Patron-in-Chief: Mr Daryl Brooks
Welcome to our 2021 Annual General Meeting.
This time last year we were shocked by the reality of social lockdown and the needs of public health that deprived our GM&B membership of its usual direct connectivity, good fellowship and collective brainstorming on matters of current interest and importance to the school and its caring alumni. Twelve months later, we have good reason to be grateful for our good health, be respectful of the need to remain cautious and preventative and be optimistic that opportunities to reacquaint in person are again possible.
Our 2021 AGM provides unique opportunity to report to members both directly in the Unicorn Club as well as remotely for some, by way of online video conferencing. Our membership is scattered far and wide geographically, but technology provides us with the
means to connect instantaneously to deal with the business at hand. Those of us able to attend in the Unicorn Club are socialising for the first time in more than twelve months, and we are looking forward eagerly to our October Forum at which our table teams will help us to reset our compass going forward into a new chapter. We look forward to seeing you again in October at our next opportunity to reconvene. After all this time, please make a special effort to be there. It will be a like a reunion in itself!
2021 is also providing the school with fresh opportunity to rethink, reinvent and plan its own next chapter. It seems that for students their school resumption this year has regenerated the joy of social contact, recalibrated their learning goals and fuelled their aspirations. New Principalship for the school is providing a catalyst for both reflection and design, and from our early associations with Dr Mordini, as well as from the GM&B’s strong ongoing association with his school leadership team, I have every reason to look forward with full confidence to exciting prospects ahead that will serve the school, its students and our alumni well.
I wish to extend my appreciation to our dedicated Executive Committee who have met online throughout the uncertain times of 2020-21 and have kept the wheels turning. Special thanks goes to Deputy Patron-in-Chief Mr David Saul for timely encouragement and support provided to myself at critical times, and for his logistical and bidding acumen that ensured GM&B acquisition and donation of the new school organ to the school. Appreciation also to our program leaders Luke Savage for advancing our Heritage program throughout lockdown, and to Adam Ashton whose Mentoring program faced obvious hindrances in 2020 and is now re-emerging with renewed energy in 2021.
The Junior Leadership Program under Wayne Chow’s leadership and with the support of a dedicated committee of younger and enthused Old Boys and Palladians has gone from strength to strength in 2021. Its collaborative partnership with MacRob and the Palladians through the Junior Leadership Program continues to flourish by not only adding value to the learning, achieving equal student participation, equal Group Leader representation with Palladians, lessons conducted on each school campus, but also by hosting sessions via a flexible online delivery platform that ensured that classes could continue, and be recorded digitally as well. The program continues to evolve and is highly valued most importantly by the students themselves.
I also wish to pay special tribute on behalf of all GM&B members, to our retiring Treasurer Scott Green who, as I understand, after 26 years of holding office since GM&B’s inception, is retiring this year from the position, proudly with the GM&B in strong financial position indeed. The GM&B is particularly indebted to Scott for his tireless commitment to the role, and for his calm capacity over that time to dovetail our GM&B activities with any and every requirement or obligation of other stakeholders involved that may have been interconnected with school and alumni finances in some way. We are seeking the nomination of a new Treasurer to succeed Scott.
Personal special thanks also, and the best of good wishes go to our now former Principal Mr Jeremy Ludowyke, an Old Boy of MHS himself, whose leadership of the school remained steady and sure through a long period when political and social comment on educational matters was easily offered in weekend papers but all too rarely well-founded. Indeed, the pillars stood strong under his stewardship. Special thanks also to Assistant Principal, Pelissa Tsilimidos and Marcus Sharp who chairs the Education Committee, for their support of our programs. Pelissa particularly has been a wonderful advocate and support for our Mentoring and Junior Leadership Programs that both took quite a hammering with the periods of school closure last year.
There is much to look forward to later in 2021. Our first Forum in April 2021 introduced a large online audience to the school’s new Principal Dr Tony Mordini, and to the respective Presidents of the MHSOBA and the Palladians who both provided great overviews of the roles of the alumni organisations, their functions and their value to the schools and their alumni.
We now look forward now to the October Forum, Tuesday 19th October where we can cultivate many of the ideas further towards more concrete plans for GM&B action in 2022. I look forward to seeing you there.