OPA Newsletter Oct 1963

New Series No. 4

October 1963



President: DR. R. A. PELHAM

H. R. SLATER, Meadow Cottage, Sandwich Rd., Whitfield, Dover


Dear Old Pharosian,

You may already know that our old and much revered friend Mr. Darby died at the age of 86 earlier in the year, so I feel I ought to preface this letter to you with a brief appreciation of his long association with us.

In our early days at school his dignified and, as it seemed, forbidding presence made it difficult for us to think of him other than as a disciplinarian with whom we dared take no liberties. Then in middle school our earlier fear turned to respect for the competent and conscientious way he taught us; for the encouragement he gave to members of Buckland House both on and off the playing field; and for his editorship of The Pharos-activities which did much to bridge the gap between us. But it was not until we had left school that some of us discovered the warmth of his friendliness and the steadfastness of his purpose, which together made him so intellectually companionable and stimulating. His animated conversation on education, politics or international affairs revealed his intense concern with social and economic problems which he retained almost to the end.

Although he clearly had the capacity to do so, Mr. Darby never obtained a degree, but he enjoyed a university education in the days when that was a rare privilege; and by gaining the London intermediate certificates in both arts and science while a student at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in the 1890's he laid the foundations for his remarkable versatility. In the world of his mind the continents might be thought of as the subjects which he taught with equal facility: Geography, Scripture, Maths, French, Science and English. But they were not separated by academic oceans; rather were they bound together in a matrix derived from his profound knowledge and love of English literature. He was truly cultured, and in an unobtrusive way he taught as much by example as by precept, with the result that we were influenced by him to a greater extent than we ever knew.

Mr. Darby came to be identified more especially with the teaching of Geography, but long before that subject had won the recognition in educational circles which it now enjoys. He had to fight a long, lone battle to secure its rightful place in the school curriculum and when the present school buildings were being planned he made a no less strenuous and successful effort to win a place for the Geography Room-only to see it sacrificed to the exigencies of a later age. It detracts not at all from the high regard in which the subject and those who teach it in the school today are held to say that both it and they owe much to his pioneering endeavours.

In a more personal sense it was his general attitude towards life which impressed. His reach never extended beyond his ability to grasp; whilst his shrewd, philosophical outlook on people and things brought him inner satisfaction rather than outward recognition which, in any case, he never sought. And his humility stamped him as a genuine seeker after truth.

Mr. Darby will be remembered with gratitude by many members of the Association for his ready assistance and wise counsel throughout the years, particularly during his long term of the Presidency, and we mourn his passing. But while extending our heartfelt sympathy to Nellie, Hilda and John (Mrs. Darby died a few years ago) we rejoice with them in the knowledge that their father was held in the highest esteem and that his name will ever be honourably enshrined in the annals of the school he served so well.

* * *

You will have received the first instalment of the Register which the Historical Unit at the school is compiling under the Headmaster's direction. If you know any biographical details of interest concerning Old Boys would you be good enough to send them to the school for possible inclusion in a later instalment? It would be a source of encouragement to those concerned if you would because this very worthy task has proved much more difficult than originally anticipated.

There is a further matter to which I would like to invite your attention. The old D.C.S. was set up under the Education Act of 1902, and in 1965 will be celebrating its Diamond Jubilee. It would be appropriate for the Association to sponsor the publication of a history of the school while some of its members with memories of early days are still with us. May I, then, ask you to send to the Headmaster any information in the form of printable anecdotes, escapades, etc., which you think might be of interest in a work of this kind?

Yours sincerely,

R. A. Pelham


The ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will be held on Saturday, 23rd November, 1963. at 6.30 p.m. at the Dover Stage Hotel.


  1. Read the notice convening the meeting
  2. Minutes
  3. Matters arising
  4. Treasurer's Report
  5. Secretary's Report
  6. Election of Officers
  7. Amendments to Constitution
  8. Any other business

Hon. Secretary

The Annual Dinner will follow the meeting at 8 p.m. The cost will be 15/- and dress is informal.

The Guest Speaker will be A. D. Hewlett. Esq., Divisional Education Officer.

Reservations to H. R. Slater, Meadow Cottage, Sandwich Road, Whitfield, Dover (Kearsney 2033) by Thursday, 5 o'clock, 21st November, 1963.

The committee hopes you will make a special effort to attend this most enjoyable and informal function. The A.G.M. itself is very short and there will be plenty of time to meet and have a chat with old friends.


The Christmas Dance will be held on Friday, 27th December, 8 p.m. to midnight in the School Hall which will be gaily decorated by the prefects and the school caretaker promises it will be as warm as toast. It is hoped that a bar will be available.

