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News > Events News > OPs Summer Supper Reunion 2024

OPs Summer Supper Reunion 2024

The sun shone to welcome our OPs to the Summer Supper Reunion on Friday 28 June 2024. A record number of OPs, representing the 1960s to the present, gathered to reconnect and reminisce.
Some of the Leavers of 2014, Drinks Reception
Some of the Leavers of 2014, Drinks Reception

As our Summer tradition continues, it was a pleasure to once again host the OPs Summer Supper Reunion at the College on Friday 28 June.

Representatives from the classes of 1974, 1984,1994, 2004 and 2014 returned for their respective 50th, 40th, 30th, 20th and 10th anniversaries of leaving, and in one case an OP was celebrating his 60th anniversary of starting at Princethorpe in 1964! These guests were joined by a smattering of OPs from other years, as well as former and current staff, and it was special to see such a broad representation of the college's history.

The evening started with an optional tour of school at 6.00pm, ably led by Melanie Butler and Eddie Tolcher. The large group meandered excitedly around the campus, visiting historic areas such as the Chapel, the Library, the cloister corridors and the Roundhouse, along with the newer Limes Building and Sixth Form Centre and the most recent addition to the site, the Science Centre.

After a Drinks Reception in the Quad, the group was warmly welcomed by Foundation Principal, Ed Hester, and invited to take their seats in the Refectory. Fr Alan Whelan MSC said Grace and the refectory became a hubbub of chatter and laughter as guests sat amongst their peers from the same or similar leaving decade. The gathered OPs happily caught up and reminisced over a delicious three course meal. Conversations were bolstered by a rolling powerpoint meticulously prepared by our Archivist, Jo Wong, which featured images of many of the attendees, taken from year books, prize giving programmes and the College’s magazine, The Tower.

After dinner, Ed Hester thanked the College’s wonderful catering team and spoke to the assembled gathering about developments at the College, particularly regarding new initiatives in both Development and Alumni engagement across the Foundation. He referenced the recent OPs Workshop where over 40 alumni from our Foundation schools met to share ideas about how to better support and engage all alumni. Ed then thanked all those who had stepped up to join, or continue serving in, the OP Committee under a newly defined structure that directly responds to the feedback at the workshop. Some of these members were present at the reunion and able to give a wave to the room, including Melanie Butler who continues to serve faithfully as OP Secretary, and Caroline Spencer who was recently appointed as Alumni Relations and Development Officer. A huge thanks was extended to Peter Rollason for his long service as Chair of the Committee, and he was presented with a small gift to acknowledge this and his continuing support as Honorary President. There is still room for others to get involved in the work of the Committee, so please don't hesitate to email if you would like to know more. 

There have been some significant retirements this year which Ed paid tribute to. Alex Darkes retired after 45 years working at the College and Rachel Taylor has dedicated 50 years across St Joseph's (now Crackley Hall School) and Princethorpe; both were sadly unable to attend the event but sent everyone their best wishes. We also love to honour current long-standing members of staff, and were happy to be able to thank Kieran McCullough in person, with a gift presented by Peter Rollason on behalf of the Association, for his 12 years to date. Kieran enjoyed reconnecting with former colleagues and pupils over the course of the evening.

As the supper came to a happy close, guests mingled, teachers enjoyed hearing of their pupils’ achievements, and plans were made for keeping in touch with more informal reunions in the future.

To see more pics from the evening, log on to Princethorpe Connect.

Thanks go to our wonderful catering team, the OPs Committee and all who contributed to the success of the event. We will shortly begin planning for the 2025 Summer Supper Reunion, which will be aimed at leavers of 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2015, and will take place on Friday 27 June 2025. Why not come along?

In the meantime, we encourage you to get involved in OP activity and engage with Princethorpe Connect, the College’s online alumni network, and spread the word to encourage others to do the same. We are keen to keep the Princethorpe Spirit of Family alive and well for generations to come.

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