After having attended both The President’s Lunch and the annual November dinner for the past two years, some of the ladies within the OSA felt that it would be good to be involved in social events on a more regular basis. Knowing that many of us may not be the ‘best’ addition to the various sporting clubs, especially as some of us had attended the school prior to girls being offered PE as part of our curriculum and therefore had no obvious loyalties to a specific sport, we decided that we needed to find a new and different type of society that would attract as wide a group of female Old Southendians as possible. That said I know that girls are being encouraged to take an active role within sports teams these days which bodes well for future years but we felt that this could be one of the reasons that girls who had left the school in the past may be less proactive in attending events and keeping up that contact.
A ‘brain storming’ meeting was held early this year with Kate Cooper née Walter (Athens, 1993- 1995) Kerry Martin (Tuscany, 1998-2000) and Helen Watson née Seaman (Sparta, 1981-1983) Our conclusion was that the best way to proceed was to create a group that would appeal to the majority with as varied a programme of events as possible. There are over 140 ladies registered with the OSA and although there is a percentage who do attend from recent years we wanted to target as many as we could, especially those from further back.
The date was set for Saturday June 24th 2017 and we decided to start things off with an Afternoon tea at The Royal Hotel in Southend High Street.
With assistance from Chris Sorrell, our excellent Communications officer, emails were sent out to every ‘old girl’ currently listed with the OSA. Additionally we were successful in tracking down a few ourselves. The power of Facebook should never be underestimated.
Our first event saw 16 ladies attend on a boiling hot June afternoon. We had a brilliant mix of ex-students, a governor, a current member of staff, an ex-member of staff and two young ladies who had only left the year before. The afternoon was a great success with all who attended agreeing that they were so pleased to have been able to make it. We made a point of asking what type of events or locations people could suggest for future events and these will be looked into.
We are hoping to arrange a second event in the school itself. This way we can support the School Development Fund by using the school facilities directly plus I know that many of us would love to take a step back in time inside those hallowed walls that were such an important part of our early adult lives. It is hoped that, before too long, this group will grow and become as much a part of the school history as are all of the other societies.
We ladies may be a small section of the total student body but we feel that we are an important one. Having attended this esteemed school it is very much a part of our own individual histories and it is one that we are all very proud of.
If any ladies would like to join us in the future we have a dedicated Facebook page with a link from the school one or please get in contact via the OSA Secretary.