OPA Newsletter January 1999

OLD PHAROSIANS' ASSOCIATION

NEWSLETTER

    New Series No. 75

Jan 1999

 

LIST OF CONTENTS

NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
* Officers and Committee Members
* President’s Message
* The Annual Meeting, Football Match and Dinner 1998
* Archivist's Corner
* Discussions from the Committee Room

NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
* Junior Prize Giving
* Guest Evening
* Changing Again
* Service of Nine Lessons and Carols by Candlelight
* News from the Football Field
* News of the School, gathered from First Thursday Newsletters

NEWS OF OLD BOYS
* Obituaries
* Members still Living and Learning

NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE 1998-99

PRESIDENT: Tony Bradley
Morland House
Sheepstead
Marcham, Abingdon, Oxon

PAST PRESIDENT: Denis Weaver
Weeford House, Common Lane,
River, Dover CT17 OQZ
01304 823055

VICE PRESIDENT Rev.John Philpott
The Vicarage
Bewsbury Cross Lane
Whitfield, Dover
CT16 3EZ
01304 820314

SECRETARY: Philip Harding
6 Chestnut Road, Elms Vale
Dover CT17 9PY
01304 205007

TREASURER: Ian Pascall
‘Karibu’ 45A Bewsbury Cross Lane
Whitfield, Dover CT16 3EZ
01304 821187

MEMBERSHIP David Murray
SECRETARY: Dover Grammar School for Boys
Astor Avenue, Dover, CT17 0DQ
01304 206117

NEWSLETTER Terry Sutton MBE
EDITORS: 17 Bewsbury Cross Lane,
Whitfield, Dover CT16 3HB
01304 820122
and
Graham Tutthill
21 Orchard Drive, River, Dover CT17 OND
01304 822121

ARCHIVIST: Peter Burville
Seagate, Goodwin Road
St. Margaret's Bay, Dover CT15 6ED
01304 853267
COMMITTEE: Mike Palmer (to retire 2001)
Barry Crush (to retire 2001)
Maurice Smith
Graham Tutthill

AUDITOR: Neil Beverton

HEADMASTER: Neil Slater

STAFF David Murray
REPRESENTATIVES: Malcolm Grant
Steve Bailey
Dr. Alan Jackson

HEAD PREFECT: Nicholas O’Brien

INTERNET www.dgsb.demon.co.uk
ADDRESS:

E-MAIL ADDRESS: Pharos@dgsb.demon.co.uk
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

It is a great honour to have been elected your President and a particular pleasure that I have followed Denis Weaver in that office. Our Association will not deserve to survive unless we respond as positively as possible to necessary changes in the system of education that we ourselves knew in our younger days. And a constructive attitude to change can be strengthened by the stability that comes from long-standing friendships. I appreciate the friendship that Denis extended to me when (along with Brian Ashby, Roger Burbridge, Malcolm Edwards and Peter Hearn), I joined W W Baxter’s form VI Arts in 1948. Since I was asked to join the Association’s Committee last year, Denis could not have been more helpful in introducing me to the work of the Committee and in providing me with transport from the Priory Station to the School whenever this was needed.

An account of the Association’s annual dinner in September appears elsewhere in this Newsletter. It seemed to me a timely occasion to recall some of the highlights of the School’s year in 1948. In doing so, I was privileged to be able to pay tribute, in their presence and in the presence of their wives, to the great contribution to the life of the School made then and subsequently by Mr Ken Ruffell and Mr Gordon King.

The last issue of the Newsletter contained an account by John Booth of the very successful London Reunion attended by 30 members of the Association on a warm May evening. The Committee has decided to follow the custom that such a reunion is held in alternate years, so there will be no London Reunion in 1999. However, I hope that with the benefit of the membership list (including addresses) that appeared in the last newsletter, other informal reunions may be held from time to time wherever two or three members would like such an opportunity to meet. I am expecting that the first of these local (or regional) reunions may be held during the spring of 1999 for those living in or near the Thames valley (Slough, Reading Oxford, and so on). Even if you live a little further afield please let me know if you would like details of this event, which will probably take place in a conveniently located hostelry by the Thames,. If any reader of this Newsletter would like to arrange a similar event elsewhere in these islands, I will do my very best to come along! I will also be pleased to attend any year reunions that may be arranged during 1999, following the success of the reunion in Dover in March 1998 of the year of ’69,

One of the Association’s most important objects is to advance education at the School by helping to provide facilities there which might not otherwise be available. The Committee regularly tries to discover from Neil Slater what needs have come to the top of the list - it may be rugby posts, repairing the flag-pole, help with computer equipment or musical instruments. At the AGM in September I suggested that this year any grants made by the Association to the School might in particular help to promote the teaching of modern languages. At its meeting in November, the Committee was pleased to provide £750 to help fund a work experience scheme for sixth-formers to take the form of an exchange with students at a school in Brittany at Easter 1999. During their stay in France, the sixth-formers will stay in the home of their exchange host, and will be able to work with a French employer. If this novel project is successful, the School hopes that in later years it will attract funding from a European Union source.

On a more personal note, I was very pleased while in Dover for the School’s Guest Evening in November (when the guest of honour was one of the two editors of this Newsletter, Terry Sutton) to be able to visit Mrs Booth at her home in Godwyne Close. She greeted me with a tray of tea and home-made cakes and expressed much appreciation of the way in which your Committee keeps her in touch with developments at the School and with Old Pharosians whom she had known. Her affection for the School is undiminished by the passing years!

In conclusion there is always scope for the Association to grow in size and thus to strengthen the network of news and friendship that it provides for all its members. We certainly should not be complacent, but I must finish by reflecting that the Association, like the School, can be proud of its record. It is served by an effective, cheerful and hard-working Committee, whose members carry on the key tasks of the Association while Presidents come and go. Long may this continue - with your support it will!

Tony Bradley.

If you have access to the Internet, please note that my E-mail address is AWBradley@aol.com A revised text of the Toast to the School at the dinner in September is available for anyone interested.
Mrs. Booth celebrated her 94th birthday in December and Mrs. Turnpenny - our oldest Old Pharosian - is due to be 106 on 14th February. We offer our congratulations to both ladies.

