Sunday 10th July 

Old Libary, Ratcliffe College


The AGM commenced immediately after the Angelus had been led by Fr. Mullen so no opening prayers were said.


Minutes Taken by Isobel Sommerville




·      Leo Simmonds

·      Abe Mee

·      Mark Gamble

·      Michael Coker

·      Simon Burns

·      Louise Marsden

·      David Robson

·      Sebako Siame




Members present at the AGM signed the register:

·      Isobel Sommerville

·      Paul Carter

·      Dick Cunningham

·      Simon Giles

·      Jamie O’Donnell

·      Fr Louis Beasly-Suffolk

·      John Hoogson

·      Bob Woodwards

·      Richard Gamble

·      Renata Jones

·      Daniel Amies

·      Simon Grant

·      Patrick Jolliffe

·      Michael Heard

·      Ted Mullen

·      Peter Astill

·      Georgina Meredith

·      Graham Sharpe

·      Alex Slack (left half way to sort out lunch for ORs)

·      Paul Morris


Minutes of 2015 AGM

The minutes of the meeting were unanimously approved and signed.

Proposed: Isobel Sommerville                                   Seconded: Paul Carter



Matters Arising

·      There were no matters arising



President’s Report

The President, Mike Meredith, delivered his report as follows:

When I sat down to write this during the week, my first reflection was after the Lord Mayor’s Show, last year was such an amazing year and in deed this weekend last year was such a triumph. We had the thick end of 400 people outside last year for the 150th anniversary and then I thought that that was not quite right.   After the Lord Mayor’s show when I reflected on what has happened this year and there has been a huge amount of development for the Association. I will just highlight some of these.


So, this year is a new year as illustrated by the fact that there was no Presidential deference shown on the golf course on Friday – I lost to the outgoing Head Boy. “Delighted” he says through gritted teeth.


In his absence, I would just like to thank Abe Mee, for organising not just Friday’s golf but the many golf events that happen during the year and, indeed the role Abe plays in organising so many of the social events that have taken place over the year.


Next year is the 40th Anniversary of the Reynard Trophy, the Old Boys golfing tournament so we are planning bigger things for that and plans are afoot to make it a real event next year.


What else has happened this year? One of my ambitions has been to bring the Association closer to the school and we now have a much closer relationship between the Association and the College.


Myself, Andrew (Yell) and Alex are working on Project DORA, that is the Development Office and the Ratcliffian Association. This closer relationship has led to the hugely successful Ball. The event last night was evidence of this closer relationship. My slightly sore voice and my ever so slightly sorer head are testament to the fun I had last night although I cannot account for everyone else but I certainly had a good time and I trust you all did too.


I particularly want to thank Andrew Yell for his kind words and sage advice which has been invaluable. Over the last two years when I have had various rocky ideas he has had the kindest way of saying “that’s nonsense Mike. Think of another way of doing it!” so his advice has been invaluable.


As to the growing closeness one of my ambitions for this year was to more closely engage with the younger members of the Association and I am delighted that Sam (Bird) is taking over when I hand over in a few minutes. He is, I think, the youngest President of the Association. Sam, thank you for stepping up. You are already making you mark with events like the shooting event and Rugby tournament that is planned for September. You will love it. If you are not already loving it my advice to you would be throw yourself in, involve as many people as possible and you will have a good time.


Sebako Selme is the Vice President for the next year and is, therefore, projected to be the third female President in two years’ time.   She sends her apologies for not being able to be here today but is delighted to get involved. When I called her up a few weeks ago to sound her out she said unsolicited that she would not be in the position she is today at Goldman Sachs without Ratcliffe. Her words to me were “it is my time to help”.   She is very grateful for what Ratcliffe has done for her and I’m sure that Sebako will continue to serve the College very well on Council.


We have a new Treasurer as Paul is handing over after 15 years in the hot seat. I know the treasurer job is often held for long time so thank you for all your hard work over the years and all the time spent out of Council doing the job. As we mentioned in council and wish to notify the AGM, the Association is not yet in balance but with the work done by Alex with Paul we have a better handle on the finances and every event we have run this year (up to last night which I have not seen accounts for) has broken even, and Alex is doing a great job at making those finances visible and we also making clearer, more informed decisions on revenue streams such as advertising in the magazine which will substantially reduce our deficit for this year.


We have Rob Williams, who is another new member of Council, bringing his website expertise. We also have the outgoing Head boy and Head girl to sit on Council for a year which will create a critical link between the Association and the School.


