The 2017 Reunion Dinner
Saturday 8th July
With the sun still shining, the Old Ratcliffians (ORs) met on the Headmasters’ Lawn for a drinks reception.
Current teachers, Mr Higham and Mr Walsh, kindly took some of the OR guests on a tour of the School, some of whom had actually been taught by Mr Higham and Mr Walsh which caught some ORs by surprise!
Lots of guests said they were thinking back to memories of the School and seeing just how much the School has changed since their leaving.
At 8pm the ORs made their way down to the Refectory for their dinner. The Ref looked splendid due to Dave Ricks’s (07) lighting! Father Ted Mullen (60) welcomed guests with grace before dinner. The meal was excellent with a great atmosphere in the Ref, this was the same place ORs ate their school lunch for many years.
Once dessert had been finished the toasts began. The first toast was by Sam Bird (98), President of the Ratcliffian Association, who reflected on his past two years in the position and described some of his best moments from his time as President. He also commented that welcoming the Year 13s into the Association with a Mass and a gift, was a highlight for him as this did not happen when he was at school. He thinks this is a great event for these young students and is progressing the Association forwards. He also thanked all the staff who had worked towards and during the event and mentioned a special thanks to Alexandra Slack (03) who put the event together despite breaking her leg and Sarah Kerridge (12) who had been a massive support to the Association who is currently covering a maternity leave post for the Foundation Department. He finished his speech by toasting the School and its Deputy Headmaster.
To respond on the School’s behalf was Mr Kevin Ryce, current Deputy Head Academic, who said it was a pleasure to welcome back ‘Old Rats’ from across the generations. He thanked Sam for his last two years’ work as the Association’s President and Vice President. He also updated ORs on the changes that had been happening at the School with a second Astroturf, a new running track and computer suites. He also mentioned other school achievements, such as being in the top 5% for exam results, national success in hockey, netball and cricket, and he told ORs that this is not the end of the improvements planned for the School as they are investing in drama and a new fitness suite.
The final toast was made by Mr Michael Heath (56). He began by sharing his revelation that he had been asked to do the toast because he was the oldest OR in attendance having left the School in 1956. He toasted absent friends.
The final part of the formal event was a Raffle. Some of the winners were: Mr Walsh who went home with a bottle of red wine, Dave Ricks (07) who won a bottle of Champagne and Giuliana Bird (Née De Rienzo 98) who won the ticket to the London Dinner.
While at the end of the night there was a silent disco available, many of the ORs chose to sit and catch up with old friends at the tables and reminisce about old times.
For images, please click here: