The John Lyon School hosts the 103rd Old Lyonian Association Annual Dinner

On Friday 24th April 2015, for the first time in the history of the OLA. The John Lyon School welcomed 156 Old Lyonians and guests to the 103rd Old Lyonian Association Dinner.

Date: Fri 1 May 2015   Author: The Lyonian Office   Category: General   Share: Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on PinterestShare by Email

During the afternoon many OLs visited the School to be given guided tours by Alex Aristides, Head Boy and his deputies. Many OLs had not been back since the day they left, in some cases, several decades ago.  They all commented on how the School has changed and developed since their day but that the atmosphere of pride and friendship was still very evident.  There were many a tale of mischief exchanged and memories recalled.

The White Horse was the gathering post for OLs, arriving en masse for the pre-dinner reception in the Refectory, ably guided by Mr Ian Parker! The atmosphere in the New Memorial Hall, as they all arrived, was electric with friends greeting friends and shouts of welcome across the decades.

Mr Doug Snoad took the honour of our eldest OL on the evening, leaving the School as he did in 1948, with Alex Aristides, Abhijay Sood, Avtar Rai and Adam Wright being the youngest, as they prepare to graduate from the School this year and take on the mantle of Old Lyonian.

Mr Joe Kerridge (OL 1962-69), President of the Old Lyonian Association, brought the room to order and Rev. Hugh Wikner (OL 1957-64) said grace and dinner was served.  Joe welcomed the OL’s to this historic dinner and introduced the special guests; Miss Haynes (Head), Mr John Hayes (Chair of Governors) and Mr Michael Gibson (Bursar).  As is traditional at these dinners, two former teachers were invited as guests of the OLA; Mr John Neal who joined the School in 1967 as a Physics teacher, going on to become Head of Science and Housemaster of Moore House and Mr Graham Ryder, former Head of Biology and Director of Studies.

The guest speaker for the dinner was Dr Chinmay Gupte (OL 1983-90).  During his time at JLS he not only achieved academic success but also sporting success as Captain of the 1st XI cricket team.  Chinmay went to Pembroke College, Oxford to study Medicine where he continued to play his beloved cricket. He was opening batsman and Captain of Oxford University (awarded 5 blues). Dr Gupte is an Honorary Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon specialising in sports, knee injuries and a Senior Lecturer at Imperial College.  The son of a professional cricketer for India, Chinmay has devoted his life work to medical research and surgery to improve recovery from sports injuries.

The dinner is a time to remember school days and old friends, so in traditional form Joe Kerridge called the evening to order to read out the names of those OL’s who are no longer with us to celebrate this time, with a minutes silence providing time to reflect.

The air of camaraderie around the room was tangible and with reunions amongst many OL’s, who had not seen each other for more years than some cared to remember, the laughter and chatter was loud and clear.

As is traditional, the evening finished with a rousing rendition of “40 Years On” the New Memorial Hall echoing with rich voices, old and young.

The event was enjoyed by all those who attended and continued late in to the night, with many OLs going to the Old Lyonian Association Sports Club at Pinner View.

This dinner marked two exciting new developments in the history of the Association, the first time the dinner had been held at the School and the last time the evening would end at Pinner View, as the OLA Sports Club prepares to move to its new home at the Sudbury Playing Fields.


Lyonians young, Lyonians old,

On this occasion have been bold,

Returning here where memories rule,

Back again at our old school.


Stet fortuna domus

None can take this from us,

As with grateful thanks divine,

We sit and eat good food and wine.    



Rev. Hugh Wikner (OL 1957-64)


For more pictures of the event please visit the gallery