesday 2nd November and informal OE drinks will be at the Spring Tavern from 7.30pm. We hope to see some of you there.
We are delighted to confirm the date of the next OE vs School 1st Team Netball Match on Wednesday 15th December 2021 between 2pm and 4pm including a match tea. We would love those OEs who have previously taken part in the event, either as an OE or whilst they were still at School to come and play.
The event is open both to OEs who are still in full-time education at university/college and to those who are working or on a gap year. Please email Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org asap and no later than 1st December to confirm your availability. We will confirm to those interested by 6th December if we have enough players for the event to take place.
Our last golf day was back in April 2019 so it was fantastic to once again all get together recently at Kingswood Golf & Country Club.
On a very windy day, but thankfully dry day, twenty one Old Ewellian’s enjoyed the challenge of the golf course with some interesting stories being shared in the bar and over dinner. They were joined by a number of friends, who do not play golf for lunch or dinner. Scoring was mixed but congratulations go to John Pooley, Mark Stainer, Neil Turk who won various prizes and to Stuart Cox who was runner-up with 32 points.
Our winner on the day, and OE Champion golfer for 2021 was Chetan Pugalia with an excellent score of 35 points.
We know some of you regularly meet up to play football at weekends and have asked us to organise some OE 5-aside matches, probably in the Spring. If you are interested in taking part, please email us so we can work out if we have the necessary numbers.
In August 2020 I had the pleasure of catching up and happily reminiscing with Richard Smart (EC 1954 to 1960) who has written several stimulating letters from Sydney for the alumni newsletter. We even discovered that we had both attended a notorious rigged cricket match between Australia and Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground!
I was at EC from 1952 to 1959. I currently live in Brisbane, Australia’s third city, home of the “Gabba” cricket ground, and decidedly subtropical in character.
However, the purpose of this note is to outline how my time at EC had a pivotal impact on my career which was unforeseeable at the time.
Very simply, I was allowed to give up the moribund language of Latin and take up Spanish instead. The classes took place in the old staff common room just opposite what used to be the kitchen (the room which looks as if it might have been a chapel when viewed from the main lawn).
At the risk of digressing the room was opposite the rope for the school bell which, in the days when EC was also a boarding school for boys, was a very tempting object as it produced a most efficacious sound when rung in the middle of the night. However, to do this involved great courage and speed. You needed to get back to your dormitory using the out-of-bounds main staircase, and pretend to be asleep when a master came around to identify the mendacious miscreant. Success brought adulation from your peers. Failure usually resulted in a more corporal solution.
I left school with Spanish tucked under my qualifications, promptly forgot about it, went on to study law at the University of Western Australia, and there met up with one LR Marchant who used to teach at EC in the late 50s. He was a successor to Jack Hughes and TAT Barnes, outstanding teachers of that time. He had subsequently joined the History Department at the University there and we became friends.
After I had competed my studies, and after a stint on a cattle station of 1.5 million acres (Surrey is 410,000 acres), I decided to do a Master of Laws. I met up again with LR Marchant who gave me an incredibly useful pointer for a subject: the huge developments in oil and gas on the continental shelf of Western Australia. Within a few hours, I had formulated a thesis topic on the Law of the Sea, which became the focus of my subsequent career.
After a time teaching in the UK at the University of Wales (Cardiff), the University of Birmingham, and the Australian National University in Canberra, I was asked to go to Panama with the UN agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization, as a regional legal adviser. My Spanish came back into its own there. More importantly, it meant that eight years later I was eligible to work in the headquarters in Rome.
For that you needed to have not only English, the working language of the UN, but at least one other of their official languages: French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic. You also needed to survive the pernicious so called “equitable geographical distribution”, whereby UN positions were often allocated on the basis of a country’s contribution to the budget! My Spanish crucially enabled me to go to the HQ in Rome for fifteen years. That led to some incredibly interesting work: helping Namibia move from basically a colony to become a fully independent country, helping in the transition from Apartheid to multicultural democracy in South Africa, and working in Vietnam as it shifted from Socialism to a modern market economy. It also enabled me to work in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the Indian Ocean, the eastern Atlantic and the Pacific, as well as advising some twenty-five countries and helping in the formulation of a number of treaties and instruments.
And my Spanish? I never needed it again!
