I am increasingly challenging the great medical minds of our age to keep me young. The mind and body are no longer as one, the latter being in rebellious mood. So on my latest visit to the clinic my doctor thought she would give the once over. It was while I was having my knee bashed with a rubber mallet, more usually preserved for panel beating, that she noted my brown striped Old Sedberghian socks.

This got her talking, thankfully, because my kneecap was becoming quite sore and I thought I might have to book another appointment to address the damage done in this one.

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It was an opportunity to tell her about our Club and what’s been happening. For instance the 1990-2000 Reunion Lunch at the the London Steakhouse earlier this month, where as always we were honoured and entertained by the owner of the restaurant, James Robertson (E 88-93), and who was able to attend for the first time himself as a guest, being of suitable vintage. This venue, with the year group reunions, is becoming a huge success.

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Somehow the intimacy of the place encourages the years to roll away. Soon we’re talking about old times, embellishing stories of our youth, and singing badly to celebrate the two birthdays of the day. Thank you James for a fabulous lunch, and for the excellent hospitality of your staff. And thank you to John Guthrie (H 50-54) for his generous donation to the event. It was much appreciated by all.

Perhaps not directly associated with the Club was a the retirement dinner of Richard Witt who has held the post of Foundation Director since 2006. I, we, have worked with Richard for many years. He has worked diligently and tirelessly. He has been inventive and creative in finding ways to raise money for the Foundation and therefore the School. Most of all he has worked with integrity and which has served to underpin the trust that people have in him. All important in such a role.

The School, like all such institutions needs a Foundation. It provides funds where major projects cannot be supported by fee income alone. The success of the Foundation is largely down to Richard and as such he leaves a tremendous legacy. I know he is not quite leaving us yet but on behalf of the Club, well done, and thank you. We offer our full support to Isabella Bennett, the new Foundation Director, and to Andrew Fleck and the School as they continue to raise funds in anticipation of the 500th anniversary of Sedbergh School.

So, back to my doctor. I limped away with a clean bill of health, knowing that my reflex in my now stiff knee was in first rate order. I was therefore given the all clear to travel to Sedbergh this weekend to watch the County Cricket match. It’s a first for Sedbergh. Good luck to Dan Harrison and staff. I hope for warm weather, cold beer, and first-class cricket.

Cheers all,

Jan van der Velde

Chairman, OS Club