I would like to highlight the development of the Business and Careers Advice Network that we have been building, with the momentum gathering so that I now have a list of 20 greyer heads who are willing to give business advice and mentorship to those who have more recently left the school and indeed in future years I would like to involve current members of the school. If anyone is willing to get involved in the mentoring scheme just come and let me know.   I know that the 3 or 4 students that we have already helped have appreciated it.


Whilst I am on the subject of helping hands, I would like to thank Michael Coker for marshalling the Cunningham Fund for so long. Richard has now taken over these duties. I appreciated Michael’s help. The Cunningham Fund gives people the chance to come to Ratcliffe who may not otherwise be able to be here. In actual fact, it does deserve a much larger profile than it currently has.


It is no accident that the Association has flourished given the support that it has had from the school. I feel blessed and honoured that my time as President has coincided with Gareth’s Headship. Thank you, Gareth, for enabling the Association to get closer to the school. We are indeed part of the same family from when we begin our schooling here. The best example of this is the Leavers’ Mass, which happens every year, which was new to me as it didn’t happen in the 80s when I was here but I am delighted that it is such a firm part of not just the School but also the Association’s calendar. The two that I have been to have been brilliant to go to and I wish that we had had them in my day.


Gareth, I am sorry to see you go but as I reflect on the current state of the School, its successes academic and otherwise, its enduring values which remain rooted in the values of The Institute of Charity, you and your team have made me a very proud Ratcliffian. Thank you.


I have loved the last two years and in fact have found, to quote our founder “unity and sympathy at every time, everywhere and with everyone”, in the buildings and memories they evoke, with the staff and great assistance and skills they gave us. I will no longer be looking at people like Graham (Sharpe) and Nigel Taylor and Mike Sneath and making comments about 1980s brown suits and nudity in the bath and other stories! With the staff, with the community and the great sense of charity with which they left us. Sam and Alex, one plea to you, if you can keep quoting our founding brother’s gifts of Unity and Sympathy, I think that it is a really important part of our history and is worth reiterating within all the Association material. I have reconnected with countless friends from the 80s and 90s and made countless new friends through the many different events. Although my memories of the mornings after events are always a little flaky they have been great to get involved in. I’ve dusted off my hockey stick for the first time in ages playing my annual game for the Old Boys and I relish the Past Presidents’ Dinner every year – Michael Heath thank you for organising that and making me feel so welcome. That is in my calendar now for every year and will very much look forward to it.


I have received so much more than I have given to the Association and I shall be ever grateful for that. As I exit stage left and Sam is chained up, if there is anything that I can do - Alex, Andy, Gareth just let me know.


To the most important person in the Association, Alex, it has been great working with you for the last year and it is testament to you that the handover between Jackie and yourself, from my perspective seemed seamless, although I am sure you kept hidden from me the ripples beneath a smooth surface. You have been fantastic and if you need anything you know where I am.


Thank you all. It has been an honour to serve. Abe isn’t here but it is all his fault. He collared me about 5 years ago at a London dinner, told me it was just 3 meetings a year, not much effort, but I will be ever grateful for that conversation in the Crypt at St Ethelburga’s. Thank you all.


Floreat Ratcliffia – here’s to the next 150 years.




Manager’s Report

The Association’s Manager, Alex Slack, reported that

·      Her first objective is to engage younger Old Ratcliffians as ‘ambassadors’ in cities with new ORs commencing university as points of contact, possibly to run mini Thirsty Thursdays. With the younger ORs in mind the outgoing head boy and girl will be coopted onto council.

·      She has been marrying up efforts with the Development Office and working with the Headmaster and Senior Deputy to enhance the profile of the Association. To this end it has been suggested that ORs could attend the Open Mornings and representatives of the Association attend Parents Evenings.

·      Raisersedge database which the Association has been using is good but insufficient for the modern market. The management team are looking for a new system/website to optimise capture of information and better communication. The hope is that this can be finalised within 12 months.

·      Alex stated that she wishes to avoid running at a deficit and is looking at cost savings particularly with the magazine and has considered sponsorship for this.

·      Alex wants to look closely at the events calendar, selecting the right events to make the Association more attractive, looking at new events such as 10s rugby and reinstating the tennis.

·      There are plans to open a new bank account.


Proposed: Paul Carter                                    Seconded: Andrew Yell



Social Committee Report

Unfortunately, there was no Social Secretary report available.


Mike Meredith commented on the increased numbers of events and the quality of them.


Those events attended by members present were all well reported.


Mike extended his thanks as President to all those who helped organise these events.

Proposed: Mike Meredith                               Seconded: Mike Heath



Treasurer’s Report

Paul Carter presented the accounts to those attending.   These are also published the OR magazine.

He summarised this as currently showing £30,000 in 2 accounts.

