Happy returns: OE Dinner

The Old Elizabethans’ Association Dinner saw a return to the School by former Headmaster Dr John Marincowitz, who spoke of the remarkable changes he oversaw during his 26 years at QE.

Firstly, there was the transformation of QE from an undersubscribed comprehensive to an outstanding one. The next phase he recounted was the reintroduction of academic selection and QE’s development into a leading grammar school. Finally came the progression to become one of the leading academic schools nationally, across both the state and independent sectors.

The dinner was well supported, with strong attendance from the ten-year leavers (the class of 2003-04), for whom this annual gathering now serves as a reunion. John stressed the importance of strong ties between the School and its Old Boys.

""He also spoke of how much he is enjoying life, recommending retirement to his audience! He explained that retirement provides opportunities to spend time with those who mean most to you (his retirement almost perfectly coincided with the birth of his granddaughter, Amelia) and to spend time on those pursuits which most interest you.  He gave the example of his latest sailing adventure, in which he took his boat to Corfu after four weeks' sailing from Totnes, taking in Brittany, La Coruna, Porto, Gibraltar, Majorca, Sardinia, Sicily and the Straits of Messina along the way.

In his speech, the current Headmaster, Neil Enright, updated the dinner guests on progress at the School, including the opening of new buildings.

""He looked at School life in 1573, when the School day ran from 6am to 5pm, only Latin was allowed to be spoken and boys frequently made a mess when cutting their quill pens. Today, he said, QE remains one of the few state schools where Latin is still taught.  Spilt ink is no longer such a problem: “In 2013, the major source of stress seems to be iPad batteries running flat – much less messy, but equally as frustrating.”

“OEs are becoming more frequent and I enjoy giving tours of the site and catching up over coffee on these occasions,” the Headmaster said.

""“This term many of our younger OEs have been assisting with careers advice and mock university entrance interviews. I would encourage anyone interested in participating in this in the future to get in touch with my office.

“It is always nice to see OEs at the dinner debate which is organised by the Association in the Spring Term and I also enjoy my hearty lunches with the Forty Society.”

“Founder’s Day, is of course, when we hope to see all OEs back at the School, whether it is for the church service, roll call, fete or the past v present boys’ cricket fixture,” he said.