Aged 19 to 95, Old Boys from across the decades returned to TAS for this year’s Old Boys’ Weekend, from 22-24 July. On the sporting front, for the first time, the students won the Moffatt Shield in hockey against a school team which included one of the first senior TAS girls. The Old Boys won the tennis, but lost to the School in chess, debating (by forfeit) and the shooting (by six points!) – School thereby reclaiming the Croft Cup after several years being held by the OBU. The solid win by the First XV against Shore in the GPS Third XV competition attracted a fantastic crowd to Backfield.
Though numbers at the official dinner in the Dining Hall were down on previous years due to their being no cohort of 50 year leavers (from 1966, the year the Wyndham Scheme was introduced), those in attendance were thoroughly entertained by guest speaker David ‘Tex’ Toppin who regaled amusing anecdotes about his time at TAS as both a student (64-66) and staff member during three different periods (72-76, 80,-84, 87-01) as well as observations from teaching at schools in Singapore and China.
“In 1963, my parents moved up here and sent me to TAS, having had my first six years at Knox Grammar. I remember walking in, being welcomed and immediately felt part of school. My life time friends were made in those three years and it’s the reason why, after 15 years away, I am back living in Armidale. TAS gave me the opportunity to be my best – as a member of the athletic and tennis teams, First XV rugby, a CUO in cadets, school prefect and a member of the 1966 GPS premiership shooting team, captained by David Willis – none of these would have been possible at Knox,” he said. (David’s speech in full can be found here.)
Elsewhere in Armidale reunion dinners were held for 30, 20, 10 and five year leavers (the latter also a get together of their parents).
Following the OBU Chapel Service at which Cameron Patrick (03-08) preached, the Union’s AGM was held. President Graham MacDougall (78-83), Treasurer Alex Thomas (80-86?) and Secretary Tim Hughes (78-82) were re-elected for another term, along with several committee members and young newcomer Sam Doyle (09-14). Former staff member Max Tavener was bestowed with (honorary) Union membership recognising his contribution to the School and the OBU, before a Special Resolution to change the name to the Old Armidalians’ Union was passed unanimously. Thanks to all the reunion organisers, the Development Office and those who attended for making it such a great weekend.