ANNUAL MEETING, FOOTBALL MATCH AND DINNER 1998

The Old Pharosians’ Association held its annual meeting and dinner at the school on 26 September 1998 when Tony Bradley (1945-52) was elected President, succeeding his contemporary at school, Denis Weaver. Elected vice-President and President-elect was the Rev. John Philpott, the vicar of Whitfield and chairman of the governors of Dover Grammar School for Girls.

The retiring president, Denis, expressed a welcome to Ken Ruffell who had returned to Dover for the weekend. Denis added that when he took office he told of his determination to halve the assets of the association by spending more money helping the school. He had failed, he said, because the balances remained about the same.

Tony Bradley paid a warm tribute to Denis on his membership drive and said he would continue that drive. He also believed they should help the school more and suggested an investment in helping the school with modern languages (recognising Dover’s proximity to the Continent) and to further improving the school library.

Tony, who, with John Booth, had during the year successfully organised a London re-union (attended by 30) suggested he might try to do the same this year with Old Pharosians living in the Thames Valley, possibly at Oxford, Reading or Slough.

Archivist Peter Burville spoke of the volume of material now flowing in and said he and his team needed more help. He was delighted to receive that day copies of the second and third editions of the Pharos magazine. He was still seeking a copy of the first edition.

Ian Pascall, the honorary treasurer, presented the financial balance sheet to July 1998 which showed balances of £8,560 after a deficit on the year’s activities of £95. Cost of two newsletters was £466. More than £1,000 had gone to the school in equipment and in grants to boys.

Headmaster Neil Slater gave an upbeat report on the progress of the school where the roll had increased from 480 a few years back to 620. Staff numbers had increased from 26 to the mid 30s. Mr. Slater detailed the success of bids made for grants for school improvements and said that nearly £500,000 will have been spent shortly on the school over two years. He said the only “cloud on the horizon” was the impact on the school of the government’s Standards and Framework Bill when it became law, ending the grant maintained status the school currently enjoyed. It seemed likely, he suggested the school would become a Foundation School. A further possible cloud was that parents would be able to ballot on the continuation of grammar schools and selective education.

Other officers elected were: Secretary Phil Harding, Treasurer Ian Pascall, Membership Secretary David Murray, Joint Newsletter Editors Terry Sutton and Graham Tutthill, Archivist Peter Burville, Auditor Neil Beverton. Mike Palmer and Barry Crush were re-elected to the committee.

Football Match

Mick Palmer reports from the touchline: This year’s match between the School and the Old Boys provided spectators with an exciting contest. After the School had taken a two-goal lead the Old Boys’ team gradually found their feet and scored three times to lead midway through the second half. An equaliser for the School seemed to leave the game destined to be drawn, but the Old Boys grabbed a late winner to take the Andrew Kremer Memorial Cup outright for the second successive year.

The Old Boys were represented by: Matt Robinson, Neil Beverton, Chris Alcock, Jamie Sadler, Paul Padfield, Paul Henwood, Paul Johnson, Simon Gretton, Jeff Vane, Gary Beeden and John Stonebridge.

Annual Dinner

The annual dinner was held in the Great Hall at the school in the evening when Tony Bradley recalled his time at the school in the days of austerity and nationalisation of 1948. He particularly remembered what he believed was the school’s first post-war overseas visit, to Copenhagen, and the train journey through war-ravaged Germany.

In responding to the President’s toast of The School, the Headmaster gave a further update on the school’s progress and revealed it was planned that all second year sixth formers would be given the opportunity to carry out work experience on the Continent.
ARCHIVISTS’ CORNER

Greetings! Once again it can be reported that there was a very good response to the requests made in previous Archivists’ Corner.

David Hannent (1957-63), and his secretary Dianne Goodson of Solitaire Computers, Dover, have done a splendid job transcribing the two audio tapes which were recorded at the Whitehouse Reunion of 28th March 1988. The excellent quality of the recordings, made by Maurice Smith (1959-89), was a great help. The computer files, generated in the transcription, are now on the OPA archive database. This will enable searches to be quickly made for topics and people who feature on the tapes.

Mrs ELLENDER, widow of the recently deceased Alan Reginald ELLENDER (1924-35), has kindly donated to the archives some School-related items which their children do not wish to keep in the family. Amongst the excellent collection are copies of volume 1, numbers 2 and 3, of The Pharos magazine. On the grey cover of the pair has been written in ink R. A. ELLENDER, Alan’s father, who was killed during the Great War (1914-18).

Both John Condon (1961-68) and Peter Piddock (1953-60) have asked for, and been given, a copy of the School on the Hill video running-sheet so that they can help with the identification of the “stars” who feature in it. If anyone else would like to help, I would be pleased to supply a copy of the running-sheet.

David Slater (1962-69) has kindly donated a copy of the May 1968 School photograph to the archives. David has also identified some of the boys on the photograph. If anyone else would like to help in identfying people on the year photograph, for this or any other year, do please let me know.

Ted Baker (1922-38) has kindly donated a lot of material for the archives. In addition to Newsletters, starting from no. 1 of the new series (June 1961), he has given me personal school reports and other quite unique items. When collecting the material, from their home in Moretonhampstead on Dartmoor, I was made very welcome by Mr & Mrs Baker in their charming house. Tea and home-made cakes were enjoyed by your archivist.

Lt. Col. Richard Bolton (1948-55) has, via the Headmaster, donated 12 delightful cartoons, of teachers, he made while in the lower sixth - they bear witness to target practice with darts in the prefects room behind the stage! Those featured are Messrs T. E. Archer (1924-64), J. C. Booth (1937-59), D. R. Butcher (1946-52), A. E. Coulson (1928-71), J. A. Cowell (1947-57), O. Hull (1947-61), W. H. Jacques (1946-73), E. W. Lister (1949-69), R. W. Murphy (1946-76), C. Rowlands (1932-65), K. H. Ruffell (1937-79), and E. G. Smith (1946-66). If anyone would like a colour copy of any of the cartoons, I am sure it could be arranged.

In the book Fifty Years On 1931-1981, which records some of the events of the School’s first 50 years at the Astor Avenue location, Ken Ruffell states that “ .. in 1924 a site on Astor Avenue was selected for a new school building.” Donald Dewar (1920-28) tells me that in anticipation of the move to Astor Avenue (in 1931) football and cricket was played, by the boys from Frith Road, on the lower field as early as 1926.

