The Old Leysian Society AGM and Dinner on 12th December 2009 saw a record turnout of 102 OLs. The address was given by former Housemaster Mark Waldron, now Headmaster of the English College in Prague. We were particularly pleased to see twenty-nine “under 30s” joining the older generations of OLs. Bijan Sanii (E 72-77) describes his return to The Leys after more than three decades away:
The day I left the Leys in the summer of 1977 I never thought it would be 32 years before I would be back on the school grounds attending an O.L. Event!
A number of us have kept in touch over the years but I knew I would be seeing many friends from The Leys for the first time since leaving. It was also the first time I was returning to The Leys and knew memories and emotions would surface.
I had a long flight from Vancouver, Canada to think about my time at The Leys. East House, with its red polished floors and austere structure. Our dormitories sleeping six or more complete with horse boxes and squeaky metal frame beds. The colorful personalities on the teaching staff and a million more thoughts.
On Saturday afternoon, prior to the OL dinner, Chris Bliss, Lester Dales and I together with several other friends visited the school. The amount of change is astonishing! Girl boarders, numerous new facilities and buildings, and an East House that has been converted to luxury hotel compared to what I remembered!!!
At the dinner event our group having a mini reunion sat together with John Harding at one end of the table and Fiona Slot at the other. It was great fun sharing stories and catching up. There was a lot of laughter and I think a few of us instantly fell in love with Fiona.
Jeremy Ratcliff and I had boarded at St. Faiths before the Leys and not kept in touch since then. Jeremy was Head Boy at St. Faiths and I generally seemed attract trouble there. At The Leys we seemed to switch roles with me being being the school prefect and Head of House for East House and him being in detention on a regular basis!! This was specially amusing given that his father was a Governor at the time.
So many years have passed and it we just seemed to start from where we left off....perhaps just a little grayer, fatter, balder and arguably wiser. I look forward to the next time we are all able to plan to get together around an OL dinner event.