Reunion 2011

Annual Reunion 2011

Reunion 2011It was not such a grand occasion as last year’s Centenary Dinner but over 50 old boys, including a few new faces from more recent years, turned up at the Queens Hotel for this year’s reunion of the Old Penwithians, the association of old boys and staff of the Penzance and Humphry Davy Grammar School.  A span of 40 years of school intake was represented with Dr Arnold Derrington from 1933 up to Roger Weeks and Paul Tyreman from the 1972 entry. Only one member of Staff made it this year, Bob Coneybeare, but apologies were received from Bill Burnett who had recently had a hip replacement.

There was an exhibition of some of the photographs taken by Mr Jim Treglown in 1962 for a Cornwall Education Exhibition which included different school activities; work in the science laboratories and art and craft work shops, school sports day and swimming sports and the camera club. Martin Blowers produced some photos from his era including the individual photo of him in his school blazer taken also by Jim Treglown on his arrival at the school in 1967. Horton Bolitho also had discovered an old photograph of 1927 which showed drill in front of the school. It is hoped that it will join the Old Penwithians’ photo archive and be uploaded to the Schools  section of the “Picture Penzance” website, together with a few more names which were added to school photographs, particularly the 48/49 era, thanks to the memories of Horton Bolitho, Davie James and John Trewern.

The Association Secretary Andrew Coak was pleased to announce that the Appeal to restore the School War Memorial had now reached £2670, which was enough to proceed with an application to the Memorial Trust for a further grant. This bid would now go ahead in the New Year. He also drew attention to the rescheduled  2011 Old Penwithian Golf Competition which was now to be held at West Cornwall Golf Club on 19 January. Late entries were still being accepted.

He had also received advanced publicity for a BBC 4 programme entitled ‘Grammar School – A Secret History’ which was due to be broadcast on 5th and 12th of January at 9pm. This is the story of British Grammar Schools including contributions from ex grammar school pupils such as Sir David Attenborough, Dame Joan Bakewell, Michael Portillo and a mix of less well known pupils all who passionately believe that they owe much of their success in life to their grammar school education.

He also mentioned that a request had been received from an RAFVRT officer who was researching the military record of Fred Jarvis. Fred was a well known teacher at the school who started off as a Games Master but then went on to teach Geography and Mathematics. Unknown to many Fred had served in WW1 and been awarded a Military Medal for gallantry with the Devonshire Regiment and the researcher was looking, in particular, for a photograph of Fred in RAF uniform while he was serving with the School Air Training Corps. Ron Prowse of the 1938 entry, himself a member of the ATC in the war years, believes he has one and is hoping to dig it out so that we can pass it on.

The evening ended up with the traditional singing of the School Song accompanied as usual by Dr Nick Marston.

If anyone wants to become a life member, make a contribution to the Memorial Appeal or even produce another photo of Fred Jarvis in air force uniform, there are many of him in team photographs, then please contact the secretary.

Andrew Coak.