Every effort is being taken to reduce the deficit



Website Officer’s Report

There is a process to currently change website to incorporate a CRM system and website. This should be out by July 2017.



Membership Secretary’s Report

There was no report available for the AGM.



Development Team Update


Andrew Yell, Development Director, informed those present that the School and Association continue to work well together.

Much of what he wished to say had already been mentioned by the President.

He mentioned that the Sporting Dinner and the Summer Ball were both events that included the whole Ratcliffian Family, with ORs, Parents and Students involved

He emphasised that the Development Office and Association are working closely on digital communication.

He informed those present about the Ratcliffe 2025 Appeal, raising funds for a new Fitness Suite and to fund Sports Bursaries.

The Bursary Appeal 2017 has resulted in 3 ORs committing a total of 75K over 5 years to allow students from State Schools to attend Ratcliffe College and Andrew wished to thank these individuals




Ratcliffian Association & Cunningham Fund

Richard Armitage introduced himself as the new Clerk to The Ratcliffe Association and Cunningham Fund.

He reported that they have changed fund managers and that Hambros will be taking over management of the Funds


Currently there are 23 pupils being assisted through the school and this is on the limits for expenditure.

He stated that there may well be a need to drum up further funding.


Proposed: Mike Heath                                    Seconded: Paul Carter



Headmaster’s Report

Mr Gareth Lloyd, Headmaster, opened his report by thanking Michael Meredith for his hard work over the last 2 years, particularly his commitment to the Association.

He spoke further about:

·      There has been talk of a mentorship scheme and Gareth stated that he was thrilled by the possibility and potential of such an endeavour. He encouraged all present to support this strongly.

·      The new synthetic all weather playing surface (Astroturf) will be the venue for the Old Boys Hockey Match on Sunday 11 September, and this is to be the official opening of the new pitches. The Quad will no longer be used to play football but is to be transformed into a place of rest and contemplation.

·      Andrew Yell is working hard on the Bursarial Scheme as it is important for the school to allow access to children who bring great qualities with them to the school.

He also thanked to Richard Armitage on behalf of the 23 students assisted by the Ratcliffian and Cunningham Funds



Election of President – 2016 -17

Sam Bird (98) was elected unanimously to be President – Sam is youngest ever President of the Association.

Following the election, the Chain of Office was exchanged and Sam Bird thanked Mike Meredith for all his hard work. Sam stated that as the youngest ever President he hopes to connect and reconnect with the younger ORs to reinvigorate the Association.


Proposed:        Mike Meredith                        Seconded: Paul Carter



Election of Vice President – 2016- 17


Sebako Siame (91) was elected unanimously to be VP


Proposed: Michael Meredith                          Seconded: Andrew Yell



Election of Council Members – 2015 -16

Michael Meredith and Dan Amiees were co-opted on to Council


Proposed: Isobel Sommerville                       Seconded: Mike Heath



Election of New Members


Alex Slack was elected as a new member having left less than 10 years ago. She will also become Executive Manager of the Association in 2016


Also Dan Amiees, Sophie Riley and the new Head Boy and Girl


Proposed: Isobel Sommerville                       Seconded: Mike Heath





There was no other business arising.




Prayers for deceased Old Ratcliffians


Prayers were said for the many Old Ratcliffians and staff members who have died since the last Annual General Meeting.

Ø  Fr Anthony Dewhirst (48)

Ø  Alfred Ferreyros (33)

Ø  John Bernard Richardson (52)

Ø  John A Dunn (46)

Ø  Jonathan Dyer (82)

Ø  Anthony Edwards (68)

Ø  Sarah Walker (nee Geraghty)(81)

Ø  Richard Wheeler (62)

Ø  Peter James Clark (54)

Ø  John Reid (56)

Ø  Michael Keogh (46)

Ø  John Campbell (41)

Ø  Roger Brown (52)

Ø  Bernard Sabels (82)

Ø  Rachel Baxter (82)

Ø  John Simpson (53)

Ø  Roman Zyss (65)

Ø  George Morgan (2013)

Ø  Kevin Hand (70)

Ø  Andrew Harris (60)

Ø  Fr Peter Reynolds (53)

Ø  Fr Keith Tomlinson (52)

Ø  Michael O’Hanlon (47)

Ø  Hugh Moser (49)

Ø  Anthony Hudson (46)

Ø  John Doyle (62)



Ø  Fr Joe Mullen


The meeting was then closed.




Date of Next Meeting


Sunday, 9th July, 2017


Forthcoming Events

24 Dec
Meetings @ Ratcliffe College
09 Feb
Dinners @ Crypt at St Etheldreda's, Ely Place, London
19 Apr