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Semper Eadem

Issue 7 Winter 2012-13 Online auction celebrates

respected teacher An online auction in October raised over £2,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Together with a gift from the OI Club, a raffl e, donations and Gift Aid, MNDA received the wonderful total of £4,286.25.

OI President, Eddy Alcock, had organised the auction to celebrate the life and achievements of Gordon Paton, who taught at Ipswich School for 28 years. Gordon died from Motor Neurone Disease in 2010.

“I knew Gordon as my son David’s geography teacher and CCF offi cer, who nurtured David’s desire to make his career in the Royal Navy,” said Eddy. “He spent 22 years as Head of Geography and a further six as Head of Outdoor Education. I knew him again in later life as a colleague elected member

A message from the Chairman Guy Main

of Mid Suffolk District Council, where my respect for him matured. He was also Mayor of Stowmarket three times.

“When faced with his illness, Gordon simply became more resolute, and, recognising the support he was already receiving from the MNDA, embarked upon the seemingly impossible task of completing the 192 miles, coast-to-coast walk from St Bee’s Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood Bay in Yorkshire. In the process, he raised over £10,000 for that worthy cause, just a few short months before his death! The phrase ‘Mind over matter’ takes on a new signifi cance!

Every new chairman takes offi ce with plans for the future of the OI Club. Its strong heritage and full calendar of events, year after year demonstrate that development rather than change is appropriate. With a talented and united committee, I aim to take the Club forward by retaining what is good, developing what should be improved, and implementing (a few) new initiatives.

“During those closing months, I asked his wife, Eve, what I could do for him. ‘Nothing,’ she replied, ‘but any funds you can raise for the MNDA would be the best tribute you could make to him.’”

Some Club events, notably our formal dinners and many sporting events, as well as the occasional evening drinks in London and other places, are well attended. A few gatherings seem somewhat less popular, although are still enjoyed by those who attend. Outline ideas are in place for, at this stage, further sporting and musical events. You have a strong committee that works hard for OIs. Please help us to serve you by telling us what events you would like your Club to run; we will listen carefully even if we do not adopt every idea.

The monthly eNews, twice-yearly OI News and annual OI Journal are sent to OIs. In addition, occasional email messages are delivered, and various discussions take place on Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In. What information would you would like to see from your Club?

The Club’s outgoing chairman, James Davey, has worked tirelessly over four years rather than the usual three. OIs owe him an enormous “thank you” for his leadership, guidance and sense of humour. I am honoured to be your chairman, and am aware that I have a hard act to follow. I look forward to seeing many of you at OI events during the coming year.

Originally planned as part of a most enjoyable black-tie dinner held on 13th October, with Gordon’s widow, Eve (see photo above), as a special guest, the auction was eventually held online over two weeks in November to maximise income. The thirty lots ranged from dinner for ten at the moated manor house, Crow’s Hall at Debenham, to an outing in a Caterham 7 Supersprint plus lunch. They included a bespoke hat from the Suffolk Hat Company, a one-hour practical session on the Techniques of Safer Driving, and – raising the largest sum of all - a top

of the range 1995 Jaguar Sovereign Limousine in metallic blue!

(continued on back page)

In this issue: Club news • Social events • OI Features • Music • Sport • Forthcoming events

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