Keeping in Touch
Are you feeling left out? Have you not been receiving our termly newsletter, The Ronian, and invites to alumni events? Then we probably don't have accurate contact details for you.
We have been making a huge effort to update our alumni database but we still have a long list of people whose addresses are either blank or out of date.
If you are one of these people then please do contact us to ensure that we have your most recent details.
Old Ronians revisit Bicton Park
The Bicton Generation have been busy again, this time reuniting at Bicton Park - the wonderful mansion to which the school was evacuated during the Second World War. A full write-up will appear here soon!
'Bicton Generation' renunion and book launch at the Tower of London
On the 7th June a group of 70 ORs, their wives, Saint Ronan's staff and current pupils met for a reunion lunch at the Headquaters of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers at the Tower of London. All the Old Ronians in attendance had been at Saint Ronan's during its evacuation to Bicton Park in Devon during World War II.
The event also saw the launch of a new book of memories that was compiled by ORs of the same generation, under the guidance and editorship of Gospatric Home and Henry Stapleton. The book, which totals some 104 pages of memoirs, photographs and letters from the time, makes for fascinating reading and is a real 'living history' of the time. Any OR who would be interested in a copy of the book, entitled 'The Bicton Years: St. Ronan's During World War II', please contact us for a copy.
Mottos and mission statements
The first school magazine was published in 1886 and carries the school motto ‘Altiora Petimus’ (literally ‘We seek higher things’ but probably translated ‘We seek to achieve’).
This motto is clearly still in use in 1909 but at some stage over the course of the twentieth century it was dropped in favour of, we assume, the Eton inspired motto ‘Floreat Saint Ronan’s’ (Let Saint Ronan’s flourish).
The first is an aspiration, the second an imperative; both are noble and, in modern day speak, admirable mission statements.
If anyone knows when or why our motto was changed would they please contact the School.
The Missing Memorial
For the nation as a whole this year's Armistice Day had particular poignance. It was the first since the death of Harry Patch, the last surviving serviceman who had fought on the Western Front during First World War. Harry Patch was the 'last Tommy' and we finally said our farewells, and thank yous, to the last of 'lost generation' and, indeed, to that generation as a whole.
A total of one hundred and thirty Saint Ronan's old boys saw active service in the First World War, of which thirty were kille - a proportion of just over one in four. Twenty-five were awarded military distinctions, a list which included seven DSOs and ten MCs.
In 1920, a memorial plaque with all one hundred and thirty names was erected on the side of the newly built fives court at Saint Ronan's which was, of course, in West Worthing at that time. Sadly this memorial was somehow lost in the move to Hawkhurst in 1945/6 and all that we now have of this important part of the school's heritage is a photograph.
It seems unlikley that the memorial would have been broken up, especially in 1945 of all years, but it is a complete mystery as to where it went. If anyone knows what happened to our missing memorial would they please contact the school.
Alumni Lunch and Tree Planting
On 14th March we held a memorial service for Mark Portal, OR and former teacher, in the school chapel. This was well attended and a fitting tribute to Mark, who was a well-loved member of the Saint Ronan's community.
Following the service, a brief tree planting ceremony was held. James Harris, OR, kindly donated a grove of oak trees as a memorial to the part played by the Harris family in the history of Saint Ronan's. These have been planted along the drive. The trees were selected in conjuction with Tony Kirkland, Director of Trees at Kew Gardens, who came down to assist and spoke to the children about his work.
Finally, lunch was taken in the Great Space before watching the Brodie Shield cross country runs and taking tours of the school.
It was superb to see so many ORs of all ages and we are so grateful for the support that we have received.
Old Ronians brave the elements for London gathering
Despite the snow and plummeting temperatures many Old Ronians took the opportunity to get together at Brooks's Club in London on 5th February.
Around thirty attendees of all ages took the time to catch up with old friends over a glass of wine and some delicious nibbles.
The Headmaster and Andrew Ross, an alumnus and current parent, gave a short talk to tell those present about the Sports Hall campaign, which was well received.
Many thanks to all those who came and we look forward to catching up with them and other ORs in the future!
Are you a member of Facebook? There are a number of active Saint Ronan's groups - just perform a search for 'St Ronan's'.