Alumnae and Former Staff Open Reunion 2016
On Saturday 18th June, Old Girls and Former Staff were welcomed back to School for the Annual Open Reunion. This year, we had two very special occasions to celebrate and with almost 100 guests in attendance, from the Class of 1949 to the Class of 2012, we were able to make use of our new Hub and Junior School facilities to host the afternoon.
Our guests gathered in the Arts Centre on arrival, where Development Director Toni Leden welcomed everyone and led a presentation to say thank you to Mrs Marks on the occasion of her retirement, on behalf of the entire Alumnae and Former Staff community. Our Current Head Girl, Radhika Saggar, and Deputy Head Girl Sophie Beardsworth gave a lovely speech about Mrs Marks, and presented her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a card from current and former pupils and staff. We were then treated to a wonderful musical tribute from our very talented current pupils.
Following the presentations in the Arts Centre, guests were directed through the Hub – where they were able to view the very impressive GCSE and A Level Art Show on display in there – and into the Junior School Hall, where they would be situated for the afternoon’s festivities. Mrs Cartledge and her catering team had prepared a lovely buffet lunch for guests, which was followed by strawberries and cream and a glass of bubbly for everyone.
Our guests then enjoyed an afternoon reminiscing with classmates, catching up with old teachers and making new friends from amongst the Withington Alumnae community. Those who wanted them were taken on tours of the School and particularly enjoyed being shown the impressive new university-standard Chemistry laboratories, the gymnasium (many commented on the original hobby horse and climbing equipment which hasn’t changed since they were at School!) the Art Room and Room 19, with its original panelling and fire place. During the course of the afternoon, guests also enjoyed taking the traditional Open Reunion Quiz (scroll down to have a go at the quiz yourself!) and looking at the interesting photographic displays our Archivist had prepared, with particular focus on the years celebrating special anniversaries in 2016: Class of 1956; Class of 1966; Class of 1976 and Class of 2006.
All of our guests then congregated again in the Junior School Hall for a special birthday tribute to Miss Amy Morris, a Classics teacher at Withington between 1950 and 1986 who is celebrating her 90th birthday in June. Amy was presented with a book of photos and memories of her time as a teacher at WGS, submitted by various Old Girls she taught. Old Girl Harriet Monkhouse (Class of 1980) then kindly read out a poem in Latin which she had written for the occasion and Penny Knipe, Development Officer, said a few words of thanks to Amy before presenting her with a gift on behalf of everyone at Withington. Mrs Cartledge and her team had prepared a lovely lemon drizzle cake (Amy’s favourite) which was then brought to her whilst everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’. After this, the guests enjoyed tea and coffee and lemon drizzle cake before bidding farewell.
One guest said: “Although it is difficult to recognise much of the building, the tiled floor, fireplaces, gym and the entrance to the staff room up the steps brought back happy memories.”
Thanks must go to everyone who came along for the afternoon, as well as those who volunteered their time to help, including current staff and pupils. The afternoon was a great success, made even more special by the many Old Girls and Former Staff in attendance who hold a special place in their heart for Withington Girls’ School.
Open Reunion Quiz
As is now tradition at our Withington Open Reunions our guests were given a copy of this year’s quiz, to give them a chance to test their memory and knowledge of their old School, with some added general knowledge questions in there in acknowledgement of Amy Morris’ special 90th birthday.
If you’d like to test your Withington knowledge and have a go at the quiz, you can find it here.
Once you’re done, you can check your answers by logging into our online Alumnae area.