Old Scholars’ Reunion – a grand success!
On 6th June the School held a day of events and an evening dinner dance for old scholars. It was a wonderful and well attended event.
Visit the RSSKL Old Scholars’ Facebook Group for a collection of photos and discussion.
Here are some thoughts about the event from RSSKL Old Scholars:
By Alex Dalziel
I left the New School as a pupil in 1972 – 43 years ago. I live under a mile away and although I have been back several times to the Advent Fair I felt that the Old Scholars Reunion was going to somehow be different. I knew that I would be meeting with people I had not met, or had just met once, in four decades and this brought up feelings of a shared history and experience. In that sense it was a real and complete experience as both feeling were brought together with a sense, I felt, of wholeness.
For those of us who arrived early there was a tour of the school and I remember the surprise when three former classmates and I announced that we could remember the Kindergarten actually being built.
My time as a pupil has brought riches that have been with me for much of my life but have only recently made themselves fully conscious and have been powerful influence in developing my identity as a psychotherapist.
As I was leaving I reflected on how the ethos of a Steiner Education has remained true amongst the changes. It has remained true but it has also not gone stale and atrophied. It has grown and developed and hopefully will serve the young lives who are in its care as well as it served me.
By an Old Scholar – 1982-1995
After many years without visiting the school, I was very pleased to be able to attend the Old Scholars’ reunion event.
The evening started with a glass of fizz in the playground – a novel experience, and not even out of bounds. Our table was very surprised to find (genuine) meat was on the menu, alongside the vegetarian offering, which made for a very good dinner served in generous proportions.
No Steiner school reunion would be complete without music playing a prominent part and we were treated to some very fine performances from both old scholars (electric) and current pupils (acoustic) which seemed appropriate.
As well as the opportunity to meet our contemporaries, we were all glad to see so many of the teachers who had made such an impression during our formative years.
The evening included speeches of a slightly more reflective nature from both current teachers and former pupils. True to form Mr Cook, recently retired, managed to cast doubt on the ability of anyone in the room to be able to spell “expeditious”.
The words spoken evidenced the affection for, and belief in, the school as well as gratitude towards those who had made and continue to make such significant contributions.
Clearly a huge amount of effort had gone in to planning the event and pulling it off, for which many thanks to those involved. In summary, a very enjoyable evening that those who attended will hope can be repeated with even more of the old scholars hopefully taking the opportunity to enjoy an unusual experience of deja vu amongst old (as well as long-standing) friends.
by Peter Walker
(Class of Mr Brown and Jonathan Swann, 1979)
I joined “The New School,” as it was called then, during the period 1974-1978 and was a full-term boarder staying in Friarswood. I left the school and moved to Cologne in Germany, mid 1978.
When I arrived in the afternoon on 6 June, I went straight to the sports-hall area where my class friends had agreed to meetup at 4pm. It was great to see some of my old school-chums again and we had a great time talking about the old times.
After a while, we went around the corner to that little school café, which wasn’t there when we were at school. I got out a tin full of old pictures and everyone was delighted to see how little most of us had changed since then except one, David Williams, who has since lost most of the hair up top and it has come out on his chin prompting me to nickname him “Gandalf” – a name that made everyone laugh, including him!
After that, we watched the Maypole dancing, but much more important was the meeting up to cocktails outside the Dining Room. More of our friends turned up and it was great to reminisce.
In the dining room, there were two tables reserved for our class, but we decided to fit everyone on to just one table – all 12 of us. It was a little tight, but we made it work.
Later, Tim Arnold started to play his songs. He is an ex-scholar who was in the school after us and had clearly been influenced by the Steiner ways.
A highlight for me was an opportunity to have a brief chat with Lucie Wagner, who was my German teacher at the time.
The evening came to an end and we all agreed that it had been a wonderful evening and hope they will do this more often. For those that missed the evening, please watch the videos I made, particularly the second video with those fascinating speeches.
Finally, I want to express a special thanks to Nese Martin who put in a tremendous effort to arrange the evening. They were getting very nervous a week earlier, as they had only sold a handful of tickets. There was no need to be, as the room was full on the night.