Published posthusmouly by Bill Edeson
Next year's OE Golf Day will take place at Kingswood Golf & Country Club, Surrey on Friday 29th April 2022. Arrival & lunch 12noon, 1st tee off at 1.20pm, Golfers Grill supper approx 7.15pm. Non-golfers welcome for lunch and/or supper. Email email@example.com if you would like to attend & see the OE Events page on the School website for details.
“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer…” The Bard’s words make a handy segue into this September view from Sydney, though summer’s still ahead - we’ve just moved from winter into spring.
Weather-wise, ”winter” is a relative term for us coast-dwelling Sydneysiders – the average temperature range is 9 degrees (at night) to 18 and the sun’s in evidence for 6-7 hours on more days than not. (One hundred or so kilometers west across the Blue Mountains the story’s different, with snow and frost a way of winter life.)
For those “driven” to swim the ocean daily the current 16-degrees water temperature’s a challenge, though a fellow swimmer with a broad Glaswegian accent dismissed my observation that it was a tad chilly with, “Aye you soft Aussie, dien know wha’ cold is!”
As worldwide, here it’s been a winter of discontent Covid-wise, the Delta variant running rampant, with the majority of our six states and two territories either in severe lockdown or operating under strict restrictions. There’s been minimal movement between them. At the time of writing the future looks brighter; the too-long-delayed “get vaccinated” message is at last taking effect (although, as elsewhere on the globe, there’s a stubborn percentage of the population that refuses to bare their arms) and we inch towards the 70-80% double vaccination rate that heralds firmly catagorized “freedom”.
The Olympics brought much joy into households the world over, particularly the paralympians
who re-defined the meanings of courage, dedication and of sportspersonship. And the sheer joy and skill radiated by the newly crowned US Open tennis champion, Emma Raducanu, was uplifting. What an outstanding example of 21st century multi-cultural Britain, a far cry from the shameful attitudes of my ‘40s and 50s childhood days.
The Ashes await? Who knows. Test cricket seemed recently very much alive and well in the northern hemisphere. Our various Australian rules, rugby league, union, soccer, netball and basketball codes have deftly managed their winter competitions around the pandemic, now it’s cricket’s turn. It’ll be very hard for the tourists to seriously compete here if they are missing key performers, though the reluctance of players to be separated from their families for several months is entirely understandable.
A glance through the window heralds another sunny day and perhaps a further ocean exchange with
my Scottish friend. His full response to my observation about the chilly water included an expletive deleted description of the water he was used to braving, “Ten degrees, na that’s ……. cold mon!” He’s right. With full apology to The Bard: “To swim or not to swim, that is not a question!” By Richard Smart
If you left the School some time ago and wondered wthat it was like to be one of our current students in our Sixth Form, take a look at our new Sixth Form Promotional Brochure.
The brochure provides a snapshot into what subjects and co-curricular activities are on offer and includes student interviews. Available to view on the website https://www.ewellcastle.co.uk/sixth-form/overview/
In a previouls alumni bulletin in 2020 I reported the delight of re-connecting, after 61 years, with Bill Edeson. An Australian, Bill was at EC from 1952-59 and amongst many other things was an outstanding sprinter and hurdler. A glimpse at the school magazines between 1957-59 reveal his many running records, and his 100- and 200- yards duels with Chris Thomas were legendary. They consistently vied for first and second positions and broke many records. He was head of school a year before me and returned to Australia in 1959. He and fellow Australian, Peter Hunter, were prominent in my decision to move to Sydney in 1966.
Bill lived in Brisbane, I’m in Sydney, and after a year or so of many emails and phone conversations we planned to meet there in August. Sadly, that meeting was Covid cancelled and so we were destined never to meet again; on October 12 Bill succumbed to
his long battle with cancer. His life was celebrated at a wake a few days ago by his wife Lyn, their three children and seven grandchildren. Sincerest condolences. It will be a pleasure to meet them next year.
Speaking of Bill’s life, he had a varied and stellar career, and for some time I’d been encouraging him to write about it, as well as his time at EC, for the alumni bulletin. Happily, a few weeks ago he completed it and, with Lyn’s approval, here it is.
Vale, Bill. I have an abiding memory of you leaping the hurdles in the dim and distant 1950s. A life ahead, one so very well lived.
By Richard Smart
We have a few spare copies of the Ewellian Magazine and are making them available on a first come first served basis. If you would like a copy from: 2000, 2002, 2003,2005, 2006, 2007,2008, 2009, 2019, 2020 please email email Carol specifying which years you would like and an address (UK or overseas) to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org