Old Ratcliffian Reunion – New York 13th – 14th October
On Thursday 12th October, just before College broke up for the half-term break, I left Ratcliffe and made my way to Gatwick Airport where I had the privilege to join the Headmaster on a trip to New York. Over the last seven years there have been a number of formal Old Ratcliffian (OR) gatherings in America including Washington DC, Los Angeles and New York. The last of these events was back in 2014 and there was a great deal of interest from ORs to have another event. We have over 150 Old Ratcliffians living across the Americas but the largest single concentration of them live in or near to New York and so Manhattan was chosen as the venue.
Sadly, a number of regular supporters were unable to attend the event due to illness, family commitments or as a consequence of Hurricane Irma which had struck Florida a couple of weeks earlier. Robert Ippaso (‘73) was one of the latter but in his absence he sent a beautiful poem which he had written about Irma and being in the eye of the storm.
Another OR who was unable to make the reunion dinner on Saturday was Noel Sloan (’79) but we did manage to meet up with Noel for lunch on Friday 13th along with Chris McGlashan (’82) and Michel Ciambra (’82), both contemporaries of mine at Ratcliffe 35 years ago! Later that evening we were joined by James Neville (Head of Sixth Form) who had flown in for the reunion dinner the following evening.
On Saturday morning, ahead of the reunion dinner myself, Jon and James visited the Ground Zero Museum down at Battery Park. If you get the opportunity to visit this I would thoroughly recommend it. It is incredibly well done and very moving.
Later on Saturday evening, at the reunion dinner in Midtown Manhattan, we joined ORs from Philadelphia, California, Michigan, Rhode Island & Florida as well the more local ORs from New Jersey and Connecticut. The atmosphere was most convivial and after some speeches the conversations during dinner reverted to much story telling about the old days. The most senior member of our group was Frank Lum (’66) who had travelled from Michigan and who had also visited Ratcliffe just a month before.
The youngest was Joe Astill (’94), and in fact there was a good show from the 1990’s with Ken Wong (’91), Dr Clare Nugent (’91) and Hiu Ho (‘90). Other ORs attending the dinner included Eric Ciambra (’79), Michel Ciambra (’82), Chris McGlashan (’82) and Hilary Langar (’70).
Thank you to all those Old Ratcliffians who made the effort to support the event and for all your good wishes to the College and its current students. We very much look forward to the next New York Reunion Dinner in 2020.