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2008 : 20-Year Reunion Review

1988 Leavers’ 20-Year Reunion

On a sunny Sunday morning in early November 2008, 21 members of the class of 1988 returned to Worth to mark 20 years on the ‘outside’.

The years had clearly been harder on some than others, with knee injuries cited as the root cause of the all too visible signs of declining fitness (Charlie Dunster, Tom Garrigan and James Canepa). However, for those still in training, The Cowdray Arms provided a useful muster point before the final push up the drive to Worth. Having checked that the beer was still drinkable, and watched in disbelief as the eternally fresh-faced Guy Stagnetto finally managed to buy a pint without being asked his age, we departed.

Although, selfless as ever, Giles Coghlin, Rob Tye and Nick Pond valiantly volunteered to hang on at the pub lest there be any late arrivals. Arriving at the Abbey church we were met outside by a shiny-headed gent in glasses whom nobody recognised. After introducing himself, and being awarded the prize for ‘most changed in appearance’, Dennis Roberts led us into the church to be greeted by the unmistakable Father Christopher.

Mass ensued in the Lady Chapel with prayers said for departed friends – Ambrose Bristow, Russell Coleburt, Alex and Rory Duncan, Mark Petre and John Stanton.  Our thoughts extended to Dom Osborne who was in our year and is suffering from a brain tumour at present.

A quick tour of the new and extremely impressive performing arts facilities was followed by drinks and lunch in the refurbished Cowdray room (formerly the master’s dining room).  Joined by Father Stephen, Keith Owers, Jeremy Dowling and John Denman, with cameos from Fathers Charles, James and Luke, lunch was a wonderful opportunity to catch up and reacquaint.  Twenty years is a long time, but it has passed oh so quickly.  Worth has clearly moved on, and now boasts facilities that we could only have dreamt of back in our day – en-suite bathrooms, I ask you!  We have all clearly moved on too and have the wives, children, responsibilities and boys toys (Simon Walsh and his sports car) to show for it.  However, judging by the way that everyone reverted so quickly to type, we haven’t changed that much – clearly the humour has not developed!

Having regrouped back at The Cowdray Arms, it was universally agreed that the day had been a great success. Many thanks to Olivia Henley of Worth Society for putting us all back in touch and for Father Christopher for hosting the day – next time we won’t leave it so long!

James (Jim) Little (G’88)