Viewing archives for Old Elizabethans’

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of Roy Hatton who passed on 18 December 2018.

The Christmas Draw of the Old Elizabethans’ 200 Club was made on 17 December 2018.  The following were prize-winners:

C M Allen            £200

J A Hobson         £150

A Johnson           £100

J M Holloway      £75

A P McKay           £50

M L Bay                £25

If you wish to join the 200 Club, which costs £12 a year and supports the Memorial Playing Fields and the School, contact Martyn Bradish at mb@bradish.co.uk .

In brief: Old Elizabethans’ news

Service and sacrifice informed the special remembrance assembly held at the School to mark the centenary of the Armistice in 1918.

All boys from Years 7–10, together with staff and many senior pupils, took part in the ceremony, which featured music, poetry and a procession by the Combined Cadet Force.

In an address to the assembly, Old Elizabethan and Governor Ken Cooper (1942-50), a former officer in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, charted the course of the war, making clear the scale of the conflict and its great cost. He explained how the emergence of trench warfare on the Western Front led to combat that lasted for months and years yet resulted in minimal or no territorial gains for either side.

The Headmaster read aloud the names of the 48 Old Elizabethans killed during World War I, whilst the names of the 65 who died in World War II were projected on to a screen. The two-minute silence at 11 o’clock was heralded by six of QE’s senior trumpeters sounding the Last Post.

At the end of the assembly, the CCF contingent marched with the commemorative wreath to the War Memorial located in the Crush Hall, where it was placed.

Separately, Year 12 historians had a special tour of the Imperial War Museum’s World War I centenary exhibition, courtesy of alumnus Dr Ian Kikuchi. Ian (OE 1997-2004) curated the exhibition and answered questions both about the war and about the logistics of curating major exhibitions.


Alumni continue to support QE by giving careers talks. This term’s included a lunchtime lecture by Samir Manek (OE 2001–2008), a litigator working at the heart of the UK’s financial regulatory system as an Associate (Solicitor) with the Financial Conduct Authority. He urged on QE’s aspiring lawyers the importance of a genuine passion for the Law.

Two younger lawyers, Suraj Sangani (OE 2005-2012) and Izzet Hassan (also 2005-2012), gave boys in Years 11-13 insights into how to pursue a career in Law, with both stressing the importance of preparation and persistence. Izzet, who is a Future Trainee Solicitor at London-based multinational firm, Slaughter and May, graduated with an LLB in Law from the University of Warwick before completing an MPhil in Criminology at Cambridge. Suraj followed an alternative route, reading History at Warwick before being recruited by Hogan Lovells, which has joint headquarters in London and Washington, where he is a Trainee Solicitor.

And Civil Service economist Andrei Sandu (OE 2007-2014) told senior boys that he was already advising a Government Minister at a European summit, just a few short months after starting his job. Andrei joined the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of the economists’ group of the Civil Service Fast Stream in August last year. In the autumn of 2017, he was called upon to attend a Council of Ministers summit in Brussels, where he advised Lord Henley, of BEIS, throughout the session.


Piers Martin was part of a relay team that successfully swam the English Channel in rough conditions and raised more than £6,000 for Autism East Midlands. Yet, even though the team were eminently suited to the challenge – Piers (OE 1987–1994) is a high-performance sport and business consultant and a former national-level swimming champion, while two of his fellow team-members are water polo coaches – the swim almost didn’t happen. Because of worsening weather, the authorising organisation, the Channel Swimming and Piloting Association (CSPA) had called off the swim, only to give the team an eleventh-hour reprieve after they had already left Dover and were heading home.

George the Poet (George Mpanga, OE 2002–2009) has raised his already-high profile still further by appearing on TV screens in both the public and private spheres. A keen advocate of social justice, George investigated how and why the capital’s poor residents are losing out as council homes disappear for an Inside Out London current affairs programme on BBC1. He also starred in a new commercial for O2 reflecting on the wonder of Planet Earth and the transitory nature of human life.

Akshay Ruparelia’s fast-expanding online estate agency, Doorsteps.co.uk, launched a second crowdfunding round during the autumn – and smashed its £400,000 target within seconds of the offer going live. Akshay (OE 2009–2016) made national headlines last year after the first fundraising, with the young entrepreneur’s age attracting journalists’ admiration.