Wishing you all well in 1999,
Peter Burville

DISCUSSIONS FROM THE COMMITTEE ROOM

The committee met on Thursday 19 November, 1998, with your President, Tony Bradley, in the chair. Also present were vice-President the Rev. John Philpott, Head Teacher Neil Slater, Denis Weaver, Barry Crush, Peter Burville, Ian Pascall, Malcolm Grant, Terry Sutton, Tom Beer and Graham Tutthill.

Treasurer Ian Pascall said there was £7,350 in the investment account, and a current bank balance of £1,646.87. The annual dinner had made a profit of £54.

The committee agreed to make a donation of around £600 for new Colours and Representative Ties which had been re-designed and it was suggested that a small card from the Old Pharosians should be included in each packet containing a tie so that the boys who received them were aware who had donated the money for them. Neil Slater gave details of a scheme to introduce work experience in Brittany for Year 12 boys, and also for Year 12 students from the Girls’ Grammar School. The cost of setting up the scheme was said to be £1,500, and the committee agreed to pay £750 towards this.

A letter was received from Head of Art Mr. Steve Almond giving details of the A level life study classes which are held after school. There had been some difficulty in meeting the cost of these classes and the committee agreed to make a donation of £200.

It was agreed that in future only a resume of the contents of this newsletter should included in the school’s web page on the Internet. Old boys surfing the net will be invited to join the association in order to obtain the complete copy!

Subject to confirmation, it has been proposed that the 1999 Annual Meeting and Dinner should be held on Saturday 18 September.

It has been suggested that the Old Pharosians might have a presence at the school on the evenings when prospective pupils attend with their parents, and when those who have been accepted into Year 7 attend with their parents, in the hope of making contact with fathers who may be old boys of the school, but not members of the association. Some committee members have offered to help.

One item for the agenda of the next meeting is whether the word “Old” should be dropped from the name Old Pharosians in an effort to make the association more attractive to those of younger years who have recently left school.

The next meetings of the committee will be held on Thursday 18 March and Wednesday 16 June 1999.

NEWS OF THE SCHOOL

JUNIOR PRIZE GIVING

Former Dover District Council chairman and current vice-chairman of the school governors Councillor Walter Robertson presented the prizes and certificates at the Dover Boys' Grammar School junior prize giving on Wednesday 23 September.
Boys from years seven to nine had been selected by their form teachers to receive merit certificates for effort, excellence and achievement and subject certificates were awarded to pupils who excelled in a particular subject often, but not always, by coming top in the end of year exams.

The Audrey Elliott Prize for special endeavour was presented to Robert Stewart, the Payton Cup for the CCF army section went to Peter Elms, and the Bridlington Cup for the RAF section went to Michael Weatherley.

GUEST EVENING

Are there any Old Pharosians out there who remember having an extra half day holiday because the school boiler blew up? And have you ever wondered who was responsible for this apparently mysterious incident? Well, the culprit has owned up at last!

Terry Sutton, guest speaker at the 1998 Guest Evening in November, confessed that it was he who twiddled the knobs - “all in the course of investigation”. Terry recalled returning to war-ravaged Dover in 1945 when the present school building was occupied by the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and the pupils were split into three separate buildings, the Technical Institute in Ladywell, the School of Art in Maison Dieu Road and Hillersden House in the Godwyne Road area. It was a horribly cold winter, clothing was short and most food was still rationed.

Terry revealed that when the school was based in the Technical Institute in Ladywell he was told to collect coke from the boiler room in the basement. "I was never much good at physics and did not understand all that business about boiler pressures. Alone in the boiler room, investigative as always, I turned some of the controls of the boiler to see what would happen. Nothing happened, and I thought I had turned the controls back to the position I had found them. Then I went home for lunch. When I returned there was disaster. The fire brigade was there and the firemen were ankle deep in hot water. The boilers had blown up. Boy was I worried, but the incident was put down to boiler malfunction and all the boys in the technical college were told to go home to keep warm. I have checked the statute of limitations, and my reading of that ensures that no longer can I be prosecuted for that act. It was not vandalism. Purely scientific investigation. Well, that would have been my defence if the culprit was ever found.”

Terry also spoke of the controversy over the future of grammar schools and selective education. "I have learnt that if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it,” he said. "And this school ain't broke, financially, intellectually or in what it is contributing to the community.” He urged the boys to strive for reliability, trustworthiness and stickability. "Set targets, work hard to achieve them but don't get depressed if you fail. Don't go after a career just because it offers the biggest financial rewards, and try to find time to contribute to the community.”

Terry presented the prizes, among them the prize given in memory of his older brother Roy, also a former pupil at the school, who was killed while serving in the RAF in 1942. The prize is awarded each year for English, and was presented this year to James Kearns. "I hope we remember the boys of that era,” said Terry.

Head teacher Neil Slater said any vision of a county full of fine comprehensive schools was "totally unattainable” in the foreseeable future. "We will be left with a whole series of nasty compromises. There is no money and time to be spent on a re-organisation. The government have stated clearly they will not release any funds. The county has no money to spare and it has no plan drawn up for a reorganisation. All the schools in the area are doing an excellent job, high schools and grammar schools alike. Nothing will be gained for anyone by inflicting disruption and uncertainty. My comfort is that I have some faith in the common sense of the good parents of Kent who will form the electorate in any ballots that are forthcoming. They will not want to see the turmoil that would arise from a vote to do away with the grammar schools.”

If grammar schools were outlawed, Mr. Slater said A level students would have to be brought together in sufficiently large numbers so their courses could be run, and large comprehensives were the usual answer. "Do we really want such big schools, especially when most of them will have to be on split sites?” he asked. Only independent fee-paying schools would gain. "This school charges no fees. There is no social test on entry - you pass the test or you don't. Selection by ability has its pains but I personally prefer it to selection by money.”

Mr. Slater reported that the students' A level results this year were the best ever and the GCSEs were above average in the league of grammar schools.

Prizewinners were: Martin Broom memorial prize for special endeavour, Alex Kenmure; Jubilee prize for endeavour, Martin Douglas; Nigel Pointer prize for special endeavour, Michael Roberts; Staff prize, Jonathan Slaughter; Headmaster's prize, Antony Hook; Town Mayor of Dover's prize, Richard Berridge; Robert Michael Brown Prize for RAF Cadets, Richard Coffey; Old Boys' Cadet Prize, Mitu Islam; Arnold Shield for sport, Beau Hayden; Ian Wallace Bird Cup for outstanding service to school sport, John Castle; House Challenge Shield, Castle House; Ross Arnold and John Carey memorial trophy for cross country running, Tom Parkin.