Tickets, price 7/6, are available from the secretary or can be obtained from the shops of Eddie Crush, Alf Gunn or Denis Weaver.

We hope that all Old Pharosians home for Christmas will come along. As usual dress will be optional.


Saturday. 14th December. 1963.

Old Pharosians Soccer match. Interested Old Boys apply to Mr. K. H. Ruffell.

Thursday to Saturday, 19th to 21st March, 1964.

School Play, Hamlet. Applications for tickets to Mr. W. G. King.

Saturday, 21st March, 1964.

Old Pharosians' Rugby Match. Interested Old Boys apply to Mr. B. W. Denham.

Wednesday, 22nd July. 1964 School Fete.


(The Old Boys' Association of the Grammar School for Boys at Dover)


The proposed amendments to the existing Articles are indicated by a rule at the side of the page.


The name of the Association shall be "The Old Pharosians."


The Association shall have for its objects:

  1. The furthering of the interests of the School;
  2. The promotion and support of School activity;
  3. The promotion of social intercourse among members.


The Association shall consist of:

  1. Ordinary Members;
  2. Honorary Members;
  3. Life Members.


The Association shall be open to all Old Boys of the School.

All members of the Staff shall be Honorary Members.

Members of the Old Boys' Associations of other Grammar Schools shall be Honorary Members of the Association.


Life Membership shall be open to all Old Boys of the School, and past and present members of the Staff.


Honorary Life Members may be elected at the Annual General Meeting, after nomination by the Committee.


The privileges of the Association accorded to Members and to Life Members shall include:

  1. The right to wear the colours or badges approved by the Association;
  2. The right to attend and introduce guests to such functions as may be arranged by the Association;
  3. The right to receive copies of The Pharos as issued.


The privileges of Honorary Members and Honorary Life Members shall be the same privileges as are accorded to Ordinary and Life Members of the Association except that they shall not vote on financial resolutions. and shall not have the right to receive copies of The Pharos as issued.


The Officers of the Association shall consist of:

  1. The President
  2. The Vice-President
  3. The Headmaster of the School as Chairman of the Committee
  4. Honorary Treasurer
  5. Honorary Secretary
  6. Assistant Honorary Secretary for Deal and District
  7. Honorary Auditor


The business of the Association shall be conducted by a Committee consisting of the President. Vice-President, Immediate Past President. Chairman of the Committee. Hon. Treasurer. Hon. Secretary. Assistant Hon. Secretary and the Head Prefect as ex-officio members and nine others with power to co-opt. The nine shall consist of Six Old Boys and three members of the Staff. two of whom shall be elected by the Association and one by the Staff, seven to form a quorum. Seven days' notice of a Committee Meeting shall be given.


The Officers and Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Ordinary Members of the Committee, being Old Boys of the School, shall be elected for a period of three years. The two senior members retiring each year.


The Annual General Meeting of the Association. of which at least seven days' notice shall be given, shall be held before the end of the Autumn Term if possible in each year and shall be preceded by a Committee Meeting.


An Extra-ordinary General Meeting may be convened at any time by direction of the Committee. or on the signed request of not less than ten members. not less than seven days' notice of such meeting shall be given. The notice shall specify the business to be considered. and the proceedings shall be confined to the matters specified in the notice.


The Subscription payable by Members shall be:

  1. 2s. 6d. for the first year after leaving School;
  2. 5s. 0d. for each subsequent year;
  3. £4. 4. 0. for Life Membership.


It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to keep an account of all monies received and expended by him, and to render a Balance Sheet annually, so that the same may be duly audited and presented to the Annual General Meeting.


The Secretary shall attend meetings of the Association, and produce such of the Association's books and accounts as may be required for the purpose of each meeting, and enter minutes of all resolutions, transactions and business of such meetings. He shall keep a register of all Members. with their addresses, enter all changes of address therein, of which he shall have received notice. The Secretary shall send all circulars and notices to all members as and when required. and attend to all other matters relating to the Association. which may from time to time be referred to the Secretary.


The Association's Bankers shall be determined by the Committee and the account and securities shall be kept at the Dover Branch.


The place of meeting shall be the Grammar School at Dover or such other place as may from time to time be determined by the Committee or a General Meeting.


The Association shall never be dissolved unless by the order or with the consent of the Headmaster and provided that it shall be agreed to at an Annual General Meeting by at least two thirds of the Members present voting. In the event of the absolute dissolution of the Association its properties and effects shall be deemed to be the property of the Dover Grammar School of Boys' Voluntary Fund.