The 111th Annual Dinner of the Old Carolians Association was held on Saturday 20th November 2021 in the Oldfield Hall, King Charles 1 School, Kidderminster.
Should we have been blessed with 20:20 vision at the 110th Annual Dinner in 2019 and looked forward to the 2020 dinner we would have seen nothing!
So it was on Saturday 20th November 2021 under the Chairmanship of Martin (Max from now on) Wall that about 70 diners – made up of Old Carolians, former pupils of Queen Elizabeth I Grammar School, Kidderminster High School and guests met in the school hall for a much overdue reunion.
The formal part of the evening started with Grace said by Revd. Simon Archer representing St. Mary’s Church and the meal was then served. The toast to the Queen was followed by a change to our normal procedure. Max read out a list of those members and close friends of the Association who were no longer with us.
In the absence of Jamie Butler (the current Headteacher of the School) his report was read by Former Headteacher - Tim Gulliver. Tim presented the report with the pride as if he was still Headteacher. He explained how the school had continued to work as well as it had been allowed to during the pandemic, had achieved excellent results and gave special mention to pupils with high academic achievement. We were reminded that events, trips etc. that would have been undertaken in normal times just couldn’t happen but that the school had still been able to raise money for charities. He proposed The Toast – ‘The Old Carolians Association’.
In response Max recalled the missing year and paid tribute to Stephen Wyer for the two years service he had undertaken as President. He commented that Zoom had become ‘The New Norm’ and wondered, tongue in cheek, what had happened to ‘The Old Norm’. Our editor was too busy thinking of response to the first part of the joke to hear the punchline!!
Max continued by wondering how pupils had / would suffer due to the lack of education enforced on them during the pandemic. Resilience was the keyword. He explained how in his speciality – music – he had seen wonderful new compositions in many musical formats be it folk rock, jazz etc. produced by students using modern technology not dreamt of when he was studying A level music. The positive use of these technologies, he was sure, would be a saviour.
Max finished by proposing a toast to King Charles I School and then, showing his versatility, played the ‘leaning’ piano for the National Anthem. The evening finished with a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
Richard Woolley - Annual Dinner Reporter and Cheese Connoisseur