Upper school, John Tomlinson memorial prize for maths and the Pfizer prize for physics, Tom Marsh; Pfizer prize for chemistry, Tim Courtney: Pfizer prize for maths, Pfizer prize for biology, Richard Berridge; AE Coulson Memorial Prize for computing, computer science prize and the Pfizer prize for maths, Martin Douglas; sports studies prize, Andrew Gollop; French, Ivan Hargrave; economics, William Callister; Clatworthy prize for classics, Antony Hook; Bulow music prize, Ian Banks; Senior music prize, James Parker; German, Steven Perkins; John Talbot Prize for practical computing and the maths prize, Alan Roberts; history, Jon Spence; geography, Mark Doel; art and the Bulow prize for English literature, Matthew Borle; Chemistry prize and the Hubert Hopkins prize for physics, Andrew Greenland.

Middle school, Roy Sutton memorial prize for English, James Kearns; Tunnell Memorial prize for history, Alex Kenmure; Patrick Elworthy memorial prize for French, and the Frederick Ashman memorial prize for maths, Alex Langridge; JE Ellis prize for geography, Mark Long; German, Stephen Bannister; Rookwood prize for drama, Andrew Tempest; art, Daniel Williams; Sidney Clout music prize, Michael Quinn; physics, Mark Callanan; Pfizer prize for technology, Ian Greenland; Whitehouse memorial prize for RE and the biology prize, Stephen Whelan; Thomas memorial prize for chemistry, Steven Scott; Alec Coveney memorial prize for design technology, and the John Talbot Information and Technology prize, Mark Gabriel; Lewis Robert Kennedy memorial prize for design technology Michael Crebbin; certificates for outstanding service to music, Tom Causer, Trevor Lines and Xavier Taylor.

G.T.

CHANGING AGAIN

As you will all be aware, the government is getting rid of Grant Maintained status. The governors of our school have opted for Foundation Status, and the parents have been informed so that they can decide whether they want to oppose that view and call for a ballot. If there is no opposition, and the Education Secretary approves the proposal, the new status should come into effect in September 1999. We’ll keep you up to date in future editions of this newsletter. Incidentally ROBIN TERRY (1964-72) was re-elected chairman of the governors for a third year of office in September. Dave Murray, who is our association’s membership secretary, has also been re-elected by the staff as a Teacher Governor.

SERVICE OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT

Several Old Pharosians joined the choir for this very special event in the school’s calendar, held at Charlton Church on 16 December. In the absence of our President, Terry Sutton read the fifth lesson, which is traditionally read by an Old Pharosian.

NEWS FROM THE FOOTBALL FIELD

The 1st XI have had a very successful season and are riding high as leaders of the East Kent Schools' Under 19 league having lost only one match.
Captain Marc Garrood, who also plays for Dover Athletic Reserves, puts the team's success down to a good blend of young and older players and old-fashioned team spirit.

"We've been behind in several games, but pulled through in the second half with a real determination to win,” he said.

Top goal scorer is Ben MacKenzie with 18 goals, ably supported by James Durrant, who plays for Kent, and Kevin Doughty in midfield, and Marc Garrood and Neil Brinicombe in central defence.

Manager Steve Bailey feels the team will go from strength to strength with eight of the squad being under 16. So far the team have played 14 games, and won 11.

NEWS OF THE SCHOOL, GATHERED FROM FIRST THURSDAY NEWSLETTERS

WINDOWS ’99
We reported in the last newsletter that the school is to receive nearly half a million pounds in various grants towards improvements to the buildings. As part of this programme, scaffolding has been erected so that all the windows overlooking the quad can be replaced. The main work is expected to be undertaken in the first half of this Spring Term.

HOMEWORK HOUR
A Homework Club has been set up for pupils who would prefer to stay on after school to do their homework. The club is being held in the School Library on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3.30 to 4.30pm, supervised by staff.

BANK SCHEME
The School Midland Bank is now up and running, staffed by pupils from Year 10 with a Midland Bank supervisor on hand to offer help.

BRITTANY TRIP
Sixth formers have been to Brittany to visit students at Le College Notre-Dame. They toured several local places of interest - including a fish market at 4am one morning - and they also had first hand experience of demonstrations being staged by striking French students who were protesting at the poor student-teacher ratio.

NEW GOVERNOR
The Rev Nick De Keyser has been appointed a First Governor at the school. He is Rector of SS Peter and Paul, Charlton. Mrs Suzanne Dawson and Mr Walter Robertson have been re-appointed as First Governors.

DESIGN AWARD
A Christmas Card sent out across Kent included a design by Matthew O’Neill, of Year 10, who won the Dover regional stage of a competition organised by the Kent Messenger Group in association with the Kent Education and Business Partnership. Matthew’s design went on to win the county final and a first prize of £125.

HOSPICE HELP
Boys have raised and donated £230 to help fund a volunteer carer working at a hospice for abandoned, neglected or orphaned children in south-east Rumania. Links have been made direct with the hospice through a friend of Mr. Richard Sewell, Head of RE, and the boys aim to send at least £40 a week to help one of the carers. They have to finance themselves.

SKI TRIP
A ski trip is being planned for December 1999 to the Italian resort of Courmayeur.

NEWS OF OLD BOYS

OBITUARIES

CAPTAIN ROBERT BORTHWICK RE (retired) (1927-34)

Robert, a retired Royal Engineer captain, was born on 9 May 1915, and died on 31 October at his home in Dorchester, Devon. The funeral was at St George’s Church, Dorchester, on 9 November. Robert also had a brother W.S. Borthwick at the school. We extend our sympathy to his family.

DONALD DEWAR (1920-28)

We were sorry to hear that Donald had passed away on Friday 7 August, peacefully in his sleep, following a heart attack. He had been ill for some time, suffering from emphysema which eventually proved too great a strain on his heart. His widow, Jill Dewar, writes:

“We attended a 40 Years On re-union several years ago when I met many of the people whom I felt I already knew from Don’s stories of school. He had recently been helping Peter Burville with the identification of photographs which brought many happy memories for him.

