My year as President is coming to its close and the time has passed all too quickly. It has been an exhilarating year for me and I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of you at the PPU functions, where I have been made to feel very welcome. I have been so very proud representing our PPU at the external events to which I was invited, particularly the various Annual Past Pupils’ Dinners of our kindred Colleges. I had not realised how busy I would be during the year and how much work is involved in running the PPU, but I kept my diary free for the year and let the PPU activities take priority. This decision paid dividends and enabled me to enjoy to the full all that being the President entails.
Particularly pleasing in my year of Office has been:
- The drive to energize the PPU to seek new members. The work of the Strategic Action Group that was set up to seek new ways to raise funds, to develop new events and consider how we might more closely link with the college, is bearing fruit.
- Our initiative to create a new Award for the College, called “The Spirit of Transition”. This Award is for pupils in Transition Year and will be presented annually to the outstanding student in 4th year who best exemplifies what the Transition Year experience is about. It will take account of the student’s academic achievements, community service, extra curricular activity, work experience, use of initiative, personal development and maturity. It will be the premier award for a Transition Year student and it is planned that the first presentation will be made later this year.
- The launch of a request, directed primarily towards our Life members. They were asked to consider making a donation towards either the Bursary fund or the Benevolent fund. We are very gratified with the response. This is a way in which we are setting out to increase our support to the College We are discussing other ideas to link with the college and hope to bring some of these to a successful conclusion later in the year.
Looking back at the events of the year, I will cover the main ones were we have had most members attending. The Annual Golf Outing was again a great success and here our thanks are due to Rodney Evans and Ruth and Geoff Bell for all their hard work in organising this popular tournament and the social gathering after the Golf. Many attended The Northern Branch AGM and lunch, followed by a very interesting visit to the Battle of the Boyne site . What better a place to meet and mingle with our friends from the Northern branch!! The Annual Dinner saw many new faces, especially from our ” younger members” and our visiting guest speaker provided a new and very welcome dimension to the dinner. The London reunion is still a key date in our diaries where many members from Ireland exchange fond reminiscences with some of our overseas members who this year travelled from the USA, Sweden and all parts of the UK. Our guest speaker at this function, created a lot of laughter.
As I write we still have the our very favourite Table Quiz Evening to come, now moved to a new location – Old Wesley Rugby Club – where are hoping for a record attendance. This is the a key fund raising event, the proceeds go towards our Bursary Fund and help to keep pace with the necessary rise of the school fees. We are not just a social club – the PPU Bursaries are a very important part of our organisation.
My final function is the Midlands and South Reunion due to take place in Kilkenny on the 12th May. I look forward to meeting many of you at this lunch and if I can be heard – at our visit to the Cathedral bell ringing event after the lunch.
Our Web-site is now well established, with a growing number of photographs included of events and members who have attended functions over the past few years. It is like a rogues gallery. How we all have changed – for the better of course – since our time in Wesley. It is worth going into the web site to see who is featured! We have started to e-mail members. The numbers who can be contacted is still small but it is a good start.
All this could not happen without our hard working committee members and my sincerest thanks is due to all of them. Special thanks to our Hon. Secretary, Valerie Grimes, who really keeps the show on the road, and our Hon.Treasurer Alison Galbraith who ensures we stay in the black. To you all my warmest thanks for your support and your contribution in helping to run the PPU.
Arthur Ennis takes over as President at the AGM on 14th May. I wish him a successful year and hope he will have as much enjoyment in his year of Office as I have had. I know you will give him the same much appreciated support as you gave to me.