Welcome to the Old Felicians’ Information section of our new website. This is the temporary home of the Old Felicians. Here you will find basic information about the Old Felicians, how to make contact with them and details of forthcoming events.
OLD FELICIANS’ CLUB
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2017
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and THE WAY WE WERE
Saturday 17 June 2017
2017 marks the 120th anniversary of the founding of the school by Margaret Isabella Gardiner and the school is planning events to mark the occasion including an exhibition with photographic memorabilia. The headmaster, Mr. James Harrison, has kindly invited Old Felicians to return to the school for their AGM on 17th June and the day's timetable is as follows:
10.30: Guided walk round Southwold to view the houses used by the school during its first few years, prior to moving to the present site 12.00 (ish): informal lunch gatherings in Southwold's hostelries and cafes 2.30: AGM, Gardiner Hall, followed by viewing the exhibition 3.30: Tea in the school's dining hall.
In order that we have some indication of numbers (and how many cakes will be required), please let Caroline MacMillan know if you are planning to attend.
email@example.com 020.8749.3010 and 07979 751772
ANNUAL OLD FELICIANS' ROUND THE WORLD REUNION DAYS
March 8th (Saint Felix Day) and June 17th 2017 (AGM)
OFs where ever they may be are encouraged to get in touch with school friends from years gone by and meet for a coffee or something stronger or just talk on the phone, send texts or e-mails. They will know that OFs are doing exactly the same all over the world on those days.
OLD FELICIANS’ GOLF
The OF golfers hold an annual meeting at different golf clubs each year and take part in the Tassie competition. Any golfers who have not joined us before are welcome and should contact Gilda Buckwell (Clarke) for details, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Tassie is a golf competition for the alumni of girls’ independent schools, for more information, please see their website www.thetassiefoursomes.co.uk. If anyone is interested in playing, please contact Anthea Franklin email@example.com.
OLD FELICIANS' LUNCH
LEANDER CLUB, HENLEY-ON-THAMES
Wednesday 12 April 2017
On the 12th April 2017 a splendid lunch for Old Felicians took place in a private dining room overlooking the river at the renowned Leander Club at Henley-on-Thames. Guests were warmly greeted from noon with a glass of Leander pink champagne and canapés and after Fran D'Alcorn said the Old Felicians' Grace which had been specially composed by Canon Fitch, Chaplain of Saint Felix School from 1951-1970, a delicious lunch followed starting with fresh English asparagus, then duck marinated in honey and thyme and ending with Eton mess. The table floral decorations of yellow and white flowers echoed the school's colours and before each place setting was an individual posy of sweet smelling hyacinths and yellow roses tied in a green ribbon on which was printed in gold the school's motto: Felix Quia Fortis.
The event had been efficiently organised by Rosemary Scott and many thanks are due to her for making it such a very special occasion. OFs had travelled from Suffolk, West Midlands, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, London, Berkshire, Dorset and Lancashire to renew friendships and remember years spent at Southwold. We were particularly pleased that Phoebe Lloyd was able to come as she had been at school during the war years, first at Tintagel and then Hinton St. George and was then recruited to work at Bletchley Park, we were fascinated to hear her stories.
Those attending were: Fran D'Alcorn (Former Headmistress), Rosemary Scott (Lobban, Somerville 1961-66), Jean McArthur (Clarke, Somerville 1946-50), Phoebe Lloyd (Tyler, Fawcett 1938-43), Anne Froom (Charlesworth, Clough 1959-63), Lyn Kennedy (Noel, Clough 1960-64), Jayne Tracey (Forsythe, Gardiner 1950-57), Lizzie Strowlger (Roberts, Fawcett 1952-61), Liz Scott (Myers, Somerville 1961-66), Claire Weldon (Gessler, Somerville 1961-65), Carol Kershaw (Warford, Fawcett 1947-54), Caroline MacMillan (Hayward, Fawcett 1954-60) and in attendance Colin MacMillan, chief chauffeur and photographer.
OLD FELICIANS FAREWELL TO
WEEKEND 18 – 19 JUNE 2016
Nearly 200 Old Felicians and guests made their way to Saint Felix over the weekend to bid farewell to Fran D’Alcorn who was retiring after more than forty years at the School, during the last three of which she has been its headmistress.
Following Saturday’s AGM the energetic rounders match was ably umpired by Fran but the highlight of the day was the reception in Gardiner Hall and the delicious gala dinner in the dining hall which was lavishly decorated with green and yellow balloons. Fran spoke warmly about her time at the school and we raised a glass (of a French wine appropriately called Saint Felix) to wish her well in the future.
The weather on Sunday was kind for those who walked in the footsteps of Saint Felix from Dunwich to Southwold with stops en route for refreshment at Walberswick and the Harbour.
