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News > OBA News > Gemma Brunton (W92/94), OBA President wishes Old Brutonians a very Merry Christmas

Gemma Brunton (W92/94), OBA President wishes Old Brutonians a very Merry Christmas

13 Dec 2022
OBA News

Is it just me or has Christmas snuck up extra fast this year?

Perhaps it’s because we seemed to go straight from summer into winter (via a long drawn out rainy season) or is it because the World Cup feels like it’s been going on forever?!

Either way, I’m ready to get the tree up and start tucking into some mince pies.

We had a brilliant London lunch last week at Apothecaries' Hall, with 140 OBs in fine form and rowdy voice. I think we all agreed that detentions will be handed out for anyone not knowing the school song next year! It was lovely to see some younger faces and we welcomed OBs from all around the world who had flown in specially. We missed one very familiar face however, and collectively pass our condolences to the family of Richard Sullivan (N58/62), who sadly died in November 2022. He was such a friend to both the Association and the School and is much missed. We toasted him, as well as for one final time Her late Majesty, and for the first time King Charles III.

In my speech I talked a little about the mentoring scheme we are hoping to get up and running next year. It is very much my wish, and that of the Headmaster, to enable younger OBs starting out in their professional lives to benefit from the wealth of talent and experience amongst our ranks. Some kind lunchgoers on Friday put their names forward (those of you, please don’t forget to email!) but we need more of you. If you can spare some time and/or can help on a small steering committee, I urge you to get in touch - please contact Emilie Head at

I also talked about how the Association has helped fund some pupils at the school enrich their academic and extracurricular lives. We gave Amelia Blunden (now Head Girl) some money towards a very special summer school course at Harvard and we also funded the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award for a pupil whose family weren’t in a position to do so. These small but significant contributions could one day make the difference between a young person getting that important interview or job offer and we hope to be able to offer more of these kinds of grants.

Otherwise it has been a busy term socially for the Old Brutonians. Some exciting book launches which you will have seen and we had a successful regional drinks in Bath as well as a Wessex lunch in Bruton. The plan is to roll out more informal regional gatherings starting with a drinks in sunny Salisbury (my hometown!) early next year. Also don’t forget to put 17th June in your diaries for a summer ball for 300 people at the school, the first since the epic 500th celebrations since 2019 which were so spectacular. You won’t want to miss it!

That’s it from me. I’m off to snaffle a mince pie and wishing you all a happy and healthy Christmas. Hope to see as many of you as possible next year.

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