“Don celebrated his 86th birthday in May, and despite the years remained exactly the same person that his ‘school-friends’ remember. He was at Dover Grammar from 1920 to 1928 and always remembered his time there with affection, pride and gratitude. His years as a teacher himself reflect well upon the values learnt during those years at school. He has never failed to take an interest in the school’s progress and has also taken delight in keeping up with the achievements of his own pupils, many of whom have kept in touch with him over the years.

“I wish the school well and hope that many more pupils pass through your portals into the world having absorbed the standards and values with which Don was blessed.”

We extend our sympathy to Jill and the other members of the family, we give thanks for Donald and his life, and we will remember him with great affection.

STILL LIVING AND LEARNING

GRAHAM BARRACLOUGH (1965-72)

Graham e-mailed us to recall it was 26 years since he left Dover and “The School On The Hill”. “This is the first time I have viewed the school’s web site and I was suitably impressed and interested in the comments on the ‘Old Boys’. I have to admit I am not a member of the Old Pharosians’ Association (membership form on its way to you - Ed). Kevin Wood was my dinner table head, back around ‘68 or so. I am presently living in Canada and am employed as the CFO of a company which manufactures storage tanks. I am happily married with 5 children, none of whom, unfortunately, will have the privilege of attending DGSB. Regards to all - does Astor House still come last?” (Astor House no longer exists! - Ed).
Graham’s e-mail address is barraclough@clemmertech.com

OLIVER BAYLEY (1979-86)

Oliver asked if we had an e-mail address for Carl Waite. Couldn’t help there, but we did send him what we hope is Carl’s postal address. Oliver’s e-mail address is bayley@interval.com

ROBERT (BOD) BOWLES (1941-47)

Bod, the name under which he prefers to be known, has just celebrated 36 years running the Louis Armstrong pub in Maison Dieu Road, Dover. When he took over as a tenant the pub was called The Grapes but in 1971 Bod, now the owner with his wife Jackie, changed the name to the Louis Armstrong. Bod used to play the trombone in his own trad jazz band and is a great fan of Louis.

ANDREW BROWN (1978-84)

Andrew was one of several who contacted us to amend his address, following the inclusion of the Membership List in the last newsletter. He now lives at 164 Old Road, Oxford, OX3 8SY.

Andrew is currently Head of Educational Services at St. Clare’s, Oxford, responsible for the design and delivery of a range of short courses including teacher training, courses in art and literature for university groups, English as a Foreign Language for juniors, for young adults and for adults, and so on. He has also just been appointed Project Director to establish the Institute for English Language Teaching, which is to be the new professional association for ELT in Britain and overseas, and which will formally be launched in the spring of 2000. Andrew sends best wishes to all staff who may remember him. His e-mail address is eduserv@stclares.ac.uk

PETER BURVILLE (1946-51)

Peter, our Old Pharosians’ archivist, is researching his family history and has traced his ancestors back to the 1500s. He aims to publish a book on the subject. His research has led him to discover that around 170 years ago one of his ancestors, Benjamin Burville and his family, lived in a cave at East Cliff, Dover. Benjamin’s story was related in The Dover Society’s Newsletter in an interesting article written by Peter who has a Doctorate in Economics. He lives at St Margaret’s Bay and only recently gave up one of his hobbies - lobster fishing off the Bay!

PASTOR ERIC CASTLE (1934-41)

Eric sent a completed membership form and Deed of Covenant (well done, Eric - others please note!!) after discovering his previous banker’s order had somehow lapsed.

“As one of those still living and learning and now 60+ years on, I thought I’d just give a thumbnail picture of the years since leaving Ebbw Vale in early 1941 to join what was the Post Office Engineering Department. Ebbw Vale was a complete turning point in my life as there, in a Welsh Presbyterian Chapel, I found Jesus Christ as my Saviour, and He has coloured my whole life since. I was in Dover from 1941-43 and then spent three years in the Royal Signals restoring communications back to this country after D. Day from France and Germany. From 1947 until retirement in 1984 I was working on long distance telephoning and latterly became a field manager for Telex and Data Services in the Canterbury Telephone area.

“For a couple of years before retirement and up to the present day I have been pastor to a house church here in Canterbury but in September 1998 I laid down my office as we joined with a similar church and left the pastoring to a couple of younger people. My wife and I have not retired from church activities however.

“I very much enjoy the Old Pharosians’ newsletter and look back with gratitude to the years I spent in Astor Avenue. I realise now that the paint on the new school was nearly new when I joined. I can well remember Ken Ruffell coming to the school though I was never taught by him. What an achievement of 60 years service! My hopes are that the school will continue as a grammar school indefinitely and do for many more what it did for me all those years ago. Fiat Lux.”

DAVID CLOKE (1984-91)

David has now been appointed Senior House Officer with the Newcastle Health Trust and will spend at least the next two years working in different hospitals in the area, spending six months at each, involving different types of surgery. In the summer he took part in the Great North Run, completing the half-marathon distance in two hours.

REV. GEOFF COOK (1977-81)

Another Old Pharosian who realised he had forgotten to keep us up to date with a change of address, Geoff wrote from Sheppey House, 33 Stone Street, Faversham, Kent ME13 8PU. Having worked in Gravesend for 10 years - first as a teacher at St. George’s Church of England Comprehensive School, then as Youth Worker and finally as Associate Minister of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Gravesend - in January 1998 he moved to Faversham as Minister of Faversham Baptist Church. He still has many connections with Dover. He and his wife have family and friends living here, and being so near they often return. “I appreciate the newsletter and read with interest the latest news from the school and progress of my contemporaries.”

ANDREW DALE (1985-92)

Kennetcook is a tiny community in Nova Scotia, 50 miles north of Halifax, and it has a little white-boarded church and steepled tower. >From that church on the afternoon of Saturday 19 September 1998 came the strains of Fiat Lux, “Thou whose almighty word . . .” It was the wedding service of Andrew Dale, attended by four of his school friends who had flown out to Canada for the occasion. The grammar school contingent consisted of David Dixon, Stephen Cleverley and Oliver Gambrill, who attended with Andrew from 1985 to 1992, and Paul Morris, who was one year their senior. Two members of the family are also former members of the school. Andrew’s best man, his brother Christopher Dale, was there for two years (1988 to 1990) and Peter Dale, his father, taught computing from 1988 to 1996. It was quite moving to join in the school hymn being sung with such gusto in such a remote and distant place. Andrew met his bride, Angela Hennigar, at Exeter University while she was in her post graduate year at St. Luke’s teaching college. The couple will live in Halifax where Andrew’s knowledge of the mobile phone industry is much in demand, and Angela hopes to move from her local government position to a teaching post.