Fronting the latest fundraising drive, he explained that the money raised, which eventually came to nearly £900,000, will pay for more staff and additional investment in technology as the company grows.

Performance coach Kam Taj (Kamran Tajbaksh, OE 2004–2011) has published a new book offering students his own innovative and detailed holistic approach to achieving success as a student.

Entitled The Ultimate Guide to Exam Success, the book is the latest in a series published through UniAdmissions, an education consultancy which helps students applying to Oxbridge and medical schools.

The first four chapters of the 182-page paperback are on: time-management, study tools & techniques; mind-management and on-the-day performance. “Unlike any other book on exams, the final four chapters are on optimising our lifestyle so we can stay physically and mentally healthy throughout our studies,” Kam adds.

Announcing its publication, Kam told his Facebook followers: “In many ways, I wrote this book for my younger self – it’s everything I wished I knew as a student and teenager.”

Alumni dinner kindles friendships old and new

The 123rd Old Elizabethans Association Annual Dinner brought together old boys of all eras for an evening offering both formality and fun.

The evening featured the customary speeches and time-honoured toasts, but there was also opportunity aplenty for alumni to chat with old classmates and strike up new friendships in a relaxed and convivial environment.

As is usual at the dinner, there was a particularly strong turnout from the ‘ten-year leavers’ – those who started in Year 7 in 2002 and will therefore mark ten years since they left the School in summer 2009 at the end of this academic year.

Guest speaker Alan Ingham (OE 1987–1994) entertained his fellow alumni with his recollections of School life during an era of great international uncertainty, recounting the confident prediction of one teacher that the Berlin Wall would not fall in his lifetime – just months before it did.

Alan, a senior software developer with electronic trading company Nex Group, attended with his fiancée, Ana Maria Soler Castells, whom he was marrying on the following day. He had, therefore, been very busy in the run-up to the dinner, he said, but added that the resilience one learns as a QE boy had stood him in good stead as he strove to cope with these competing demands!

Reflecting on the evening afterwards, Headmaster Neil Enright said: “There was a lovely atmosphere at this dinner – a reflection, I am sure, of the increasing connections being made by our alumni both with each other and with the School.

“We are always keen to welcome alumni here and I know many OEs value the opportunity to visit, to see what has changed and often to check out who among their old teachers are still here. Many also take time during such visits to reflect on what they have gained in life by being a pupil at QE, and it is this appreciation which is driving so many to volunteer to help current boys and give something back.”

In his speech on the evening itself, the Headmaster began by welcoming all the guests: “Tonight is an opportunity for reflection, reconnection and celebration.”

Mr Enright reserved a special welcome the ten-year leavers, the class of 2002-2009 (or 2002-2007 for those who did A-levels elsewhere). They were, he said, a “fun, friendly and very successful cohort”, noting that they had started at QE on Monday 2nd September 2002, thus coinciding with his own arrival as a young teacher.

Those from this group who attended the dinner included Commonwealth Games triple-jump finalist Nathan Fox and George ‘the Poet’ Mpanga, the high-profile spoken-word artist who spoke in front of the Queen on Commonwealth Day and who performed a specially commissioned poem as part of the international TV coverage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

The Headmaster outlined a number of “big themes” which are currently being considered as part of the School’s long-term development. One of them is “keeping in touch” – which includes drawing on the experience and insight of OEs to assist current boys, many of whom are the first in their families to apply to top universities or to try to enter the most competitive professions.

The formal proceedings included toasts to Queen Elizabeth II and to “the pious memory of Queen Elizabeth I” (by tradition, honoured in silence). School Captain Aashish proposed the toast to the association, with the response given by the association’s Chairman, Martyn Bradish (OE 1962–1969). This was followed by the toast to the School proposed by guest speaker Alan Ingham, with the Headmaster giving the response.

Association President Ken Cooper (OE 1942–1950) presented the School Captain with the Eric Shearly Memorial Prize for Outstanding Commitment. The citation noted Aashish’s “modest and quiet commitment to the life of the School.” It continued: “His talents and involvements are many and diverse; he has been a success at each stage of his academic career, attaining the top grade in every subject that he studied at GCSE and A-level, whilst also acting as form captain, colt prefect, and participating in rugby in each year group on his journey through the School. And he is an exceptional musician too!”

