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London Dinner 2009

The 2009 Annual London Dinner was held on 7 December at the RAF Club in London and was attended by over 60 Old Edwardians. 

You can view photos and read the report on the event below.


You can view some of the photos from the event here.

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The Annual Dinner was held at the RAF Club, Piccadilly, on 7 December, with John White (1973) presiding. Over 60 members attended, a significant improvement on recent years. It was most pleasing to see that the year of leaving School was widely spread, from 1941 to 2004.

The guest speaker was Professor Rodney Cartwright (1958), a scientist whose specialism was in water-borne infections. He chose to speak on something quite different, namely the livery companies of the City of London, he being a past master of the Plumbers' Company. Rodney described how the first companies came into being; there are now 108 of them, with a strict order of precedence, and forty companies have their own livery hall. We learned how the livery companies were committed to the City, to charity (raising around £40 million a year), and to education, each in its own trade or profession. At the heart of all their activity was friendship between the present 35,000 liverymen. Rodney proposed the toast to The School.

Replying for the School, Keith Phillips, Deputy Head representing the Chief Master, focussed on three significant events. First, he announced that construction should soon begin on the new Performing Arts Centre, an ambitious project with 450-seat capacity and costing £12 million, which was partly funded by the generosity of Paul Ruddock (1976). Secondly, he told us that a decision was eagerly awaited from the International Baccalaureate authority in Geneva on the School's application to transfer from A-Level to IB in 2010. If granted, KES would be the first school in the country to make this transfer in one fell swoop. Thirdly, Keith referred to the imminent retirement of deputy head George Andronov - an iconic but eccentric figure in the life of the School over the past 34 years. He was recognised as the ‘heart beat' of the School!

The final speaker was James Travers, representing the head boy who was otherwise committed. Having been asked to speak about what KES had done for him, James announced that this was not to be seen as an extended piece of narcissism. He spoke with confidence, spontaneity, and wit which quickly captured the support of those present. Here was an all-rounder who had crammed an enormous amount of experience into these seven years; it made us reflect on what KES had done for us. The loud applause was an expression of sincere good wishes for James in his future career.

P.S. Among the several toasts of the evening we raised our glasses to King Edward VI and finally to the London Old Edwardians.