STEPHEN DURRANT ( 1988-95)

Stephen was among four young people from Dover and Deal who were guests of MP Gwyn Prosser touring the corridors of power in Westminster. Mr. Prosser had invited young people from the area with an interest in the civil service to apply for places on a special Foreign Office open day in Whitehall. Stephen is currently studying at St. Andrew’s. It was an early start for the youngsters, Mr. Prosser picked them up at 6.45am to drive them to London. The great doors of the Foreign Office were flung open for their arrival and they were given a warm welcome by the Foreign Minister Baroness Symons in the very grand reception hall before visiting the various departments of the Ministry and hearing about their vast and varied duties. The visit included one to one discussions with senior members of staff including a young man who heads up a tiny department with responsibility for the Millennium Dome foreign affairs and the UK's 2006 World Cup application. There was a live video link up with the UK's embassy staff in Spain, and plenty of opportunities to discuss careers. After leaving Whitehall, Mr. Prosser's young guests accompanied him to the Palace of Westminster for a whistle-stop tour of the House of Commons and lunch on the celebrated Terrace overlooking the Thames.

PHILIP EWER (1932-38)

Philip was also pleased to peruse the membership list and see quite a number of names he remembered from his time at the school. He sent his apologies for the annual dinner as he and his wife now find it difficult to contemplate the journey from Southampton to Dover. We recall that Philip was awarded the Imperial Service Order in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1982 and attended an investiture at Buckingham Palace in July of that year. Incidentally, his postcode should be SO16 7AE.

REV. GARY GILL (1961-63)

Gary, who joined our school from Castlemount Secondary School, worked for British Rail as a staff administration officer at Dover hoverport, Folkestone Harbour and at Southern House. He became a Reader at St Peter’s Church, Folkestone, and was ordained in Guildford Cathedral in 1997. “Father Gaz” came to Dover in 1990 to work with the Rev. Leonard Tyzack at St Andrew’s with special responsibilities for St Nicholas Church on Buckland Estate. During his time at Dover he’s also assisted in Calais and Boulogne. Now he’s moved to Birchington as assistant priest with special responsibility for Minnis Bay and Acol.

DAVID HANNENT (1957-64)

Quantity surveyor David is managing director of Dover-based PMC (Project Management Consultancy) and has been playing an important role in Anglo-French relations. For several years, David has been leading East Kent businessmen to Calais Trade Fair and in 1998, with the French minister of tourism, was in Lens, Northern France, judging a competition to select Miss Cote d’Opale. So hard work does have its rewards!

PAUL HEAFEY (1968-75)

Paul has e-mailed the school from his home in Thame, Oxfordshire, to ask for a membership form to join the association. “I was delighted to come across your web site recently and, having moved away from Dover some years ago, the pages contained many staff members and former pupils that I knew of and I would love to finally become a member. I was in Priory House at school, and since leaving I have lived in various parts of the UK, having recently returned from a three-year spell living and working in Eastern France.” Paul’s e-mail address is: Paul.Heafey@anixter.com

JOHN HENDY (1963-65)

In the summer, John was called in by BBC Radio Kent as an expert on cross-Channel transport for the 30th anniversay of the introduction of the first car-carrying hovercraft, The Princess Margaret, operating between Dover and France. John, who runs the specialist magazine Ferry Publications, teaches and lives at Staplehurst. On the BBC programme with John was Terry Sutton (1940-47) who was a passenger on the original flight of the craft.

MARTIN HIBBERT (1957-63)

Martin has worked for Dover Harbour Board for nearly 30 years, but in his spare time helps his wife Ann with her four unusual charges, Blackberry, Dinky, Pearl and Tilly. They are a quartet of miniature horses which are much in demand for fetes and fund-raising events all over south East Kent.

Ann is hoping to start an innovative “Pat A Pony” scheme similar to the existing ones involving canine visitors to hospitals and homes which have proved beneficial to patients and residents, and she is convinced her horses could also provide valuable alternative therapy.

To qualify as a miniature horse, they have to be a height of 34 inches or less at the shoulder. Martin, who describes himself as a mixture of “creche leader and circus ringmaster” drives their specially converted small pony box. They are seeking sponsorship to provide transport to carry all four, rather than just two of their charges.

DR. EDWIN R. HOLLINGBSEE (1985-1992)

Edwin graduated from Bristol University Medical School in 1997 having completed a five year course. This included three years training in hospitals through the South West and an attachment to Oncology and Palliative Care in Brisbane, Australia. Having completed his house jobs at Bristol Frenchay Hospital and Yeovil District Hospital he was working, in the autumn of 1998, as a Senior House Officer in the Accident and Emergency department in Grantham Hospital, Lincolnshire.

CRAIG HOWE (1985-93)

After receiving the latest newsletter Craig said he was determined to make the effort to write in with details of what he has been up to. “I suspect I am like many Old Pharosians who, in spite of having good intentions, never get round to writing in. Well, with e-mail, I have no excuses now!

“Since leaving school (actually I left in ’93 . . . had to re-take Maths A-Level!!) I have been to Salford University where I studied Electronic Computer Systems, graduating with Third Class Honours (maths again, I’m afraid!)

“My aim since leaving school was to join the Royal Navy as a pilot, so it’s with some satisfaction I can tell you that some six years later, Sub Lieutenant Craig Howe RN (to give you my Naval moniker) is just about to finish his first stage of flying training before going on to fly helicopters. Since joining the Navy I have been fortunate to be part of the Ocean Wave ’97 deployment to Australia and the Far East where I spent several months visiting Singapore, Vietnam and Australia - all fascinating countries. More recently I have been stationed at RAF Cranwell undergoing Joint Elementary Flying Training on the Slingsby Firefly.

“I still keep in touch with several of my friends from school, and look back with fond memories. I would also like to add that although I was never an academic ‘high flier’ (Dave Murray can probably vouch for that!!) I have applied myself well and never let a lack of good ‘on paper’ qualifications hold me back. I now have what must be one of the best jobs in the Royal Navy. My academic qualifications were just one part of what I got out of being at DGSB - ambition was probably the other, and for that I am most grateful. Fortunately for me, the latter has been of more benefit than the former!!