Aashish hopes to study Neuroscience at university and has already prepared for this by undertaking work experience in local hospitals and by examining neurological ways of treating depression in his Extended Project Qualification dissertation.

The guests enjoyed a smoked salmon rillette with pickled beetroot and pea shoots and a main course of roast belly of pork with roasted new potatoes, followed by Eton Mess for dessert, topped off with coffee and mints.

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of Jim Winchester who passed on 18 June 2018.

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of Tim (Torj) Herbert who passed on 25 June 2018.

Curry favoured! Founder’s Day combines formal traditions with fun and food aplenty at the fete

Pupils past, present and even future all helped make the 2018 Queen Elizabeth’s School Founder’s Day a resounding success.

The day, a great highlight of the School’s summer calendar, included a morning church service and subsequent ceremonial proceedings, before culminating in the popular afternoon fete on Stapylton Field.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “This was a splendid and enjoyable day and it was a great pleasure to see everyone, from boys and their families who are set to join the School in Year 7 in September right through to the Old Elizabethans spanning several generations who came along.

“Founder’s Day really brings together the whole Elizabethan family in celebration both of the School’s history and of the strength of our present community.”

The day got off to a stirring start with the School Choir’s rendition of Handel’s coronation anthem, Zadok the Priest, performed as the introit in Chipping Barnet Parish Church.

The service included hymns and Bible readings, including from the current School Captain, Aashish Khimasia, and his predecessor, Oliver Robinson, as well as the traditional Founder’s Day prayer, concluding with the petition that “our School may endure as a home of sound learning and of true godliness”.

Guest speaker for the service was Major Charles Russell (OE 1997–2004) who spoke on the theme of service, reflecting on QE’s “rich history of military service” and pointing out that 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. He went on to articulate how service to others is demonstrated throughout the Elizabethan community.

Major Russell told the congregation of boys, staff and VIPs of his experiences in 2010, when he and a fellow soldier were very seriously injured in Afghanistan, where he was serving with The Royal Gurkha Rifles. “We were on the operating table in Camp Bastion within 25 minutes of the blast, and back in Birmingham two days later.

“Although I wasn’t conscious at the time, I was visited in the intensive care unit by an Old Elizabethan – a consultant working at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital Birmingham who had been a senior prefect when I was a brand new Year 7. The note he left me: ‘To a fellow OE in the new QE hospital; don’t worry you are in the care of the very best.’ Imagine the comfort this provided me and my family – he was absolutely right – this was the cutting edge of complex trauma medicine. No surprise to find an OE at the forefront of his profession.”

Major Russell added that he had been “touched beyond words” to receive a card from the QE staff as he lay immobilised in his hospital bed. “Not only was there a card, but a parcel was delivered containing a spanking new iPad: these had just come out in the UK and were seriously hot pieces of technology then.”

Guests at the service included Major Russell’s father, Martin Russell, who is Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Barnet. Also in the congregation were: the Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Reuben Thompstone; local MP Theresa Villiers and Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School Headteacher Violet Walker, as well as QE governors, former members of staff, parents and boys.

After the service, the day continued, in accordance with cherished QE tradition, with the roll call and the reading of the School Chronicle in front of the main building.

Then it was time for the fete, organised by the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s, to get into full swing, to the accompaniment of the School Concert Band. Among the many stalls, activities and attractions, the International Food Tent proved as popular as ever – takings for the Sri Lankan curry alone reportedly topped £4,000! These sales helped the FQE raise a total sum for the day provisionally put at around £21,000.

The afternoon also saw the annual Stanley Busby Memorial Cricket Match between old boys of the School and the current First XI. Played on the Third Field at the rear of the School, it was this year won by the pupils after a close encounter with a strong team of OEs.

A good many other Old Elizabethans attended the formal aspects of the day, the fete and the cricket, with some having travelled a considerable distance in order to be there.

The Association has recently been advised of the passing of Tony (Trevor) King in 2009.

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of John C B Bradley.  He passed on 7 June 2018 after suffering a stroke on the previous weekend.

It is with regret that the Association announces the death of Tony Lane.  Tony passed on 21 May 2018.