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Old Felicians Overview
All ex-pupils of all eras are automatically members of the OFC - it does not matter how much of your education was received at Saint Felix or how long it is since you left or have been in touch with us.
The OFC is your alumni association and exists for your benefit. Furthermore, no subscription is required, all we need to know are your contact details so that we can inform about events, reunions etc via the annual newsletters and the website. We particularly welcome hearing from OFs who may have dropped off the radar for years or possibly even decades(!); younger OFs who have left the school relatively recently may find the OFC a valuable method of making links with other OFs both of their year groups and older who work in the same career areas. This is an 'informal' organisation which exists purely for the benefit and enjoyment of its members; it is not a fund-raising organisation although any donations or bequests to the Isabella Gardiner Trust are much appreciated as they can help current Felicians to access educational opportunities which they might otherwise be unable to afford. We look forward to OFs renewing their contact with us and sharing information about their lives post-Saint Felix.
As the day of the 119th AGM of the Old Felicians’ Club approached there were many telephone calls and emails enquiring ‘will it take place?’ as the country was in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the years spent shivering on the freezing playing fields of Saint Felix or swimming in the unheated outdoor pool meant OFs were made of sterner stuff and so on 10th March 2020 the annual reunion took place in the magnificent setting of Fulham Palace. For more than 1,300 years the palace had been the riverside country home to the Bishops of London and the AGM took place in the panelled medieval Tudor hall with portraits of former bishops looking down on the gathering. We were delighted that the headmaster was able to attend and he gave an inspiring talk about the current situation at the school which continues to flourish.
After drinks in a private room, we sat down to lunch in Bishop Terrick’s dining room overlooking the Victorian chapel and garden which was ablaze with golden daffodils. The chatter was loud, OFs of the 1940’s years remembered how life returned to normal after evacuation during wartime, the table of the 1950’s definitely produced the loudest laughter, two former headmistresses were reunited with pupils whilst the headmaster was entertained by OFs of a slightly younger vintage. The impromptu rendition of the School Song was a fitting end to the lunch after which Fulham Palace volunteers guided one group around the palace and chapel whilst others enjoyed the recently restored gardens which contain a collection of historically significant plants, many of which had been collected over the centuries by previous bishops.
As fond farewells were made, we all breathed a sigh of relief that we had been able to gather together as just a few days later the country was on lockdown. Let us gather together once more in 2021 and join together in the words written by John Masefield and sung by OFs over the last century and remember friendships which have lasted for so many years and will continue for many more to come.
“Here in this house, where we are singing thus,
Long generations will come after us;
Friends we shall never know will come to share
This life of ours, wondering what we were,
Long after we are gone their minds will take
The human pathways our endeavours make.
We shall not see them, but we can endow
This place with the beauty for them, here and now.”
I would be very grateful to receive any information about the St.Felix outpost which existed in Penmaenmawr in North Wales from September 1916 until the summer of 1917. It was set up to cater for parents who were concerned that Southwold was too dangerous because of the continued possibility of a German invasion / bombing. There seem to have been about 50 pupils there and Miss Silcox managed to visit them twice during that year.
Reinstating the Sunk Garden at Saint Felix School is a worthwhile project to create a useful, safe and pleasant space for use by school pupils, staff and visitors.
It will also refurbish a fitting memorial to Old Felicians who lost their lives during the First World War in the year that marks the Centenary of the Armistice in 1918.
This is a significant project which will require the assistance of the whole school community including pupils, staff, parents, Governors and Old Felcians. The project will look for corporate sponsors, sponsors from the whole school community and good will in order to minimise the cost to the school.
This project, with ongoing support and maintenance will turn the Sunk Garden into a space that will be available to the School for generations to come.