“On another note, I am glad to see Maurice Smith is still enjoying his retirement and I would be grateful if you could remember me to him. I was also saddened to hear of the death of Ian Bird - a man of integrity whose presence made him appear much taller than his diminutive height allowed. Unfortunately I will not be able to make it to the 1998 annual dinner as I am due to graduate from my flying course that weekend, but I look forward to the time when I can meet up with some of my old friends once more.”

Craig’s e-mail address is craig_howe@lineone.net

RICHARD KENTON (1925-31)

Newsletter joint editor Terry Sutton, while guiding a visiting group around Dover’s St Mary’s Church, discovered one man who was baptised there. Further discussion revealed that Richard was at our school (after “graduating” from Barton Road). He later worked for Dover Borough Council and spent a lifetime in local government. He and his wife now live in Dorset.

MATT KINGSLAND (1982-95)

Matt writes to say he now lives at 12 Henry Court, Gordon Road, Canterbury CT1 3PL. Since leaving school Matt has worked for a video display marketing company, the Channel Tunnel, and the Jubilee Line project on the London Underground. He is now with Pfizer at Sandwich in their Central Research division in the position of senior finance assistant. He graduated from the University of Hertfordshire this year with a BSc (Hons) in European Studies with German. And, he says, he’s planning to marry next year.

KEITH McKINNES (1941-48)

In a long letter from his home in Bristol, Keith recalls his days at the school. “Looking back some 58 years, certain things stand out and will never be erased from my mind. Good or bad. Phil Buss, my boyhood hero. Sad he has gone. As Sergeant Major in the cadet corps, puttees and all. Then his bugle-blowing in the Korean War.” He also remembers being caned by Spud Slater, two or three strokes. “No mum to cry to. Today I could sue for GBH and win without doubt.” And he remembers Billy Baxter’s accuracy with a blackboard duster. His letter is full of memories of the school’s days in Ebbw Vale.

JOHN PEVERLEY (1945-50)

John’s book “Dover’s Hidden Fortress” has proved so popular that the publishers, The Dover Society, have gone to a second edition. The book details the history and preservation of the Western Heights’ fortifications and was inspired by a talk John gave to the society in April 1991. John retired as Assistant Director of Planning and Architecture for Birmingham City Council.

DR. STEPHEN PRATT (1957-63)

Many “old” Dovorians will remember the pharmacy which Steve’s parents ran in Cherry Tree Avenue. Steve has also pursued a career in pharmaceuticals and is now Director of Corporate Quality Assurance for a multi-national drug company for which he travels the globe.

It was expected that Steve would concentrate on Science at school. "Because my father was a chemist - they didn't appreciate the difference between Chemistry and being a chemist - and I'm singularly ill-suited to be a scientist of any sort." But he found himself reading Chemistry at Imperial College, London, followed by a PhD in Analytical Chemistry which he was awarded on his 25th birthday. His first post was with Pfizer Ltd at Sandwich and he also became involved with the Round Table there - a charity he was involved with for 16 years finally becoming area chairman for the county. Having chosen a pharmaceutical career he opted for quality assurance. "I didn't want to do research - that's finding out more and more in less and less until eventually you find everything in nothing." He moved onto Newcastle-upon-Tyne and then down to Abbotts Laboratories in Queenborough, Sheppey with the post of Quality Assurance manager responsible for bulk chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hospital products and nutritionals.

He married Jo, a teacher, they had a son Jamie and daughter, Hannah, and made their home in Faversham. "Then late one night I got a call from a head-hunter - which was not unusual and usually ignored. This time he got half-way through - and I started listening." The magic word was Geneva - and after a dozen years crossing the King's Ferry Bridge, Switzerland held an undeniable appeal. It was the start of an odyssey which has taken Steve, now 53, to most parts of the world: "I haven't been to Russia or South Africa or New Zealand yet - but we're going to New Zealand to see the Millennium in!" After Geneva, he came back to Britain for a while before moving on to Basle and is now based in Copenhagen for a "privately-owned firm that is technically Swedish, financially Dutch and with headquarters in Denmark." He spends at least 20 per cent of his working time either around airports or on a plane.

"I'm not worried by flying but there was the occasion when I flew into Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong, which has a runway projecting into the harbour, the plane has to make a very steep turn through the high-rises and the previous flight had actually over-shot the runway and landed in the water. There was no loss of life but they hadn't retrieved the aircraft when we landed so that was a bit spooky. Then in September I was at JFK airport and I realised afterwards the people I'd walked past to board my plane had been checking-in to the doomed Swissair flight.”

His Dover Grammar School French O level stood him in better stead than he had first imagined and he eventually found himself able to converse fluently. His family are now settled, with Jo teaching special needs across the road from their Danish home, Jamie starting his MA at Goldsmith's College, London and Hannah in her final year at Bradford University. She spent an exchange year in Canada where Carlton University chose her as the "face" for its student recruitment drive, appearing on TV with Leslie Neilsen of “Airport” film fame.

Steve’s commitment to running means he has been a successful competitor in the London Marathon, and he intends to keep travelling even after retirement, at a more leisurely pace. But there is one link to his home town that has never been severed. Whether filled with English sterling, Swiss Francs or Danish Kroner, his bank account is still with Lloyd's Dover branch!

MATTHEW SIMS (1987-94)

Matthew achieved a BA Class 2A in Philosophy and Economics at University College, London.

BILL (NIFTY) SKELTON (1942-46)

Nifty, after a lifetime in educational services, retired as chief administrative officer at Thanet College. Now he’s become nifty on the dance floor! Let him explain: “I was introduced to English Country Dancing in 1975 by the renowned Councillor Ernie Eley and I am a regular dancer still. The year 1982 saw the formation of the Broom Park Dancers when we were sponsored by Broom Park to travel to Copenhagen for a festival. Further visits took place in 1990. Other dance events take place locally, at Eastry House, at Folkestone International Festival and Tenterden Long Weekend”. He’s got this recommendation to those OPs who think they are growing old. “Take up country dancing. It’s a hobby, a pleasure and an aphrodisiac. It exercises old bones, stimulates the blood and utilises the brain cells.” He says his bones are growing old, especially after 70 blood donations! His memory is OK however. Well he recalls J.C. Booth, Lewellen Langley, Frank Kendall and Billy Baxter. But perhaps most of all, Miss M Leary, says Bill.