The final Open House afternoon saw picnics spread across Silcox Lawn, children playing junior croquet and Zena Tibbenham adding to the atmosphere playing her piano accordion. There were final tributes to Fran including a very amusing one from Margaret Angus, Fran cut the cake and after a final round of ‘For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow’ we bid farewell to Fran who has done so much for the school and has been such a support to the Old Felicians.
Altogether, a very enjoyable, happy and successful Old Felician Weekend.
The annual lunch and reunion of Swiss OFs was held on the 24 October 2015 in Bern, the photograph was taken outside the Swiss Federal Parliament.
Left to Right:
Ann Hadfield, Fawcett 1945-1950
Jenny Haller Pratt(Ollington), Clough 1953-1958
Jean McArthur (Clarke), Somerville 1946-1950
Corrine Hirter (Thomason), Somerville 1965-1969
Sarah Nevill (Stinson), Clough 1963-1968
CANON JOHN FITCH
Chaplain of Saint Felix School 1951-70
Canon John Fitch died on 13th April 2015 at the age of 92. He will be remembered by many Old Felicians both for the many Sunday services he conducted at the school's chapel and also by those who walked across the fields to attend 'early' at Reydon church.
Although he prepared many pupils for confirmation he had no individual contact with any of the girls apart from Fiona Reynolds, a step-daughter of the late Marc Fitch, who was an old friend and umpteenth cousin. He later came to know Jo Laden (Seabrook) who sadly died just a few years ago.
Reverend Fitch left Reydon in 1970 together with his wife, formerly Anne Cooper who had taught French and Italian at the school whom he married in 1955, and with their son and two daughters moved to the rectory at Brandon on the Suffolk-Norfolk borders. Brandon is no beauty spot but he was also Rector of the picturesque forest village of Santon Downham. He much enjoyed ten hectic years at Brandon with its highly cosmopolitan population including a thousand American service personnel from the neighbouring USAAF air base at Lakenheath.
During this time Canon Fitch became deeply involved with the founding and setting up the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust of which he became a Life Vice President.
In 1980 the family moved to a lovely group of four parishes between Lavenham and Hadleigh - Monks Eleigh, Chelsworth, Brent Eleigh and Milden but after forty years of active ministry, all of them in Suffolk, he finally retired aged 65 and together with his wife moved across the county border to Great Yeldham in Essex.
Anne sadly died of cancer in 1992 and Cannon Fitch spent much time writing, mostly the family’s history and also a serious book “Anglican Eirenicon”, published by Lutterworth Press in 2009. During the last few years of his life he was in contact with a number of Old Felicians who visited him at the Church of England home for retired clergy in Worthing where he was very happy. He also composed a special Grace which is said before the dinner held during the Old Felicians’ Southwold Weekend.
“At this reunion of Old Felicians, for old friendships and precious memories made and renewed; and for the School, its founders, members and staff, past and present, we give hearty thanks to God our heavenly Father. Amen”
Caroline MacMillan (Hayward)
LUNCH AT BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD
A splendid lunch was organised at Balliol College, Oxford, on Saturday 10 October 2016 by Sylvia Hillier, née Winsnes. The venue was the Old Common Room, which dates from the 15th century and is now used for College entertainment. After reception drinks, we were treated to a superb three course menu with excellent wine from the cellars and were waited on by two charming young ladies, a member of staff and a philosophy student.
There were sixteen in all, a good number despite some organisational obstacles including torrential rain on the morning but all who attended were unanimous in finding it a thoroughly enjoyable event.
Tony Hillier, a graduate of the College, gave an entertaining talk on the history of the College which was founded in 1263, the second oldest of the Colleges, by John de Balliol as a penance for supposedly kidnapping the Bishop of Durham over a land dispute.
After lunch we were able to tour several of the college oldest buildings and also the gardens with their superb plantings.
The annual lunch for OFs living within reach of Emsworth, Hampshire, was held at the sailing club on 6th October 2016. This is an excellent venue with spectacular views across the harbour and though the gathering was smaller than in previous years, it was much enjoyed by those attending.
Once again, Erica de Courcy (Salisbury, Somerville 1943-48) organised a most enjoyable lunch on the 20 October 2016 at Ishta restaurant in Crawford Street in Central London. We were very pleased that Fran D'Alcorn, in her new role of chair of the Old Felicians' Club, was able join the event. The restaurant serves authentic Turkish fare and the staff are most attentive and the group were able to exchange memories of their school days and catch up on what they have done since then.
Erica's first days at Saint Felix were spent at Hinton St. George where the school was evacuated during the last war and two more 'evacuees' attended the lunch - Priscilla Campbell Allen (Allen, Gardiner 1942-47) and Janet Buchanan-Smith (Lawrie, Gardiner 1942-46). Janet had travelled from Scotland for the event, both she and Priscilla have done an enormous amount for the OF Club over the years. They were joined by more recent OFs, Virginia Lynch (Raphael, Somerville 1948-51,) Caroline MacMillan (Hayward, Fawcett 1954-60) and Briony Kapoor (Lonbay, Fawcett 1962-70).