On Friday, 30th November 2018 the Elders’ Association Committee hosted a Drinks Reception, followed by a dinner at Searcy’s in London, for Elders who had gone on to succeed in a number of professions. The rooms were festive, a massive Christmas tree present and glowing fires providing a warm welcome for all and a great atmosphere to celebrate so many incredible achievements.
This was the first dinner of this nature and proved to be a great success. It was an inspiration to see so many Elders in the room covering the span of the school years. Professions in the room were TV and Radio Journalists, Designers, Lawyers, Film Producers, Barristers, working in the Financial industry, working in/with United Nations, working in Charities, Environmental Organisations, at the Portrait Commission, Artists, well known and successful Photographers, Headships of Schools, Land Management, Geology, and many many more. Invited Elders who were sadly unable to attend included Global Film Directors, Make up artist to the stars, Pro bono international lawyers, News Broadcasters, Award winning Journalists, Head Teachers and Company Directors.
We were extremely thrilled Lady Airlie, one of the first Trustees/Governors of the Educational Trust could attend and join us for the evening, and eight Elders from the first pioneering year. It was wonderful to meet these Elders and for them to chat to and mingle with Elders through the past years to current students in Year 13, (Group 7) meet new Head, Ms Maggie Roberts, the Chair of Governors, Mr Martin Pennell and the Senior Leadership Team of the School.
As the Elders arrived at Searcy’s for the drinks, and as the evening progressed into the dinner, the chatter, whoops of meeting each other after many years, the laughter and the general noise, escalated. Wonderful.
The Chair of the Elders’ Association, Tracey Balch spoke and welcomed everyone, introduced Ms Maggie Roberts, thanked Lady Airlie, congratulated the pioneering ladies present who had paved the way for women and for the rest of us, congratulated all those present on their successes, and informed all those present of the many professions that Elders had excelled in. Tracey commented on how impressive this list was from such a small school, something to be proud of and that this occasion should provide a wonderful opportunity to network. “If boys schools can why can’t we!!!” There was a huge cheer after this.
Maggie Roberts said how much she was looking forward to meeting everyone and hearing about their professions. Elders were keen to meet her and many have offered help by speaking to current students, offering work experience, shadowing for a day, small workshops and data collecting for past year groups.
Current students agreed it was a fantastic opportunity to network with Elders from all walks of life including journalism, acting, authors, business, photography, environmentalism, design, medicine, law, psychology, and many more.
Due to the success of this event, and the growing number of Elders we are hearing from, we hope to hold such an event again in the future.
Thank you to everyone involved, and thank you to all the Elders out there – so proud of your achievements.
Below is a summary of quotes received from Elders in attendance:
- “ Wow, what an incredible evening on Friday. So enjoyed every minute!”
- “ Every conversation I had was positive and it was evident that all present have been successful and were pleased to have the opportunity to network as well as have a lovely meal in exclusive surroundings.”
- “ It is a wonderful to see how accomplished Cobham Hall Elders are and it is of course in part a testament to the education/experience we all benefited at Cobham Hall. “
- “I congratulate you on a wonderful evening. The venue was well chosen, the dinner was very good as were all the arrangements which seemed to work like clockwork. I very much enjoyed the company of my dinner companions (whoever did the setting plan did well to mix us all up!)”
- “That was a superb evening! “
- “I chatted to so many wonderful ladies, so interesting to hear what everyone is up to.”
- “Terrific night”
- “It was such a lovely evening and really fascinating to hear what all those talented Cobhamites have been up to! It was also good to talk to the current pupils.”
- “Was a lovely evening with a chance to chat with some exceptionally interesting people. Venue was beautiful too.”
- “The table you put me on was fascinating, we had wonderful chats all about the school to the beginning and I loved hearing the up-to-date news. Also such fun to see familiar faces again- and great to see everyone so successful.”
- “It must have been a mega-task to track everyone down and organise the evening, so congratulations on such a successful event.”
- “Just wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you for a great night.”
- “I enjoyed catching up with old friends and the time went all too quickly.”
Elders | Women of Achievement Dinner