A.G. STONE (1927-32)

As a result of the publication in the last edition of the Newsletter, Mr.Stone has let us know that we have been sending information to him at the wrong address. He no longer resides at Whitstable and now lives at 9 Millbrook, Mill Road, Hythe CT21 5PQ. By the way, if the published membership list contained any other inaccuracies please let us know by writing to the school.

CLIVE THOMAS (1976-83)

Clive wrote to congratulate those who had worked on the new DGSB website. “It’s first rate, and for an Old Boy like myself who is overseas this enables me to catch up on school news much more easily.” Clive is currently working as an Operations Research Analyst for a manufacturing firm in Harrisburg PA.

NEALE THOMAS (1975-80)

Neale, a member of the Welsh team in the epee event, won a bronze medal for fencing at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in the autumn. The team only just lost silver, losing in the last hit to Australia. He was able to fence for Wales because his father is Welsh. He was selected for Great Britain in 1977 and has competed in the World Cup fencing in many European countries and in Canada. He graduated in 1980 or 1981 and is a senior business consultant for a computer software house in Wimbledon and was originally coached in fencing by Les Welham at our school.

DR. RAY THORP (1953-61) was interested in the Flying High article in the July issue of this newsletter about the restoration of the school flag pole. He wrote from his home in Chester to say: “It brought back memories for me of my time in the Royal Naval Section of the school’s Combined Cadet Force.

The school’s flagpole was rarely used in those days except that the Welsh Dragon made irregular appearances on St. David’s Day and, as I recall, a National Savings flag was also flown occasionally. Rarely, that is, until the RN Section of the CCF acquired its own flag which we decided to fly on Fridays, the day on which we attended school in our CCF uniform and had our joint parade with the RAF and Army sections.;

“Sadly, when we first attempted to hoist the new flag, the ageing truck split in two before the flag had reached half mast. So Peter Chatfield and I lowered the flagpole (a hazardous operation in itself) and replaced the old truck by a new one, quickly produced thanks to Peter’s woodworking skills. We decided to mark the occasion by signing our names on the underside of the new truck and then varnishing it to preserve the signatures for posterity: P J Chatfield, R G Thorp, 5/11/59. A suitable tribute, we thought, to Guy Fawkes’ Day, as we enjoyed a splendid view from the tower of the early evening fireworks.

“I have often wondered whether our names would still be up there ‘forty years on’. Nearly, but not quite, it would appear from your article!”

MARK TILLYARD (1987-94)

Mark, who has been studying in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics at City University School of Engineering in London, has been awarded a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Air Transport Engineering with First Class Honours. He has also been awarded the Worshipful Company of Bankers’ Final Year Book prize. Mark will be posted to RAF Cranwell for training as an RAF Engineering Officer.

NEIL UPTON (1970-77)

Neil, now living in the Midlands, travelled to Dover in September to sing at a Town Hall concert in aid of the Demelza House children’s hospice. On leaving school he worked for Seaspeed, the Dover-based hovercraft operator, and won the accolade in 1981-82 of being Allied Carpets’ salesman of the year. But Neil decided to give up carpets for the law and in 1988 he obtained a First Class degree in law. He is currently head of projects and finance with Wragge & Co., the largest law firm in the UK outside London, with whom he became a partner in 1996.

CHRISTOPHER WATTS (1983-90)

Another change of address, this time to 6 Warwick Road, Walmer, Deal CT14 7JF, Christopher writes to say he hasn’t really been in touch with the school since leaving in 1990. “After graduating in 1995 (yes five years, I wanted to make sure I did the degree thoroughly!), I began working in the London office of an American finance magazine. In March 1998 I took a job with The Economist Group as a finance journalist on a new magazine it has launched.

“I enjoy reading the newsletters and hearing everyone’s news and progress. I am still in contact with a fair number of boys from the year including one - Dave McCulloch - through work, Dave’s in PR. Julian Crush, Chris Beeson and I are hoping to come to a dinner at the school for OPs (lock up the sherry). So hopefully we will see you there.”

PETER WILBERFORCE (1947-54)

Peter lives in Oban, Argyll, and e-mailed us to say he found the last newsletter as interesting as ever, and was read from cover to cover not only by himself but also by his wife Sheila. Sending his apologies for not being able to attend the annual dinner in September, he says he hopes to get there one day!

He still finds plenty to do although fully retired from his dental practice. Dentistry is forgotten and that interest is replaced by mycology, especially the Ascomycetes. A paper describing his fourth New Species was with the referees when he wrote in August. “It’s amazing that with all the rain, these fungi haven’t developed webbed feet. It’s been one of the wettest summers for some 30 years. The consolation is that all the wet keeps Argyll fresh and green. It’s high time that a National Water grid was set up to help the parched South East. Kind regards to all at the school.” Peter’s e-mail address is pete@blackcrofts.demon.co.uk

DARREN WILMSHURST (1976-83)

Following the birth of their first child, Darren and his wife Joanne have decided to return to Kent to be nearer their respective families after a three-year spell in Surrey. They are now living in Cliftonville, Margate. Having had a baby, and moved house, Darren is also changing jobs. He is staying with Lloyds Bank but moving out of retail management into project management at one of the bank’s head office sites in Chatham.

ALBERT “SUNNY” WILSON (1963-68)

A defence fighting fund has been set up to secure the release of Albert Wilson who is on death row in the high security Muntinlupa Prison on an island off Manila. Albert, whose daughter Denise lives in Dover, was sentenced to death amid chaotic scenes in the Philippines in October. He is due to die by lethal injection after being convicted of a sex charge which he strongly denies. A Canadian newspaper publisher has launched a £10,000 fund at the House of Commons for a lawyer and other defence expenses. Albert, 47, is said to be very depressed and would welcome any letters from old boys who remember him. His address is Muntinlupa Penitentiary, Bureau of Correction, Sampaguita, Manila, Philippines. His case is also highlighted on the Internet website www.Blonnex.net/

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The youngest Old Pharosians - those who left the school in July - are making the most of the latest technology, whizzing messages between each other by E-mail. They are regularly keeping each other updated via the Internet, and arranging get-togethers both while they are at university and back home during the holidays.