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12 April

Business, Politics, History & Tea with the Mayor!

OV is speaker at Mayor of Worcester's Annual Lecture

The Mayor of Worcester’s Annual Lecture was delivered this week by OV, Andrew Reekes (Ch 64-69) on the subject of ‘The Chamberlains and Birmingham Civic Gospel’ in the impressive surroundings of the Assembly Room in the Guildhall, Worcester.

Andrew studied History at Exeter College, Oxford; he was Head of History at Tonbridge, Cranleigh and Cheltenham and was sub Warden and latterly Acting Warden at Radley College until his retirement in 2012.  Andrew is a governor at four schools and chairman at Summer Fields, Oxford and he is also an avid writer, his latest book was entitled ‘More than Munich’, examining the legacy of Neville Chamberlain.

Andrew’s talk in the Guildhall focused on the vision of Joseph Chamberlain and his son, Neville, as citizens and politicians in Birmingham and their vision to deliver practical improvements to their local community by introducing policies on housing, education and employment as part of their ‘civic gospel’. Andrew examined what motivated the two men to dedicate their lives to improving the lot of the ordinary person in Birmingham and ensure that even the poorest of families had access to clean water and a good education for their children.  Amongst a wealth of interesting facts, it was fascinating to hear that the re-development of central Birmingham’s architecture and infrastructure was inspired by Italian cities such as Florence and Venice.

Andrew’s talk was very well attended, with fellow OVs Peter Garland (Ch 63-68) and Barney Burnham (Ch 59-69) being present, as well as Liz Elliott, King’s Development Director, Hugh Carslake, Chair of Governors at King’s and Hon OVs Jane Stacey, Jane Bridges, Paul Thompson and Galen Bartholomew.  David Hallmark (formerly St Alban’s) introduced Andrew, David Birtwhistle (King’s parent) thanked Andrew for his interesting and enlightening talk and the evening finished with a short and poignant thank you by OV and Mayor, Jabba Riaz (Br 91-96). We very much look forward to Andrew’s next book, which covers 20 moments in Worcester’s history.


Tea with the Mayor!

Development Director Liz, and Head of Alumni Relations, Sophie, were absolutely delighted to be invited to Tea in the beautiful Mayors Parlour at Worcester Guildhall last Friday along with Head of External Relations and Hon OV Russ Mason. The invitation came courtesy of current Mayor of the city, and OV Jabba Riaz (Br 91-96), who is coming to the end of his year tenure in this prestigious role. Liz, Sophie and Russ really enjoyed catching up with Jabba, hearing about the amazing work he has done in the city of Worcester and beyond to promote his theme of ‘Love not Hate’. It was a particular pleasure to hear about Jabba’s recent trip to Pakistan and also to find out what some of his favourite events this year have been.

As a keen cricketer and supporter of Worcester County Cricket Club, Jabba said what an absolute honour it was to posthumously propose freedom of the city to cricketing legend Basil D’Oliveira during this year and to celebrate with a dinner, which Russ Mason himself really enjoyed attending. Jabba also talked of his immense pride and sense of humility having witnessed three very special examples of the strength, warmth and courage in the people of Worcester; the candle light vigil for Worcester University student Tom Jones, the stem cell registration event for local boy Oscar Saxelby-Lee, and the hundreds who turned out to protest against EDL supporters who gathered in the city to demonstrate.

It was evident that Jabba has thoroughly enjoyed his year as Mayor, and Liz, Sophie and Russ were so pleased to hear about all about it, and also to hear about what Jabba has planned for when the Mayor baton is passed on in a few weeks’ time.  


meeting the home secretary

At a recent charity event OV Andrew Lewis (W 03-10) was delighted to meet the Home Secretary! Andrew is Associate Director (Commercial Agency) at GJS Dillon and was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak to Sajid about their 2018/2019 Commercial Property Report for Worcestershire. Andrew says,

“I was fortunate to be introduced to Home Secretary and MP for Bromsgrove Sajid Javid at a recent charity event. We talked about the local commercial property market and what can be done to address the issues surrounding the chronic stock shortage throughout Worcestershire and in particular Bromsgrove. For a busy man, his engagement with his constituency is remarkable.”