2012 was a remarkable year for Cordwalles as the school was to celebrate 100 years!. However, it would be unthinkable to hold any meaningful Centenary celebrations without the presence of the ‘boys’ who had attended the school over the preceding years. Given the Association had lapsed, Simon Weaver (Headmaster 2004-2015) along with the Board of Governors, felt it was necessary to start the work of tracking down as many old boys as possible for this purpose.
In 2007, Charlotte Usher, armed with the Admissions Books and with the help of schools such as Michaelhouse, Hilton College, Maritzburg College, Kearsney College and St. Charles, combined with the knowledge of local Old Boys, began to track and trace Old Boys, creating a detailed database in order to communicate with the Old Boys and to bring them together, not only for the Centenary, but as part of the Cordwalles Community. It was widely felt that it was vital for the health of the school to maintain ties with its past pupils and to preserve their knowledge as part of the heritage of Cordwalles. The Cordwalles Old Boys’ Club was up and running. The early work put in back then, helped to unite many Old boys and their partners at a magnificent ball held in a marquee on Rugby field and it was rewarding that we welcomed old boys back from afar a field as Hong Kong! It was a night everyone was to remember but which, more importantly, put the Club firmly at the heart of the school.
Now some 14 years later, in 2021 we have a strong database of Old Boys both nationally and internationally and it continues to grow. The Club has a Committee of Old Boys which meets termly to discuss and instigate various initiatives (digitisation of the archives being one) and to plan the annual functions of the Club. The first Chairman of the Committee was Steve Bridgeford (’75) who helped oversee aspects of the Centenary and our current Chairman, Richard Kinvig (’88) is a passionate old boy and strong motivator of the Old Boys’ Club. Along with the backing of the Committee, Charlotte is now joined by Michelle Breedt in assisting with the administration of the Club.
A primary function of the club is to bring people together and, as such, Old Boys’ Day was relaunched in 2009. Held in February around the school’s birthday the day consists of a Chapel Service with the boys, a Veteran’s Lunch, a 20/20 Cricket match between the Old Boys and School 1st & 2nd XI teams and the day finishes with a Gaudy dinner open to all. Attendance has grown as word has spread with many returning year on year!
Other functions have been held in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Zululand and London, UK and it is the intention to grow the overseas alumni, particularly as so many young old boys are now moving overseas. These reunions are gaining momentum year on year and we look forward to seeing as many Old Boys as possible at these events.
Finally, the Club has its own Facebook page and we urge you to ‘Like’ the page and keep in touch. The Cordies Chronicle, is the newsletter which aims to bring news of any kind to the Old Boy Community. It is produced bi-annually and is emailed to Old Boys or can be found here on the website. Contributions are always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are rightly proud of our Old Boys’ Club and we know we are the envy of many other Prep Schools as an Alumni is more usual to the High Schools. We hope you will be part of the journey and look forward to welcoming you back to school! Do keep in touch.