On Saturday 16th September, a handful of Owen's alumni organised a hugely successful reunion for the intake of 1976 celebrating 40 years since leaving the school in 1983.
The event included a school site tour followed by drinks & nibbles at Old Owen's Sports Ground in Potters Bar.
Former Head Boy, Ian Kearns, was one of the organisers and has written this brilliant report of the day:
“In future years we shall reflect
With pleasure on these games”
Saturday 16th September 2023 was an eventful day at both the school and Old Owens Sports Ground as the intake of 1976 celebrated the 40th anniversary of leaving the school in 1983. Organised by Sally Field, Hilary Kent, Jane Loader, Andrew Hutton and Ian Kearns,
40 people attended over the course of the day which started in the 6th Form canteen which is still located in the same place it was 40 years ago!
Ex-Head Girl, Maria Buonanno who is now a teacher at Owens (Mrs Conte) gave two excellent tours of the school which included several new buildings although the Sports Hall remains the same and it was a pleasure to also visit the paddock and especially the lake where we all had a cigarette for old time’s sake!!
The assembly hall also looked very familiar and it wasn’t long before we started reminiscing about Spandau Ballet playing at our First Year school disco although they were called Roots at the time. Mr Hamilton-Hinds told us we would have the day off if they ever reached no. 1. The song ‘True’ did make the top of the charts and we are still waiting for that day off! We even set up a Zoom call and two Old Owenians ‘dialled in’ from Australia. Mark Charlish (Perth) and Andrew Polfreman (Sydney) both stayed up late to take part and we took turns to sit in front of the screen whilst they tried to identify us. Mark was very good at this game although it did appear as if Andrew must have gone to Mount Grace!!
We spent 3 hours at the school and then moved on to Old Owens Sports Ground in a desperate search for alcohol. Music from 1976 - 1983 played throughout and old photographs were projected much to the hilarity of the assembled guests. There was even some dancing and a few aches and pains the following morning.
Many of us reflected on how lucky we had been to go to the school (we’d never have got in now!) and what a comprehensive education we had received. There were lots of anecdotes shared, none of which can be published here for fear of lawsuits and court cases!!
The whole evening felt like being at the best wedding ever and anyone who is disparaging of school reunions would have been surprised at how old friendships were rekindled so quickly. A list of contact numbers and e-mail addresses soon filled two pages of A4 paper and there was much talk of meeting up again in the near future.
It has been 20 years since we held a school reunion (most of us will be nearly 80 in another 20 years) so maybe we should celebrate 1976 next time and hold a 50th reunion in 3 years time. Judging by the following feedback, many of us will return, hopefully with an even bigger attendance. Remember, we were pupils when the O in Owens really did stand for OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL!
“Never let your ardour cool”
“Excellent day. May need 10 years to recover.” - Phil Payne
“An awesome day with awesome people.” - Dan Lane
“It was lovely to see everyone.” - Julia Pryor
“Thanks very much for the invitation - wish I could have been there.” - Catherine Gunn
“Thanks to all for organising last night and lovely to meet you all after all these years.” - Ian Stephens
“Really enjoyed the afternoon. Thank you to those who organised the day, great job.” - Wendy Jones
“Really enjoyed the afternoon.” - Tracy Brown
“A great day, thank you!” - Laura Roberts
“It was just lovely to catch up after so many years.” - Andrew Hutton
“It was such a happy day and so many unexpected moments. Watching friends reunite after so long was just a wonderful feeling.” - Hilary Kent
“The whole day has made me so happy. The music, photos, grub, everything was great.” - Wiskey (Bruce McDonald)
“Just got home. Absolutely shattered!!” - Ian Kearns
“Who are all of these people?!” - Andrew Polfreman
Written by Ian Kearns
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